Today I took my first solo hike. My sister had to work and everyone I asked was busy. It was such a beautiful day I didn’t mind at all. It was a perfect northwest hike day. I often think about what I’m going to write on the blog as I hike, silently composing if you will. Today I did that more than usual because I didn’t have my sister to talk to. So, here is the actual post I composed while walking:
I do not believe in God. I realize that some people might find that worrisome or sad. I do not. It is the conclusion I have come to after the sum of my life experiences. I am entitled to it as much as anyone else is entitled to their faith. I’m okay with it. While I was hiking today this was on my mind. It was on my mind because of the amazing beauty I experienced on the trail today. If there was a God, I have to believe you would find him in a place like Triple Falls, in a place where you are surrounded by beautiful creations (water, wind, snow, sun, plants, animals, and friendly people). I have to believe that if there were a God he would be far closer to a person in muddy boots on a hiking trail than those who sit in uncomfortable fancy clothes silently judging one another’s level of devotion and monetary contributions. As much as this is a hiking blog, it is also my journey. Nature is amazing. People, on the other had, can be a damn disappointment. On my Facebook page my religion says, “No Church in the Wild.” Admittedly, that is a Kanye West lyric (I like his music. Don’t judge me). It’s true though. There is no church out there, because church isn’t necessary in the wild. You’re a part of everything.
Triple Falls doesn’t look very amazing in my picture above. It could basically be a trickle. I assure you. It is not. It is absolutely incredible. The trail is steep. I was utterly alone the entire way up. On the way down I passed a ton of people, but I got a pretty early start so it was eerily (perfectly) quiet in the woods today. The hike from the Oneonta trail head to the falls is 1.8 miles. Officially it has 650 feet in elevation change, but it felt more like 7000 million feet in elevation change, so I’m not sure that is accurate. There was snow covering the trail in many places, but hikers before me had created dirt covered footprints that kept me safe. The sun was peaking through the whole trip, warming my body and soul. Water trickled from every surface. The forest was alive.
I went a ways past Triple Falls because a lovely bridge (feature) was visible in the distance. I kept going and eventually got close to a burning fire. There was smoke billowing up in the trees and I could smell it… and it creeped me out. I could think of many sketchy reasons to have a fire going in the middle of the trail but I could only think of a few legit ones. I decided I didn’t want to happen upon anyone on my own. My mind is always operating in a horror movie scenario. I turned around. I would guess I hiked just shy of four miles total. It was amazing.
For information about Triple Falls click here.