Posted by: kellygiller | June 12, 2011

Wilderness Experiences

For this week’s discussion board we were asked to go into an urban setting and a nature setting, to sit quietly with no distractions and compare and contrast the two situations. I really enjoyed this activity because it really made me think a lot about where and what I enjoy doing. I’ve had a lot of really great experiences in the wilderness before, and this class has really helped me analyze them even more. One of the most life changing experiences I’ve ever had was my NOLS trip to New Zealand. I had been on a couple backpacking trips before, however nothing was like this trip. The thing I love so much about spending time in the wilderness is simplicity. After learning about the struggles so many people fought to keep our wilderness safe makes me appreciate the wilderness even more. I am so grateful that nature enthusiasts fought so hard to keep our wilderness protected. After feeling the anxiety and stress from the urban settings, I appreciated the nature even more. I have a hard time understanding how people like being in urban settings. All the noises and so many people around me really stresses me out. Like I said about my trip to New Zealand, it felt so great to not just being a “visitor”, a word that has been used in describing wilderness, I actually felt like we were living in the wilderness. Life was so simple and easy, we would walk to our next destination, set up our camp for the night, cook a great dinner and then fall asleep to the sounds of nature. This lifestyle definitely took a couple days to adjust to just like it did for Bill Bryson and his friend in a Walk in the Woods. I really enjoyed reading that excerpt from his book because it brought a smile to face remembering the first days of our trip.  When you start to think about your trip you think of how great it’s going to be, walking in the woods with your friends and enjoying the nature. You don’t really think about how wilderness can really kick your butt. The most memorable day on our backpacking trip was also one of the most miserable for me. Looking back on it, I can laugh but at the time I wanted so badly to give up. We were bushwacking through the toughest terrain we had experienced. We were lost on our maps, and had to get to a certain destination by the next day to meet our ration. I will never forget fighting back tears climbing through the bush. One of my favorite pictures from the trip is when I finally got through the bush, and met up with the rest of my group. I had so many emotions running wild, that when one kid who had been at the top for quite some time, had his pack off and was eating a snack and having a drink told me to smile for the camera, all I could respond with was giving him the bird. This is why I was smiling when I was reading a Walk in the Woods because I could sympathize with Katz.

The day however did not end there. The place we thought we were going to camp for the night did not end up being the same spot, so we finally found a place and it was almost dark. We then turned around and saw scary looking storm clouds, so we scrambled to put up our tents in time. When we finally had our camp set up, we had to cook in our tents, which was a very hard task with everyone in them. Since I said that we had a new ration coming the next day, we barely had any food left. The only thing we had to eat after such a tough day was cous cous. One kid thought it would be a great idea to add a ton of spices to make it better. We ending up adding tons of chili pepper and bouillon cubes making it so salty and spicy. It was great. We made so much extra, that all of us were trying to force it down our throats. Here is a picture of some of the people in my group eating this cous cous.  To this day, I will not have cous cous. Although this day was so tough for me, mentally and physically, it was great to test my limits. This is why I love nature because it can throw anything at you. Nature can be so relaxing also, like what I experienced in college woods this week. Finally, I am currently writing this blog entry at a friends house. I was telling them about what this class was and what I was doing. My friend showed me this youtube that I just have to show to you all. It is hilarious and I hope you enjoy! 

“not so often you get this much neatness in one spot- that’s nature!” haha

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