Sunday, January 9, 2011

Reason to Travel

Yesterday Sharon and I ventured into the Huachuca Mountains for a day hike to enjoy the sunshine and brisk winter air. After checking in at the Ramsey Canyon Preserve with the dour hosts that lost their personality somewhere along the way in their past seventy years, we began making our way up to Hamburg Overlook hovering at an elevation around 6200 ft. The climb was steady escalating to very steep with patches of icy snow upping the challenge to reach our snack stop. The trail was decorated with fallen leaves from massive overhanging trees and silhouettes from their branches.

We sat on the edge of the overlook and gazed peacefully at the snow dotted peaks and the shadows defining the deep canyons beneath us. The sun offered a welcoming warmth that made us both comment on just how lucky we were. Sharon added, can you stand doing this with me for five months solid traveling around the world? I cut her a confirming smile and realized the gift we are about to embark upon. Indeed money is an issue to take such a journey and many people we know could monetarily afford it but the commodity those same individuals can't afford is time. I have been told many times growing up (and I'm still growing) two things that money can't and time. I am thankful to have both.

Finishing our snacks and re-hydrating we were faced with the decision to return to the parking area via the same trail we ascended which would total three miles or go for a loop trail that would be 4.9 miles further. Both of us agreed that we had the time so let's go for the big loop considering this is part of the training we need to climb in the Himalayas and Kilimanjaro. The trail at first was a nice decent but soon the ingredients changed to increased elevations and long icy downhills so much so that we both found hiking sticks to assist our balance to prevent rapid sliding down the trail or off the trail.

With careful foot placements we eventually dropped to an elevation under the snow line and began a rapid pace to return to the car park before the sun dropped behind the peaks. We made good time but the trail seemed to continue on further than both of us expected and the signage on the trails were mostly gone or vandalized so we relied on the most worn paths for our method of direction. Finally we arrived out of the mountains and into the backyards of civilization and quickly realized our exit was a bit further north than we expected but time was on our side and our stamina prevailed but the last mile and a half back up the paved canyon road ran us both down to empty. When the doors of the car opened and we sat back with a sigh I know both of us felt that great feeling of achievement. Success  measured by accountants and the accumulation of things are fragile and temporary but the challenging  experience shared by a friend that creates a story that will live with you forever.

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