Some of the great excuses I’ve found to stop hiking include, but are not limited to: The random petting of somebody’s happy dog, and then breaking into the same conversation about what kind it is and if it likes hiking (all dogs like hiking); stopping to examine a view; hallucinating a blackbird into an eagle; or the most desperate one of all, “Hey check out all of these cool rocks.”
Hiking is rarely extreme, but typically a glorious activity. With all of the warm weather in Colorado (lately in the 60’s), I’ve found it’s a great way to beat the crowds and work your butt into a pretty spot for some exhausted existential contemplation. A few friends and I went for a local afternoon climb at the Royal Arch one afternoon, where the trail is short but tough and the ending is typically more refreshing than exhausting. None of us had been doing much hiking over break (as what are breaks for if not catching up on sleep, and allowing your parents to finally feed you some actual nutrition), but that is no excuse to be seen as out of shape. We climbed at a breakneck pace.
The thing is hiking isn’t as easy as skiing or the downhill part of mountain biking for that matter. Its tough work when done properly. For a real hiker, there are no gondolas or chairlifts, and specifically no signs of civilization if you are doing it right. The idea of getting into a place that is wild, where a small mistake can lead to a slow, cold, hungry, and ultimately painful death, as a recreation activity is really something to be admired. The best part about it is that hiking is almost always free. And for that hikers, I tip my hat to you.
(my buddy Kirk trying not to look tired)