The giddy sensation of flying down a pine- cushioned, single-track downhill trail, as we’ve just done, is hard to beat. It’s what writer David Foster Wallace – in a different context – called “kinetic beauty… human beings’ reconciliation with the fact of having a body”. There’s something deeply primal and satisfying about moving fast over difficult terrain. And having pushed ourselves so hard for so long, even the simplest of things – the cold outdoor shower before bed, our hosts offering us coffee when we stumble down the next morning – feel newly meaningful.
Halfway up the steepest ascent on day two, we reach a break in the trees and stop to regroup. For the first few minutes, we’re just breathing heavily. On one hand, it’s a ridiculous sight – four city folks sweating and struggling up a remote hillside. Yet, as our heart rates settle and our breathing slows, the beauty of the landscape stretched before us becomes apparent. As we drink in the majestic surroundings, it’s hard to think of anywhere we’d rather be.
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Feature image by Charnchanut Charujinda
This article was originally published in the April 2019 issue of Silkwinds magazine