Why Trail Talks?

While sometimes I bemoan about being single at 30-something, I can confidently say that during these 30-something years, I amassed the most wonderful collection of  friends. In a team friendship rumble, I’d pick my squad over Taylor’s any day. My friends are genuine, unique, funny, weird (in a good way), and unfortunately, live all over the country, UGH. Great for visits, but seriously unhelpful for Tuesday night bridge club dreams.

I’m not the best phone person. I do it out of necessity. Phone dates at most last an hour. I need more than an hour, my friends. I need Trail Talks, true conversation. I have more than once deferred a needed dish session with a friend knowing that we’d be together in the woods at some point soon. I’ve scheduled hikes for the primary purpose of getting an update on marriage/jobs/life/dating/anything. Wilderness, I’m sorry, sometimes you’re sloppy seconds.

The thing about trail talks is that often you need eight hours of trudging along in the woods to get to the meat of a subject. And I’ll say this, I’m a sharer. I have more confidants than most (the average American has two, sad). But sometimes there are those subjects that are too tough to talk about in a thirty minute phone chat. It takes hours of carrying a forty-pound pack to muster the courage to let true stories roam free. And once you let them out, you need many more miles to analyse, assess, and get your friends’ true guidance to properly corral them. I vividly remember the exact spot on the sage brush covered trail in Canyonlands National Park on day two of a four day trip where finally, feebly and embarrassed, uttered to my friends the secret I’d been holding back for weeks. “Uhhh, girls, don’t judge but I called (should remain EX-bf) again…” Sigh. And then we got to spend the next two days dissecting my decision and piecing it back together as a path forward.

Not all trail talks are pseudo group therapy. I’m always amazed by the funny, mundane and everything in between conversations that occur when one is unplugged from the world with an indulgent amount of free time. During my trail talks, I’ve learned which cast member of the West Wing my friends would like to marry, what Olympic sport is most desirable to compete in, and quick and easy meals I can manage to make on a Tuesday since I’m not hosting to bridge club for my friends. There are no rules to trail talks and that’s why they are the BEST.

Trail talks do not have to occur on an actual trail. This weekend’s version of a TT (trail talk) occurred with my big brother. Big brother is a great dad of two adorable kids and a doting husband to one of the most kick-ass ladies I know. I adore his family, and yet, I cherish the time I get with just him alone. Brother-sister bonding, YES PLEASE.

Big brother and I are training for a road cycling tour later in the summer, so today seemed like a reasonable day to get in our first outdoor ride. We road from Evergreen up Squaw Pass. It’s a logistically an easy day trip from Denver and allows for plenty of climbing. We parked at Bergen Park for the 34 mile out-and-back.

Squaw Pass

The view north from Squaw Pass

Brother and I covered a lot of subjects on our upward [road] talk, some important, many not so. But, it’s a true treat to get two uninterrupted hours with just my brother. The cherry on top was getting to scream down the pass at 30+ miles-per-hour.

I promise not to make too many “you should” recommendations in this blog, but I strongly encourage you to make an effort to make trail talks (the action, not my blog…but I’d love it if it were my blog) a regular part of YOUR life.

And if you do ride Squaw Pass, make sure to stop at The Bagelry for an iced coffee on your way home.

One thought on “Why Trail Talks?

  1. First, that photo at the top of Squaw Pass is incredible.

    Second, I totally agree re: Trail Talks. My deepest conversations and the revealing of big secrets always occurs on long runs or bike rides of some sort. It’s the best time to be real and honest and share those deep feelings you are harboring.

    And hooray for brother time!


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