by Randy Pierce
Well this project is moving along in some ways at blinding speeds (t.m.) though we haven’t even begun our first official mountain. I still have several days of anticipation and amusingly I was commenting the other day that I’m eager to get out and hike for the break from all the work. Certainly this is tongue in cheek as I’m well aware of how much work will happen on the trails. It’s a different type of work, of course, and a different type of reward. Those are the two aspects which motivate me towards these climbs. When asked about hiking Bill Bryson said it rather eloquently in his book “A Walk In the Woods.” Bill says hiking is mostly walking and I’ve been doing that for most of my life so perhaps I am experienced (paraphrased of course).
I do a lot of walking with the Mighty Quinn and our environs are typically our neighborhoods and travel downtown for various life tasks. The difference in feeling the White Mountain Forest around you is tremendous. From the feel of the air, the scent on the breeze to the entirely different set of background sounds. I once heard life described as a video game with great graphics and a bad soundtrack. I think of the sounds in the woods as precisely the soundtrack I need to refresh my mind. Still I’m not sure that is enough to get me out on a day-long expedition into deeper forests.
The notion of challenge and bringing out the best in both myself and Quinn really encourages me. I love to learn and grow and each of these experiences certainly provides such times. I love the connection built with my fellow hikers as we are challenging and accomplishing together as well. To some extent it is the achieving of a summit but more for me is the transformation from the experience.
So while there are a host of other hikes and experiences recently behind me, I admit the anticipation is largest for Washington next week not because it is the tallest or most dangerous, both of which may be true. It’s because this is the official start of a more grand challenge, not just in the hiking but in the entirety of the project. I’ve been working towards it for a year directly and probably five years indirectly if not my entire life.
It’s time to climb these mountains for the experiences they will give me. It’s time to share the experience in as many ways as possible to involve and hopefully interest many people in the Belief of Possibility. It’s time to achieve these summits for the benefit I believe will come from my vision of the 2020 Vision Quest. I hope many of you will join me in many ways!