Stumbling down the bank I peeked through the vegetation at the pond. I received a brief nod from a fly fisherman and I nodded back. Both turning back to our own creative pursuits as we enjoyed the beauty of this place. I walked along the bank peeking through the leaves capturing the beauty of the setting sun.
I HOPE TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO PAUSE FOR A MOMENT,
ADMIRE THE CLOUDS, CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN, GAZE AT THE STARS,
TRAVEL TO THE DESTINATION YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO VISIT,
OR JUST GET OUT TO EXPLORE YOUR OWN BACKYARD.
Filtering by Tag: Reflection
This time a year ago I began processing and thinking about a story that I did not publish until February of this year called "Flying Solo". The premise of the story goes like this: I needed an adventure and with no real plan, I headed to British Columbia for my first week long solo trip with one goal in mind: to have an epic adventure, to let my curiosity and camera be the guide, and to see a bear.
The trip from Maine to Vancouver was smooth sailing and I saw amazing cloud formations throughout the flight. I enjoyed a little chatter along the way with a fellow Mainer (a person from Maine) I met on my outgoing flight that was particularly meaningful.
I remember his hands, callused and worn. He shared that he was headed out west but staying in the United States to visit a friend and do a lot of fishing. He talked about how much he loved to fish and how much he was looking forward to this trip. His demeanor quickly shifted from joy to that of sadness and longing as he then shared that his wife, who had passed away, used to join him on fishing trips. I will never forget the way he talked about her. He loved her so deeply and it was a powerful experience for me to hear him talk and to see the pain of his loss.
It is funny how sometimes you see and hear the right things at the right time. For me this was a great time to be reminded of what love and longing looks like. As much as this solo trip was about an adventure it was also about reflecting on and regaining my belief that people can and do have strong passion, compassion, and love.
At one point he took a picture out of his wallet to show her to me. “Isn’t she beautiful!,” he exclaimed to me with a grin. I was reminded by this man, a near stranger, the importance of living now and cherishing the people that mattered most because we do not know how long we will have with them. That was in large part what I now understand this solo trip was all about. Leaving the past behind and moving forward to live this life, my adventure life on my terms unapologetically. It was also a time to become clear about the people and activities that were worth my time and energy. To boil it down to what I was most passionate about.
As we chatted the conversation shifted as he asked where I was headed. I shared with excitement that I was off on a road trip adventure beginning in Vancouver, BC. After hearing about my passion for the adventure that was awaiting and how little I had planned he seemed visibly concerned for my well being. As we landed and started to go our separate ways he looked back at me and said “be careful out there and have a great trip.” His eyes showed such care and concern for me and it was a great moment to be reminded that even people who barely know us are friendly, warm, and caring. My trip was off to a great start.
This is just a clip of the much longer story of adventure, reflection, and the power of the people you meet along the way (even when it is only for a very brief time).
Hiking is an amazing experience that challenges the body, mind, and spirit. I seek mountain tops to chase light, clouds, and moments of awe. I also seek time for soaking in the beauty and having time to reflect on what matters most in life. Looking out I repeated say in my head "this is it, this is what it's all about."
On a recent trip to Mt. Washington, we found the mountaintop to be busy with the hustle and bustle of people, vehicles, trains, and tons of groups hiking. Being around so many people was not really why we were hiking. It was particularly busy since part of Tuckerman's Ravine trail was closed due to snow. As we reached the top of the Lions Head, I looked down at Tuckerman's Ravine and lusted to get close to that section of the mountain. We did see a few people coming up that way and it looked possible. We finished hiking to the top to check it out, grab a quick snack, and then head down the mountain in hopes of finding a more quiet, peaceful return trip. (The top of the mountain is beautiful and I shared a few images from the top here).
Not far back down our hike we came to the "closed junction" and it was decision time. Should we go back the way we came or continue to Tuckerman's Ravine Trail. Moments like this are all about calculated risk. The trail was closed but we thought we would give it a try. If it really was too risky we would turn back. We have turned back on trails before but thought we would be fine. We were so glad we pressed on. The section of the mountain was quiet with few hikers. We were able to touch the snow and the waterfalls coming off the mountain. I was able to sit peacefully and soak in the beauty of Tuckerman's Ravine. It was exactly what we had hoped for and as always so much more too.
Albert Einstein once said, "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." This struck a cord with me as I try to further express who I am as a photographer, creative, writer, and adventurer. At my core it is my approach to follow all that I am passionately curious about and to share it. I remember as we reached Lion's Head I immediately headed off the trail to get closer to the side of the mountain where I could get a better view of Tuckerman's Ravine. I saw the snow, I saw a few hikers who seemed to be hiking on (or near) the edge of the snow, and I wanted to go there. No doubt about it.
My photographs focus on this section of the trail, from both Lion's Head looking down at Tuckerman's Ravine and from our hike down along Tuckerman's Ravine. We had rushed during parts of our hike, weaving through people and large groups. This was the moment to slow down so that we could soak in the beauty of Mt. Washington. It was a great hike and I want to return to Mt. Washington and the Presidential Range. This was just the beginning spark curiosity for adventures to come. Here is a slice of Mt. Washington. (Click on image to enlarge gallery)