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Monday, September 07, 2009

short essay on backpacking - is it for anyone?


I started backpacking the local SCal mountains back in the 1970's. I hiked all over the San Gabriels and San Bernardino Mts. I was an early convert and really got deep into hiking and backpacking. Not only backpacks but hundreds of long day hikes all over the local SCal mt ranges. Then i ran a business from 1980 to 1986. After that venture went under i started getting back into serious hiking and backpacking again but now i was strictly into the high sierra nevadas, the only place to do serious backpacking and see the best mountain scenery in America, maybe the world. For once you do a sierra trip all other mountains pale in comparison. The Sierras are pure magic and mystique, a truly magnificent range with towering Sequoias,luch fragrant pines trees,deep gorges,jagged towers, gushing rivers and creeks,lush lower elevation meadows and high fragile montaine meadows, monumental granite domes and cliffs( think Yosemite), and 10,000 high country sparkling lakes. The visible wildlife is mostly Deer and bears, but if u look and listen carefully u will notice woodpeckers, bluejays,thrushes, and other birds whirling thru the tall pines. If you love blooming flowers the sierra meadows abound with them. If you love tall stately pines the Sierras has 10 varieties from the lordly sugar pine to the ever present lodgepoles with the cornflake bark.

I leave this short essay which is very brief, and will now answer the question-is backpacking for anyone? Answer is, no! It takes a special mindset-an urge to get into the mountains,a special liking for maps and topograghy,maybe high geological interest, a rugged self-reliant personality. And most of all a mystic connect with earth,rock, pines,jagged cliffs,roaring pristine streams,something like when the earth was pristine and primeval before man came and destroyed a good part of it.

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