Here is an article in the McDowell Conservancy’s newsletter about hiking to the Lookout, along Tom’s Thumb and East End trails.
Quoted below is the dramatic conclusion to an epic literary journey.
“Consider your journey to be an opportunity for solitude and contemplation. If you are not one to hike by yourself, this might be the time to do it and focus on your inner communication. If hiking is always a group activity for you , consider setting some ground rules. No conversation outside of what the hike inspires. No long drive necessary. No high clearance vehicles required. Enjoy the opportunity for solitude right in your own back yard. If you choose to take this journey, do not hurry. This is a hike to linger upon. Go to the Lookout to enjoy the jourey as well as the destination. Linger at the top. Contemplate. Go there to sit and think. Be peaceful with yourself. Revel in knowing that among millions in our urban sprawl, you are in a place that belongs to the milleniums [sic]. You are in a place that, because of the forethought of local residents, will have a future shaped by the eternal forces of nature.”
This article cracked me up, in light of recent posts about some over-zealous folks and their exclusive view of how one should enjoy nature. Its not a holy pilgrimage where i must make burnt offerings; solitude is shared with hundreds of others coming up the trail behind me or before me. Maybe my generation expects to be outside, at least compared to the retirees in Scottsdale, AZ (median age 45.4) who didn’t grow up with it or were heretofore lifetime indoor-job types. I don’t know if I should be charitable or thankful or pitying the old wealthy ‘mericans so surprised what they’ve missed all along they think they must wrap it up in a museum.
Riding is part of my life several times a week, being outdoors every day is part of my biorhythm and i can’t imagine it not being so, just as i can’t imagine not having my girls and my wife. Like parenthood or marriage, so much of the beauty is deconstructing the parts to grow closer to the greater whole. How do erosion and weather patterns require changes in balance and power to meet the results of runoffs down 20% grades? If I flow like water, how will i react to golfball and baseball size rocks filling the ruts? Keeping time plots our subjugation to nature’s changes, and its so much more fun with music and friends and screaming relief after a hard switchback, tinkling at the summit, and stopping at the tequila tree before I’m done. I rolled the Firebird up Tom’s Thumb at 5am, so I could have a tool to live alive in meat space. I suffered, it was fun, i hit the dh better than i’ve ever done and it had me grinning all day.