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A Thanksgiving List, Hiker's Edition

A dozen things this hiker is thankful for:

1. Public lands such as national parks: Nowhere else on this planet do I feel so wealthy.

2. Guidebooks: As a beginner, they were my original road maps to wonderment. It’s why we’ve started this blog’s Guidebook Getaways series. How, some people ask, do you make that first step into the wilderness? Answer: Get a guidebook and go.

3. Trail crews: They clear the paths that lead to fantastic days in deep wilderness.

4. Trail magic: When I've had the need for a helping hand in the backcountry, the kindness of fellow humans has amazed me.

5. Park rangers and volunteers: Some of the finest examples of our species wear ranger uniforms.


Mount Rainier volunteer rangers Carol and Jim Miltimore, right. (©T.D. Wood photo)

6. Urban people willing to step outside: It’s fun to see outdoor adventure neophytes, especially if they have kids, dare to give fresh air a try.


Jim McLaughlin, University of Washington women's volleyball coach (whose team is currently ranked No. 5), gives amping with his family a tryout. (©T.D. Wood photo)

7. Big views: In their presence my imagination flips a switch and operates in wide-screen full HD.


A big view on Mount Rainier's east side on the Wonderland Trail. (©T.D. Wood photo)

8. Wildflowers: "Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher." —William Wordsworth.

9. Backcountry privies: I don’t think Wordsworth ever crafted a pearl of eloquence about outhouses, but I say thanks to anyone who has put shovel to dirt in order to create one on behalf of a random hiker such as me.

10. Interesting people in the outdoor industry (e.g., Big Gamber, Big Agnes; Andy and Heidi Brun, Exped; David Mydans, REI tents) and the innovative gear they create: Air pads, lightweight packs, imaginative tents, headlamps, tiny stoves, take-along waffles and energy-inducing chews that taste like movie-theater gumdrops. (Those last 2 food items, by the way, are both 25% off through Monday. Just sayin'.) Thanks to all the inventive gearmakers out there who help make my hikes nicer.

11. Sleeping bags: What’s more welcome and reassuring on a chilly night than the warm glow your sleeping bag provides just minutes after you hop into it?

12. My late mom and my spare moms: Because you can never be too thankful for having a great mom.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Posted on at 3:30 PM

Tagged: Hiking, Thanksgiving, national parks and trails

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Bigger Al

Nice list!

I'd like to add a couple of things:

Sunrise on Moro Rock, Sequoia Nat'l. Park

Sunset at Glacier Point, Yosemite

The first cup of camp coffee when there's still just a touch of frost on the ground

Used gear sales!!

There are more, but I'll leave it at that. Happy Thanksgiving!

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