My hikes can be more vicarious than real. It’s a nice two-for-one benefit of hanging with adventurous folks who like to get around.
Sunday, for instance, I caught up with Howard for the first time since he’d returned from hiking a section of the Camino de Santiago in June. I was especially interested because Howard’s plan was to average 15 miles a day for 7 days; Howard is in good shape and a strong hiker, but that’s the kind of mileage AT thru-hikers aspire to — after building up for a month on the trail.read more
Earlier in the week I realized I haven’t had a good adventure in a good while. And by “good adventure,” I mean one in which I haven’t been lost in the woods. (“Lost,” or “momentarily misplaced”?) In any event, it occurred to be I haven’t had to work my way out of a jam in longer than I care to remember. And to me, being “misplaced,” at least temporarily, is a key element of a true adventure because it gives me a chance to test my outdoor skills. And that reminded me of one of my favorite adventures, a group hike with the Carolina Mountain Club in 2011 that didn’t happen — for me, at least.read more
Editor’s Note: As summer rolls around and we find ourselves headed to the mountains for more challenging hikes, we often face the challenge of a stream crossing. Crossing’s cause anxiety for some hikers, but that needn’t be the case if you know how to approach them. Today’s post is a seasonal piece we repeat every few years on the art of the stream crossing.read more
I was 10 minutes down the trail when I heard the distinctive sound of wings disturbing the air above. I looked up to see an uneven “V” of maybe 20 Canada geese directly overhead. The early morning sun illuminated their port sides, giving them an almost luminescent, coppery glow.read more
If fall is nature at its showiest, winter is nature at its most honest. Minus her canopy, her understory, her ground cover, she has little to hide. Stone foundations from homesteads long abandoned lie exposed. Distant mountaintops are revealed. Critters have nowhere to hide. It’s the perfect time to be in the woods, a time when you can peer deep into nature’s soul. Especially if you seek a more true form of adventure — the type of adventure that doesn’t exist on a blazed trail marked on a map. That’s why we go wild over winter.read more