I have never blogged. Indulge me, please.
As I sit and ponder the subject of my first blog, I think about the purpose of this endeavor. There is no doubt that I have always loved the outdoors and it has beckoned me since I was a kid. I recall a time as a young child, when the school system administered some testing that was supposed to guide a child towards a possible direction in life; or at least open up some possible avenues. I think I was in fifth grade. I had recently read a biography of John Muir as an assignment for class, and enjoyed it so much that I read it again. (To this day, despite being a somewhat voracious reader, that is the only book I have ever read twice.) For this reason, I think my results on that “test” were perhaps skewed, but regardless of the reason, the results pointed clearly that I would do well to pursue a life as a forest ranger.
My parents were horrified.
So, while my enjoyment of the outdoors was encouraged, a career based on such, was, from my early years, highly discouraged. I now live in a small city, work for a law firm, and get my daily dose of outdoors from my half acre parcel of lawn and landscaping in a residential part of town. I escape whenever I can, and when I do, the place I go most often is the Whites. Relatively close, the Whites are real mountains and climb from warm humid valleys to treeless summits that experience weather at its most extreme. When I climb them, or hike them, I am transported to a world far away from my green postage stamp lawn back home. My soul is re-energized and I am reinvigorated. When done, I always return tired but refilled.
This endeavor, however, is not about what the wilderness does for me.
A little more than a week ago, I took two women on a hike in the Northern Presidentials. It was a hike I had not done in years, but a hike that was always one of my favorites. We started in the woods, crossed a stream through those woods six times, then the trail went into the stream, and when it came out, we were in a forest with a floor of moss and trees so thick the sun barely reached the ground. We broke free of that and climbed through the remnant of an avalanche. We broke out above treeline and climbed big talus for hundreds of yards up a headwall to Edmunds Col below the summit of Mount Jefferson. We went up and over the summit of Jefferson and down to the exposed spine of the Castle trail; twenty foot boulders laid bare and exposed from erosion of the softer rock around it. It is geology unlike anywhere else in the Whites.
It was on the Castle trail that one of my two charges for the day started saying over and over, “I have lived here all my life and had no idea this existed. Our state is so beautiful!” While the gorgeous views and scenery was making her smile, I was ear to ear myself from what she was getting from the experience. She went on and on about the diversity of what she had hiked through that day and about what an incredible experience this hike had been, and it was there and then that I knew I had to start this business. I need to share, if I can, the overwhelming joy I get from being outside and exploring the wilderness; what it does to me and how it touches my very soul.
I may not have grown up to be a forest ranger, protecting the forest from harm in all directions, but I can share what I have learned, and help others to experience something very special and, perhaps, imbue in them a sense of stewardship that will go on to protect the wilderness in other ways. My parents might actually approve of this type of protection.
Enjoy my site. Let’s go explore the Whites