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Songs2
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PostSun Aug 04, 2019 8:46 pm 
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The "what worries you the most" thread has a clear counterpart: what do you enoy most about hiking, or when hiking?

I enjoy reflecting on the history of a place I am traversing. In northern New England, there is a long history of Native American use of the land ("Dawnland," also a book by that name), followed by travelers pushing trails through difficult terrain, early attempts at farming (rocks, mostly), then the clear-cutting devastation that gave us the Wilderness Act. In the NW, I am expanding my small bit of knowledge (Timothy Egan's Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, about Edward Curtis, photographer, was a good introduction), adding Twilight on the Thunderbird (thanks, Anne Elk, for the reference!). Most of these passages have left some sort of imprint on the land, not always immediately visible or recuperable.

A good mountain pool, and time to jump in for a swim.

Passing through various ecotones and biomes, noting subtle changes in vegetation and bird calls.

Getting away from screens and inviting quieter parts of life in. I am trying to get better at sketching as a complement to photography. Enjoying visual richness.

Learning something new.

Crawling into a comfy sleep system with a day behind me and another before me.
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BigBrunyon
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PostSun Aug 04, 2019 10:55 pm 
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I enjoy the opportunity to worry needlessly and uninterrupted for hours on end about the same 4 things I always worry about for no reason on hikes.

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i ALWAYS camp at the upper lake!
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostMon Aug 05, 2019 12:22 am 
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Nice counterpoint to the other thread.  Lots of things to enjoy about a hike.

ever changing views as the perspective changes

meadows, wildflowers, heather, rock gardens

glacier polished rocks

lakes, melt pools, creeks, tiny little drainages splashing their way downhill

mountains of all shapes and sizes

both the sensation and the concept of moving over a distance thru a beautiful place
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cdestroyer
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PostMon Aug 05, 2019 6:51 am 
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well back when....werent so many people out..I liked the feeling it was me to survive on my own.. the solitude, the clean smells of pine forest.. yall ever take the time to get a close look at that little blue flower growing alongside the trail...get down on your knees and take a real close look? you stand and watch the fish swimming in the creek.. listen to the wind in the trees. hear the birds chirp. hear the sound thats not there.
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awilsondc
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PostMon Aug 05, 2019 7:18 am 
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I love a good alpine start.  I like hiking in the dark and the subtle increase in ambient light as twilight draws near.  I love the first hint of color on the horizon as I'm hiking towards my destination, the burst of color on the clouds that often precedes the sunrise.  I like the cool air, and my body heat that keeps me warm as I hike.  I love sunrise.  The first rays of sun, my face and skin lit up with alpenglow, that special color of light.  I love golden hour with the landscape bathed in golden light, and I love how I have the whole rest of the day left after that.

Also, I love solitude and the reward of reaching a place that relatively few have ever been before.  Also scrambling, where each movement and hand and foot placement is intentional and well thought out, a kind of moving meditation.
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HikerJohn
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PostMon Aug 05, 2019 7:32 am 
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I love the exploration and joy of seeing new things: coming around a corner to a new view of scenery, a group of animals, a fresh view of Rainier, or a field of flowers I haven't seen before.
I'm not one of those who like to repeat the same hike over and over and over and over  (with a very few exceptions: I never get tired of Kelly Butte...
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Michael Lewis
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PostMon Aug 05, 2019 11:01 am 
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I love waking up in the middle of the night slightly cold to see the stars shimmering above
The thunderous sound of waterfalls and big rivers from high up the hills in the heat of the day
Ice crunching under my boots when on glaciers in the dusk and predawn while stars fade
A good glissade makes the world seem inviting again and I can't help but shout for joy
Freshly melted and unfiltered water is delicious on a hot day
The bees are no longer to be feared but admired as they pollinate the garden of nature
Drying out clothes/socks in the hot alpine sun feels like cheating and I love it.
Picking berries of all kinds from Thimbleberries in June to Bluberries in October. A real treat.
The whistle of a marmot is so fun. I try to copy and sometimes we have conversations.

