|Karen and me at the top of Y Mountain|
I invited Karen for a few reasons, but perhaps the most important is that I have heard her recently claim that she doesn't like hiking. That was insufferable, so I decided to cure her of that by taking her on an awesome hike.
And it was awesome. (OK, the part up to the Y was steep, hot, and ugly, but everything from there on to the top was wonderful.) It made me think again about why I love hiking myself. I think for me, it boils down to these three reasons:
- I love the excitement of conquering something. I love to start at the bottom and reach the top, knowing that my own energy got me there.
- I love the conversation with friends. This really ought to be number one, but I'm too lazy to copy and paste it up there. Something strange happens on a hike. Suddenly perfect strangers become fast friends. People open up to you while hiking in the woods. It's almost as if they have no choice but to reveal to you their lives. And old friends become better friends. This is what I enjoy most.
- Mix the first two together, then add the wonderful feeling of exercise (you know: leg muscles burning lightly, endorphins, that stuff), and the combination is potent. There's nothing like it in the world.
When we reached the top of Y Mountain, I looked into the bowl in the back and something caught my eye: amidst a huge forest of pines, a large cluster of light-green aspen trees stuck out. I've seen it before, and once again I thought to myself: I must go there! I don't know what to call it, so at the risk of being labeled a complete Lord of the Rings nerd, I've decided to call it Lothlórien. European mythology has many good names for mountains, but it is seriously lacking when it comes to naming forests. So I must turn to Lord of the Rings mythology, and be happy.
You can get a good view of it in the last picture. I'm determined to get there and see what that forest looks like. I don't know if there is a trail or not, but I think there may be. Either way, I'm going. Anyone want to come?
|Karen on the big rock, just after the Y|
|Me in a meadow|
|Karen in the same meadow|
|Karen at the top. Lothlórien is the background, behind her neck.|
|Me at the top. That's Squaw Peak in the background.|
|Lothlórien. Want to come?|