09 Aug Solitude in Wilderness – Hiking through the park
Again, I apologize for the lack of blog uploads on here! I’ve been so busy with hiking and working with my projects (which you can see the results of said projects in diversityinconservation.org) that I have been spending less and less time on the internet. It doesn’t help that I only really have one place in headquarters that I have open access to the internet, but hey at least i’m spending more time with myself and have been drawing and reading, both of those things I haven’t done in a good while.
But today, for this blog, I want to take you guys hiking with me. At least, experience the same feelings I had when I walk through Lassen. Just for a quick distraction from everything that has been happening in the world. So, come with me as we hike together.
When you start on in the trailhead, you would find people that are like us. Many visitors are congregated around the entrance, reading how long the trail will be. Some will be in full hiking gear, while others are in simple t-shirts and leggings. We’ll pass them, for this is just the start.
It might be difficult for some to start on the trail, but I will stop and wait for you to catch up. Hiking is all about pacing yourself, knowing when to start and stop. Take your time, so you can also take in the sweet scenery around us. The trees are tall, the lichen bright and hanging down from the branches. The dirt path is dusty, both of us leaving little clouds of dust as we keep going. With one turn, we arrive upon a little meadow.
The meadow has many blossoms, with Lupines and Mule’s ears blooming among the tall grass. We stop by for a water break there, enjoying the chatter of Steller’s Jays and the chipping of several sparrows. Our breaths are heavy, but our hearts aren’t. Before we know it, we continue past a creek and up some hills. What were a lot of people now has just narrowed down to just the both of us. But still, we do see the occasional hiker pass through us. Sometimes we stop to let them pass, other times they stop for us. But we always make sure to say a gentle hello or a thank you. We continue walking, our eyes looking through the swathes of Manzanita bush and the beautiful Lassen Peak that seems to be always present as we continue our path.
I know I don’t talk much as we walk through, but our shared silence isn’t due to awkwardness. We both are silent as we let the Wilderness do the talking for us, the song of the wind passing through the trees and the various chirps of birds and bugs scattering about. We stop for a moment, taking in the sharp mountain air. Again, another water break. We both stray from the path for a bit, sitting on smooth rocks as we watch various warblers around us hop from branch to branch, their curious eyes watching our movement. Our eyes meet each other, and we smile, starting a simple conversation as we take out our lunches and eat. But soon, it is time to move on.
As we move on into the trail, the Wilderness is still just as beautiful as we first met. We are now on top of a hill, seeing the trail wind down through the gentle hills. It is only a few more minutes until we arrive at our destination. I ask of you to keep going, as we continue our path down. As we walk more, the solitude of the wild takes us in. We are far away from the comfort of our own homes, in our own technology. Yet, the serenity of the woods and the soft sunshine made us feel at home. One more stop, its me this time as I take a break and set my backpack down, allowing my muscles to relax. You can relax too.
Soon enough, we keep going until we arrive at the lake. It is Sifford Lake, I explain. While it is small, the water is crystal blue and clear, showing the bottom of the lake. Thankfully, we are the only ones here. We take our time wading through the cold waters, laughing at some joke we shared on our way to the lake. While we are still close to civilization, it still feels so far away. But I don’t mind it at all. Our time here in the wilderness is important, as we appreciate what the earth offers. So we continue on, enjoying the afternoon in the lake and finish up our lunch. But soon, it seems that it would be time to leave.
So we get up, packing up our lunches and our trash together, still talking about whatever topic we have stumbled into. As we return back to the trailhead, time feels a lot shorter. But that’s okay, as we still made time to stop and take several photos of the landscape and of Lassen peak. Before you know it, we’re back at the trailhead, back to reality. Even though it’s late afternoon, there are still people who are hiking and going through the trails. But that’s isn’t our problem now. But it was fun. We say our goodbyes and depart, walking to different cars. Hopefully, we can once again hike together, when our paths cross again.