The Hike…

Father’s Day provided me a wonderful experience to share with my wife.  She and I have so little time we can be together; making such moments takes much work.  As the cards were passed to me by the children noting their appreciation and love for the old man, it was then my wife handed me a book.  I’m a reader so books are an aphrodisiac to me.  I could see this one was locally published so the contents would deem something local which I love.  So much history has taken place in and around the area we live, so learning more and more will always entice me.

The book was titled 50 Greatest Hikes in North Georgia.  It detailed 50 day hikes within our locale that we could attempt and enjoy.  I love the woods and even more love the mountains.  Having such a guidebook to describe these hikes immediately brought me much happiness.  “Let’s go on a hike today” came the request from my wife.  We agreed to try and check-off as many of these hikes as possible and make this our shared project.  Finally we were doing something together that involved the outdoors.

After making the short drive to the trails edge we began our hike.  The first part seemed straight up and really caused us to reconsider our choice of a hobby.  There is a look that spouses give each other where much is said without a spoken word.  We shared that look halfway up that initial slope but decided to soldier on anyway.  The effort was strenuous and often times painful.  As we approached the summit we beheld views that make atheists reconsider their priorities.  Detailing these images does no justice; I’ll just keep the pictures forever impressed in my mind.  Let’s just say they were spectacular.

The next part of the hike took us down the backside of the same mountain and landed us eventually on the flatland near the mountain road.  I had read about another trail that began at this point and suggested we take a short journey down this one as well.  Wisely my bride reminded me we still have to hike back up the same mountain we came down and should consider saving our energy.  Turns out that was great advice.

I decided to walk down the new trail just to see further on the potential views.  I took no more than 15 steps when my wife yelled at me.  I turned around to see what alarmed her and she pointed and yelled “Bear.”  There are some things in life where teasing is not valued, yelling fire in a crowed movie theatre comes to mind.  Yelling bear in the forest seems another so I took her seriously and immediately turned around to see the baby bear less than 10 feet from me.  I looked at the cuteness of this baby and was promptly reminded that baby bears have overly protective mommas who discourage close interaction with them.

We found a second wind as we quickly broached the hill climb that consisted of our return trip.  It wasn’t long before we found ourselves far enough away from the baby bear that we felt at ease stopping to catch our breath.  This is really living.  Up we trudged to the top and took time to once again enjoy the panoramic views and realized this new hobby was a good one.  Living in the mountains is a gift that we can enjoy over and over.

The last part of the hike was downhill and allowed us to finish strong.  Our legs were sore but the day was delightful.  This is what it means to be alive.  I commit to continue to listen to God sing songs just for me.  It’s nice to be loved.

1 down, 49 to go.

I think my glasses are sitting on top of the mountain somewhere.  I’ll look for them next time.



  1. Don Harp said,

    June 21, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I was hoping for a photo of the baby bear! Sure glad that you did not have to outrun its momma! Great piece, Sir Michael! don

  2. March 4, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Its a good thing I didnt go on that one,
    I see a bear=I freak out

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