Having grounded their relationship in ambitious hikes in the Rockies, Appalachians, and Catskills, Kunde and her partner were determined to stay on the trail after their two sons were born. The blog recounts some ambitious and some less ambitious treks within the San Gabriel and the Sierra Nevada. Part travelogue, part ecotheory, and part how-to for parents bringing youngsters into the backcountry, Kunde’s blog delves into the nitty-gritty of love and hiking.
The biggest payoff of the hike comes when you get off the trail and you find your relationship to the default world palpably recalibrated. That world’s shorthands and ways of operating reveal themselves to you as strange and unnecessary. Beds, cars, and personal hygiene feel uncomfortable, pointlessly juiced up. Squealing at friends you see unexpectedly and pulling across lanes of traffic to talk to them seems completely natural, even necessary. In the aftermath of our Paiute Trail trek, the hard-earned unfamiliarity passed quickly, but the experience was so strong I can still recall what its kinesthetic dimensions. But first came the hike out.