Trails. Trails are for people who are less concerned with horsepower, and more concerned with heart, lung, and leg power. Highways and backroads for those who prefer to travel by foot. Trails will get you dirty, then hit you with an unexpected, and maybe unwanted, shower or bath. Hey, at least you’re clean, right? Trails are for people who want to share a slightly undercooked meal made on a homemade alcohol stove. Fine dining. Food never tasted so good as it does on trail, even if it was cooked in a bag and has no seasoning. Oh you have seasoning? Here’s your Michelin Star. By the way, you CAN eat that Snickers bar. And it is okay to talk about poop while eating. And there, my friends, you have the path to world peace. Trails take you to places that
provide evidence that God does not exist. At the same time, those places can make even the most staunch atheist pretty sure He does. Trails are where one finds solitude. Loneliness can stay in the city. Trails are where you can hide from the internet. Still have a connection? You haven’t gone far enough, keep going. Trails are where strangers are friendly. Strangers are friends. Friends are strange. And you can always find a friendly face, even in the absence of humans. Trails are where blood, sweat, and tears are music to my ears. Trust me, I’ve seen more people cry on trails than anywhere else, myself included. That doesn’t sound like any fun, does it? It’s okay, it’s type 2 fun. Trails are where actions actually have consequences. Money cannot fix your problems on trail.
And the result for excessive hubris…death. Trails are where we live within the earth’s natural cycle, rise with the sun, bed with the moon. Where we’re reminded that stars actually exist. Where we can read mankind’s oldest picture book, the constellations. Trails are where history is created. They’re also where it’s preserved. Trails are where the most ordinary of people do the most extraordinary things. The craziest thing is that most people will never know they did it. Trails are where what seems impossible is possible. You only need self confidence. If anyone else is confident in you, it’s a bonus and you may as well be considered unstoppable. But remember, no trail, or mountain, is ever conquered. The mountains simply let you stand on top of them for a short moment. Trails are where the label on your clothing doesn’t matter, but how you use it does. Trails are for people who get psyched up when they realize taken the perfect amount of toilet paper on their backpacking trip. Even more so for people who prefer leaves. What’s your favorite species? Trails are for people who get giddy when they see brown signs on the highway. Trails are for people who like to collect views. Where not knowing what’s around the bend drives you forward. Oh, there’s nothing there besides more trees, huh? Check the next bend. And the next one. Wait, one more. Okay, last one. Oh crap, what a view! Trails are where you don’t follow people, nor the latest trends, but a strip of paint or a pile of rocks. A pile of rocks! They’re also where people fail to follow at all, and realize there is a leader within themselves. There is a leader in each of us. Trails are where creativity reigns supreme. There is always a solution to a problem. Trails are where trust is built. Trust in one’s self, and trust in others. People spend time on trails because they want to, not because they have to. Trails are for everybody and everyone. If nothing else, some of your tax dollars are going to them. You may as well take advantage. Trails are where the necessities, food, water, and shelter, regain the top three places on the podium of our life. I forgot to mention love. It comes in all forms. And that’s really what it comes down to. Trails.