Sep 24, 2010 at 1:43 am #1263626
Many of us obsess over gear (me too, it's fun!). Some of us do it for the physical sport of it. Some of us do it for photography. All of us do it to be "out there," for one reason or another.
But how often do you sit back and realize just how Damn beautiful things are, and how lucky you are to be able to experience it?
I was perusing through some photos from some of my trips and overwhelming amazement and happiness flooded in. The great music and good beer couldn't have helped at all :) But, it was just one of those reflective moments when you realize there are still great things that us humans haven't messed up yet, away from the stress, politicking, and things that take away from what matters.
I don't live in the west where there are trailheads a stone's throw from everyone's door that yield breathtaking mountain views (yes, i'm jealous), but I have been lucky enough to go on almost every one of my hikes with my girlfriend (now finacee). For me, backpacking is more than a hobby or sport. Its a chance to seal in time a moment that is purely mine and no one else's. Looking at the pictures and recalling the memories, even the tough times on the trail were exceptional ones.
I didn't mean for this to come across as overly sappy, but I figured I'd lay some of my thoughts out to you.
I find myself daydreaming all the time about being out there. How about you? Why are you really out there?Sep 24, 2010 at 3:13 am #1648435
Short answer: I like to walk.
Long answer: I like to walk.
Ironically, I started walking again (around the neighborhood) to lose weight. At the peak, I was up to 12 miles per day. I started at 3:30 AM, walked for three hours, went to work, walked for three hours more in the late afternoon, made dinner (a very frugal one) for my family, collapsed or went back to the observatory to do a program, and got up at 3:30 to start the process anew.
-100 pounds later, I discovered that the neighborhood was a boring walk, and I needed the stimulation of the (very) occasional decent views from local metro parks.
Now, I walk into the deeper woods of the national and state forests of Ohio because I like the views and the solitude.
As I've said here before, I love people. I love them even more when I can spend a day or two away from them. I have learned to love the solitude of stealth camping deep in the woods with only the yipping of the coyotes, the chirping of the birds, the sizzling trills of the cicadas, and the hooting of the owls as my companions.
Mostly, in other words, I like to walk away for a while from our somewhat sad civilization — our screens and mini-malls — into the vibrant simplicity of the woods. And I am at my happiest when nothing dies at my hand when I am there, when nature is simply able to forget my presence, when I leave no trace of the complex carnage that is my life outside the woods, when I don't help to kill the thing I love.
That's it. I like to walk.
StargazerSep 24, 2010 at 3:27 am #1648437
@antigLocale: Pacific Northwest
Wonderfully said Stargazer. Sounds like we should go for a walk someday :)Sep 24, 2010 at 4:19 am #1648444
were all chasing a new experience, but unfortunately no experience lasts, so we need another one! Its a vicious cycle.Sep 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm #1648534
only reason is to hike to climb … or to keep fit enough for the approaches
if it's not technical its boring … it's called slogging then ;)Sep 26, 2010 at 8:33 am #1648892
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
I like the natural scenery. I like the peace, quiet and sweet solitude of hiking solo. I also like the fun and camaraderie when hiking with friends. And so I hike…Sep 26, 2010 at 8:52 am #1648902
Thanks, Jeff. Great-looking stove on your web site, BTW. Just bought one!
StargazerSep 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm #1649310
Or to put it another way,
StargazerSep 29, 2010 at 6:47 pm #1650082
No matter how many peaks
No matter how many rivers
No matter how many forests
They were there before me,
They'll be there after me,
And my small
Should never change them,
as much as they change me.Sep 29, 2010 at 7:29 pm #1650088
I've always been 'out there' in a good way. ;-)
I can't imagine living any other way.Sep 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm #1650113
@creachenLocale: East Bay
For me I love the mountains,nature and any wild life. I have been obsessed with backpacking for the last ten years and look forward to the next ten years…I had a long athletic career in my past which was all about the TEAM-which is great but backpacking is all scenery,terrain and self-reflection(In the Zone)for me! I wish I had started backpacking much earlier in my life…Enjoy the Great Outdoors while you still can! It's never enough.Sep 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm #1650365
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
"Why we're out there."
For the solitude, the deafening silence, the ferocity of a swollen river, the creaking of the Ponderosa swaying overhead, the turbulence of the wind as it pushes through the needles, the chill of morning around the spent ashes of an evening past, the click of a buckle right before cinching up my hipbelt, the unknown, for too many other reasons to list. I guess to put it simply… because it's there!
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