2017 can take a hike

By: Cody Boteler, Editor-in-Chief

It’s the end of February and I’m already exhausted by 2017. We’ve already seen so much (maybe too much?) happen. 

President Trump has lost a national security advisor and a couple other cabinet nominees, all-but-declared war on the media and seen one of his biggest and boldest executive orders halted by the courts. 

North Korea tested some missiles and a member of the Kim family was assassinated. President Obama went on (what looks like) an amazing vacation, Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized, and Bill Paxton died.

There was a gigantic and historic screw-up at the Academy Awards, a blinking white guy took over Twitter and a Navy SEAL raid in Yemen ended with dead civilians, a destroyed aircraft and a killed service member.

But I’m not going to talk about any of that stuff. I’m just too tired. 

Instead, I’m going to talk about this issue. A week ago, we didn’t know what to make the cover story. We were talking about how it was uncharacteristically warm for February—and we decided that, yeah, there had to be some way to run with that.

Instead of just one big story on the gloom and doom of climate change and how we’re all gonna die (which we will, if we don’t take care of this), we decided to go with a more positive angle – how to enjoy the pleasant weather while we had it.

We picked a few local or local-ish parks and divvied it up among the editorial board. We’d go to the park, walk around and then write about the place we had just left our footprints.

And, yeah, as you’ll see in the resurgence of Climate Corner, I did talk about the doom and gloom a little bit because, and I cannot ever say this enough: The global climate is changing, it’s our fault and it will get worse unless we act. Now.

But that’s not what this editorial is for. I want these column inches (or pixels, depending on where you read this) to be about hiking. About being outside and moving and experiencing the natural environment. 

I don’t know when or why I started to have such an affinity for being outside, surrounded by trees and a little bit winded from climbing up a steep hill. But I do.

Nothing, to me, is more invigorating than a good hike, either solo or with a small group. Nothing is more refreshing.

We’ve built up cities and suburbs to keep ourselves sheltered from the threat of exposure (and yeah OK, bears). Our built environments aren’t something that I hate – cities are, in some ways, more sustainable than other ways for humans to live – but they’re something I need to get away from.

We crawled out of the ocean and then walked around the plains and swung through the trees. It’s been said that humans were born to run – it was one of our tools for survival, since we could sweat and outlast anything we wanted to hunt.

I’ll go a step further. We were born to hike.


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