Oct 7, 2013

Hiking: a comparison

Hiking through the upper bounds of New Jersey cum lower New York state, other wise known as the Ramapo Mountains.  Wilderness of the North East.

It's nothing like hiking in Texas, the hot sweltering summer heat where the biggest threat to sanity is your skin -- burnt by an endless sun, scratched by thickets, sharp grasses and unforgiving thorns, bitten and feasted upon by hordes of insects, spiders, gnats, and mosquitoes, sweat stains on clothing that fester into chafed patches behind your knees and at your armpits or hives that come on in a reckless rage at the mere brush of a patch of hayfever grass.

It's nothing like hiking through the Amazon, with its endless vista of green, oppressive heat and thick, humid air that fills your lungs with life and loathing.  Green, verdant, teeming with life that's as soon to eat you as you to eat it.  The rainforest breathes with life as it exhales with death.  Wild and free and dangerous as the piranhas you're fishing up for dinner and the water you're boiling within an inch of its life hoping that it's enough to kill the verdant microorganisms that teem within it.  It's a hazmat territory, with boots and long pants and loose, flowing long sleeves that cover every last inch of self.

No, the Ramapo forest was a dream of moss encrusted rocks, and dry crisp air and leaves falling, a halo of golden rain.  The mists that cover the ground in the morning, the earthy sigh of the woods and silent crunch of leaves beneath your feet, a rusty carpet covering strewn stones and sparsely spaced trees that cover your heads in a canopy of autumnal riches -- gold, green, amber, honey.  No mosquitoes, no sign of life other than a laconic, serpent lazily out for no more than an evening stroll.  A lake of large mouth bass, no deeper than 12 feet at depth.

The wilderness of the Eastern shore tamed more than the the wilderness out South/West.

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