I guess reading Bill Bryson’s book, A Walk in the Woods, planted the seed some time ago. Here and now however, I admit Cheryl Strayed’s book, Wild, fertilized that seed and made it sprout. The theme in both books and Strayed’s in particular of renewal and redemption while experiencing nature, as I believe God intended, spoke to me on a very spiritual level. Some people seem to be having a little trouble admitting this fact. The cleansing concept of one person, one trail and a broken spirit with God and his perfect creation is becoming very powerful in my life.
I started with a few walks in the woods and now find myself looking forward to my trips. I love to travel with friends but, one man alone with his God and his thoughts is starting to give me chills too. I find myself daydreaming about a through hike on the PCT or how the stars must look while camping near Guitar Lake or how seeing my first bear close-up will make me feel or how much lighter a two-pound tent will feel than a two and a half pound tent…
Ok, I hear you, maybe I am a little obsessed.
Don’t worry. I don’t have my resignation letter written yet but, I have spent a few bucks on backpacking equipment lately. Hiking boots, a backpack and trekking poles top the list today. More is on the way at some point. I haven’t done any camping yet but, camping, too, is on the way. That will require a sleeping bag and a tent. Oh, and I will need something to cook on. Maybe I can go to Mount Cheaha on my first camping trip. Better yet, the Smokies on the APT.
What’s that you say? Settle down Bevis?
With hiking boots and a pack I feel so powerful. I feel so grateful. When at an overlook sometimes I feel like John Gillespie Magee, Jr.:
…And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
I guess I have found something I needed on the trail. Maybe it is something pure, untouched and sacred. There is evidence of God elsewhere, like the selfless anonymous acts of people. But, if I can find a peaceful mind on the trail. If that peace brings me closer to God, then maybe it is ok to go a little overboard.
If you want to follow my journeys, you can see the tracks and pictures here;