Distance Hikes Make the Heart Grow Fonder

By Lorie Florence

The first time I went on a long distance backpack hike with my husband Mark, I had to sit down and have a long cry. It was hard, hot, and a little scary. I missed my kids, and my comforts. All we did all day was walk – up hills, up mountains, across sketchy, loose, scree-covered narrow trails. Mark just kept walking, and I just kept trailing along. But by the end of the week, I had decided it was not so bad. The stars were beautiful at night, I was met by a dazzling sunrise each morning, and we had long hours of just being together without interruptions, which was priceless.

Mark & Lorie Florence's first trip in 2008

Our first hike on the Pacific Crest Trail

I followed my husband, walked alongside him, and even sometimes led him, as we hiked a section of the Pacific Crest Trail each summer. I became more and more accustomed to it, and even got to the point where I looked forward to our trips into the wilderness. I came to cherish the quiet days we walked together through pure nature- flowing streams, towering trees, pure blue skies, and solitude. Continue reading