The quest to do something cool to impress others is robbing us of our true enjoyment of the outdoors, and life. Here's how we reclaim both.
Love this: "make sure you are the one picking, doing what you want, and following your idea of adventure." I think this applies generally, as well. For example, I think about it with reading. Readers seem to read the books that others have already said that they like. With hikes, I wonder if amateur hikers just don't know any better. They went on the hike because someone told them to and they don't really know how to follow their own idea of adventure.
I couldn't agree more with this idea. It's terrible that something as freeing and nourishing as a hike has become so performative. We do it for a badge of honor or for accolades from others instead of our own enjoyment. Well said, Cole.
I agree with what you say. Also love the illustrations you put in!
So true. We live too much of our lives wondering what others will think of what we’re doing. I love getting back to the idea of doing things to fulfill your own desires and not to fill a post with photos and accumulate likes.
When you get older, the approval you gained from others for something you’ve done won’t matter as much as the moment you’ve done it. That take your breath away moment is what it’s all about. Thanks for the inspiration to look for the moments that matter to me...
I can’t believe I wasn’t already subscribed to this! I loved this post. I definitely took up running because everyone told me I should. I ran a 10k because it was what the cool kids were doing. All I got out of it was severe knee pain and an aversion to running shoes.
So true. I've never been big on tattoos, but after my spouse died, my oldest son had at least two lengthy consultations with a tattoo artist (Artist!) who has studied and worked and drawn all her life. After many hours he had a piece of unique, thought-infused, art on his body. Such a good comparison here, yes.
Though new to hiking, and a little terrified about what will be my first bear-encounter (I have to admit!), I do love the silence of hikes with no or few people. First hike this year, the only two people we saw was the one 20 minutes from the peak, who let us know a fire had moved from three ridges away to two, and he was coming down...so so did we, with only two hours before dark. The second person was an independent soul who was just coming up to get as far as he could before dark to pitch a tent--obviously a lover of solitude. And he offered us a ride in his 4X4 to get through the 1.5 hour of crazy rutted logging road...in the by-then dark. I suspect these two were angels in disguise :)
I am enjoying your newsletter--thank you!
I’ve hiked the Adirondack 46 in my home state of New York and am now working through the 14ers in my adopted state of Colorado. Folks roll their eyes at these lists. They talk about crowds and overuse. Well sure, a few of these peaks fit that description, particularly in summer. They say a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. But in this instance consistency has pushed me out of my comfort zone and into all sorts of non-crowd situations.
It’s meant snowshoeing 18 miles through deserted logging roads to Allen Mountain, running into just one other hiker the whole day (a French Canadian who didn’t speak English). It’s meant teeth-chattering drives along dirt roads in the impossibly rugged San Juan’s. For every conga line on Grays and Torrey’s in mid July there has been deserted, fogged out November summits on Colden.
The “lists” force me out and into the wild. I can’t just cherry pick convenient trailheads within a few hours drive. I can’t filter out passé, crowded locales or annoying weather days. The list means I need to experience it all. And that’s basically the best part.