Monday, May 16, 2016

Hiking: Taking joy in the journey

As a young man, whenever I would go out hiking, my goal was to get to the destination as quickly as possible. There was always some sound reasoning for that--either the destination was a lake, and there was good fishing to be had, or the destination was a mountain peak and I was expecting a magnificent view. But the third reason, pride, was no real reason for my rush to the end of the trail.
The thing I've learned over the years is that there are still times to get up, hurry, and make it to the lake before the good fishing is done. On the other hand, planning ahead, hiking in the night before, and being at the lake when the good fishing begins, is a much better plan. I can still make it to the top of the peak, even if I take time to enjoy the views along the way.
Nowadays, I hike much slower. It's why I don't join various hiking groups who state such things in their "you can join..if" statements as, "you must be able to hike at least four miles per hour", or something like that. Yes, when I'm at my peak, physically, I can keep up with those kinds of hikers. But is is worth it to me? No it is not. Because hiking, to me, is exploring. It is taking the side trails a little ways, or studying animal tracks, looking at cavities in rocks, and finding mushrooms. It is sitting and picnicking and talking with your friends. That's all part of it for me. And planning to come back to a place that's real exciting some day, is also something I do.
Because at the end of the hike, I want to say, I have no regrets. I want to say that I'm not sorry I took the time to do those extra things, because those extra things are part of an adventurous life. So is racing to the top, by the way, but you miss so much along the way. And that is what I mean by regrets. There are things I have done along the trail that if I was racing to the top, never would have happened. And that, would have been something to regret.
Yours truly near the Deseret Peak Trail.

1 comment: said...

>Because hiking, to me, is exploring.<

Believe me, I'm all aboard that train. Exploring is everything.