Wind River

Wind River Range, Wyoming

‘The mountains are calling and I must go.’ - John Muir

I opened my heavy eyes only to find the night was still upon us. We spent the whole day driving long and far to arrive at the Wind River Range, an unfamiliar place to us. Before finding a camping spot we decided to make a quick stop in the nearest town to refuel the car, collect provisions and plan our route. As we walked around the quaint little town of Pinedale we took it upon us to ask the locals where the best camping and fishing spots were. We were determined to find the right location, that evening we wanted to catch our dinner fresh from the river. Little did we know fly fishing is not as easy as we thought. After chatting with the locals and scanning the map for an ideal location, we decided to visit Green River.

The night was bitterly cold, but we were warm and cozy in our double sleeping bag. I turned around and noticed Max was still sleeping. I didn’t want to wake him, so I laid still and stared up through our open tent only to see a magnificent display of stars. The Milky Way was clearer than I had ever seen before. I peered across the river, my eyes adjusting to the darkness of night, and was completely captivated by the mountains that seemed to be glistening in the starlight.

As morning approached we woke to sounds of birds chirping and the first rays of sun peeking over the mountaintops. The mist slowly crept into the valley and we watched it flow across the river and over the grassy banks. There was still a chill in the air, so we made hot chai and huddled in our sleeping bag to keep warm until the sun crested over the mountain tops.

Green River is absolutely stunning – by far one of the most beautiful and dramatic landscapes in the lower 48. There was a calmness in the air. There was no rush to leave. We had no plan of what was next or where to go. It felt as though time had slowed down. We were able to relax at camp and appreciate the splendour of the outdoors. Sometimes I can’t help but feel I belong out here in nature…It takes me out of the ordinary, frees me from the fast pace of society, and relieves me of worries and stress. When we go camping, we embrace the relaxed pace of nature. There is no anxiety, no rush, no need to live fast paced. Time becomes a long lost construct of society and fades away.

When I find myself in a location with no people, I feel a sense of solitude and loneliness. But at the same time, I feel incredibly connected with the animals, the landscape, and the mountains for company. I can’t help but feel a strong relationship with the outside world, like this is where I belong.

John Muir said it best. The mountains are calling, and I must go. His words are, in a way, an invitation to explore the wild world around us. It is a call to journey to mountains near and far and seek out mystery in them. The mountains will always have stories to tell -- some days they hide away in the clouds and other days they tower menacingly over us. They are dangerous yet beautiful, and reveal endless discoveries. It is this grace and magnificence of the mountains that keeps me coming back.

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© 2019 Max Seigal