Originally Posted by Maryellen
Ok Mike and Byron - layers for cold that can be taken off for heat. Check. Digging out long underwear and then lightweight "sun shield" tops and pants from my favorite Columbia Outerwear outlet. Wide brimmed hats. Rain coat, fleece, hiking boots...check.
Maybe in some respects, what we might miss in terms of not seeing a specific or particular destination is not as important as how prepared we are to stay comfortable and enjoy ourselves in the places we do go.
I remember waking up completely relaxed one morning in a little alpine tent at some 7,000 feet at Three Sisters in Oregon, having slept through the quiet accumulation of some eight inches of snow. On those types of trips I would lean out the tent door on one elbow while still half-wrapped in my sleeping bag and tend a little Svea white-gas stove, delighting that I was able to be so comfortable and warm under such extreme conditions. Everything I needed and wanted was close at hand, amounting to some 28 lbs of backpacking gear plus the boots and clothing I had worn. That's all it took, if it was all carefully selected and properly packed to arrive in good condition.
Being comfortable and safe is always pretty critical to being able to enjoy and appreciate our environment. Suffering sunburn or altitude sickness on other trips made it clear how important my comfort and health were to the experience. I used to pay a great deal of attention to my socks and boots in order to avoid blisters when out on my feet for days at a time. Now I fret about towing issues and work to avoid having a tire blow out.
The goals and the process are very similar. The process includes planning, learning and building on both my own and other's experience. I especially appreciate that last part, the experience of others. As someone recently noted, good judgement is based on experience, and a lot of that experience comes from a lack of good judgement. So, I'm always grateful to learn from others, which in turn allows me to avoid experiencing discomforts myself.
To me, finding a special place often simply means stepping aside from the crowds a bit so I am able to better appreciate my environment. During a family trip to Yosemite some sixteen years ago, everyone remembers the day we parked along the highway west of Tioga Pass and walked five minutes south away from the road for a picnic lunch. The views were terrific and, suddenly, it felt like we were the only ones there. That hour or two in this area consistently rates for everyone as among the best memories of what was really a wonderful trip.