I love hiking. My biggest challenges (for hiking) have been the week long hikes in the High Sierras (including the back country of Yosemite) sometimes reaching higher than 11,000 feet near the John Muir Trail. Heavy backpacks weighing as much as sixty pounds are a burden when climbing for miles with thousands of feet of elevation gain but when the pack comes off, you feel like you are on the moon and can fly.
Your fantastic photos brought all the memories back. Alas, I haven’t been on one of those memorable hikes since two of my hiking buddies died a few years back—both from different types of cancer. We had some great times in the high country slogging through hip deep snow at eleven thousand feet or sitting around campfires late at night swapping dirty jokes and laughing.
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This epic adventure of our four young heroes begins on a gloomy, overcast morning.
The fifth of their band had fallen from the ranks.
Even Charlie, the Australian Shepherd, was to deny them his companionship on the long journey ahead.
Alas, the four heroes would march forth, a united army,
Into what was foretold to be days of thunderous storms and merciless showers.
Survival comes at a price, weighing heavily on their backs.
Our heroes enter the dark forests of Killarney,
Like knights forging into the abyss of battle.
How will they persevere for nine days when the first hour begs for relief?
The constant, piercing pain in their shoulders was unprepared for;
Every footstep on the uneven, rocky path becomes akin to lifting lead.
Did our heroes expect too much?
Delude themselves into believing…
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