We have had several people ask us why we like hiking. They tend to think we are silly for walking off into the woods. We giggle sometimes at their perception of what we are doing. We invite them, but they have said it is the last thing that they would want to do. They prefer shopping malls, watching television and city life over being in nature.
For us, there is nothing else like it. We would rather hike than do most things, hunting excluded. Why do we love hiking so much?
1. FRESH AIR. We are not talking about just the fresh air in nature, we are talking about the change of pace and scenery that is like fresh air to your heart, mind and soul. It is so refreshing to escape into nature and just lose the stress of life. No ringing telephones, no people talking non-stop and just the elimination of noise pollution from life…we get to enjoy the simple sounds of nature. We enjoy the rustle of leaves under our feet, birdsongs and just hearing the wind through the trees. It melts stress away better than a 30-minute massage.
2. SCENERY. We love the scenery that you cannot see from the roadside. There is so much that they average person does not even know exists because they don’t venture off the road. We often plan our hikes with destinations in mind. Whether it is waterfalls, lakes or historic sites we enjoy seeing and photographing unique things. We also get to see wildlife that varies of large animals to tiny insects. We love to photograph and share our experiences with others to encourage them to start hiking and exploring the outdoors.
3. TRUST. Hiking builds trust in our relationship. The communication that is required when you hike with someone else is valuable. Discussing trail conditions, what to be cautious of and who is packing what for the hike are all things that impact our experience. Attempting certain portions of trails and whether the risk is worth the reward are also part of our communications and builds our trust levels with one another as we take risks. This is important when we are squatted down beside the trail and relying on our hiking partner to tell you if someone is coming along the trail.
4. VALUABLE TIME. Hiking has afforded us some valuable use of our time. Whether we are hiking together, with our kids or grandkids we simply have fun and learn something new on most hikes. It is amazing to watch children discover new things that have not seen before. It is also very cool to see them be excited and empowered over trying new adventures, like crossing a creek on a light pole. It is also fun to watch them cheer and motivate the old lady to do what they just did. It helps us create memories that can’t be replaced.
5. EXERCISE. Hiking makes us get out and sweat, get our hearts pumping and burn calories. It is usually a low impact exercise that is easier for us old folks to do. The trails we choose can alter our exercise based on length and terrain. After a long, challenging hike we feel accomplished. We enjoy ending a day of hiking with red faces, sweaty clothes and sore muscles. Strolls along paved trails in the park are not for us…we like the dirty, rocky, rough trails in the wilderness!
If our reasons for hiking don’t entice you, then get out there and find your own reasons to hike.
You won’t be disappointed!