June 5, 2015

Dennis Lewon, Editor of BACKPACKER magazine, writes in his column in the current issue (June 2015), “Nothing against school, but my education wouldn’t be complete without the national parks.  As we start our year-long celebration of the NPS Centennial, rolling out the top 100 reasons we love the National Park Service, I realize there’s another thing we should add to our list: The parks are great teachers.”  He lists three lessons he’s learned.  Here’s my favorite:

SLOW DOWN – The quality of a hike is not always related to its distance.  In Redwood National Park, I once spent an entire day covering a single mile.  A redwood grove, I learned, harbors so much more than tall trees.  The delicate ferns.  The multi-hued moss.  Banana slugs camouflaged by bark.  A downed behemoth melting into the soil. Duff so thick it feels like a bouncy house.  Slow down and an old-growth redwood grove becomes a woody reef, full of undiscovered detail, just waiting for a hiker to dive in.  Try the same pace anywhere you hike – from a mountain meadow to a desert canyon – and discover what’s there when you look close.”

His other two lessons are: “EMBRACE THE WEATHER” and “DON’T RUN FROM HISTORY.”  Check the above column to read more.

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