Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Challenge to Slow Down

One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour ... Willa Cather

There is more to life than increasing its speed. ....Gandhi

These two quotes have inspired me to offer a challenge. To those who are planning their 2011 hikes, perhaps a thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, or the Appalachian Trail, I challenge you to give yourself at least 5 months to hike your trail, to discover and uncover the mysteries of your journey. Do not try to set speed records, or run the trail. Do not slack pack, or "yellow blaze" (hitch hike around difficult sections or to catch up to friends ahead).

Seems too much emphasis and awe are wasted on the fastest, lightest, biggest, best. Being on a long trail should be more than just an extension of the work life style, of competition and ego, macho tricks and bragging rights.
Maybe we should be setting records for who can stay out the longest.

You may only get to do the trail once. May it bring you joy beyond your wildest dreams. There will be pain, and misery. But this also builds memories that will last a lifetime, memories to build upon.

As they say, Never quit a trail in the rain.
Hike your own Hike.