Tuesday, October 27, 2009

McHugh Trail, a few weeks ago

The woods south of Anchorage along the Turnagain Arm. Ahhh. I suppose we've spent more time here than any other woods. There's a whole trail system that links up and shoots off toward peaks and through valleys, where in the same scene you've got snow-covered mountains, the bright yellows of fall, and the gray tide rushing in, and half a day later, out. We've seen many bears, moose, mountain goats, even a wolverine as we've hiked and cross-country skied over the years. This area is where Jason and I went on our first Dall sheep hunt, again by foot. He was successful, and we carried on our backs over miles and miles the meat, hide, and horns of our harvested animal. I miss this country, and when we walk here, I sense home. We've moved and traveled a bit in the last several years, so familiarity like this smacks me hard. The smells, the color variations, memories. Up from the wet ground seep notions of dreams and conversations we've shared here with friends.
Man, our lives have been changed by hiking. Not the part of hiking that's a modern day sport, whereby you purchase a bunch of expensive, trendy gear, and make big plans for long trips, and log lots of miles, and climb to tall points. That's fine and dandy, but the profundity is in simply being there, walking in the woods, like humans for millennia have done, not necessarily tackling anything. Getting out of the city, remembering the shapes and hues that nature makes, feeling the passage of time as it's actually occurring, not as we force it to occur with our time-travel devices and time-saving machines. Know what I mean? And it's free, man!
As we neared the parking lot toward the end of our hike, it dawned on me - Zoralee can walk now; she totally needs to take her first official trail steps! They wound up being backwards steps, for some reason. But it was so cool.


Rachel Clear said...

Great post, sister.

You should add the video of Zor's first "hike".

Man, stuff like this makes me miss Alaska so bad that my stomach hurts.

Then when you combine how much I miss Zor with how much I miss Alaska, I just want to lay down and sleep. Aren't you lucky, up there with BOTH?

Christi said...

What a great first! That girl has so many fun experiences ahead.

tamie said...

Ach. I love it. And I really know what you mean. Thanks for this breath-of-cold-fresh-air post.