The Community of the Trail
I have been in love with hiking since I was a young boy. It really started when I was a Boy Scout and I had this awesome Scoutmaster that loved to hike. He seemed to light a fire in me that has never burned out. I find great comfort and feel at home on the hiking trail.
One thing about hiking though is that it is safest and best if with hike together with others. When we hike with others we have a share in some sort of bond together. Often our shared experiences are a combination of highs and lows; especially if the weather takes a bad turn during the hike or those endless switchbacks seem to go on forever! Anyone that hikes has a story or two, they love to share with others. I know when I get together with family or friends, we will often recall some of our really tough hikes where things did not go so well.
I titled this blog post, the community of trail because I really think that the hiking trails are the places we share community. In a healthy community, people look out for each other. They share their joys and sorrows.
I know that my son-in-law’s mother, would agree with me. She took a bad fall a few years ago while hiking and broke her ankle. She was in bad shape when two young men came across her hanging on the side of the trail for dear life. They pulled her back on the trail as others went to get her help. They stayed with her for several hours till she could be helicoptered off the mountain. She has kept in touch with them since the accident and in fact they have become “family” as they have participated in some of our family events. She refers to them as her “sons of another mother.”
Terri and I were also a part of a “trail community” when we walked the Camino trail. You quickly grow into the “Camino pilgrim family ” when you are walking day in and day out for weeks and sleeping and eating together often. You share so much in common and you are always looking out for each other. We received so much helpful advice along the way that really helped us in our journey.
I believe we all long to be in community and feel the sense of being loved. I know that hiking is not everyone’s “cup of tea” but I have found in my life that there is, indeed, a sense of community and love on the trails.
Camino Pano of the Week
Walking in the early morning for several hours before dawn in the dark is not all the fun. The upside of that is getting to walk just as the sun comes up. This was in through a vineyard after leaving the town of Najera.