Raising the Bar
The last series of blogs journaled a trip from last year that helped me realize we often set limits on what we can do. Thinking back, there were several times that I wanted to shoot up the red star cluster and give up. The reward for persevering was scenery that will never be forgotten, camaraderie with others and an appreciation for our natural parks. The 5 day trip raised the bar for me as far as physical challenges.
Too frequently, we get caught up in the rat race, you know the requirement to put food on the table and survive. Backpacking has become a release. A release in the sense that the cares of the world seem far away when you are miles away from the nearest road. Understand, as a believer in Christ, I have a firm foundation on where my hope is. It is not in our government, nor any other person, place or thing. My hope rests in Him and what He has done for us. The salvation offered through grace, is all-sufficient. Backcountry hiking for me is an opportunity to reflect and appreciate the majesty of his creation.
There is something neat about carrying everything that you need to survive on your back. Others, the minimalist backpackers, learn to survive with even less stuff. It makes sense after I carried an extra 15 pounds all week. I noticed that once you get home after spending a week on the trail it becomes apparent how much stuff you have. Needless stuff in boxes or in closets. Things that you haven’t worn in a year or junk that takes up space. The gypsies of old had it right. Take what you can carry.
Ten Lakes area, Yosemite
It doesn’t matter where you live. We just happen to live in an area where it is easy to get out and experience the adventure. Just ask my family, wherever we have lived or traveled – we have gotten out. From the beaches in Nags Head, NC to Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon or a huge boulder field in the Lehigh Valley, Pa. Whether it’s the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, or the Rockies – just go.
I need to spend more time in the backcountry. Maybe it will help me get rid of stuff.