Posted by: twistsoffeet | May 6, 2012

In search of my own peace

OK just to let you know the only reason I am doing this post is because I haven’t written for a while and I need to practice. I do not profess to writing anything prophetic or earth moving or even something that is even slightly interesting. I am writing purely for the sake of writing. I haven’t had any new experiences worth writing about and to be honest the planning process for my summer is somewhat boring to write about (although it is exciting to plan this adventure) and I do not expect to inspire anyone or anything with this post.
I as you may know am planning to backpack (through hike) both the CT  and the CDNST Colorado portion only this summer. With side trips to towns for resupply and hiking from Durango to Chama NM a total of around 1500 miles. When I think of this I am at first hit with this feeling of what a difficult goal I have envisioned for myself and what an accomplishment it will be to reach that goal. I have been called immature for wanting to keep adventure in my life, well actually I have been called much worse than that by a family member. Apparently the accepted way to live one’s life is to become a slave to your job and the almighty dollar and do not do anything that makes you happy. I have never been one to be happy leading a sedentary life, the life of a brainless Zombie plodding through life without joy or happiness or even sadness and pain. Emotion ie. happiness and joy or fear and satisfaction and peace are not to be reached for instead one is expected to be a sheep and follow the crowds to the mall buy a home that looks like every other home in the neighborhood and just assimilate into the culture, boring as it may be. It is not that I believe the way to be happy is to just go off half cocked on whatever hair brained scheme I am able to think up. In fact if my employer hadn’t told me I would be out of a job after 04/30/12 I wouldn’t be doing this trip. I even postponed my journey when my employer asked me to stay an additional 60-90 days for a special project. I agreed to 60 days because I was unable to commit to the uncertainty of  60-90 days. I need to chose my own direction the almighty dollar be damned.
But why would I want to put myself through the hardship of this challenge ahead of me ? The list of answers to this question grows everyday. I am not an adrenaline junkie but I do like a certain risk and edge to my life, this edge forces me to think and feel  and be aware of the world around me. Yes there is also a bit of a boost to my ego as well. I mean completing something as physically and mentally demanding as this trip will be is something few people do, so yeah it will give me some pride and boost my ego (in a good way) somewhat.
Then there is the joy of being surrounded by nature, from meadows of tiny flowers to majestic views of the Rocky Mountains and the wildlife in this beautiful State. There is a feeling of responsibility for my own actions, my own life. The knowledge that I am doing this and I have to be competent to make decisions that will keep me alive and get me to my goal, but also will enhance my Peace and Joy, a feeling of recognizing and being humbled by the world that surrounds me.
I have read an article in a magazine recently that was about how hiking in the great outdoors may actually help to increase cognitive abilities, ie. make a person smarter. Now I am not going into this believing I will be smarter when it is over but maybe I will be able , by removing myself from the multitasking roar of an industrialized society be better able to focus on what counts. Maybe by getting all this exercise and forcing all that cleaner air through my lungs and ultimately through my whole body I will be stronger healthier and clearer thinking when it is all over.
Those are all good reasons for this challenge but if the truth be known I am doing this because at one time in my life I was truly happy, but that was long ago when I was younger and spent almost every weekend winter or summer in the mountains. I would backpack sometimes alone but frequently with one friend and sometimes a group. Back then I was so happy to head out to Longs Peak for an attempt at a winter ascent of Christopher Robbin or the Black Dagger (both failed). The rush that came from seeing a Wolverine deep in the Gore Range when and where they were and still are supposed to be extinct. The time I spent 2 days in the Gore Range and witnessed over 20 avalanches, I mean feel the wind, shake the ground and hear the roar type witnessing of avalanches. There was a certain comfort in being uncomfortable and maybe not in terrible danger the but the possibility of danger was exciting and life affirming.
I have had and hope to continue to have many adventures in my life outside of my beloved Rocky Mountains. I was happy traveling through South America and South East Asia, I had an incredible winter in Alaska living in my tent no matter how difficult it was at times. I intend to continue my journey of reaching for the goals on my life list ie. travel to 100 countries, only 63 left to go. I enjoy very much being immersed in different cultures, I do not mean getting off of a cruise ship and visiting a port area along with the throngs of other travelers, but instead just getting away and meeting the people and listening to their stories while occasionally telling my story. There is something to be said about being picked up on a rural road by a truck filled with a family and their sheep chickens and pigs in the back with myself and my new friends, breathing the animal aroma choking on the dust and diesel  fumes and struggling to communicate but doing this with a smile as broad as the horizon on my face and the face of those I meet.
But this trip is about finding my own Peace, experiencing the wilderness and Isolation of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and accepting that life is beautiful and full of joy and finding that for me it is getting back to my roots where in my youth I experienced Peace, Beauty, Joy and sometimes hardships and difficulties but there was always happiness to be found in the Wilderness and calmness to be found in the solitude.
The next five weeks I will continue to plan and outfit myself for this trip. I will work for another three weeks which is really not that bad of a thing. And at night I will dream of my past memories and future journey’s, waking with a smile on my face in anticipation of reaching for one goal while planning the next one.
Yes this summer is going to be for me getting back to where I belong. Maybe I will meet someone whose has read this post and feels the same way I do, or not. I am certain I will meet some wonderful and somewhat like minded souls on this trip and am looking forward to that. Until then or even if it doesn’t happen I wish for all of you out there much Peace, Joy and Happiness.



  1. I hope your adventure is going or has gone well. i came across your page as I also have RA and am planning a trip to SE Asia. It seems we share a common zest for life. Keep on rockin.

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