For my first blog post, I’ve thought and thought about why I like to hike. Why I lug myself up and over mountains, even when my body feels like it’s swimming with a weight vest. Why do I keep coming back for more, excited and ready to summit again?
It’s illogical. Why would I walk when I can drive? Why would I camp when I can sleep in a bed? Why would I push my limits to gain altitude? The only answer I could come up with to explain myself is simply: Why not?
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” -John Muir
It’s the high of nature. The rush of the peak, the wind filtering in through the hardwoods and cooling the sweat on my back, the feeling of my sun-drenched face above the pines. It’s the crumbling of birch bark between my fingers, the burning of my quads, and the pounding of my heart in my ears. I hike for the accomplishment of summiting; the goal-satisfying mental checkmark I make when I reach the highest point of the mountain.
My name is Katie Bernard and I am 15 years old. My goal is to summit each of New Hampshire’s 48 4,000+ foot mountains. I have been working on this goal since I was 11, hiking in each season with day trips and backpacking trips to reach some peaks. Currently, I have hiked 34 4,000 footers. With mountains ranging from the isolated Bonds to the towering Presidentials, my journey is not easy. But I am determined to finish it.
See the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) ‘s 4,000 footer page to learn more about the mountains and my goal. http://amc4000footer.org/