I’m not sure which of these rings the truest for me: I’m not crazy about hiking alone, or I prefer to hike with other people. I know they both say basically the same thing, but for some reason there seems to be a subtle difference.
It’s tax season.
Wow, Tim, you sure did take a left turn there, now didn’t you?
Well, it’s tax season, which means my favorite hiking partner–my wife, Lisa–is working. She’s working a lot. She, you see, is a tax preparer. And if she’s working, she’s not hiking. Which means I’m hiking alone.
See, that makes sense. Hiking and taxes? They’re related; at least, they’re related for me.
That’s why, just the other day, I found myself alone on the trail.
(Looking back to my first sentence, I suppose I prefer to hike with other people. I don’t have a problem hiking alone; I’m comfortable in the woods, and I’m a phone call away from help if I need it.)
The weather was unseasonably warm for the last day of February, and we’d had quite a bit of rain the day before. The trail was muddy, but not too muddy, and it was gloriously empty as I started out. I did an out-and-back hike, and while there were other hikers I passed on the way back, I seemed to have the entire mountain to myself on the way out.
There’s something about having the trail to oneself, especially if it’s a solo hike. On that day, the quiet was glorious, and more than once I surprised a chipmunk or squirrel as I came around a tree or rock. I even found myself surprisingly close to a doe who shot off away from the trail as I approached.
There’s still plenty of tax season left, and I imagine that won’t be my last solo hike for a while. I’m eager, though, to get back out on the trail with my wife, even if it’s only a short hike before she’s off to work. Am I the only one looking forward to April 15th?