What do people who aren't 'outdoorsy' do to get away? This is a question I often ask myself, but since I don't know any such people, I suppose it will have to remain a mystery. Bowling, maybe?
The river was an hour-and-a-half from the house. Stepping out of the car it was already hot and the humidity was stifling. I asked Jacob how much of a hike in this was going to be, "oh, about a mile." Not too bad, even on a day like today.
I'd like to preface the rest of this post by saying I like hiking. I do it almost every day, always upwards of three miles. But, I'm usually in lightweight shoes and breathable shorts. I've got 1.5 liters of water on my back and plenty of snacks, my favorite being an almond butter sandwich and beet juice.
The hike in was an excruciating 3.7 miles, uphill, with full sun. Off in the distance, a storm was about to roll in, increasing the humidity even more. Much of the day was spent huddled under laurels waiting on a thunderstorm to pass. Between the rain and sweat, I didn't have a dry piece of clothing on. The other half of the day consisted of swatting away gnats, black flies, horse flies, and mosquitos. I was tired, wet, hungry, and not even fishing. I began to wonder why in the hell I put myself through this crap.
Nature always has a way of proving me wrong. I know I've spoken of this often, but it's consistently true. Every time I become frustrated, questioning why I do this, the clouds part; on this day, quite literally. I've never seen as many bugs in North Carolina as I did that day (I'm referencing the good, trout food kind). The trout came out to play and I ended up with the biggest wild brown I've ever caught in the backcountry.
'Outdoorists' tend to torture themselves in some form or another pretty regularly. People wonder why we do it, and I admit, sometimes I wonder why I do it. Often we do it for the end result; the view, the big fish, the run down the mountain. But, that end result forces you to look back on the journey and where you go from here.
Where do you go to get away? Is it the journey that changes you or the end result? Or, do you prefer bowling?