A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes
Simply put, backpacking’s a real bitch. Stumbling through the forest, desert, coast, or plains? It forces us to leave the comforts of our own home, pack too many gadgets into too small a bag, and hoist it all onto our weary shoulders. A slightly masochistic pastime for the nature lover, it pushes us to the limit, and leaves us spent. Now, why would someone actually accept such self directed pain and fatigue? The answer is just as much self exploration as it is adventurism.
Yes, backpacking is a difficult endeavor. But if you believe that the best things in life come at no cost, then you’ve truly lived a sheltered existence. The best part about immersing yourself in the wild is that you’ll quickly discover what you’re really made of. Take a trip across mountain passes or across Asia solo, and that realization hits even harder. The keenest beauty is that these self discoveries are only what we make them. Do you feel tough because you just hauled 60 lbs over 40 miles? Or are you pleasantly surprised that you made it to the first ridge without puking? Either way, there’s no wrong answer, no wrong feeling, and no wrong inspiration.
With that said, I’m convinced that the most beautiful places are NOT found a few steps off the asphalt. To find real pristine beauty, you have to step off the beaten path and tackle adventure. The above photograph is a lesser seen angle of Snowmass Lake, and a subsidiary peak of Snowmass Mountain (the 14er). Only after 2 days and 22 miles was I able to load this image from my camera. So take whatever bit of excitement and adventure this photo offers you, and go find your own natural challenge. Whatever that might demand.
Check back later for more details and images from © Rodeonexis Photography…brought to you by Jeremy Weir