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 Hiking (to me...) 
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 Hiking (to me...)
Saturday, Brian and I headed up to give a go to the Carters, which I really only needed Middle Carter for my winter 48. Yes, we knew how the conditions would be and what they were forecasted for. Yes, we ended up breaking trail for about 4.5 miles in snow ranging from 1-2 inches up to knee deep drifts on the ridge. On the way to South Carter, it hit me. I have been having abdominal pain for about a month now. A few waves of nausea here and there; drinking and eating did not help. Add to that the fact that I had a really bad foot cramp/pain made things worse.

I called to Brian. I'm done. We turned around. I didn't regret it. I wasn't having fun. I wasn't feeling good. I just wasn't into it. To me, if I can't have fun then hiking sucks. When hiking becomes a job or chore, when you are tied to some list or another, or when you're doing it just to "puff your chest on these silly forums" it's not worth it to me.

What makes it fun is the chance to get out. Just to get out. Not being held to some standards someone else places or like I said be held to a list just because its there. What makes it fun more importantly is the people you meet along the way and befriend.

I only wrote this because I don't want hiking to ever get dull for me. I don't ever want this to be a job. I don't want to feel like i have to do this to be better than anyone. I want to do it because its fun and I can.


Greg

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Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:58 pm
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I agree. I've turned back several times this winter either due to not feeling it, or because of injury. If I'm not having fun, then I turn around.


Last edited by P/B on Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:49 pm
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Couldn't agree more Greg.
Unless it's your job isn't enjoying it why we're out there?
and I hope you get over what ails ya


Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:12 pm
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I completely agree. I personally have been enjoying the lists because it gets me to new places and gives me a goal to work toward. I definitely wouldn't want to be up there if I wasn't having fun, though... too much work. That's one reason I could never get into going to the gym or running... I could force myself to do it, but it wasn't fun so I'd stop (sooner, rather than later). Hiking is different, I'm not sure exactly why.

Sounds like you have the right attitude and approach to keep it fun for yourself. If you ain't feeling it, then turn around! Hope you feel better.

Kris


Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:04 pm
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I too hope whatever you have/had you get over.

Hiking for me also is for fun. If it isn't fun it's too time consuming and expensive with the price of gas and equipment, particularly winter equipment these days, to bother with it. I also like the excercise and photo opportunities but it still has to be fun.

I've had times hiking when I wasn't feeling it (always solo, never feel that way when I have company for some reason) but only turned back once early (due to injury). The other times I've pushed on because of the satisfaction I know I'll feel at the end. It fills a void in me and recharges my batteries when I get to go which isn't often enough these days but I don't think I'd push on through illness or injury. That could be a real recipe for disaster.

Also I can't think of a worse reason to do it than to impress a bunch of people you've never met on an internet forum or to beat your chest. We all need to be in decent shape to do this but let's face it, we're not climbing K2 here. As evidence of that I offer this up. On our winter trip up Isolation we broke trail for 9(?) hours through 1-2 feet of snow, numerous spruce traps, fought through sub zero temperatures and finally summited in the clouds and strong winds. If ever there was an exhausting trip that made us feel like beating our 30 year old chests this was one of them. Shortly after three 60 something year old ladies came ambling up to celebrate their 48 finish with hot cocoa and girl scout cookies. I'm sure they were in great shape for their age but that was very humbling.


Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:16 pm
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A'yup, for me hiking is about getting away from the "world" with friends. It offers a nice personal challenge, but one I don't kid myself is that big a deal (as a friend of mine likes to put it "hiking is walking up hill.....you learned the basic skills at age 3."). But for me it is also about variety....adventure....exploring. This is why I think the "grid" is the hiking equivalent of watching paint dry (and yes this is a personal opinion....to each their own). There is just too much to see and do with my time on this earth, and I want to share that journey with my friends. Hell, there are a few people I met on these boards who have become more like family than friend. That means more to me....the adventure, the friends, the enjoyment.....than any peak or destination. 8)

Brian


Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:41 pm
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Just adding my agreement to the others. Hiking is a get-away. It doesn't need to be unnecessarily strenuous or painful. Whatever is causing the abdominal pain, I hope you figure it out and take care of it soon.

Granite Guy wrote:
Shortly after three 60 something year old ladies came ambling up to celebrate their 48 finish


And yeah. Sounds like our FOT48 hike this past year. Felt good climbing up Hancock Loop only to find this guy soloing who must have been in his 70s or 80s. Very humbling. :)

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Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:23 am
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Hope your feeling better soon Greg, sounds yukky :( , although you do work in a hospital, exposed to all of those germies :shock:

Great thread. I was thinking recently how FEW people actually get outside to enjoy the outdoors. All the people I work with do not hike/ski/bike/kayak/ or anything related to outdoors. Their idea of fun is a human fabricated fun (I think of Disney Land as human fabricated). It amazes me what most of the world is missing out on because of this lack of interest.

