When Alexander and I first started developing a “more-than-just-friends” relationship, we quickly discovered that we shared a passion for camping and hiking in God’s great outdoors, especially in the Rocky Mountains. As we progressed in our long-distance relationship, many of our days together were spent on some sort of hiking adventure — last May we visited one of his friends and explored near the Tetons, in the summer we meandered amongst wildflowers and camped out for the Needtobreathe concert at Red Rocks in Colorado, that fall I took him up to a lake in the forests near my college, in November he proposed after a short hike in his Michigan woods, and this May our honeymoon road trip to the Oregon coast involved numerous outdoor adventures in all different sorts of country.
Moving into marriage, we hoped that we’d be one of those couples always off on another camping adventure. Our home in Casper, Wyoming, locates us near enough to plenty of mountains for weekend getaways, or so we rationalized. But I don’t know if either of us really thought our grand dream of frequent camping and hiking would ever come true. I was certainly hesitant to think so.
Stories. I have a rather weird habit of narrating my daily actions in my head as if they were a story – “She walked out to feed the horses” or “She curled up on her bed with her toy in her arms.” Sometimes the thoughts are deliberate, but more often than not they’re just floating around in the back of my head, rather subconsciously.
Each day is a story. There’s a beginning and an ending. More likely than not, there’s some climax – good or bad – to the day. Maybe the story wouldn’t be interesting enough to write down; and then again maybe it would be. But apparently it’s interesting enough to be worth living because, you know what, I live it. Every single day, I live a new story.
I wish that hiking season wasn’t disappearing so rapidly behind us. But with fall setting in, early snows on the mountains, bears preparing to hibernate, and some buck-crazed hunters out on the prowl, hiking up into the Pioneer Mountains probably isn’t the greatest idea. Not that I wouldn’t go anyway if I had a pistol and a few buddies willing to join me…. Honestly, the hike I took up there this fall with some friends was so incredible that I literally feel a little desperate to get back there again.
Some days I just need to get out of the house. Especially since I’m used to country life and twenty-acre parcels and horses to ride and goats to hug. Not that I dislike where I live here in Dillon — in fact, it’s one of my favorite places to be. It’s home. But…living in the basement of two-level house in Dillon, Montana, surrounded by dirt, concrete, and cars can make me pretty claustrophobic.