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Every trail tells a story. Some trails are like a hero’s quest that climbs toward some objective like the top of a mountain, and you, the hero meet challenges and adventure along the way. Other trails are like epics, where you must undergo one trial after another on your journey back to the car kennel where you will eat lunch and live happily ever after. Some trails describe an idea like a nonfiction book, feeding you a few details at a time from a great distance, and when you put them all together, you have a deeper understanding of a place.




show-offs. Others were know-it-alls that gave us a hard time just to show us who was boss. But I’d also been to trails in all 9 states that just wanted to show me their hills and ridges, their plants and rocks. Some had sad stories to tell about scars and traumas. “I think I get it,” I said. “Trails are like people; most of them aren’t very extraordinary at all, but all they want is to feel seen.” “Exactly,” Mom said. “And when someone feels seen, that’s the most profound connection of all, even if no one will ever make a movie about it. I’ve never thought someone was a loser for spending time trying to see the best in people, or trails.”

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So I guess you’ll just have to look at the pictures.

Oscar the Storylistener


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