In an effort to keep telling trail tales and further our hiking club, we are dedicating at least one TWL Hiking Club Tuesday a month to OUR STORIES.
This week, we have a story from TWL Hiking Club member, and dear friend, Shi Weisman.
‘What do you want for your birthday?’ my father asked me that spring.
“A trip up North,” was all I asked of him. I was turning 20 years old and the memories of sitting on top of Eagle Mountain after the rugged 3 rough rocky climb for green trees spreading as far as the eye could seen below me, absolute silence everywhere, starting out at 4 am in the morning. The absolute bliss of silence being surrounded by rushing water was the feeling of coming home.
Every step with my 7 years worn with dirt, caked with years of trails pulled me up as we took the harder climb, scrambling up the rock edge to be rewarded with rushing water below us. The rare deer in the morning sky and my father’s bird book in front of him as he took in the sights.
Over the years, he had slowed but for that one early May for my 20th birthday, it was the old times. We scrambled over trails that brought the birds singing, my father’s identification a familiar feel as he pulled out his well worn bird book to identify what exactly bird was singing to us that morning.
I could hear the birds. It was quiet enough that even with my hearing loss, I could hear.
My cell phone was turned off, no electronics. All it was my father and I in the greenery of Grand Marais. The north shore, South Dakota, caves and mountains, these trails have always called me home since I was young. The scrambling over rock places scales. But this trip will always hold its place in its heart. Because it wasn’t just a birthday trip – it was a triumph. I had felt so weak after my latest brain surgery, defeated. So I started running and I started walking because I wanted to climb Eagle Mountain. I wanted to see all the falls, I wanted to cross the Canadian border and see both sides of the falls. I didn’t want any objects, I wanted the experience.
The experience of being in the woods – because no matter how far I wander or how often I am in the OR, nature is what brings me home. It is what keeps me going. It is what gives me strength – those rushing waters, the silence of nature and nothing human around you for miles. Just your thoughts, the trail underneath you and the person besides you.
It is the people you are with when you can stay in a comfortable silence, seeing the forest span for miles around you – realizing just how long things have been there before you. Just how long it’ll be there after you.
It all outlasts us – the trails, the falls are where my home comes.
The trails are where you’ll always find me.
If you have a story about or from hiking please do not hesitate to share. I will totally feature your story and pictures. To contact us with your story, message me on Instagram, @teaherwhohikes. You can also message The Wild Life on Facebook.