When Tay Babe and I first met, we marveled at each others’ experiences. It felt like he had hiked, climbed and summited every mountain peak around. Likewise, he seemed to think I had kayaked, rafted and sailed the globe.
We both loved the backcountry for our own reasons, but we found in each other a relatability and reliability we had found nowhere else. We put each other on mini-pedastals and plunged all in to each others’ lives.
Everyone is dreaming of that special someone, us included. We’re looking for the person who surprises us by setting up the tent before we even finish unpacking, the person whose socks hang drying next to ours by the fire, the person who still kisses our sweaty, salty cheek after a long day of unforgiving climbs.
So after we met, we fled for the backcountry, holding hands and swinging trekking poles…because diving into the backcountry is one of the fastest ways to genuinely know if it’s real.
Will you still love them after a week in the backcountry?
- On day 1, will you be mad when dawn breaks and you still wait by the car? Late for the bug out time, with half her gear packed and the other half still sprawled across the floor, will you care that on the very first day, you’re already behind schedule?
- On day 2, as you start preparations for dinner, will you be upset when he spills his entire bowl of easy-mac all over the dirt? Will you be willing to share your ration with him for the evening?
- On day 3, will you support her as she stops for the third time to adjust pack on the trail? Will you remain patient when she falls behind and struggles to keep pace?
- On day 4, as you pack your bags up in the morning, will you be mad when you both realize he didn’t secure the tent’s compression sack the night before? Will it bother you as you spend an extra 15 minutes searching for where the wind could have possibly blown it away?
- On day 5, will you be irritated after a night of her constant snoring, kicking and tossing left you feeling exhausted by sunrise? Will you be able to handle her morning chirping before your first cup of caffeine?
- On day 6, will you grow hostile after his misunderstanding of the map adds an extra 5 unplanned miles to your trip? Will you tell him it’s okay as the sun falls, the headlamps turn on and you still trudge on and up the mountain?
- And on day 7, will you still be able to appreciate the beaming smile on her grungy face as you, at last, together, reach the summit? Will you smile when the sun peaks over the surrounding hills? Will you still be able to laugh at the disastrous imperfections you both share: the forgetfulness, the klutziness, the tardiness, all of the grumbling along the way?
Will you live in the moment?
Will you still love them?
And will you look at them and say, “Let’s do it again!”