Can you ever tell how much someone loves something just by reading their words? Likewise, have you ever just looked at a person and felt the passion radiating off them like a nuclear bomb of joy?
I am so grateful to the outdoor community. Over the years I have learned just how familial this group of people is.
Whether it’s introducing themselves as your temporary neighbors for the weekend or those brief passing encounters on the trail… “You’re almost there!” (when you’re nowhere close). I have learned that the outdoor community is very much one big, extended family. Of course there will always be the exception of the inconsiderate and belligerent. The Hills-Have-Eyes types, as I like to think of them. But, I really do believe the overwhelming majority of this community to be incredible human beings.
I don’t know if it’s the shared love for the environments in which we meet or just endorphin-drunk brains from scampering down a mountain, but I am constantly surprised and impressed with the caliber of good, honest people that make up this family. I have learned that the trail is more than just passing feet. It is a thoroughfare for people from all walks of life to share. A trail, by definition, is “a track made by passage”. Without passage, without people, there is no trail.
To the overly animated hiker bounding down the mountain, chipper as a newborn Teletubby, greeting my struggles with much-needed energy.
To the couple that stops to give details about what to expect for the remainder of the hike.
To the family who pulled over and took time out of their day to tow my car out of the sand dunes.
To the crazy guy hiking the Rockies in March wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
To the couple in their 50’s, backpacking the John Muir Trail for the third time.
To those who aren’t as athletic but push up the mountain.
To those whose stamina knows no limit, and serve as an inspiration.
To the countless sweating, smiling faces I see along the way.
Happy trails and thank you for the motivation to be a stronger person every day.