It is through the eyes of our guests that my wonder for this place is continuously renewed. Approaching raging Coal Creek we see that our trail is on the other side, they look at me questioningly; wondering how we will get across. For us who live here, it is only natural to look for the most shallow, calm crossing; remove our shoes and go. The water is snow melt and it is cold. Once a decision is made as to where to cross, I begin the obvious next task of removing my shoes and before the group of nice men (who are my clients) can get the words out to offer to carry my shoes across for me, I have them securely fastened to my pack and I am prodding the water with a stick to check the depths of our crossing. The creek is raging, so words cannot be heard amongst us. I signal for their attention and point at the 3 spots we will step so as to avoid the deeper, churning water. We don’t want to get knocked down. So I wonder… my clients don’t seem too happy about this idea but I KNOW inside that once they get across successfully they will bask in their sense of accomplishment and they will be invigorated by the cold water they have just forded. Sure enough, their doubt turns to an adrenalin rush once they are across and the scene is set for a most wonderful day in the mountains with yet another fun group of guests.
(These are clients who requested and active hike; we cater to all levels and abilities!)
Daria is the founder/director of Woontanara Aid, a non-profit humanitarian organization that assists people in need in West Africa. She has been working with the Hole Hiking Experience since 2003 and loves to share her enthusiasm for the natural world.