Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Rush

I was having dinner with a friend the other night, and like usual the conversation was mostly about current events and life in general. The day before, we'd gone hiking together on some trails in the McDonald Forest area, and ended up picking a trail that climbed a fair way up and over a hill, and spanned a few miles. We started a bit late, and hadn't paid attention to where the trail came out, so there was some debate over hiking up. I told her we could bail on it at any time, but she decided to keep going. We made it up and over, but then decided to go ahead and turn around, since it wasn't obvious where we'd end up coming out, but we made it to the top, and she was pretty stoked about it. She told me the next day that although she was a little tired and sore, she felt really good because she'd conquered the hill.

I told her, take that feeling and amplify it, and that's how I feel when I summit one of the mountains I've hiked. Mt. Scott was a perfect example, because from the parking area, it seems so far away. It hits you with a feeling of intimidation at first, can I do this? So you head out, and its a burn, you wonder if you're going to make it. Then..........you see that little fire lookout which was just a spot from the bottom, and you can see detail. You keep going, around the next switchback, and now you can see the stairs and door. Around a few more switchbacks, behind a small rock bluff, and there it is, a few hundred yards away. The adrenaline kicks in, because short of an all out catastrophe you've made it!! Down the ridge, up a small rock stepped hill, and you can reach out and touch your goal. Around the lookout, over to the boulders next to it. You look down, and now your car/truck is that little speck all the way down there in the parking lot.

That feeling of accomplishment is amazing. I've felt it a few times in my life, and it never gets old. Its the same kind of feeling I felt the first time I soloed in an airplane, first rafting trip, first rappel. I'm sure that people who skydive will tell you a similar story. Its like taking the first run you scored in a little league game times a thousand. Its hard to articulate the feeling at times, so I just recommend finding a trail to hike, a mountain to climb, a river to float....... You won't be disappointed.

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