I will admit, all four years I have been at San Jose State University, I have yet to hike Mission Peak – until this semester. But I got to admit, it wasn’t necessarily the best day to go. It was a great day for a lack of crowds which I hear Mission Peak is notoriously for, but the weather wasn’t on our side. Some may think of this as a bad thing, but I took it as an opportunity to hike this popular trail by myself with hardly any people around. This gave me an opportunity to really look at the scenery around me and it was breathtaking.
Something I want to the reiterate in this blog is yes, sometimes it’s important to take in nature with no music. However, the Bay Area is such a busy place. Constantly hearing cars, traffic, highways zipping along and alarms going off all the time. This is something I have tolerated. But with Mission Peak being just off the freeway, I really wanted to exit from the outside world and really listen to some music on a beautiful hike. For this, I chose Bon Iver’s self-titled album, a great idea.
Bon Iver is as popular as white bread this day in age. Bon Iver, more important to recognize Justin Vernon (the leader behind the madness), has blown up in the last 5 years. Why? He is the quintessential indie artist. He was able to put in the listener’s ears the sound that makes up the idea of soft indie music. This man is a genius and someone who I will always admire as one of the greatest in the indie music industry.
This album is just an extension to his madness. He somehow makes a stressful semester into a walk in the park while hiking Mission Peak. Mission Peak, from what I learned, is not so easy. It takes a full commitment to working with your body to get to the top. I love nature, I love hikes, but not very good at them. I have backpacked in the Yosemite back country, but with that being 2/3 years ago, I have lost a lot of my stamina. This hike proved it. But with Bon Iver’s peaceful tone or crescendos and day-crescendos from Perth to Holocene, this album captivates your attention. This album puts everything into perspective and although most people would think to clime Mission Peak you’d need some Top 40, pop music and a Nike ad to tell you to “Just Do It,” it starts with peace within yourself. And I, for one, can’t find peace within myself without a little help from this album. So thank you, Bon Iver, for a wonderful sense of meditation for any workout.