"Why do you hike?"
...is a question I seem to get asked alot. I came across the following in a book and thought it sounded appropriate.
"What is it, that magic kind of something, that calls a man or woman into the great out-of-doors, that calls people from warm beds and fires or shady trees to buck wind, heat, cold?
It might be the North Star winking at a quarter moon. Or the south wind rearranging flocks of wildflowers feeding in a meadow. It could be the northern lights in a busy sky and wolves howling for encores. Or a campfire warm enough to thaw a cold heart. Or a bubbling spring coming from nowhere and liking it like that. Or a light line pulled jumpy snug by the scornful bluster of a rainbow trout with a mind of its own.
Or a soaring eagle's call, a loon's cry, a hoot owl's hoot, a chickadee. Or the splash of a paddle or the bounce of a pebble, skip-skipping across a looking-glass lake. Or a blueberry or a single wild rose. Or the shadow movement of a white-tailed deer. Or a pinecone.
Or it could be, when the wild calls, that you find you've misplaced a piece of yourself and you need to go where you'll find it."
--from 'Wit & Wisdom of the Great Outdoors' by Jerry Wilber
Continue on to the Hiking section.