High Atlas Mountains Hike

Prompt #10: At what point in your travels have you felt most in tune with the Earth? Share a story of how you interacted with the local environment or nature.

“”I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” –Henry David Thoreau

I feel most in tune with nature when I’m both experiencing it’s beauty visually and doing something physical, like hiking or surfing. It’s probably a combination of endorphins and the reward of doing something “difficult” that makes being in nature seem like even a bigger payoff while exercising.

In October of 2008, I was in Imlil, a small village in the High Atlas Mountains, in Morocco. Imlil is the base for treks up Mt Toubkal (the highest mountain in Northern Africa). Although we started out freezing when we left in the morning, it warmed up a bit by the afternoon as we hiked through the valley. It was breathtaking (the view and the hiking) as we hiked up the rocky paths below the snow-covered High Atlas mountains. Passing goats and herders, we finally reached the “hut” area had a snack and then turned around to go home. It felt so good to get out in nature and see a different side of Morocco that I hadn’t experienced yet.

And after a couple days of no showers, it was also nice to find a hammam in town after a long hike.

Where do you feel closest with nature?

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