Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hiking fast and far

I like to hike far. You do not have to hike fast to go far. You can hike a 30 mile day at 2.5 miles an hour easily. Just start early and go late.

I regularly hike as fast as I possibly can, which I'm sure is slower than most younger guys. Still, I am usually the only person who ever actually literally stops to smell a flower.

Most people are totally oblivious to their surroundings and it seems to me the slowest are the most oblivious of all. I am one of the fastest hikers in the group I go with and I'm the only one who can tell you what flower that is, where that side trail goes, what kind of rock that is, what kind of tree that is, etc.

People who say they like to go slow to smell the roses are really just making an excuse, thinking they're in a race with me or that I'm in a race with them. I'm not racing anybody. This is my natural pace. I am happy to wait if we're hiking together. Hiking fast lets me be lazy and rest a lot longer than hiking slow.

I prefer to keep up a good pace because I always want to know what's around the next bend. Going too slow keeps me from covering new territory. There's only so much time but there's so much trail yet to explore.

So, if I'm leading a Sierra Club hike and there are slow people, I will wait for them without annoyance. But if I'm on my own, I will hike far and fast and try to see as much as I can.

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