“Hey, I’m going to [insert name] for five days. Wanna go?” For years this is how I greeting my friends and the answer was almost always the same.
“No, I can’t. [insert random excuse]”
So it was, I spent most of my years hiking solo covering nearly every area of Alaska that I could – Alone.
In 1991 I left my land for my second walkabout traveling the west coast, then across the USA through the southern states. At Augusta, Georgia I turned north again and ended up in Ogdensburg, NY by winter. As spring rolled around I worked my way west, eventually settling in Seattle where I met my perfect hiking partner and wife.
|Hiking Mt. Townsend Trail For What Seemed Like The Millionth Time, And It’s Still Special!|
We have been hiking together for 20 years now and during that time have become a fine tuned backpacking team. Trail time is much more enjoyable when she is with me. I learned this a few years ago when I backpacked a few weeks solo. It didn’t take long for me to arrive at the conclusion that I no longer like to hike alone. During that time I thought a lot about hiking partners and what they mean to me for a successful adventure.
I would put “trust” at the top of my list for a worthy hiking partner to possess. The ability to trust and be trusted without a selfish ego is a facet that takes time to develop and is rarely given a chance to mature. Meandering down a trail lost in our own thoughts and experiences is vital, however, the ability to navigate a wilderness as a team influences our emotions during the hike and the memories afterward.
I’m fortunate to have found Deborah to share the last trail years of my life with. The journey is filled with much more meaning around every corner. The mountain views become grander, camp become more comfortable, and nasty weather becomes endurable.
Above Aneroid Lake from Pete’s Peak. Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon.
Flintstone Couch near Sunshine. Eagle Cap Wilderness – Oregon