Sunday, July 03, 2016
F. Mitchell wrote: "I believe you don't stop hiking because you grow old. You grow old because you stop hiking."
I remember... the insightful attitude of a seventy plus year old climber who had more spirit than the twenty year old adventure athlete travelling with him.
I remember... a thirty something kayaker with more wisdom and insight than a retired wilderness guide we both know.
I recall too that age is such a relative thing. As in what Grey Wolf said: "You may be as old as they say, but you are really as young as you do...".
A few climbing seasons ago, I was scrambling with a close friend on Mt. Indefatigable in the Kananaskis region. I was leading and had assumed with our very early start that we were the first on the route that day.
Just below the summit, and on their way down, came two other climbers, much older than I but also clearly descending after being first up. We spoke briefly, and with smiles and that enthusiasm that comes from having just summited, they told me about their last few mountains, their years of retirement, and their plans & adventures to come.
Yet again, just when I needed it, came an experience that gave me pause to muse about my own concerns over the passing years and the impacts this was having on my outdoor endeavors.
They gave me a gift that day; so much more valuable than the little painted stone I put in one of their packs as we were just about to part company.
I am so grateful to have met and shared a few moments with such ageless adventurers... DSD