A few years back I was lucky enough to take a trip to the Adaments mountains in the Canadian Rockies for a heli-hiking trip. We stayed a a great mountain lodge with great food. In the morning we were helicoptered to a high mountain area, to be picked up for lunch and taken to another area in the afternoon, then back to a warm shower and utter collapse. By the fourth day I just wanted to stay in bed for a day, DIDN’T!
But by the second day, the guides learned that it did no good to expect me to keep up with the others. This, as it turns out, is a great way to get a private guide. Everyone else in the party was bound hell-bent-for-leather to cover as much ground as possible, to see as much as possible. I still don’t get it. Every inch of these mountains held something new to look at: incredible glaciers sights and rock formations, streams muddied from a rock slide, canyons so deep that if you fell you’d drop until winter came, a yipping pica (which I am told is more heard and seldom seen), bear scat (didn’t stay there long), and incredible varieties of ground cover including an eyeful vast meadows of fireweed and similar flowers. As near as I could determine, the other hikers never saw any of it. Of course, I could have done without the extreme close-ups of the black skeeters that spiked through my pants and clouded my vision when I raised my head. I was told that the game of choice was to see how many you could kill in one slap. I got seven but still didn’t win. But, to me, it poses the question: Why is everyone in so much of a hurry to get somewhere or “see more” that they can’t see what’s right under our feet? At least, the way that I “hike”, I run the least risk of stepping in that bear scat.