SUMMER IS WHEN people should go on an adventure.
Not just of the body but mind. In modern times we have forgotten this.
But for generations, American took to their automobiles and campers and ventured out across America. Some stayed in fancy hotels and spas, elegant retreats, many camped and could be seen socializing in hotel parking lots cooking on small grills. Sharing a beer and hot dogs.
This America is no more.
In Europe, the tradition remains and Australia and New Zealand as well, it is called HOLIDAY. Families for up to a month get away and relax.
Somehow our culture of money and materialism no longer can imagine this; the mere idea is reserved for the haves and not the lowly have-nots.
Many years ago in graduate school, I went on an expedition to Canada with professor Jack Williams at Auburn.
The reading list he required was long, among it though was Thoreau’s Walden, or “life in the woods.”
I spent over a month that summer canoeing from camp to camp spending 49 days in the wild without resupply or human contact.
I emerged as fall was upon us with long hair a scraggly beard and 35 pounds lighter. I did not want to leave the woods. Several shared that feeling and it was odd and new to me. We had become accustomed to the things cities and suburbs cannot offer. The call of the loon, a star-filled night sky and the crackling warmth of a campfire could not be compared to the sitting on a couch watching TV, nor dining at a restaurant. This was suddenly less than a greater reality we had shared.
Thoreau was sustenance more than food or water. All day we looked for wolf tracks, at night we listened for wolves. Algonquin provincial park offers one of the highest concentrations of timber wolves in North America. We saw few wolves. Fleeting glimpses, and once deep into the park when we would walk back over a trail to get our canoe there would be large tracks in our tracks.
We could not see them, but they were watching us.
After a few weeks, they grew comfortable as we would hear their late night serenades, this combined with the haunting calls of the loon is one of my most memorable adventures.
There is something out there. Something more.
I am about to embark on an another summer like this. I invite my friends to follow along as I will keep this journal.
There will be discoveries as I think about America, how it changed and I will be reading Thoreau again, but this time camera in hand.
It is time to head back to the high country.
(below are a few shots from last summer from Silverton)