Wilderness, for all of us, is a refuge. In a world that constantly moves way too fast, it is the mountains, rivers and forests that provide us with the places we need to recharge. A slowly waking trout stream, a winding trail or a clean, undisturbed backcountry line—the moment we unplug and connect with those visceral experiences we find a consciousness of something very different from the swirl of the everyday. We don’t remember the meeting we had last Tuesday, but we live for the towering summit vista, the interaction in a foreign village or the weeklong trip immersed in the wilderness. We remember those moments like they were yesterday.
Words by Dan K, Images by Ben Marr and Lynsey Dyer
For active folks like us, who live for these places and endlessly plot our next adventure, we can never have enough of these moments. Our guides and athletes, well, they take it up a few levels in intensity. These are not only the places they work and train, but the locations that feed their souls—while showing others the way. They represent the pinnacle of what we would all do if we were a little more free, a little more fit and maybe a little more skilled. They are always at home in these places. Each time we publish one of their stories, it is with great respect and great admiration—but also with a hunger for the essence of their adventure.
For the past four-and-a-half years as the editor of the Live Your Adventure blog—and the past five as a writer and content editor for our brand—two quotes stared me at me each day from the wall of my desk as Mt. Rainier loomed out the back window. The first was from Eddie Bauer guide and UN ambassador Jake Norton, whose words reminded me to, “Focus on what is important in life, the fundamentals, for soon you’ll be back in the mountains.”
The second was a famous one from the environmentalist Ed Abbey and it said the following:
“Get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breath deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for awhile and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, awesome space.”
In some small way both of those perspectives kept me focused on shaping, editing and telling the stories of our team. Each place they visited and each story they told, inspired me to do something a little more difficult and also let me live vicariously through their explorations to the ends of the earth. It was serious armchair adventuring, but consuming what they captured was still a potent source of motivation. Like most worthy efforts, the storytelling was work, but standing for their vision, their character and their values provided the motivation to push on.
Today is bittersweet, but only on the personal side. The time eventually comes—in my personal case after a thousand-plus stories—that the wanderlust to spend more time exploring and following a new path starts to take hold. Finding more space and time to touch and feel the places that we’ve been publishing about for the past five years suddenly becomes a draw too powerful to ignore. It might be either a quixotic endeavor or the eternal trade off—to seek adventure without living in a van down by the river. Yet, this drive exists deep within our soul as a brand. In some way, this small shift in worldview seems like a personal cause the original Eddie Bauer—who closed his shop for a month each year to go fishing—would raise a glass of Rainier to. Thank you for your readership and consuming what we’ve published for the past five years. The blog is in good hands, the guide team is charging at the highest levels and we hope you keep tuning in—and then heading out to find adventure. And, I hope to see you all out there in the mountains.
Good luck and godspeed.
As the longtime editor of the Live Your Adventure blog, Dan K would like to underscore that it’s been a pleasure to tell the stories of our guides and athletes for five-plus years. Thank you to the entire roster, even the ones who are still late on their deadlines. To each and every one of them, good luck and godspeed. And to all our readers, see you on the next adventure, somewhere in the mountains. -Dan K
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