Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Seasonal Life

Open the trunk and stuff the soggy packs and boots into the back.  Dirty down layers smell like juniper smoke and food.  Our work was done and another week of showing youngsters how to live the good life was behind us.  We climbed into our Jeep to escape into our off week.  Free from responsibility and our roles as guides who led therapeutic wilderness expeditions.  The little Jeep was our home but while it sat parked at “base camp” for 8 days prior it had become buried by snow.  I leaned over the steering wheel looking through a porthole I dug out in a hasty attempt to clear the 12 inches of snow from the windshield.  I hoped it would be enough navigate around trees and the nearby creek on our way off the mountain.

I cranked the lever which put the Jeep in 4 wheel drive and held on as it clawed its way out and set us free. Such began another road trip to the mountains.  We spent our weeks alternating one week at work followed by one week off.  We lived in our car which assured our geographically nonspecific existence looked a lot like a never ending road trip.  We parked at climbing areas, remote trailheads, trout streams, ski mountain parking lots, friends’ driveways and forest service campgrounds and called them home.  Coffee kept us warm, our dog kept us laughing and a love of exploring the mountains, a little bit of uncertainty and a longing for adventure kept us alive and connected with our surroundings as they changed with the seasons.  Our camping style, how we recreated and lived each day was dependent on what the environment had to offer.  Such is the seasonal life.  

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