Hiking Log – Thank you(s)
This is part 19 of excerpts from the trail log which was located on a New York portion of the Appalachian trail. For the post which explains this series, click here. Each new edition includes a quote from a hiker, along with this writer’s insight into what the person might have meant. Your interpretation may be different!
Following is my selection of this week’s thoughts of a hiker.
Checking in for the FINAL time on this AT adventure 🙂 Thank you AT, thank you trail crews, thanks ridge runners, thanks shelter caretakers, thank you fellow hikers 🙂 I will forever be greatful.
This hiker obviously spent quite a bit of time on the Appalachian Trail, as he is writing regarding the final piece of his adventure. I believe he was on the trail for months, and his hiking time is finally ending.
What is interesting is that instead of saying something like, “I want to go home and shower,” or “I can’t wait for a real meal,” or “OMG, I am so tired,” this hiker is full of gratitude. He is thanking not only those who work to keep the trails maintained, but those he met and passed while on his way.
WebMD indicates that one of the benefits of hiking is that it can boost our mood. It can reduce stress and anxiety. What they don’t say is that it can help us appreciate all we are and all we have.
Being in nature is where we, as beings, belong. I find that when I spend time outside without my cell phone in my hands, truly paying attention to what is going on around me, I can’t help but feel happier and more connected to what is really important.
If you go for a walk in your neighborhood, you might feel better than if you did nothing. But you’ll also probably be distracted by the cars, noises, people, and the like.
If you go for a walk in the woods, the only distractions are whatever you see, feel and hear, but it is usually something of a natural nature. The winds through the trees, a woodpecker hunting for bugs, birds chattering to each other, a deer racing through the woods. It’s so much easier to clear our mind and strengthen our bodies when we opt for a walk in the woods.
So back to our hiker. He is full of gratitude for his experience. We’ll never know what that experience consisted of, but I am grateful that he took the time to share his feelings. If just one person is encouraged to get out there and make gratifying experiences of their own, the time it took this hiker to share his thoughts will be worth it!