Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rewards and Snobbery

That's what I'm talking about! At Sugarloaf Mountain

I realized just now while trying to pull this post together that I've turned into a bit of a hiking snob. I'm not sure if that sounds misleading, but by snob I mean I want pretty views. I want my vistas, my waterfalls, my bluffs, my breath-taking "oh wow!" rewards for putting out the effort to get wherever I'm going.

The beautiful view on top of Mount Maxwell.

I realized this once when I went on a camping trip with some of my friends last year, and I went all the way from Boston to just outside Washington, DC. For those who are unaware, that's about a 12 hour trek. The first day we went to Great Falls National Park where we watched the gorgeous and awesome (in the truest sense of the word) Potomac River, which was easily accessible from the highway with only a short walk to the best view. The next day after camping we went on a hike that lead nowhere. Vaguely disappointed, I still had a fantastic time on the trip (it ended up being a surprise bachelorette-ish party for me!), but couldn't help but feel cheated after our lack of majesty that second day. 

I experienced this again two weekends ago during a trip to Salt Spring Island where, after driving up an awfully treacherous road on Mount Maxwell, my hiking buddies and I were treated with the foggiest vista I've ever come across. Boo!

Sad and confused foggy hikers.

Yanno, it doesn't even have to be a particularly majestic thing as a reward, it could be just some type of reward making everything-- the strife, the exercise, the drive, the frustration, the sweat-- worth it! I went outdoor rock climbing for the first time a few weekends ago, and even though I saw the gorgeous Nanaimo River (which probably brings the Potomac to shame) and hiked around there for a while, the feeling of "topping out" on my first bouldering climb trumped the sight of the Potomac River! 

Making my way up!

Maybe it has something to do with personal achievement and empowerment that I need from my adventures, and majestic views are typically the way that pat on the back is given to me by mother nature.

Natalie crossing a wobbly and treacherous log bridge!

Skjelse trying to overcome her fear of heights on a trestle bridge

Looking back on the progress we've made!

My boating treat to Jon for succeeding in his first year in his PhD program! 

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