Hiking By Choice

I had some thoughts while getting out on the trail today. As you can tell by my shirt in the video below, I already had the situation in Ukraine on my mind.

Once I was about a mile into the hike and as I was soaking in the beauty of the mountains and surroundings, I began to think of the dichotomy of my hike and the journey that millions or refugees have and are making today to avoid the conflict of war caused by a derranged head of state in Russia.

I organized my thoughts and made the video below. The text of the video is below the video.


I love to be out on the trail. It is probably my favorite thing to do in my free time. I get to see and be a part of beautiful things in nature. 

I see snow capped mountains, valleys for miles, flowers, deer, moose, birds, humans, streams, clouds and so much more.

I love to be out on the trail. It is probably my favorite thing to do in my free time. I get to see and be a part of beautiful things in nature. 

I feel peace when I am on the trail. Tranquility. Comfort. Oneness.

There are some who are hiking miles and miles today, out of pure necessity. They either start walking or face the violence, cruelty and unforgiving nature of war.

Our brothers and sisters and the children of Ukraine are having to make long journeys on foot just to stay alive.

Their experience on the “trail” is diametrically opposed to the experience I can have today here in Utah hiking trails near Mt. Timpanogos.

I chose to get up this morning, had a big breakfast with eggs, bacon and oatmeal and then made the choice to take this hike, not because I had to, but because I wanted to.

Our friends in Ukraine don’t have the luxury of that same choice.

They likely did NOT have a hearty breakfast and they certainly did not ask for the conditions in which they are now trying to survive.

It is truly hard for me to even come close to understanding what they are going through. I can only imagine that is how most of us in the United States feel. 

We have so many blessings of material things, but perhaps one of our biggest blessings is our freedom. It is not something we can buy; it is something we work to get and work harder to keep.

In my opinion, this is not political in any way.

Freedom is essential for humans to thrive.

We are all humans. We talk, look, act, eat, and do pretty much everything in our own ways.

When we lose that ability, we lose a bit of our own humanity. 

I want everyone on this planet to have freedom. I want you to be free. All of us, every single one.

And while I can take at least a little comfort in the fact that I do have freedom, I also believe that those of us who have it, should be helping others who want it… to get it.

That is what I will be pondering as I continue my hike, by choice, in freedom, today.

Peace to us all.

I will end with a video that struck me hard when I first saw it: a little boy apparently walking alone as he flees Ukraine en route to Poland.


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