Life lessons from hiking


As inspired by a solo-hiking trip in East Tennessee on Saturday.

When you come to a fork in the road, and one sign points to “scenic overlook” and the other points to “short cut,” take the short cut.  There’s a chance that the scenic overlook will be spectacular – but then again, it may just result in losing the path altogether and wandering around the woods completely discombobulated.

Being alone may sound like a great idea, but when the going gets tough, you will be thankful to run across other people – even if they are burly, camo-clad men named Frank and Jackie.

Double-check.  When the trail is called a “loop,” it might actually be a straight path in for miles, with a small loop at the end – like a balloon.  Or, in my case, a noose.

A white tank top is either wet or dry – there is no in between.  If it looks like it might rain, err on the side of caution.

There will be spiders.  There will be cuss words.  And sometimes you will face-plant.



  1. Emily on August 24, 2009 at 9:11 AM

    Oh my! I would have loved to see the video-blog about this trip!

    You are so brave.

  2. Haley on August 24, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    you are my kind of woman, annie parsons.

  3. Tad on August 24, 2009 at 3:44 PM

    You have to the funniest person in the world (You and Margaret Shoop)!
    The way you tell stories is hilarious.

    This brings the Boyscout motto to mind: Be Prepared.

  4. Sarah Markley on August 24, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    ha!! i love hiking.

    and so i appreciate your insight. =)

  5. Dad on August 24, 2009 at 9:39 PM

    Dang, that’s my girl! I love the picture of spiders followed by face-planting. I have spent my whole life perfecting clumsiness and ineptitude, which is what makes 93 14er summits all the more incredible. Go, girl. You are of good stock and the fact that you were even out there in Tennessee summer weather says that you are one awesome hiker woman.

    Your doting father

  6. Greta on August 25, 2009 at 12:36 AM

    I love Papa Parsons.

  7. Dad on August 25, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    Oh, Annie, you have such wonderful friends. Like Greta.

  8. Greta on August 27, 2009 at 12:26 AM


  9. Whitney on August 27, 2009 at 6:02 PM

    Hm. A little like life. Spiders and face plants. And some breathtaking views where you just get it.

    Either way, sounds like on hell of a trip.

Leave a Comment