The Mountains Get In Your Soul

"If it involves mountains, breakfast food, coffee, or campfires, count me in." I saw it on a T-shirt and thought it's a perfect description of my attitude lately. 

I didn't grow up in an outdoorsy household--I married into it. I didn't grow up in the mountains either--they're a treasure that came with the ring as well. I'm proud to be a Midwestern-girl-turned-Colorado-transplant. I grew up in the country with miles of plains and corn around me. In addition to a sky so big the eye can't inhale it all, there was an abundance of captivating forests in the area. The Aspens in Colorado don't hold a candle to the Maple, Hickory, and Oak trees of Illinois in the fall. It's breathtaking. And the lake fishing is killer. So even though I didn't grow up hunting in the Rockies, I have a solid appreciation for being outdoors and all the activities it has to offer.

I have a particular craving for camping these days. Last summer I had to skip out on such adventures as I was late in my pregnancy and then had a new baby. This summer I've been dying to get outside and

just. go. hike.
And set up camp.
Away from town.

I want to sit in a collapsible chair beneath a clearing in the forest and take in the wonder of a star-blanketed sky.
I want to sleep in the woods.
I want to smell campfire and have melted s'mores and percolated coffee.
I want my feet to hurt from the back of my boots rubbing against my heels as I trek over rocks and mud and logs.
I want the bottom of my walking stick to be worn.
I want to climb a tree to rescue the fly I lost because my back-cast is too clumsy.
Then I want to use it to catch dinner.
I want to pan-fry crappie in my iron skillet.
I want the warmth of my coffee mug to cuddle my fingers against the cool, crisp mountain night air.

And I want to be where I can stand near the ledge and look across the valley and see the tops of the mountains for ages. I want to tip-toe on the ridges that line each peak. I want to soak in the earthy fragrance and bubbly sound of a clear, rock-bottomed mountain stream.

These mountains of mine that I tried to abandon--that I fought to dismiss and begged my husband to leave behind several years ago--they have won me.