Monday, July 25, 2005

Mt. Katahdin, ME

Almost 11 months ago, I had this view a mile from the peak of Mt. Katahdin.

I climbed 4 miles in the mist, got to this point and took a break with a mile left to go. I remember wishing that I could have a view from the top of this mountian as it was the end of my 2,170+ journey on the Appalachian Trail. I wanted a visual memory that could sum up my hike in one image. Not long after, the mist cleared from one side of the mountain and I snapped this picture.

I must say I was awestruck. I am afraid of heights and if I had seen what I was climbing, I probably would have turned around. Well, no I wouldn't have. I had walked way too long (5 1/2 months) to get to here. This was the perfect ending to a very tough, but satisfing journey.

Going along with feeling of "nature deficit disorder" the other day, I have been looking at the photos of my trip. I am realizing now just how lucky I have been to have had this experience. Living outdoors for almost six months was a life changing experience.

To tie this is to spirituality, most of the people I hiked with talked about how this experience changed them, both on a personal and spiritual level. Many people mentioned that this journey helped them to feel closer to their higher power and allowed them to really think about what they believed in. Many deep conversations were had around campfires at night about our relationship to our higher powers and where we felt we fit into this world. And of, course how the trip had changed or solidified our viewpoints on religion.

In society today, we don't have very much time to truly think about our viewpoints and make them a conscious part of lives. This trip helped me to do so. Due to 10+ hour days hiking up and down the mountians I had not much else to do but think about my life and its direction. I must say that I learned more about religion than I ever could from this 6 month journey than I ever could sitting in some kind of church.

1 comment:

Andy said...

What a valuable experience. Nature deficit disorder...that's what I have! Thanks for this post.