Hikers are verbose people. No doubt about it. Regardless of the external factors: cold feet, tired lungs, sore muscles, we like to share.
While we huff and puff up a steep summit, we also connect and share. While we slip and slide along a rocky ledge, we also broadcast and blab. Given the right company, some of us agree that our “mouths” get a better workout than our bodies – and frankly that’s just as rewarding as the views.
I think it’s because conversations and discoveries, even a wee bit of political mishegas, takes the mind off the intimidation of climbing and/or the killer workout. Saturdays bushwhacks near the town of Allaben, N.Y. in the Catskill mountains were two non-negotiable examples of this.
Leader Tim Watters of the Catskill 3500 Club, with a little help from his faithful tail-wagging companion, led our exuberant crew: an expert canoe builder, a French teacher, a professional landscaper, a military man, a Cuban-born American and several more, on a ramble to the top of North Dome and Sherrill.
By the end of our 9-mile adventure, we ACTUALLY liked each other enough to further our conversations over hot, steaming bowls of creamy cauliflower and crusty loaves at a gourmet bread shop along Route 28 called Bread Alone. That’s mountain talk at its best.