Friday, February 25, 2011

Boonie Stompin

At Tarzan Water Hole
I have had a fantastic time being back on Guam these past few weeks. While I had an amazing time in the States and got to see so many people I missed, I also gained a renewed understanding of the opportunity we have living in such a unique, exotic place. Combined with the fact that we only have about 18 months left here, I have had great motivation to get out and make it happen.

I find I am happiest on Guam when I am doing the best Guam has to offer. One of those things I have done a lot of the past few weeks is hiking, or "Boonie Stompin" as we like to call it here.  Every Thursday, the outdoor recreation center takes a group of people on a scheduled hike. I have started making a point of leaving Thursdays free so I can go on as many of these as possible. You basically show up and get on a van and they drive you to the trail head and lead you to the destination, usually a waterfall or cave or ocean view. Having all the logistics taken care of makes the hikes really enjoyable.

Muddy trail, Exhibit A
The hikes are pretty rustic. I use the word "trail" loosely because oftentimes it seems like there is no trail--or that there are 13 trails and you have to choose the right one despite the fact that none of them are marked and all of them look the same, but only one takes you to the right place. I have heard many a Guam horror story about people getting lost on hikes here because they find their way there but can't find their way back to the car. The good thing is, you can only be lost in the jungle for so long before running into a road or the ocean. Thank goodness for that.

Sometimes the downpours create bonus waterfalls along the way. As in, what was previously the trail is now a waterfall.

Muddy me+shoes about to jump in the ocean to clean off

By the end of these hikes, you are usually covered in muddy red clay with streaks of sweaty bug spray and sunscreen residue dripping down all of your limbs. And usually it rains at some point, so you often get home soaking wet. Showering is actually step 2. Step 1 involves rinsing off with the hose before you can even step foot into the house. After the hose, shoes go in the washing machine and outside to dry.

So why deal with the bug bites, the sword grass, the downpours, the hot sun, the mud, the drippy sweat, and the potential to run into snakes? Well, some incredible viewpoints for one:

Sigua Falls
Taguan Point
Lower Sigua
Mt Lam Lam
 It's also a great way to discover new places and things...
Heading into Pagat Caves
Rock bridge into the ocean
New terrain & vegetation
Plus a chance to meet new friends :)

All in all, totally worth those muddy shoes!

1 comment:

  1. With the exception of mud caked shoes I kinda miss those unique Guam hikes!


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