What motivates you to get outdoors? For some, it’s the call of the tall burly mountains, while for the others it’s the simple act of getting outside that fuels them, restores them and helps them to reconnect with the loved ones around.
I always dream of mountains: huge, snow-capped lovely beasts of mountains with approaches that require an all day or even multi-day treks, high camps where one must preserve through whiteouts and storms, shoveling endless platforms and pathways white waiting for the weather signals and ascent is possible and the peak becomes a realistic goal. One bolts to the top; it’s a stunning new route, a speed ascent or just another slog to the top where a clear vision of the beautiful valley below is granted for a few moments and yet I rarely get up to those kinds of mountains..
But how to keep the dreams alive?
For me, I set out on adventures as often as I can, I head up to the lower reaches of these high mountains and grab a walk in campsite otherwise pitch a tent in the middle of nowhere nest to a little known river and spent the evening under the start. When I wake up, if I hit the trail early enough, it’s as if the lower ridges were made just for me. And as I stroll, or sometimes strive to suffer up the trail, I can see peaks near and far – and as I walk, I dream of the possibilities.
Two hours north and a hard ridge walk to the east has me setting up a tent next to a high altitude lake watching the snowcapped peaks reflect in the crystal clear waters as I roast a piece of meat on a small fire or over a small camp stove in the middle of the week, so that I can escape the “crowds”. I don’t schedule anything the next morning so I don’t have to be back in front of my computer responding to the necessary emails until the next morning.
And a few times a year, which is about as often as I can get time to camp on the outskirts of the city just so I get the feel of being closer to the earth and the stars at the same time, I’ll go out on a longer adventure. Maybe its to one of the mountains I dream about, the mighty Himalayan 8thousanders, or perhaps and ambitious biking tour or a few days along the glacial ponds where the blurry Mountain peaks send their snows when they’re done with them. These longer adventures are not necessarily grander adventures; I’ve had near epics in the backyard just as I have had high up above 20,000 feet. But each time out – whether a quick walk though a city park, an overnight in the jungles on the outskirts of the city or a cross country trip though Himalayan national park or any of the amazing public places available to us all in between – the main thing for me is just to go.
I go because it fuels me, it restores me, it reconnects me to my loved ones, and it reminds me not just to dream of far horizons, for from time to time to walk towards them.
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