Behold, I Have Returned from a Hike!

We posted a story awhile back that was an intro to a linked article in the SF Chronicle. For some reason, I’m guessing some kind of location-specific access, I was able to read the story even though I do not now, nor have I ever, subscribed to the SF Chronicle, but many of you were not. For that, I am deeply sorry.

But I know the New Yorker will let you read a few articles before you subscribe, so we’re trying this again, because this satirical article about a non-hiker falling rapturously in love with hiking after going on, presumably, their first hike in many years is funny as hell.

For example:

I’ve moved beyond the world you live in. I cut the tether. It was just me, the great outdoors, and the phone I relied on heavily for navigation, documentation, and a podcast to take my mind off how much sweat was pooling around my lower back. Nothing can compare to the type of awareness you feel when you take out your headphones and realize that someone has been trying to pass you for a mile.

The rest of the piece is a lovely eviscerating of all the little ways so many of us take pictures of ourselves hiking, and then share them on social media, for reasons that completely escape me now, and which seem almost indescribably foolish. I will however, continue to do so. I cannot justify nor explain this, it’s simply how it is, an immutable law of nature.

But also there’s a very real element here, which is we make fun of the exuberance of the not-too-often hiker, but they’re exuberant for a reason: hiking kicks ass. The wilder, the better. Most people don’t do it very often, and when they do, they’re smacked in the face with the real, actual world, a place that’s worth getting real, real excited about.

Also, though, this line: “Nothing can compare to the type of awareness you feel when you take out your headphones and realize that someone has been trying to pass you for a mile.”

Pure gold.

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Read the rest, here.

– Justin Housman

ed note: no offense to the woman in the photograph, she may well be a very accomplished hiker and climber and outdoors person, but the photo really fits the story, does it not? Photo: Joshua Gresham/Unsplash

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