|Spend a few days in mountains to appreciate the past|
|Written by Trista Steers MacVittie|
|Friday, 10 August 2012 12:56|
High atop a mountain in the Wind River Range, the only buzz heard is created by a swarm of mosquitoes.
Cell phones won’t work, computers are too heavy to carry and playing a portable music device would defeat the purpose of the trip.
It is on this mountaintop a person can reconnect with self and appreciate a simpler style of existence we often lose sight of.
I spend time hiking with my family in the mountains bordering Lander, Wyo., every summer living like our ancestors did when they settled the great American West.
I don’t always realize it while pounding out miles of trail at elevations sometimes exceeding 10,000 feet, but spending a few days in the woods provides a perspective on life forgotten in the information age where comfort and accommodation is just a button push away.
I’ve backpacked and camped many times, but it was a trip to the Fremont County museum after I returned from one trip that introduced a new perspective on my excursions into the woods.
While touring the museum, I saw pictures of pioneers living daily the way I choose to live for a mere few days.
White men, women and children walked with loads of possessions on their backs while traveling in the unsettled territory. They hauled water from the streams and often slept in makeshift structures while building their homes with their own hands.
American Indians also lived off the land building structures they carried with them as they trekked from place to place following a buffalo herd.
None of them could shower daily.
Anti-bacterial soap didn’t stop the spread of germs.
Contact with family and friends only occurred in person.
At night, they sat around a campfire telling stories and singing songs, not around a television staring mindlessly.
Modern technology, however, makes trips into the mountains a much more comfortable experience than the lifestyles of the settlers.
Tents, a portable stove, prepared meals, sleeping pads, lighters and headlamps would seem luxurious to people from the past.
Even with my camping conveniences and comforts, I still unplugged in the wild from the madness of modern society.
Not all people appreciate the outdoors or choose to spend time hiking grueling trails with blisters on both ankles, but most would benefit from a few days of complete disconnection. It teaches a person to appreciate our way of life today and understand how hard the lives of others were on the journey to where we are now.