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“Love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need – if only we had eyes to see.” – Edward Abbey

You can only know from experience, and collectively, the worst ones teach you the most. There is just something about homo sapiens – we like to learn the hard way.

Something I have learned the hard way, repeatedly – good hiking partners are hard to find.

Let me tell you something, internets. If meno invites you on a hike? You better go…

Stepping out of my sister’s apartment on Capitol Hill, I could tell the weather was going to be perfect. Just a touch of crispness in the morning air as I walked to the bus stop. The truly beautiful part of all this is that I just had to show up in my hiking gear and boots. My lovely hostess had packed a lunch, and furnished a pack for my water and snacks, and even provided me with a hiking pole. The bad? I forgot my camera…

During our ascent, we covered topics of great social and political import. In the meantime, we cast occasional glances at this:

Once we rounded the corner and approached the lake, I had a brief fantasy about actually getting into the water. Empirical tests proved this would be a GREAT idea if I were, say, an Arctic sea creature of some type.

While eating lunch, we were joined by a solitary figure.

After dipping our toes in the ice bath, sunning, and rescuing a bar of chocolate from a liquid, melted death (we are heroes, really), it was time to return to civilization, which was really not that far off the whole time.

Behold – I-90

There is a lot of advice out there about what criteria is important when choosing a hiking partner. Let me share a secret with you.

Move “brings cooler with Mike’s Hard Lemonade for post-trip refreshment” straight to the top of your list.

Trust me on this.

October 2008
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Gear Notes

Pack - Granite Gear Vapor Trail Tent - Sierra Designs Velox 1 Sleeping Bag - REI Sub Kilo Stove - Jetboil