In the beginning, predicting the course of this incredible lifetime journey would not have been possible.
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The wilderness can be a quiet place for personal reflection and for planning a better future. Adventure delivers incredible experiences as progressively increasing skill-set allows the opportunity to achieve new thresholds of intelligent risk, discovery, personal satisfaction and achievement.
The summit of Forget-Me-Not Mountain - Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.
Eventually, there is the realization wilderness adventures are very much like a microcosm of life. Some missions are a great, enlightening pleasure while others can be a significant struggle through rugged and previously unfamiliar terrain with dynamically changing weather adding challenge to the experience. The most challenging situations become the character builders and learning experiences. Often, substantial time must pass to realize their contribution and benefit.
The best experiences often focus on the spiritual aspects of life and the ability to recognize, evaluate and appreciate the relationship. The rivers and valleys, the hills and mountains, the good paths and rugged off-trail become synonymous with the challenges of life. Great achievements are combined with mistakes. Joy and discomfort occasionally occur within minutes of one another.
Growth in the wilderness can improve the overall quality of life. The meld can become indistinguishable. Conquering one enhances the ability to conquer the other. Each hike is a unique experience. In hindsight, each hike is also a single footstep in a long, rewarding, spiritual and profound lifetime journey.
Many close friendships are discovered in both joy and adversity.
In this final post of the 'Hiking Tips' series, the intent is to articulate the real reason anyone may want to try to establish this relationship with nature. The opportunity is available to nearly everyone but the experience is not for everyone. Each individual will decide.
In every person's life there are defining moments which likely include at least one profound personal victory or crushing defeat. These defining experiences may consume a brief moment or a life altering series of events. Perhaps it is axiomatic each life can be enhanced by more positive than negative experiences.
This photograph was captured in early morning from a canoe on Isaac Lake in the Bowron Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada.
The Bowron Lake canoe trip was an amazing experience on perfectly still water like glass. With canoe paddles on gunwales, the sensation of perfect reflection was similar to being suspended in mid-air between sky above and sky below. The only sound is a far-off, white noise from hundreds of invisible waterfalls buried in the forests of the steep-sloped, surrounding shorelines. Pure Magic.
The photographs in this post have been hanging, among countless others, on my walls for many years and every morning these images take me back to special places and times in special places with special people who have blessed me with their presence. Every morning starts with a visual review of many of the best memories of a lifetime.
May you be as fortunate. The opportunity may be within your grasp. Reach.