There is nothing like a solo trek through the wilderness. The fresh air filling your lungs as the breeze causes the grass and tree branches to wave. Hearing the birds sing as the sun hits your face putting all city sounds to shame and silence. Hiking has been my own form of therapy for over 15 years. We all came from nature so being out there in the wilderness on foot feels like I’m returning to my source. Though I find hiking to be most therapeutic when I’m alone, bringing along friends and family can make the journey into a fun adventure. My favorite places to hike are mountains, hills, rivers, and creeks. Hiking in the desert is terrible for me due to the humidity and barren terrain. We all have our forms of self-therapy. Some like doing the dishes, others like to talk to people or create something with their hands. We should all find what brings us that sense of peace and release and do it whenever we feel it’s needed.
Hiking does carry with it some degree of danger. I have had close encounters with mountain lions, snakes, and moose. On one hike, I thought I could safely jump down a rock face and ended up spraining my ankle. On a walk, while camping, I tripped into some cactus. On a few rare occasions when hiking alone, I had this sneaking suspicion that I was being watched. Most recently, I fell through some ice into the water below, freezing the lower half of my body. I had to return to the car to avoid hypothermia promptly. There are many more dangerous hobbies to have other than hiking such as motorcycle stunt driving, for example. I love hiking and will never stop. I am seriously dreading the day that I will be too old or unable to hike.
During every hike I take, I find a beautiful spot near the water or on top of a hill and take a break. During this break, I just sit there and take in the scenery. You can get some fantastic views through hiking, but sometimes you really need to stop and take it in. I’ve witnessed many panoramic views from high up on a summit or even at ground level. But I have noticed photographs never look as vivid and do not capture all that I witnessed with my eyes. Most serious hikers have a special love for their hiking sticks. I always find mine in nature and will hold onto one for months or even years before It gets lost or broken. For a short hike, which can be a few miles and last about 2 hours, all I bring is my walking stick, boots, a hydrating drink, and perhaps some sunglasses or a hat. For longer hikes through more rugged and solitary terrain, Ill bring all my gear for a short walk plus a pack with extra food, water, and other survival supplies.
I dislike the winter, especially the snow and rain part of it. The precipitation makes the trails get muddy and ruins my hiking experience. If it is raining, I won’t even bother going, plus I need to wait for a day or two after the rain to let the trails dry up again. Then there is the problem with people. I hate seeing trash out on the trails. It destroys that sense of returning to nature. I usually prefer to be alone and think during my hikes that’s how I have never needed to see a therapist. Though I like being alone out there, If i see a fellow hiker Ill make some small talk as we pass each other on the trail. Though there is a part of me that wishes I didn’t see anybody, I don’t own nature, and other hikers are my people.
I was born in California and later moved east, allowing me to hike trails in Utah and Wyoming. I’ve done most of my hiking in California and recommend most any trail in the San Bernadino National Forest. I also had a local spot i frequently enjoyed called Big Dalton Wilderness Park. If you happen to be in Glendora, California and want a challenge, try the Punk Out Trail. I also enjoyed hiking Los Padres National Forest and am going back one day to hike Yosemite. Currently, I’m hiking the Bear River State Park and The Uinta Cache National Forest on the Utah Wyoming border and am working my way up to Yellowstone.
Hiking Is an amazing experience for me. It centers my soul and helps me contemplate the most complex decisions I ever made. It has made me a passionate lover of the great outdoors, and a better human being.
I’ll see you on the trail.
Until My Next Post
Stay Happy, Healthy, and Free