Yesterday, while the sun set hard on the Presumpscot River just north of Portland, a few of us sat on the bank and reflected on the way that a life impacts the setting where it is lived. And we reflected on the way that the elements of our earth-home manage to forget the impacts that - were they remembered - would clutter and crowd out the creativity of those yet to live.
Perhaps the most dangerous part of traveling in the wilderness is the false confidence of knowing where you are going. It is the peril of underestimating the small obstacles in your path such that you fail to consult your compass. But there is another danger, too. You can become too afraid to steer off course. You can set your compass and watch the needle obsessively at every step, missing the whole point of your trek in the first place.
Have you ever been to a Cabela’s store? I was there last week for a Maine Guide Certification prep course. I had never stepped foot into a Cabela’s store until last week. There is a lot of taxidermy and a kiosk to check your guns at the door. As someone who has never been hunting or fired a gun, the entire scene was unfamiliar to say the least and I quickly recognized that perhaps a passion for wilderness skills is not limited to crunchy, hippie tree huggers.