PO Box 239, Pratt, KS 67124

The Jungle of the Journey

Each year I take time to suspend all communication and escape to the mountains with our sons and close friends to hunt. It’s our favorite week of the year and we just returned.

We hunt rough, primitive country; a wilderness area. Trails would be nice, but with trails come more people and fewer animals. Where we hunt there are few trails. This year we encountered elk, deer, bighorn sheep, bear, mountain lions, golden eagles and moose. We loved every minute. What few people we encounter there are just as determined and appreciative of the ruggedness as we are. There is a unique respect and acceptance for others who have paid the same price of passage.

I always learn from the mountain experiences. This year I was struck by the similarities between life and a mountain journey.

When you set a certain destination as your goal, there will be difficulties between you and that destination. With no trails to follow, you will encounter steep slopes, deep drainages, impossible obstacles and difficult deadfall. Rate of progress is rated in hours per mile with little (or no) site of the destination from within the jungle of the journey. There will be blood, bruises, fatigue and disappointment. A slight wrong turn can result in lost hours of backtracking, often in the dark.

You must be clear and determined about the destination. You must know exactly where it is, where you are and your plan to get there. You will not know (unless you have been there before) the specifics of slopes, drainages, obstacles, deadfall and dangers you must conquer to get there. Even if it’s a place you’ve been before, weather and time will have changed it since.

You must stop at times to check coordinates, progress and ability to proceed. Sometimes it helps to climb to a high spot and set your eyes back on the goal.

One of my personal destinations this year was an alpine lake Dad found in 1941; and where I had taken my wife on our honeymoon in 1978. Like other destinations, it was worth the effort. A picture of it accompanies this article.

Think About it

Do you know where you want to go? Is it a worthy goal?

Do you have a plan to get there?

Blood, bruises, fatigue and disappointment do not change the value of the destination.

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