The Silence Between the Sounds

Bob Marshall, Summer 2015

A great friend and I spent one week traveling through the mighty Bob Marshall Wilderness this summer. The caliber of the scenery was matched only by the beauty of the extended backpacking experience; long, simple days carrying heavy packs and wonderfully tired, relaxed evenings.

Wake up, brew some coffee, pack up camp, start moving. Find a shady spot for a nap when the temperatures get too hot. Walk until you find some shelter for the night, before the last of the daylight fades. One foot in front of the other, all day long. The simplicity is absolutely magical.

Your head-space slowly transforms... the first couple of days are spent working through thoughts, emotions, whatever's been on your mind. After all that is processed, you've nothing to think about but the rugged wilderness surrounding you and the next simple task at hand, whether that's filtering water or hanging the food bag.  

You become just another animal in the forest. The complexities of modern life dissipate; all that you left behind in your civilized world becomes a distant, unimportant memory. You begin to live in the silence that exists between the sounds.

This trip opened up my mind to the beauty of an extended backpack trip. I now understand the allure of a long thru-hike, the "trail-life" that so many experience and find it hard to give up.