The Hike: Prologue

Monday, October 5, 2015

Even trees, (who don't have a brain) know when to stop
 -author unknown





















In life, we sometimes find that there is a fine line between ordinary, everyday actions and plain stupidity.  We all have routines, needs and desires.  How we act upon them determine who we are and how accurate we are in our decision making skills.  

I am still pondering the facts of a recent activity that I found myself drawn to:  The Hike.  This was not an ordinary hike; I push myself harder than that, and specifically looked for something a little more demanding.  On a weekend trip to Palm Springs I chose a ‘moderate’ hike, one which would challenge me, and give me a sense of accomplishment.  I had in my mind episodes of Duel Survivor and Naked and Afraid (although I hadn’t yet determined if I would be taking off my clothes).

Taking this hike seriously, I loaded my backpack very deliberately with an assortment of items:  four bottles of water, a pair of gloves, a camera, a small notebook and pen, a hand towel, my wallet and cell phone.  I had thought about bringing along a lighter, but didn’t want to be even remotely responsible for any kind of accidental fire. Driving on the way to the base of the mountain, I stopped by a thrift store and bought a cap and scarf to make sure that my head and neck would be fully protected from the sun.  I scored on this purchase because those two items only cost me $1.25.

I know that I’ve already mentioned it, but want to make sure that the record is clear: I was in Palm Springs, and the air temperature was about 106 degrees.  Yes, I chose to begin my hike at 11:25AM.  I had also opted to take this hike alone because, why wouldn’t I?  It was just a little hike.  In retrospect these last decisions, although well intentioned, may not have followed the recommended protocol by licensed trail guides.  A more observant hiker might also have noticed that my car was the only car in the parking lot.  

With the concept of hindsight, being what it is, I imagine that there could only have been two possible outcomes to this hike:  1. A crazy guy that decided to take a hike in extreme weather conditions was found dead next to a large rock and some ants… or 2. A crazy guy that decided to take a hike in extreme weather conditions, living by his wits alone, barely survived to tell the tale.

*Spoiler Alert: I didn’t die during the hike.  Stay tuned for The Hike – 1st Attempt.

 (One of the selfies taken while I was still conscious.  You'll notice the lack of visible trails in the background.  I seemed to have veered slightly off course.)

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