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My parents were understandably wary; they’d witnessed a decade of temper tantrums and failed math tests. I love Netflix, snacks, sleeping, that Bubble Spinner game and owning a thousand books. Now, Tracy returns to the site the abuse began–the Sawtooth Mountains–with her stepfather/abuser by her side.
Here’s how I feel about hiking: When I was 17, in my last year of high school, I took a statistics class. I want to prove to myself that my soft, pale, weird body can do hard things. I want to learn to love the outdoors before I get some life-altering injury, or become too addicted to my phone, or die, or something else.
Notoriously bad at math, I braced myself for a semester of angst. Now, almost a decade later, this is one of my proudest moments. I want to be able to say, Honestly, I don’t know if I’m stable or hardy enough to learn to love hiking, but I want to give it a fair shot. I can’t hike right now (excuses, excuses) because I’m out of town for a wedding. Below are seven stories about the outdoors, outdoor apparel, hiking buddies, bodily transformation, body image, abuse and sufferfests.
And just as everything at camp was somehow more than it was elsewhere, so too was our hike in the woods somehow more than just a hike.
It was the most spiritually fulfilling experience of my life, an ecstatic awakening to the beauty and splendor of the natural world, and I knew some day I would return.
Fuchsia, lavender and other stereotypical “girly” colors send Worteck and other women hikers running to the boys’ section in search of apparel that suits them inside and out.
It’s not just pastels–women’s outdoor gear often lacks important features (like deep pockets) or is skin-tight and therefore uncomfortable for extended wear.
At 5,200 acres, Portland's Forest Park is one of the largest urban forests in the United States.
With more than 80 miles of trails, fire lanes and forest roads, Forest Park stretches for more than seven miles along the eastern slope of the Tualatin Mountains, overlooking Northwest Portland and the convergence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.
When my personal struggles collided with a need to commemorate Jewish suffering, a need I’d struggled with ever since my days at Ramah, I found I was confronting the very essence of observance.
But in the end, the answer to all my problems—inward and outward, spiritual and physical—would be found on the trail.