Trail Karma


Karma on the Trail

“What are we doing up here?” Some days thoughts bubble up over and over as an automatic motion takes us north. Today was that kind of day. Watching the trekking pole tips in front of me kept my pace as I fell deeper into the thought soup.

An occasional slip on the leaves would remind me I was still here. Today’s climb to the top of Moosilauke was a gear and mind test. Again , “what are we doing up here” flashes through my mind as the ground around us turns to white. Snow… I haven’t seen this since March. Just a few days ago we were hiking in shorts, shirtless and whistling with the birds. Today we are bundled up and wondering if we packed the micro spikes.

The summit proved a view without comparison. In the mountains again, blessed. Bathed by beauty in every direction. The tears formed and quickly burned as they shrank to ice on our skin. “This is why we’re up here” I thought.

Back down below tree line our excitement followed us as a constant chatter. How excited we were to be in the mountains again. Homegrown prowled over the roots and ice effortlessly. Bailey was a natural and with the experience she has had its expected. Suddenly without warning a terrible grunt ahead jolted my eyes forward. Homegrown’s flailed poles and shoe soles in the air brought out a tremendous smile to my face. Out came laughter as he magically regained balance without a fall.

A red faced turned to meet my cackle just as a root dug in under my laces. Smash , “what happened” a loud ringing blocked out all my senses as my eyes focus what was in front of me. Mud and grass came into vision. The warm pain in my shoulder began as the ringing seemed to fade. It became clear.

The scene played out like a well scripted movie. My fall was tying in as a last laugh lesson at the end of a film. Parents shake their finger in opportunity as the credits begin to roll and the lights come on.

“What karma” I thought as Homegrown’s face turned a new shade of red and exploded into a grin so stiff I could see his molars. Shared laughter shook the snow from the branches around us and we continued north. Friends to the end.

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