So, it’s been a while since my last post, because it’s been a while since my last hike! February was basically a wash — so much snow. We had snow on 9 consecutive weekends, from January through March. We had a month of frigid temps. It was just too nasty to hike, and we were too busy clearing snow off our own property to think about hiking out in the wild.
In the midst of all that, I traveled to both Canada and India for work, and to Boston for a fun weekend playing games with 50,000 friends or so.
So, yeah, not much in the way of the great outdoors, but plenty busy.
But the snow is melting, the air is warming, and soon it’ll be time to put boots on and get muddy!
To help remind myself why I enjoy the outdoors so much, I watched Mile, Mile and a Half on Netflix the other day. It’s a documentary about traveling the John Muir Trail, 200+ miles of mountain wilderness in California. It’s not an amazing movie, and it glosses over a lot of what you might wonder about a major through-hike, but it succeeds brilliantly in presenting the outdoors in all its glory and making you wish you were out there in it.
There’s a great moment, early in the movie, where one of the filmmakers is being wished well by his father, who tells him that hiking the JMT was always one of his goals, but that he never did it. The look of regret on the father’s face was brief but powerful. As much as the beautiful scenery, it reminded me to get outside. Here’s one of John Muir’s quotes, called out in the movie:
Wander here a whole summer, if you can. Thousands of God’s wild blessings will search you and soak you as if you were a sponge, and the big days will go by uncounted. If you are business-tangled, and so burdened by duty that only weeks can be got out of the heavy-laden year … give a month at least to this precious reserve. The time will not be taken from the sum of your life. Instead of shortening, it will indefinitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal. Nevermore will time seem short or long, and cares will never again fall heavily on you, but gently and kindly as gifts from heaven.
Powerful words from the father of our National Parks.