Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Hiker's View

I haven't seriously talked about hiking in a while. Usually I have a picture of an animal, or a strange story to tell, or some other distracting thing I found. This time I thought I'd show you what I see on a nature trail. This is what a normal everyday adventure is like for me.

Do you know what it feels like to be deep in the forest, and know you're all alone? I know what it's like. It's one of the most peaceful feelings in the world. All your worries from the city are gone for a while. You only have to think about the wonderful things around you.

The feel of the dirt path under your feet. The smells of the forest. The beautiful sight of the wilderness all around you as far as the eye can see. The air itself is just different than it is anywhere else.

One of the best parts of all this is following the trail, and discovering what's around the next bend. You don't know until you see it. What if you saw an interesting fallen log? You might even get to see a deer close up. Or you might discover a hidden river.

Right now during the fall, the air gets just a little chill to it that makes it that much more fresh smelling. The light becomes a little bit darker. And the green of the leaves on the trees becomes every shade of red and orange you can think of. These colors can be some of the most beautiful things you ever saw.

The fallen leaves on the trail make a nice crunch under your feet. Sometimes that's the only sound you hear. If you stop, you can hear the sound of silence. Maybe the greatest sound of all right then. Maybe a bird might give a loud chirp, and you imagine that sound could travel for miles. A squirrel might scamper past you on the trail, or skitter up a tree. It's fun to watch them try to hide from you.

Did you know that each kind of tree has it's own unique fresh scent? When you walk through the forest, the smells will change periodically. You'll never know how wonderful that can be until you try it for yourself. Sometimes you'll recognize the smell, sometimes you won't. It's always good out here. Nice and quiet.

Think about what a whisper sounds like out here when it breaks the sound of total silence. You can't quite imagine it properly until you actually do it. Go ahead... Try it.

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