For a number of years, beginning with my time in Boy Scouts, we would make our way to New Hampshire in the Fall to climb a 4000-footer. I know- all the folks who live in the Rockies would be going “Ooh, a four thousand footer…” I guess it’s relative, in a way, based on conditions and the altitude at which one starts a climb. And oxygen levels aren’t as much of a concern in NH.
Anyway, we would spend an entire day hiking somewhere in the White Mountains- Cannon Mountain, Mt. Osceola, Mt. Garfield, Mt. Moosilauke. Other times higher ones like Lincoln, Lafayette, even Mt. Washington on a couple of occasions.
At some point in the hike, we would be far enough away from the trail head yet still below the tree line, out of ear shot of road noise and not quite exposed to the wind that was usually present at the higher elevations.
We would come to spots where there would be hardly any sound. No babbling brook, not even the rustle of a leaf. It wasn’t eerie, but it would get your attention. It was beautiful- that we could be outdoors, on the side of a mountain, and not hear anything. We would pause just to take it in for a few moments.
A lasting sensory memory.