It’s an amazing feeling when someone shows you something or some place new. That initial reaction of a new bar, a new movie, a new store you had yet to see, a new path to run on is how we define exploration, right? When I first moved to Oregon I was the one (and still am, often enough) being shown new places to hike, eat, run, drink, bike…etc. This week the tables turned a bit and I was able to invite a Washington DC/NYC/Chicago dweller on not only a new trail but his FIRST trail run ever. How exciting for both him and me.
Our emails leading up to the run had consisted of me telling him about the bear I had just seen on the Bandersnatch trail, the hills I had to climb and the fact we needed to go early because it gets damn hot and mountain bikers take over some of the trails later in the day. I think he was a bit nervous when we started, being a city boy and all I think he expected to see a moose, a cougar and a panda bear at the trail-head.
When we finally got to the trail we were warmed up and began the climb. Chatting, maneuvering over sticks, getting to know each other and our trail feet we fell into a nice cadence. I assumed we’d climb for 30 or 35 minutes and then head back down, but as we got to the half hour mark my new friend wanted to keep pushing. We were enjoying nature, the views and (hopefully) each other’s company. We climbed and climbed until we reached a map and I could show him just how far we had come. Looking at a map while on a run was new for me too, it’s pretty awesome to see the trails, the elevation, the creeks and distances we had traveled.
As we headed down on the road we relished in what a great run it had been and talked about doing it again soon. Trails are addictive, and he was hooked I think. Fast forward to Thursday at 7:30am and we’re at it again. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: Where should we go today? Up?
Him: Yes! Up. Anywhere, everywhere! Adventure time.
Me: An adventure? I’m down.
Him: I wanna do it all. Let’s go!
We didn’t quite explore everywhere this morning but we did cover some ground, we climbed for nearly an hour and had some spectacular views that never cease to remind me of why I moved here. As the morning sun peaked through the trees I think he was having the same though.