Ross Niebuhr submitted this a while back. I’ve been falling behind. We have Part 2 ready as well. I will get that out this week sometime. For now, we have part one and it’s a good intro to what these great expanses of federal land mean to us.
Getting Our Bearings
It is a very odd thing that one of the most unique experiences a person can have today, is losing themselves in truly wild country, and those of us who venture outside of the ever expanding urban jungle are the outliers. Experiencing real wilderness awakens something in the human spirit that can never be undone. From then on, the mind will never stop trying to wander back. Whether you are hunting, fishing, hiking, or whatever; I believe this mark is left by the clarity and simplicity that is gained once you rid yourself of the intrusions of modern life, and it becomes clear that you are just a small part in a system so much bigger than yourself. Our culture seems to struggle with control. It seems like at some point life became too easy, and we were tricked into thinking that we were in complete control. However, I do know that when you step off from the trailhead with just what’s in your backpack, when you hear that rustle in the night in grizzly country, or the weather takes a turn for the worst and you are facing a hike out where your life depends on your ability to keep it together; all of those illusions of control are gone, and for me there isn’t a better feeling in the world…
I am lucky to have recently met Joe through Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, and I feel privileged that he is giving me the opportunity to use his platform to share some thoughts on our public lands. The awesome opportunity they hold, the threats they are currently facing, and what we can all do to preserve them. The stakes are large, we will never have more wild country than we have now, it can only be lost. The reality is that I am not an environmental historian, public policy expert, or lobbyist. I am just a regular outdoorsman, who recently figured out that I have taken a lot, and needed to try and give something back. I am hoping that in a few installments, I can channel the insights of some really smart people, share some of the adventures I have had, and inspire more people to get out and see the value of these lands and fight for them.
Like so many of you, I recharge my batteries in wild country. It doesn’t matter what endeavor I am pursuing, the majesty of these places are what really makes the experience special. The best part is there is no exclusive club. Anyone can have these same experiences, all you have to do is get out there!