Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Thank you Mr. Pine Tree... I retract my former statement"

I love to hike. I really do.

I hike for a living so I guess that is a good thing. For me hiking is not about the hike per se... it's more about the experience.

I hiked the Narrows a few years ago with some friends of mine. I remember right before the hike one of my buddies said that he wanted to hike the Narrows just so he could say he did. "Said he did" to who exactly? No one cares that you hiked the Narrows. I've done a lot of cool things in my life. I've been to a lot of cool places. BUT. NO. ONE. CARES.

I'll continue. I go places in order to experience something. I go on hikes so that I can experience nature and enjoy the beauty that surrounds me. I travel so that I can learn about new cultures, meet new people, and see the history that I love to study. I do all this for myself. Why would I do it for anyone else?

I have a hard time taking pictures for this very reason (but I still do of course). I feel that a lot of the time people just run through life taking pictures and trying to "capture the moment". But what "moment" are they capturing? It's hard to experience something when you are running around taking pictures. Pictures, mind you, most people aren't going to care about.

Who are you living life for? Why did you backpack through Europe? So that you could meet interesting people in hostels, experience a new culture, and see some amazing sites OR so that you can tell someone that you did it? Why did you hike up a slot canyon to see a beautiful waterfall? So that you could ponder about life and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you OR so that you can tell someone that you did it?

I went on the Kanarraville waterfall hike yesterday with 2 of my coworkers and a environmental guy from the BLM. The hike is supposed to take about 45 minutes. You know how long it took us (when I say "us" I mean "4 in shape professional hikers")? 3 hours! You know why? Because we enjoyed it... we experienced it. We hiked slowly though the water. We stopped constantly to gaze at the gorgeous high canyon that surrounded us. We stopped to identify plants (with the help of our BLM friend). We stopped to take a few pictures. We spent a half hour at the waterfall, which is located in a narrow slot canyon, just talking. Why hurry back? Why get to the waterfall, take some pictures, and then leave? Why not stay? We had no where else to go.

I guess if you want to run through life, doing things just so you can say you did, that's your business. As for me, I want the experience. I want to live. I want to feel alive. I want to look back and remember the moment.


Rachel Price said...

Finding THIS makes me SO happy! I heart you!

Jessica Munk said...

I totally agree about doing things for yourself and not so you can SAY you did it. I take pictures as part of my journal and I take them because my mind is so distracted with everything I have going on, I forget what I did even a year ago. My pictures remind me and even bring back the feelings of the event. I also think my kids would love to see the pics when they grow up. I wish I had more pictures to look at from when I was little. But I too often rush through experiences. A couple weekends ago I went on an overnighter with Jon and no kids and we just hung out and took it easy savoring all the time and freedom. It was perfect! We were hoping to go backpacking with no kids this summer too...but we are moving in a couple weeks its been crazy. Hopefully we can fit it in during August.