Counting the steps – part 1

Counting is one of the most common activity accountants do. We count so many things so often that counting gets to our blood. Counting allows me to track the progress, to see the volume of the problem or just to prepare for an activity. To illustrate the importance of counting I will use the example of BACKPACKING…

Two years ago I took an overnight backpacking trip to Four Lake Loop via Long Canyon in The Trinity Alps near Redding, CA.  It is only 18 miles long, very impressive trail with truly spectacular views. In my opinion it was pretty advanced trail due to the elevation gain which is over 6000 feet. I have to admit that I wasn’t really expecting that much climbing in 1 day.

Anyways my counting started the day before the trip… I had to count my meals, the amount of water I would carry with me, pieces of clothing and finally the most important … the weight of my backpack which was probably around 24 lbs.

We stayed overnight in lovely Redding and before we head to the mountains we stopped by Sundial Bridge. Pretty awesome walking bridge over wide, calm river. The bridge is also a huge sun clock and the bottom of the bridge is made out of glass. I should have known then that time was running and truly we could skip the bridge knowing the amount of hiking we had ahead of us. Every hour counted that day…

Around 1:30 pm we made it to the trailhead and stared our beautiful hike the most remote and wild trail I’ve ever hiked. There was almost no traffic (during 2 days we met maybe 8 hikers or so). The trail starts with the most amazing meadow which is 4 or 5 mile long with incredibly colorful flowers. The views around the meadow were juts breathtaking. After the meadow my crazy counting started…

We came to the bottom of the steep climb which had 3900 feet in the elevation gain. It was already afternoon and we were not even halfway where we wanted to be… We needed to hurry up. I started counting to help me track the progress. I kept saying to myself just 100 more steps but that was really nothing so next time I started counting to 200 & 300… I’ve lost my count multiple times since I was getting tired but I kept going… and kept counting… We kept climbing higher and higher.

Quarter way up we were greeted by the most beautiful butterflies ever…. And I wanted to keep going. I knew that ahead of us there are 4 wonderful lakes hidden between the mountains just like precious jewels hidden from eyes of thieves which I really wanted to see. Some powerful and magnetic force was calling me to keep going up not even knowing what I would see…

Halfway up we took very shot break for a small meal since we knew that we were really facing a challenge if we were really trying to tackle the entire Four Lake Loop and we needed to be pushing… Finally we made it up but then we really realized that it is not really the top of the mountain or not even the pass where the loop was starting…  I just realized that the point way up I kept starting at all the time was just only a half way to the pass and the begging of the loop…



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