A funny thing happens in a hikers heart when they fly over their beloved mountains in a aircraft. You become inspired but defeated.
There below you as you cruise at 25,000 feet, is sprawling alpine landscape you have yet to explore.
Peaks so inviting you wish you could just be dropped below. There are enchanting pools of pristine snow melt, so clear that even from your all too small seat up high, you can make out the varying rocky shelfs and depths.
Just a glance at the thick evergreens hugging the slopes and filling the lush valleys brings a full body memory of smell. The cool and clean prickle of close proximity to running water, where the dampness mixes with the sweet and salty sweat of your body, bringing an awareness of an oddly comforting mountain musk. The earthy and sticky aroma of the trees and dirt, especially when warmed summer pine is inhaled. And the ever changing stages of new growth and decomposition a cacophony of existence.
Yes, those mountains begging to be quietly explored. Summits wanting to be respectfully achieved and forests gently wandered. Yet the mountaineers heart is humbled and set contemplative. For never in a life time can all those ridges feel the weight of your body carrying a loaded pack, many trails will not echo with the taps of your poles, your ears will not hear the calls of marmots, pica or elk. You will not breathe in the clean air at the top of every peak, nor let out a conquering whoot to the lowland abyss below.
But this is the relationship you've chosen, one where many of your adventures are in daydreams and memories on the worn out soles of your boots.
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