Garett Graubins December 28, 2011 TWEET COMMENTS 0

Get Busy Living - Page 10

Photo by Justin Bastien

#10 Be One with Nature

A recent experience by Paul Sweeney of Truckee, California, defines the essence of trail running. Far from the pavement of the interstate that runs through his hometown, Sweeney enjoyed part of the Tahoe Rim Trail, a 150-mile route around Lake Tahoe—a run through endless thickets of pine trees interrupted only by views of the glacial lake down below or gumdrops of white granite piercing the Earth.

"The twisted old junipers looked warm and inviting," recalls Sweeney, who soon found one that looked climbable and headed skyward, one leg above the other. "It was a struggle to reach a comfy roost about 20 feet up. It was really quiet, very peaceful. No birds, no nothing. I sat a few minutes enjoying panoramic views and basking in the sun."

On the way back down the trail, Sweeney's heavy foot plants startled some wildlife in a trailside grove. "The tree exploded with limbs snapping ... I heard crashing through bushes," says Sweeney. "For a split second I saw the enormous cat land and leap. Its tail seemed four feet long."

Sweeney hightailed back toward his parked car, shaking with excitement. "Overcome with emotion, I felt puny, but alive, very alive, more alive than ever."

Who can say they felt as alive after a road run? Exactly.

Explore the wild, but do so with open eyes, ears and senses. Seek out the flora and fauna on your checklist: maybe a black bear, high-alpine columbine, a bald eagle, redwoods, a porcupine or some sage that is best savored when crushed between your fingertips and inhaled deeply.

Maybe even a grizzly ... from a safe distance, of course.


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