• Joseph Spaulding

Short trip, big lesson.

I love walking in aspen, and spruce filled forests. The smell of pine hanging in clean air, chilled by the snow-capped mountains, gently breezing down into the valley below. A pale blue sky with fluffy white clouds hanging over head.

What I don't love about it is that I can't breathe, I feel like either my cardio is really weak, and it is. Or it could be that I am used to lower elevation and going up into in the Rocky Mountains is just too much for this southern boy.

Either way, it's worth the little bit of heavy breathing and discomfort.

Over the weekend I found myself on a back trail close to Brighton Utah. While this trail is primarily used by mountain bikes and all-terrain vehicles, it was still good for a short hike up into some pretty wonderful views of Clayton peak, or at least I think that's what it was, I'm not really sure where I was, but looking at the map, we were really close to there.

Walking in really any high mountains in Utah this time of year you will still get some snow. We have had a really rainy spring and that also means more snow in the mountains.

This also means there is run off water from the snow melting and the rain that has soaked into the mountain flowing out naturally. Walking down the wide path, there was a flow of water running in the middle, and off to the side. Looking down to my left I could see a small river of water racing down into the hills and valley below, propelled forward by all of the new water happily trickling into it.

Stepping over some snow and water seeping out from beneath it, I startled a small ground squirrel from under a log.

Pausing for a minute to look for the little animal and to see if I could see anymore, I again started to think about the benefits of being in the woods.

This time it was a little different, this time it was a change to just clear my mind, and think about nothing. Absolutely nothing. A lot like what I remember thinking when I was a little kid, I was just thinking about little nothings, imagining I was on a journey and I was going to see a cougar at any moment or something.

Clearing your mind, from all the stress, from all the worry and the responsibility that most young adults have, is freeing. I didn't think about work, or school, or relationships, or in my case not having one. I didn't think about keeping up with my friends on the walk, or worrying if they even cared that I feel behind. I just pulled out some candy from by bag, and imagined I was the only person on earth and I was discovering all of these trees and mountains for the first time.

When I got back to my truck where my friends who had been ahead of me were waiting, I had new ideas about my blogs, I had new perspectives on life, and I had new blood and energy flowing through my brain and body.

Al in all, it took probably less than an hour to walk as far up the trail as we did, a little less than that to drive up there.

Maybe it will take you a little more to get out of the city or town and into somewhere wild.

Either way it's much needed.

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