What I’m Reading This Summer
This summer I decided that I was going to read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. For those unfamiliar with this story or Tolkien’s works, The Hobbit is the precursor to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and follows the adventures of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. Hobbits are a race of small human-like people who are particularly unadventurous and instead prefer to sit in their homes eating, drinking, and relaxing. Bilbo exhibits all of these qualities but is one day visited by a wizard and group of 13 dwarves who ask him to accompany them to their ancestral homeland and help them reclaim their throne and treasure from a fire-breathing dragon. Along the way, they encounter goblins, elves, giant spiders, and other magic creatures. Now while I haven’t encountered any goblins, elves, or dragons during my time in the Bob so far, I did find a few things that I could relate to from this book.
First is the character of Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo is someone who really prefers to spend his time relaxing instead of going on adventures. When his adventure does start he is a bit scared and doesn’t know what to expect but eventually is able to do everything that his crew is able to do as well. I could relate to this because before this summer I had never been on any real adventures either. I spent most of my time either at home, at school, and on my family’s farm in the summer. When it was time for my first hitch, I didn’t know what to expect and was a bit nervous since the last time I went camping was probably over a decade ago. However, I settled in pretty quickly and everything has been going smoothly ever since.
The second thing I could relate to came during our second hitch at Devil’s Creek on the Hungry Horse Ranger District. During this hitch, we were constantly rained on and one night while I was laying in my tent cold, wet, and tired and wishing I could be somewhere warm I decided to do some reading before I went to bed. I opened my book and began reading a chapter in which Bilbo and the dwarves are walking through the forest while being pounded by rain. They are cold, wet, and tired and Bilbo is continually thinking about his home and longing to be there sitting next to the fire with something warm to drink. I had never related so much to a story and found it funny that Bilbo and I were sharing the same feelings and I just happened to be reading about it at that particular moment.
The final thing that I could relate to came during our latest hitch over on the Rocky Mountain Ranger District. During this hitch, many of the days reached close to 90 degrees and felt almost like we were being attacked by a fire-breathing dragon. Our camp, however, had a creek next to it that we could jump into and cool down at the end of the day. This felt similar to the end of The Hobbit when the dragon… well actually maybe I won’t spoil it for you.
I didn’t envision when I started reading this story that I could relate to so many things from it. Bilbo’s unexpected journey coincided with mine and made me appreciate the story even more. It is a great read for long, adventurous outings and has become one of my new favorites. I’d definitely recommend taking it with you on your next adventure and maybe you’ll find something that you relate to as well.