August 30, 2011
Growing up with parents who went backpacking on their honeymoon soured my relationship with hiking as a kid. I bitched when my dad dragged me on hikes around the Columbia River Gorge and was jealous when my friends went to Mexico for spring break while we went backpacking through the Grand Canyon. “I just don’t see the point of walking for the sake of walking,” I often spouted on our weekly jaunts. Huffing and puffing up hills, I fantasized about chairlifts, four wheelers and other painless ways of making my way to the top of mountains.
My early attempts to distance myself from dehydrated meals and Thermarest sleeping pads proved to be futile. As my teenage insecurities subsided and my attention span lengthened, I founded comfort in cruising along trails through the woods.
After spending a few nights in eastern Oregon, Idaho and Utah, Tim and I headed towards the mountains and valleys of the Gunnison National Forest.
Slate River Valley, outside of Crested Butte CO.
Outhouses along the Gunnison River.
My Henry lever action .22L.
Reflection at 11,00o feet.
Snowfields above treeline.
Remember Sinkers or Floaters from Most Extreme Elimination Challenge?
For a week, we used the Syncro as a base camp, driving around the seemingly endless single track roads. By night we slept around campfires and cooked on propane stoves. By day we hiked around the numerous mountains and tried to catch fish in the countless streams and rivers. Change happens fast when you focus on it.
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