Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Getting “Out There” Again

I might need a nap. No, I’m not exhausted from the rigueur of my week of staycation. I went on a hike – first one of any substance in a loooong time. Driving up the mountain (the Santa Catalinas that run along Tucson’s northern perimeter) in the morning light, rain-induced green (green for Sonoran desert mountains anyway) brought me back. Back to when I used to hike, backpack or rock-climb most weekends. 

It was the first half of the 90’s and the first half of my 40’s.  I worked for myself as a contract associate for other lawyers and then as a mediator/trainer and seemed to have more time and more control…although less income. And I had an outdoor adventure partner/boyfriend. We went a lot of places - foreign and domestic - to do these things as well as a bit of ice and technical mountain climbing. As that relationship transitioned to something else and I was working more, I still hiked...much of it alone…and much less often. I knew where I was and what I was doing but when the devastating fires hit the Catalinas in 2003 I didn’t go back for years – I didn’t want to see the apocalypse. And the fire had obscured familiar trails which would have made solo hiking a whole other experience – I’m not a map and compass girl - by  choice anyway. I still did some hiking  elsewhere (mostly in Northern New Mexico - perhaps more about this later) but being “out there” had really diminished in my life.

And these last handful of years, with so much work-related travel, the demands of work  - and buying a house and re-habbing another, I did some car camping and a bit of getting out, but something that was once a big part of my life - and my self image – was all but gone. Although  not dead. I promised myself I would re-gain that part of myself.

So today’s hike was a start - even though it was with friends and a bit more of a chat-fest while going uphill at 7,000 feet, than a reconnection with wilderness. Like I said. A start.

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