“Be careful going in search of adventure – it’s ridiculously easy to find.”- William Least Heat-Moon
I don’t mean taking the kids with you to the grocery store, or driving ALL the way across town in rush hour. Those may seem like daunting things to do but I can assure you they aren’t very adventurous. No…what I’m talking about is a good old fashioned adventure. The kind where you get in the car and just start driving with no real direction or purpose. When you pack up the tent and sleeping bags, some Dinty Moore beef stew, all the fixins for s’mores and find a place to sleep under the stars. How about when you decide to try out a new trail for your run…and decide to go at dusk (with the possibility of darkness settling over you.) When was the last time you took a vacation or a weekend away without making any plans in advance? What if you tried that same trip while leaving your cell phone at home? Could you even do that?
I Love Venturing into New Places
As many of you know I love backpacking, hiking and hunting. I love the freedom of being self sustaining for a week and just walking, only deciding where to go as the sun rises each morning. What’s around the next mountain or just over the next ridge top? Elk? Deer? Better fishing? Who knows but the excitement is in the pursuit of something new, a new adventure or new experience. A picture that’s never been taken before, or a lake that only few have ever fished. It’s even better when my cell phone says “no service” because then I know I’m wayyyyyy out there.
There is something truly amazing about curling up in a sleeping bag under the stars with the bugling elk or roaring creek lulling you to sleep. If you’ve never experienced any of that then you are truly missing out. My ideal way to Shut Off is by strapping on a backpack and heading into the hills; not only can I spend some time disconnected but I get to recharge my soul and reconnect with the wilderness. Yes there can be challenges, you’re sleeping on rocks, it’s cold, it’s hot, you’re challenged physically and mentally, it’s dark, there’s weird noises, it rains, it snows. But those are just small obstacles when the reward is a view of the Continental Divide, a hidden mountain lake, or that bugling bull elk that you’ve been looking for. When you reach the top of the mountain and can look all around and be awed by it all…well you just can’t get that from your smartphone. Some people will claim that they’re content to never experience those things but I say that you can’t understand the effect it will have until you’ve experienced it. The feeling of your heart pounding and your lungs heaving as you get to the top of a 14er, or the refreshing feel of a cold mountain stream on your face. Or the taste of the freshest, most delicious trout you’ve ever eaten (because you just caught it.)
“A man on foot, on horseback, or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in an hundred miles.” – Edward Abbey
An adventure doesn’t have to take you to the ends of the earth or the tops of mountains. It doesn’t mean you have to sleep in a tent but it DOES mean that you have to get out there and experience something new. It means you should stop living vicariously through your devices and instead reconnect to that inner desire to get out and explore. Take the family for a hike this weekend. There are so many great and easily accessible parks in the foothills so pack a few sandwiches, your water bottle, a jacket and plan to get your shoes a little muddy this weekend!
Need ideas of where to go? Or want to go with someone? Just contact me!