Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why I like hiking:
1) I can pretend I am a hobbit on a journey
2) It makes up for my childhood distaste of sports.
3) I can walk to the grocery store a mile away and carry back 15 pounds of groceries without breaking sweat.
4) I learn that some periods of material discomfort (wet, cold, etc.) are quite manageable--nothing compares to that most basic feeling of being warm as when you've been hiking in windy rain in 50 degrees.
5) I can survey a range of big hills with a knowing, distant look, a la John Muir and Daniel Boone
6) Gooey pizza and crisp beer never taste as good as when you've just stepped off the trail after a 15 mile hike. Actually, just about any kind of cooked food, for that matter.
7) Hiking is mind-clearing, like a good sneeze that clears your sinuses
8) Sleeping outside makes you see things in nature that you've never noticed before.
9) It's okay to get dirty. A little bit of grit in your coffee is character-building.
10) I get to be outside.

Things I don't like about hiking:
1) It can make me cry.
2) It can knock my toenails off.
3) I have to wear tapered pants, which make my bottom half look like a middle-aged frumpy cat lady.
4) You realize how small you are when you are stuck on an exposed ledge with a lightning storm howling your way.
5) When the birds welcome the morning, I get an ache to be outdoors--like Legolas and the seagulls. Not fun when you're stuck inside on a listless day.

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