Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Choices and journeys
Well, where do I begin? The length between my posts seems so far apart that I become overwhelmed with what to share. I keep telling myself that I'm going to develop into a better blogger and sharer of experiences. Maybe this post will finally be the beginning.
Even though I haven't written about 2009 much yet, it has been an adventurous one indeed. In a nutshell I have attempted to climb a new route on Mt. Hood with my good friend Nick Wagner and we had to enjoy the mountain from beneath its summit due to inclement weather and poor visibility. Several of our close and irreplaceable friends joined Gina and I for a weekend at Shakti Cove Cottages on the Longbeach Peninsula in Washington. Then I traveled through Southern Oregon for several days working on a jeep/dodge/chrysler photography job with Brad Stanley. Jim Hashimoto then asked me to teach a photography workshop to his 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from DaVinci Arts Middle School during a field trip to Mount St. Helens. After that Kari Lyons put together a Mt. Shasta climb where 4 out of 8 of us summited and all of us enjoyed an amazing weekend playing on a giant. Shortly after coming home from Mt. Shasta, Duke and I geared up for a month long journey across the Northern portion of America back to my parents and my youth. We made it back to our home in Oregon during the last week of June and, shortly after, joined our friends Carlin and Miranda for a 4th of July celebration on the Oregon Coast. Next came a much needed journey to the North Cascades and a summit of Eldorado via a knife edge snow ridge, truly breathtaking (e-mail me to see a movie of this trip). The following weekend Nick and I made a maiden voyage to the Goat Rocks Wilderness and after 1 unsuccessful summit attempt on Saturday we found Curtis Gilbert's rocky summit on Sunday. The area was so beautiful I wanted to return the following weekend and this time Gina and Duke joined for an 18 1/2 mile loop with 5100' of elevation gain. The following weekend came quick with a mountain bike trip to the Lewis River Trail on Saturday and the Ape Canyon/Plains of Abraham Trail on Sunday (e-mail me to see a movie of this trip). Gina, Duke, and I headed out for another weekend wander to Jefferson Park at the foot of Mt. Jefferson. And at the end of August, I joined Terry, Mac, and Brian for a trip into the Enchantments and a successful rock climb up the West Ridge of Prusik Peak. That pretty much catches myself up with everything I have forgotten about due mostly to the inability for my mind to process all that has happened.
September rolled in fast and also slowed my pace down significantly. I found much more time to stroll through the forests and enjoy their being instead of racing through them to satisfy my adrenaline need. This time of year always causes me to reflect on my real purpose for escaping to my true home amongst the wild places. Living primarily amongst tall buildings and "civilized" culture makes it hard to keep focus on the necessity of wilderness. I look forward to the day when my front door will open to a wild forest with her arms wide for as long as I continually respect her.
The near future holds 2 destinations I have yet to explore. Work will be taking me to Alaska for a week and Hawaii for 12 days or so. Because of the work, I won't have much time to explore but I will do my best to embrace each available moment to experience these places. I have wanted to enter Alaska since I was a boy. I'm finally getting that chance thanks to Michael for calling me up. I'm scheduled to leave October 26th first to Alaska then Hawaii until November 12th. My plan is to find enough time each evening for updating this blog with my first impressions.
I'm grateful for the many opportunities I have been given these first 26 years of breathing. It all started with my parents teaching me to dismiss fear and embrace living. Plus a fair amount of money to keep me afloat when I spent too much time in the mountains and not enough time in the "civilized" insurance required world (I'm getting better at this). I thank them for all they have given me. But for far too long I have neglected the responsibility to share my fortunate experiences with my fellow humans. Hording the stories and photographs I gather serves no other purpose for the greater good of both man and nature. My challenge starting today will be to share more and inspire more. The reason being to benefit the natural world foremost as she has shared and continues to share with me more than I could possibly ever give back. And to hopefully inspire you to seek and protect wild places more. To us all attaining many stories and adventures amongst the wild to share.
peace, love, wild places,