Off-Trail Hiking For The Win

Note — I got pretty damned behind in posting this week, so I’m going to write a couple of posts today to try and make up for that.  Below is the first one I threw together quickly…the second I am going to put some more time & thought into and set it to post either tomorrow or the day after…

I had every intention of being a good boy today, I really did.

I was going to stick to the trail, I said.  I was going to hike responsibly and — yes, mom — safely.

I’ve been a bad example, I’ve been told, for the younger staff up here.  They hear about my solo, off-trail hiking, they hear the stories and see some of the pictures, and decide to try it for themselves.  They decide to try it, I probably should add, without proper equipment or experience…

Okay, so that last part really is the recipe for disaster.  Shit, I guess there just may be some truth to the words that I’m a bad example (in more ways than just this!).

Fine, I promised, I would be good and responsible…

That “goodness” lasted for almost five whole minutes!

Then I looked back on the trail and saw a family following me, barely thirty yards behind.  Grr.  I even tried to walk some more, to increase my pace, only to have my ears ruined by the clamor of that family’s handful of bear-bells making their godawful racket.

Ahem.

A left turn, then, and I set off along, and up, the slope of the surrounding hills.  I mean, c’mon…when I have my weekly “I hate humans hike,” the last thing I need around me is, well, freaking humans!

There is a challenge to the kind of hiking I do, by the way.  Err, a challenge besides the danger and risk.  That challenge lies in just how easy it is to get so caught up in the beauty and sweep of where you are that you lose track of where you planned to go.

Err…umm…I suppose that particular challenge could apply to life itself; it sure as hell does to mine.

Ahh, hell, who am I kidding…that’s part of the damned attraction!

It’s time for a few pictures, I guess, if only to show that I’m not some crack-smoking-fool, doing stupid things for stupid reasons.  Nope, when I go off-trail, it’s for this:

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