The View from Here

The sun is up, but it’s not too hot, yet. There are people getting in their daily exercise; others seem content to simply take in the view while enjoying their morning cup of java. I pass two scruffy looking guys in their mid-twenties standing next to a beater Ford Ranger with a camper shell.   The shell’s back and window flaps are up revealing a Spartan camping rig. Fond memories of my old truck come flooding back. They appreciate my compliment as I walk past.

The air is hazy today, but one can make out the mountains on the northern skyline and the ocean to the south. Memory fills in the blanks.

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Sometimes commitments keep me at home. Other times it’s an illness. This past week was both.

I want to be out: in the mountains, on the water, exploring the land of beyond. Sometimes it’s not possible.

This urban hill fills a void. It is better than a gym and the folks who frequent it run the gamut of age, race, gender, fitness, and shape. Quite egalitarian, and it’s free. It’s close too, just a handful of minutes away. Wildness is missing here and most of the paths are paved. Still, there are vistas to enjoy and steep routes to hike up to build and maintain fitness, as well as easier walks when I decide to head out in spite of my body telling me I’m still sick and need more rest.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have open space nearby, and for many, even a small knoll like the one I frequent would be quite welcome. Whatever your circumstance, it’s important to have a nearby haunt to stretch the legs and free the mind; to escape the confines of dwelling and car. If you don’t already have such a place, I urge you to find one and make use of it – preferably with friends. One thing I’ve noticed about adventurous people over the years: they get outside more than most. If you want more adventure in your life, this is a good place to start.

“Climb up on some hill at sunrise. Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you’ll find it there.” – Robb Sagendorph