Treading the Urban Wilderness

“We need the tonic of wilderness.” – Henry David Thoreau

I had this week’s blog post pretty much ready to go when yesterday I decided, post-storm, to stop pacing the living room floor and pace outside instead. I mean, a post about backpacks that I won’t get to buy/use until spring can wait, can’t it?

It was nearing 30 degrees, a balmy day for these parts in February, so I tossed the usual poundage in my Kestrel and trekked a short four miles on just-plowed roads.

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Even with trekking poles and good traction from my All Out Peaks, I found patches of ice underneath that made for interesting footing for both man and pole. Still, I was aware of how much more enjoyable it was hiking on this surface as opposed to running on it. I’ve had runs on terrain like this where a poorly placed footfall has led to the best Warner-Brothers-cartoon struggle to stay on my feet. The focus of runs like that is survival, not pleasure.

I truly enjoyed this mini episode of slowing down to enjoy the view. The fresh air, physical activity and even the poor traction made the day for me. Admittedly, when I got to the main artery for a quick quarter mile jaunt to the next back road, passing drivers didn’t seem to enjoy me enjoying myself. They were focused on trying to stay in their lane and not hitting the itinerant wandering fool with the bright yellow jacket and red pack. Thankfully, a couple dozen of them pulled it off and we all safely reached our destinations.

Note: Those $5 tip covers have already paid for themselves.

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