Hi! As a member, you earn rewards dollars every time you come on a trip with us. Learn More or Sign Up!

Large heigh blog

Fear and the Height of Hiking

Thursday, September 13, 2012
Having been outdoors and hiking since I first learned what a State Park was, I've come to a striking conclusion; hiking trips are not just memories, they are experiences. These experiences dictate your worldview much more than memories do. These experiences are revisited by the mind in moments of solitude, in moments when you need a distraction, and in moments you need motivation. A memory is only a thought, whereas an experience is a feeling.

These feelings that are produced from hiking and thereafter can help you face your fears: in the outdoors, in life and in my case, from heights.

I was hiking at Devils Lake in Wisconsin a few weeks ago. Within the first five minutes I was thinking how exuberant hiking is, how much of an exercise it is, and - in my personal opinion - a better liberator of endorphins than running. Metaphorically speaking, I feel that too many people never take the rock out of their shoe and try to hike. Back home, I had left my troubles, my deadlines, and my work, for half a day and got lost in nature, on the Devils Lake hiking trails.

About my hike, there are two things you need to know right now. One, Devils Lake hiking trails are very high up and two, I'm afraid of heights

Even if you could see my thoughts and feelings through these pictures, you still wouldn't see a single fear. I went off trail, jumped over 150 foot drop gaps to get the rock with the absolute best view of the area. I sat at the edge of landscapes that if pushed over, not even a miracle could keep my alive. I had no fear. No hesitation. Smartness, but not carefulness.
I felt more alive, one with nature, more appreciative of the Earth's beauty than I have in a long time. I was dancing at the edge, not with death, but with mother nature. All of the time there, I never noticed how fearless I was, not even the day after or the day after that. It wasn't until last week that I sat down at a pier leading into Lake Mendota and questioned why I had no fear.

On Devils Lake, in nature, and in life, the beauty of what you see can conquer any fear.

Submitted by Garth Everett Beyer. Garth is a Journalist, Freelancer and outdoor enthusiast living in Madison, WI. While aspiring and completely dedicated to becoming one of the greatest Public Relation Specialists of his time, he always finds a way to incorporate the outdoors into his life whether it is through hiking, fishing, or his absolute favorite activity, parkour. You can find more on him and his writing at GarthBox.

Categories: People