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Yesterday I returned from a 4-day adventure in the Pecos Wilderness at the top of New Mexico. It was my annual backpacking trip with three old friends (and two new ones), and as usual, I returned with a sunburn, a lot of mosquito bites, sore legs, sleep deprivation, and an inexplicable desire to do this again, soon.
I also returned with a few unanswered questions related to the trip:
1. Why must it rain every day between 4 and 6 pm in the mountains of New Mexico?
2. We camped at the trailhead for one night after coming back down the trail. A few hours behind us, a guy showed up along the trail carrying a homemade spear. It was a large, hand-carved wooden staff with what looked like a dagger blade attached to it. What was up with that dude? Was he expecting to meet up with a clan of ancient Spartans or something?
3. Who would have known that a chance trailside encounter with Andy the ornithologist would have led to an enjoyable late-night fireside conversation about Peruvian hummingbirds?
4. Is there anything cooler than choosing a campsite, and then discovering (via my own powers of observation, FTW!) that it’s on the same side of the lake as a strand of ancient and grotesque Rocky Mountain Bristlecone pines?
5. Who changed all the trout in those alpine lakes to salamanders? And why didn’t they tell us about it?
6. If I can survive (quite enjoyably, in fact) for days at a time with no cell service, no Internet, no television, and only 28 pounds of food and possessions which fit into a little backpack, then why do I require so much stuff and activity in my non-backpacking, real-life existence?
If you have the answers to any of these questions, I’m all ears. (Not really. Were I actually all ears you would freak out upon seeing me. Also, it would be difficult to type.)