In my years of hiking I have learned so much about flora/fauna/ identifying tree species, noticing weather patterns, cloud formations, bugs/bird identification, sounds, sights identification of peaks, the smell of trees, rotting leaves (yuk), the various crunchy sounds underfoot whether it be snow, leaves, mud, rocks, whatever. Being outside makes me feel alive- and I pine all day on a sunny beautiful day to be out in nature. I often wonder if we woulnd't live in a more peaceful less violent screwed up world if more people just didn't get out and walk around in nature. It is the best form of therapy for me at least to clear my head forget about problems, be in the moment and enjoy where we are supposed to be. However, I am not like most people on this forum and couldn't hike year round, I would get burned out and it would no longer become fun and it would feel like work. Therefore mixing it up with other things, xc skiing, riding horseback, hiking, biking, etc, helps me to feel like I really am getting different experiences. I think about how much through not having a lot of money has helped me to explore my backyard of where I live. We have gotten very familiar with the surrounding peaks/trails in the Lakes Region area and it has given me a whole new appreciation for being so lucky to live in NH. I enjoy the solitude of being in the outdoors, since I deal with people all week long it helps me to get rejuvenated to either be with husband or a friend or alone with my dog.

I agree with everyone's opinions which are insightful.

Feel better Greg!!


Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:11 am
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krpayer wrote:
I completely agree. I personally have been enjoying the lists because it gets me to new places and gives me a goal to work toward. I definitely wouldn't want to be up there if I wasn't having fun, though... too much work. That's one reason I could never get into going to the gym or running... I could force myself to do it, but it wasn't fun so I'd stop (sooner, rather than later). Hiking is different, I'm not sure exactly why.

Sounds like you have the right attitude and approach to keep it fun for yourself. If you ain't feeling it, then turn around! Hope you feel better.

Kris

I agree with you so much. I cannot run on a tread mill or even down the road. I dont like reps of anything unless it is rounds of the 48. The white mountains are where it is for me. I havent tired of it yet, I actually want to do it more than I do now. Hiking takes a lot of energy and is hard to do but it is so rewarding. It takes me to places that I feel proud to reach and it gives me views I never dreamed of. I have made wonderful friendships with like minded people and enjoy my time on the trail every time. I notice that sometimes a not so great morning turns into another day that I am happy I decided to keep going. Sometimes your body is telling you something and you have to turn around. No shame in that!
The list keeps me coming back but every mountain every time is a totally different experience. As I get farther and farther into the grid and return to mountains I am amazed that it looks nothing like it did last time. Each season, each month is so different from the last.
Happy Trails
Heather

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Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:53 pm
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I agree with everyone here. Even when I hike solo, the people on the trail are great to meet and talk with. When I have friends along it's just that much better. I've never had a bad day hiking!, a tough day , yes, but never a bad day!


Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:44 pm
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The post was less about how I am feeling but thanks for the kind words. I still manage to get out despite it.

One thing I did not mention. Desi and I have been together (through good and bad) for better than 10 years. I was a computer nerd; a tv junkie. I didn't do much outdoors. Even when I lived in Texas, I didn't do much outside. On a whim, and right around Desi's birthday, we went for a hike around the Basin. Boy were we totally unprepared. But it was that hike that I caught the bug. Almost 3 years later, I don't think I've missed many weekends where I havent gotten out once. I had no clue what the list was. I knew about Mt. Washington but that was about it. I knew nothing about the AMC. Yet we still went out.

Yes, I got the list bug. I was excite and came on here alot to proclaim my accomplishments. I finished the list too fast, and before Desi much to her dismay. I WAS making it a chore then. Still parts of me make it that way with the 3K list. But last weekend made me realize there's more to it than making it about one list or another. You can't beat Mother Nature, nor can you beat the good friendships you make along the way.

Greg

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Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:58 pm
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I like all aspects of the game. :D

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Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:10 pm
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New Hampshire wrote:
Hell, there are a few people I met on these boards who have become more like family than friends. 8)

Brian


True indeed, but you'd have more friends if you learned to quit singing. :roll:


I'm never doing a list again. I'd rather redline because it forces you to go to new places which is what interests me. I trudged up some godforsaken bushwhack on the Bitchcocks last year and I don't really remember the peaks, I remember the good laughs and the "How did this get to be here moments". That's what it is about for me.

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Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:37 pm
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SilentCal wrote:
True indeed, but you'd have more friends if you learned to quit singing. :roll:


You love it and you know it! Admit it, there are times you are sitting down in your man cave when it suddenly hits you....you miss my melodic crooning. :D

Brian


Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:58 am
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I used to hike the whites with my brothers every fall, at least one hike a year. My younger brother moved to Fla, my older brother was killed in Iraq in 2006. Sad to say, I no longer have good hardcore hiking friends. My wife and I have hiked the Holyoke range. I've brought my 5 year old son up Mondanock and Wachusset. I dragged my brother in law up Mt Crawford, and I've done Seek the Peak, just to make an excuse to get up in the Whites again. I told my wife she is going to have to accept the fact that I'm not ready to quit hiking the mountains. I'm going to start making solo trips, because none of my friends have the gear, the conditioning, or the desire to hike 10 miles or more in a day with 40lb pack on their back. I want to be that 70 year old man you see up there. I don't ever want to stop. I'm going to do the Davis Path to Mt Washington summit this spring, because I've never done it. I'll do it for me, and for my brothers- and I'll send my brother in Fla the pictures from the summits with a note that says "wish you were here"...


Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:36 pm
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