Call of the Wild

maxresdefault (1)In a world of Netflix and Play Station, there is a void. A void, that as the lifestyle of bigger is better takes a front seat in our hearts and our minds, grows subtly without many of us noticing. There is nothing inherently wrong with 4K TVs and the latest and greatest smartwatch. I’m for all these things. But there is a disconnect between our reality and actual reality. A disconnect that has caused the culture to collectively go inside. More of us have probably experienced something through digital entertainment then actually have seen or done those things. Now some of that might be good like in the case of FPS gamers, but I think you get my point. Most of us don’t actually do anything anymore. We all can play billiards on our phone, but we can’t play pool in real life.

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah near the Wasatch Mountains. I moved away before my earliest memories. I spent most of my childhood in Chicago and Houston. There was nothing special about me. I was just your average kid from suburbia. I loved playing video games and pretending to be a soldier. I had an interest in mountain men and history but not really in the outdoors.

My mom was like any other homeschool mom trying to encourage less time on the computer and more time outside. I would often respond to her request for me to play outside with. “There is nothing to do outside.” To be honest, there really wasn’t much to do in the suburbs of Chicago or Houston.

When I was 18 years old, my mom planned this trip across The American West and Canada. We packed up her minivan and traveled the road for a month. When I was in Colorado, a friend convinced me to get up and drive to the top of Mount Evans to catch the sunrise over the Front Range near Evergreen, Colorado. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. The next day I drove to Salt Lake City for the first time in 17 years. There was something about the place and the people living right at the foot of the mountains that drew me in. That trip I saw so many beautiful places, Olympic National Park, Mount Saint Helens, Whistler, and Glacier National Park, to name a few. That trip changed my life. It opened my eyes to the beauty of the great outdoors.

I have never been satisfied since.

I love the mountains and mountain culture. That trip led me to take more into the western United States. I couldn’t get enough of the mountain views, crisp cold mornings, and vast sandstone landscapes. It consumed by senses and stole my heart. I became the biggest fan of musicians that were inspired by The American West. Dan Fogelberg and John Denver were the soundtrack of my travels, and feel that John Denver’s sentiment “I guess he’d rather be in Colorado” is my heart’s desire conveyed through music.

I picked up mountaineering, rock climbing, and backpacking in the years since. I cannot get enough of the mountains. Van life is something that appeals to me. I have since climbed Mountains and camped on a sandbar in the Narrows. I cannot get enough of the American West or nature in general. I’m kind of an outdoor junkie at this point in my life. That is something that I never really had before. I found a home for my soul. Most my life I never felt like I fit in with any culture or felt at home. The mountains are like home to me.

The power of nature and its draw is incredible. God created the outdoors, and we were created to be in the great outdoors. Going out and exploring the vast world we live in has been the most awe-inspiring moments of my life. I found my something to do outside, and it has changed my lifestyle. I think the culture needs more these moments. Getting back to nature I think helps us reconnect with reality, helps us grow, or truly hear our own thoughts.

Go outside, do what you wouldn’t normally do. Find trails, climb rocks, and reach mountain tops. I think you’ll find your call of the wild.

Hitting the wall today out at Gus Fruh.

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