People often ask me ‘Why do you do these hikes?’ and my answer is usually as lame as that particular question. Why would anyone want to live in the woods, sleeping wherever they please and drink from mountain streams? Why would somebody want to be surrounded by spectacular scenery for months at a time, test the endurance of their body and boil their possessions down to the perfect bare essentials? In that everlasting pursuit to escape the commonplace of existence, sometimes we have to step back from this sanitary, plastic, mechanized culture we’ve created and simply walk. It sweeps the clutter aside when your world slides by at 3 mph. When was the last time you were completely happy with your surroundings for more than an hour, a week, or months long? Thru hiking helps me appreciate what is taken for granted: food available constantly, hot showers, shelter from the cold and rain. By stepping away from these conveniences we see how irrelevant they are for us yet how nice moderation can be. I guess you have to occasionally hurt yourself to appreciate how well you really were.Today we walked along the Chinese Wall, a giant limestone ridge whose sheer cliff edges resemble the man-made structure of its namesake. The weather was perfect again with ice-cold springs to quench the thirst associated with hiking on a warm summer day. I’m glad to have such pleasant companions to share this with. Montana is overwhelming me with its incredible wilderness areas; sometimes I just have to stop and stare in awe.
- Starting Location: Spotted Bear Creek
- Destination: Chinese Wall