For the most part, we exist in a numb, dead society. I’m doing my best to be alive and running in the mountains is the best way I’ve found to do that. And because I love the effortlessness that sometimes occurs while cruising down a cushy pine-needle singletrack or even while grinding up a switchback above tree line. I love how I can run up and into a mountain cirque or over a pass and be completely dwarfed and humbled by the sheer immensity and grandiosity of the landscape and I love flying down the other side with the breeze in my hair and the gravel in my shoes and the burning in my quads and the branches in my face and then when I’m finally all worn out there’s nothing like peeling my shoes off and just sitting. Just being at rest. Running sharpens the focus on life and intensifies the emotions. Is there any better reason to do anything?
The greatest gift of life on the mountain is time. Time to think or not think, read or not read, scribble or not scribble — to sleep and cook and walk in the woods, to sit and stare at the shapes of the hills. I produce nothing but words; I consume nothing but food, a little propane, a little firewood. By being utterly useless in the calculations of the culture at large I become useful, at last, to myself.
—Philip Connors, The Best American (via emilyjoyfox)
Mt. Katahdin, ME, Appalachian Trail