Memoirs of a Mountain High

It was the summer of 94
when I took a Wilderness Leadership Semester from the
Colorado Outward Bound School . Needless to say that it
was the most emotional, challenging, and rewarding
experience that I have had in all of my 19 ears of existence.
One week spent running the Upper Green River in
westernColorado and northern Utah. Through The Gates
of the Ladour Canyon and Dinosaur National Monument,
we floated to end where the Green meets the Colorado
River just beyond Echo Canyon. The high desert canyons
echoed with rapids ovarious classes; Hells Half Mile and
Disaster Falls were the most memorable. Upon completion
we headed to climbing camp in Wyoming at a place called
Vedauwoo (va-da-vu).Two weeks of vigorous climbing
these granite towers left many scars both physically and
emotionally for this rock was indeed as sharp as knives.
Somehow no matter hard climbed; even if successful, this
rock always seemed to have the last say. By this time a
month had passed and I was very grateful to have that one
shower on the way to the Gore Range in Colorado. This
section of the course was by far the most demanding, the
mountaineering section. Stepping off the bus in Frisco,
Colorado we looked back knowing that we were not to
see civilization for at least a month. There were 8 men and
women in my group from all over the country. Each one
had a unique personality not knowing that we would all
become closer to each other than family, possibly being
dependent during life threatening situations which we
experienced on many occasions. This in itself could be
another long story. By the end of this section we were
required to do what they call a solo. In addition to rest up
for the 15 mile marathon and finals, (a week of travel) this
was also used for reflecting on our experiences. The solo
was for three days. During these three days we were all to
be separated about a quarter to half mile apart, alone. All
of our flashlights, candles, and watches were taken away
along with any books which were left at base camp. All we
were allowed to take was our clothes, a tarp(not a tent)
which wasn\'t but 5ft by 2ft, a water bottle, a pencil, paper,
and our iodine to purify the water.I also want to note that
we had the choice to fast or take a survival pack which
consisted of a few crackers and raisins. I wanted the full
experience so I chose to fast. This was a trip in itself, no
food for three days. My spot on this solo was at around
12000 ft, the highest of my group. the only water I had was
from an alpine stream which dried up on me the first day,
after searching for a while I did find another stream. The
first day it rained all day, the next was clear, I didn\'t do
much...just thought allot. I have never been this long
without seeing or talking to another person,not even
pictures...everything I had was in my mind.No
material problems....just this time
I felt the true essence of the wilderness and everything that
is so sacred to me, It is much too difficult to explain, I
didn\'t feel human in some respect, truly a wild
creature....possibly like a wolf.....this is where I thought of
Of the Wolf, every goal I stated on this solo has come true
so far. There is much, much more to the story but due to
time I will condense it. On the second day it was rather
warm so I decided to wash my clothes in the stream, yes I
spent the whole day naked, natural as one can
get....of course I didn\'t think much of it because I was far
from any other living creature. Not much lives that high.
While my clothes were drying I sat naked on a rock.... the
view was incredible.... absolutely stunning......and I
wrote.....A crack in the glass and I\'m thinking....Alone in
the field and I\'m sinking, Soaking in breeze on a rock and
I\'m hypnotized, the world inside me Cranking the weight off
of my mind...testing the strength of a fine line Relative
thoughts... no control... become justified, the world defied
me Tasting the sweat off of my lips...feeding my soul with
the suns kiss laughing out loud I\'m remembering
everything... foolishly sighing Now I\'m lost inside these
words that speak so loudly in my head Honestly I\'ll take
the vow to cut these chains off of my wrist This freedom
feels just like a bird soaring