A few of my favorite moments from my recent backpacking trip to Colorado were the simple moments, many of which involve my friend John simply taking it all in. Our campsite on the 2nd night was at an altitude of around 11,500 feet. We’d had a grueling hike up a nearly 18% grade that lasted over a mile and a half. Each of us had 50lbs of stuff strapped to our backs. Being from a town with a normal elevation of 680 feet, we were exhausted by the time we reached the top. We all slept really well that night. The sunrise the next morning made us forget our sore calf muscles and glutes. I caught this picture of John watching it. And really, this was how all of us spent much of the trip when we weren’t hiking or building a fire or hanging a bear bag. We were simply taking it all in.
And these moments reminded me what is most important in life. Experiences are stronger at building friendships than things. To think, in the history of our planet, I was able to exist at that very moment, observing such a thing of beauty, as if Mother Nature was showing off. And I got to do it while standing next to someone who was lucky enough to be seeing the same thing at the exact same time. Someone who wandered into my life and allowed me to be lucky enough to call him a friend.
This trip served, in one capacity, as a farewell trip. John was moving away. But that is no matter. If the mountains are capable of one thing, they’re capable of making you feel small, but in a good way. It was in this moment that my entire being felt small and the distance that was soon to be put between our friendship also seemed small. For we just did this thing, climbed this mountain and observed a stunning scene that not everyone gets to share. And I knew that friendships transcend distance.
Relationships, human bonds, they’re strengthened by nature. And I’m glad we got to experience this together. .
0 356 hours ago
Chelsea the outdoor elf, happiest out here🍂♥️ @keen
In addition to being fall it’s also almost voting season in the US! :) I’ve always been semi apathetic about national politics (and coming from Hawaii everything seemed so far away) and preferred learning about international issues. In the last few years I’ve realized how much just one voice can matter. It’s an important tool we have to create change for things we care about, even if it seems like a slow process at times.
My @keen team has easy links to check your registration status, where your nearest polling stations are, early voting etc. As it is with the outdoors, the best things require some effort - get up, get out, and show up☺️ #Bettertakesaction#Keenambassador#Washington
I don’t normally write a lot about my posts, but this photo captures everything I love. An alpine lake to ourselves after days of hiking. A perfect sky. A relaxing afternoon napping in wildflowers. Snow-capped peaks reflecting in a glacial lake. The Milky Way. A hearty meal & a chocolate bar. Weathered clothes. A swim in the lake. A warm tent with good company. And a set of photographs to capture it all. I no longer take these moments for granted with a life full of concrete jungles and polluted air. Some day I’ll have easier access to all of these things, but for now I’m grateful I have a photo hobby so I can leave it here.