In this week of posts celebrating the Green Mountain Club’s 100th Birthday, I thought I would get off of the promotional soapbox and just talk about hiking, one of my favorite things to do. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that sitting on top of mountains is actually my favorite thing to do, but hiking to the top is pretty cool too.
The truth is, I work pretty hard. Sometimes my passion for my work becomes drive and focus and, well, Work. I love it, but I also want to strike a balance. That’s when I hike. And I find the most enjoyment in just 100 yards of hiking, not even the whole hike.
The first 50 yards that I love are those first 50 yards from the car. My backpack is packed, the car keys are the last to go in, and I turn toward the trail. As I leave the parking area, I feel like I’m leaving all of my worries behind. Stress, deadlines, the cell phone, the internet, etc. It’s bliss, true bliss. And the only things I have to think about are the things I choose to think about. All of it, or any of it, or none of it can be taken with me…or left at the car.
The next 50 yards that I love is at the peak. I love arriving at a bald, rocky spot on Mt Hunger or Stowe Pinnacle. And even though Mansfield and Camel’s Hump are considerably busier, you still can’t beat the views. I often sit up there for an hour, just looking at the horizon, the valley, the ridge line, the sky. Again, true bliss.
Of course, there’s often 1-4 miles between my car and the mountain peak on the trails I hike, not counting the return trip! Those miles are relaxing, rejuvenating, and restorative too.
I’m glad that the Green Mountain Club is around to maintain these trails, protect these mountains, and steward the land that makes these experiences so enjoyable.