When I was fifteen I left my public school to attend a boarding school in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. While most boarding school students spent their afternoons playing field hockey, lacrosse, tennis, and riding horses, we were climbing rocks, battling through rapids in kayaks, or planting vegetables on the farm.
The White Mountain School was lovingly a “hippie” establishment (of course it was mainly filled with Trustafarians.) A few times a year we went on three day outdoor adventures. I was always a big fan of the climbing trips, but occasionally I would get stuck on the hiking outings. Hiking was my least favorite outdoor activity. The big groups meant constant stopping, constant complaining, and constant huffing from everyone.
It wasn’t until I left WMS that I started to realize hiking wasn’t so bad, because it’s much easier to deal with a few friends needing a break than 15 different people with varying levels of fitness, pain tolerance, bladder control, and GORP/Cliff Bar needs!
Now that I’m in Waterbury I kind of need to learn to love hiking, what with all the great mountains around. A few weeks ago I arrived in the new place and the next day went out with my new roomie, her bf, and her bf’s roommate dog Lillian. I was shockingly out of shape compared to my younger years (though still a silent trooper!) but I must say I might be able to love this activity because it inevitably involves drinking wine at the summit, which was sadly missing from boarding school.
The summit didn’t have a great view unless you climbed to the top of the abandoned fire tower. After climbing a very high look-out post in Okemo a few months ago and being both in awe of the view and of the long fall down, I decided to stay grounded. But at least the sky was spectacular
I’ve also seen enough thrillers/horror movies. The black person always dies first. No way I was falling through a moldy stair!
Lilly (Lillian when she was being naughty, which was often) was very upset when her pseudo-owner went up the stairs and whimpered. Having little compassion for dogs (and children) I snapped pictures instead.
After years of needing to wear high-tech clothes and rugged boots I go for the more relaxed day-hiking look: my roommates fun tribal-esque hoodie, my favorite second-hand glasses, and my officially ruined blue sneaks.
Love & Happy Trails,