Growing up in Georgia, I didn’t really do much day hiking. When I did go into the woods, it was for camping or backpacking for several days. Later in life, I learned about serenity and myself through longer stretches in nature so I preferred that method over day hiking because in my mind, a day hike wasn’t going into nature for the right reasons; it was some lame version of trying to be with nature for a bit of time because your lifestyle didn’t allow for anything else. I could never tap into the serenity aspect through a day hike, at least not at that time in my life. Cheap I suppose you could say. These are all stupid thoughts I had during the searching phases of my life, but through living in Alaska, I’ve grown to love the exhilaration and pure exercise that comes with day hiking; now, I just accept that it has a different purpose. If I manage to grab some true serenity during them, awesome. If not, that’s ok too.
The other side of that is refusing to allow your lifestyle to dictate how much quality time you do get with nature instead of the other way around. Our geographical locations have such a strong influence on who we become, and until you step outside of it, sometimes you don’t even notice.
It’s wonderful to live in a place that has loads of hiking right at your doorstep; it makes hiking possible without much thinking or planning at all.
Sadly, my good camera has died and I don’t have a replacement yet, but I managed to get some decent shots on Skyline Peak just before its retirement. The shots from Rainbow are from my phone, which has a terrible camera, but it did alright. I would have taken shots of the surrounding peaks, but it wasn’t possible.
Skyline Peak, south of Cooper Landing
Rainbow Peak, south of Anchorage off the Turnagain Arm