Rolling out of my warm sleeping bag nook after another short night of sleep, I woke up to the reality of putting on a pair of cold and wet hiking boots for the third consecutive morning. I would spend the rest of my day in these boots, trudging through steep terrain, mud, and possibly snow in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The three pairs of socks I packed were soaked as well, emitting a nauseating fume by today, day five of our trip.
“When the mountain ahead looms over us with a dark shadow of self doubt, we look deeply within ourselves and dig out long embedded personal characteristics.”
I reached into my bag and tried to focus on the necessity of the cold, slimy, and stinky cloth that was sliding over my foot. I knew I had no chance of finishing the last few miles of our journey without socks to protect my developing blisters. My socks on my feet, I prepared for the equally cold, wet, and uninviting boots, which would stay that way until I got home. The temporary sting of cold and the general absence of comfort however were mightily overshadowed by the most important lesson of wilderness adventure: Accepting a mentality of dealing with your circumstances.
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