This quote is from one of Americas most famous nature authors, John Muir. It was contained in a letter he wrote to his sister Sarah Muir Galloway from the Yosemite valley on September 3rd, 1873. To me it represents the nagging feeling I get when I have not been ATV camping in a while.
What is this urge for me to be in the back country? Not everyone has this continuous desire to be one with nature at a remote campsite. But for me it is a mental cleansing I require, a purging of all the stress and negativity we are exposed to from today’s media channels, the TV news, radio and the internet.
After a couple of days camping in the back country I am re-energized and ready to face the challenges that reality has set forth for me. I try to complete and conquer as many of those challenges as quickly as I can because I know, deep down that soon the mountains will be calling again and I must go.
When I do go I try to venture into new areas I have not explored before to find new campsites. There is no such thing as a routine camping trip as there are no clocks or schedules to meet. There is just the sunrise and sunsets that we gauge our days by.
If it has been several weeks since the last camping trip I really start to get antsy and inpatient. My wife will notice subtle changes in my behavior and when she finally asks what’s wrong I respond “the mountains are calling and I must go”. It’s then that I start planning my next trip to the back country.
Then as the days count down before the trip, I am like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. My productivity at work declines because all I can think about is what new sights and trails am I going to experience on this trip.
By the day of the trip the mountains aren’t calling anymore….they are shouting “WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU!”. “I am all loaded up and heading your way!” I respond. When we get to the staging area and unload the ATVs it’s like a sigh of relief. “I’m here, now show me what you got!” I shout and away we go down the trail on our ATVs loaded with our gear.
I answered the call and ready for several days of ATV camping in the back country. Like I stated earlier, not everyone has this continuous desire to be camping in the back country. But if you are like me and you are sitting at home or at work listen very carefully and you can hear them…The Mountains Are Calling.