As you well know the growing population of adventuring enthusiast is growing. People
are switching out the fast life for that quiet place in the woods. I’ve always hiked. Didn’t become
content with the decision that it was something that I became passionate about till last year. My
adult children were off to college and my youngest was starting his senior year in high school.
One day my daughter and I were talking, she insisted I find a hobby. I thought to myself…
“What would it be?” until one day I found myself hunting for my next trail. I enjoyed the
companionship of the trail. It soon became a weekend after a weekend hike. The more people
doubted the possibilities that I’d run to the trail no matter what the weather held the more I
wanted to go. The plants, the animals, the rock formations, the caves, the trees, the air, it all
smelled different. The sense of freedom and fear all wrapped in one.
One day I decided to take up backpacking, hiking was great but the need to be nestled in
the woods sounded even better. So with the help of a few new friends, I met on Facebook groups I
pulled my gear together. Was I scared hell yea! Fear of Bears, Mountain Lions and Panthers
filled my head. I did it, I packed up and hit the road, Shawnee National Forest here I come. Two
random strangers that I never met in a day of my life, traveling 280 miles to go camping in the woods. I thought if I’m not living, I must be dying. Soon as I got there me and my new friends laughed it
up on the trail. I was so happy I made a good decision! Eventually, the sun went down. There I
lay in my tent scared about the legends of black panthers that once roamed, waiting to be
pounced and unable to get out of my tent to defend my self. We survived the night and woke to a beautiful morning in the woods.
With all that being said, the first time I kayaked, I was also scared. The first time I rock
climbed I was terrified. Finally, when I started this my hiking group “Adventurous Trails in the Central District” I was frightened. I had a fear of failure. I’ve learned one thing if I haven’t learned anything from snakes in the water, drowning, bears, mountain lions, panthers, don’t let it stop you! I have met so many wonderful people. People I can now call my friends. Honestly, I’m happier than I have probably ever have been. Pictures I post will never do
true justice to my new life. I learned a lot this last year about myself and what I’m capable of doing. I have hiked one of the toughest trails in Missouri, thought I was gonna die but I overcame it! Adventuring is now apart of who I am.
Just remember when you out there remember to respect the trails and others.
- Pack out all your rubbish- trash!
- If you see rubbish along the way, just pick up.
- Don’t damage the surrounding environment and let others enjoy the beauty of the area, leave everything as you found it.
- Leave sign and navigational tools on trails alone, they are for hikers. Don’t add to them, knock down or move.
- Watch for warnings and plan well
My final thought