Last summer, I participated in Washington Trail Association's Hike-A-Thon benefit, and did 50 miles in the month of August. I got there, on the last weekend, with an intense and beautiful 15-miler on the PCT.
This summer, I had a different goal; finish a marathon. There's a wee bit of sacrifice that comes with such a goal, and we just didn't get to the mountains. Sunday 22-milers pretty much squash that.
But we did have a week in Montana, where the mountains are right outside any given back door. It was the perfect opportunity to enjoy some hiking of a different kind. No dramatic weather changes or scary snow traverses. No sweat running off the face like a leaky faucet. No heavy packs or wet boots. Just time with family in the hills of my hometown.
It's weird to return home and see the place in a completely new light. The town I couldn't wait to leave when I was 21 looks strangely like my vision of "perfect" nowadays. And you realize that time slips away all too easily. And you miss being able to meet your mom and pop for a casual stroll. I hope we get many more of these morning walks.
On a slightly less sentimental note... I like to try and stay behind my wife when we're hiking. Y'know, for the view. Mmmmmm... hiking.