I feel gratitude for the footsteps that came before me to create trails and roads to these beautiful places and will reflect on this as I hike. This actually stresses me because I'm ashamed I have not given back nearly as much but I'm glad that it may fuel passion to do trail work in the future.
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Chief Joseph
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PostMon Aug 05, 2019 3:43 pm 
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I enjoy hiking to a lake to fish. I am a bit of a reluctant hiker and definitely a reluctant backpacker, so I require additional motivation. I think hiking-fishing in the Winds might have ruined me for other destinations. I may just limit my backpacking to a once a year, weeklong adventure there.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Kim Brown
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PostMon Aug 05, 2019 5:04 pm 
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I like just listening. It might be silent, but you might hear all kinds of things: birds, scolding squirrels, waterfall, breeze in the trees, leaves gently hitting each other as they fall to the ground, stones rolling down a coulee wall, the thin layer of ice on a lack cracking the minute the sun hits it, the dull thud of a distant hiker on trail tread, a cone plopping down after a squirrel chews it off a branch, rustling leaves as a bird riffles for food.

Smells of pine and soil, and the musky odor of a swarm of ladybugs in the sun, and rain.

Wispy fog. The raspy patterns of wind as it works its way across a lake. The patterns of raindrops or leaves or bugs on the surface of a tarn.

In one eyeful the other day, I saw 5 different types of fern. In one eyeful last week, I saw the transition between the Snoqualmie Batholith with it's dark, baked rock, and the lighter colored North Cascades. In one eyeful, I have seen brilliant sunshine and a brewing, grumbling storm.

Cool breeze on a warm day.

Warm sun on a cold day.

Thinking about the early days of hiking and what it was like, who sat on the same rock I'm sitting on now. Esp the old Crest trail

When I hit the last leg of a hard trip; the feeder trail where I can relax and say, “I made it!” And further, when I’m home and in bed, pulling the covers over me and re-arranging the cats for a good night’s sleep.

Mexican food or hamburger and fries afterward. Or chicken fried steak, when they have it, at Cascadia Inn.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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CarriesNineFires
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PostMon Aug 05, 2019 8:28 pm 
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I enjoy innumerable things while hiking, but here's one. I live in the heart of Seattle and that provides me with an endless smorgasbord of reasons to lament the human condition, though I do like it here. When I get out into the mountains I'm always gratified and surprised at how easy it is to leave that all behind.

The re-entry can be harsh but I know that I can always get out again. After-work hikes are an especially stirring experience in considering where I just came from and where I am now.
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JonnyQuest
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 8:15 am 
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The smells. And the memories they bring.  Olfactory paradise!
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Kim Brown
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 9:26 am 
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But wait, there’s more.

I’m always blown away by the delicate balance of Nature. If not for one component in a soil, or one cliff of a particular height and aspect, a particular plant, animal, or fish would not be present. If a certain area didn’t receive a proper amount of snow, a particular species may not be there. Certain beetles can detect a fire killed tree up to 50 miles away, and hone in on it. A road walk can be hot, miserable, and void of vegetation diversity, but 30 seconds after stepping onto the trail, the air is immediately cooler, birds, and forest vegetation are present.

I love old trails; finding puncheon, an old, broken weir, a cabin foundation, an old sign melted into a tree, a campsite that’s been used by sheepherders, USGS Survey crew, USFS staff, hunters, fishermen, and hikers for a hundred years or more.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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jimmymac
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PostFri Aug 09, 2019 3:59 pm 
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Other than what's already been mentioned?  The clunk, clank, and clink of various rock flakes underfoot.

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"Profound serenity is the product of unfaltering Trust and heightened vulnerability."
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hbb
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PostFri Aug 09, 2019 7:23 pm 
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Michael Lewis wrote:
I love waking up in the middle of the night slightly cold to see the stars shimmering above
The thunderous sound of waterfalls and big rivers from high up the hills in the heat of the day
Ice crunching under my boots when on glaciers in the dusk and predawn while stars fade
A good glissade makes the world seem inviting again and I can't help but shout for joy
Freshly melted and unfiltered water is delicious on a hot day
The bees are no longer to be feared but admired as they pollinate the garden of nature
Drying out clothes/socks in the hot alpine sun feels like cheating and I love it.
Picking berries of all kinds from Thimbleberries in June to Bluberries in October. A real treat.
The whistle of a marmot is so fun. I try to copy and sometimes we have conversations.

I feel gratitude for the footsteps that came before me to create trails and roads to these beautiful places and will reflect on this as I hike. This actually stresses me because I'm ashamed I have not given back nearly as much but I'm glad that it may fuel passion to do trail work in the future.

I have been on this site for years, and this is, hands down, my favorite post yet.
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nordique
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PostSat Aug 10, 2019 4:06 pm 
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I've had way too much time the past few months to reflect on what I miss by being unable to hike--or walk without crutches:  big trees, tall trees, wildflowers, beautiful trails, peace and quiet, great photo ops, big boulders, mountain views and broad vistas; there is just so much I miss on our trails!
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