I’ve been thinking about learning to rock climb. Which is weird because as inspiring as I think rock climbers are, I also think they might be lunatics with a death wish. Aren’t they scared? Isn’t rock climbing dangerous? Don’t you need super human physical strength? These questions were on my mind when I recently visited City of Rocks National Reserve and it’s sister park, Castle Rocks State Park. In south central Idaho, these parks are a favorite among rock climbers.
I’ve been a hiker for many years. But as of summer last year, I’d never backpacked on my own, carrying everything on my own back. Hiking is just one aspect of backpacking. Just because you’ve hiked doesn’t mean you know everything you need to know to go backpacking.
So, when I decided to backpack the Colorado Trail, the mack daddy of long distance hikes in Colorado and the number one item on my bucket list, I planned like crazy. My goal was to plan so thoroughly, I would be prepared for anything that happened on the trail.
Here’s the funny thing, though. Knowing a lot about something doesn’t mean you can predict how everything will go. And sometimes planning like crazy is just a way to avoid actually doing something you really want to do. Planning my very first true backpacking trip taught me this lesson, a lesson I’m still struggling to learn. Here are the top five ways that backpacking taught me to ditch my urge to overplan and just hit the trail.
Rolling into the Neurolux in downtown Boise, Idaho, I marvel that it is so cozy and intimate. A dark and narrow music lounge with a bar, small stage and dance floor, it’s a world away from big concert arenas. And tonight, a true Texas boy, Dale Watson, is performing. The Potato State is being treated to Dale’s brand of authentic Texas dance hall music, Ameripolitan.
This morning, my mind was a swirling, chattering, babbling mass of To Dos, all clamoring for my attention, like a bunch of lunatic, caterwauling animals. The result? I sat at the breakfast table staring into my coffee cup, crippled by indecision. All of the To Dos were important. How would I ever get them all done? A day of multi-tasking sounded hideous. Finding flow seemed impossible.