Monday, July 13, 2015

How I Found Healing In The Uinta Mountains

I believe that sometimes you have to getouttadodge in order to find peace. If you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or just oversaturated with the noise of the city... take a 24 hour getaway to the serenity of nature nearby. It is well worth your time.

There’s a saying that goes something like this, “The human soul has always needed places not rearranged by the hand of man.” I believe this to be true with every fiber of my being. Justin and I have been a bit overwhelmed last year. Our jobs are/were both extremely hectic. I made a major job change that took a few months to happen, and took a serious chunk out of our bank account. Our car died, and we had to fix it in order to not lose a lot of money. It still died again, so we had to buy a new car. My mom passed away from cancer. I became depressed, which I’m still battling, but for the most part it’s not debilitating by any means. (I’m lucky in that regard. It could be worse.)

There’s more that isn’t listed here because I’m sick of talking about it. Things just piled on top of us. We’ve been talking about going on an adventure into nature for months but have been too exhausted to make anything happen by the time the weekend comes around. This past weekend we decided to just get it done no matter what happened.

We went camping with some friends up in the Uinta Mountains and, needless to say, some healing took place. We camped on the edge of a huge meadow with mountain walls around us. Everything was green, and all we could hear were the sounds of birds, frogs and the sound of peaceful quiet. It is a sound that doesn’t exist anywhere but in serene scenes of nature. These are the places that calm me from within, and rejuvenate my spirits. Living in cities can be taxing on all fronts. Everywhere you turn there are people, sounds, lights, unavoidable noise of the eyes and ears.

We brought our little tent but decided to just snuggle up in the back of our hatchback to avoid having to set up the tent. It was a lot more cozy than I anticipated! I think next time we’ll pitch our tent, though. There wasn’t quite enough room to stretch our legs out.

Regardless of the rough night’s sleep we both got, we still felt amazing the following morning. Our campsite was untouched by man for the most part. There were no bathrooms, not even an outhouse. We had to tramp into the trees and squat behind a cluster of pines to do our business. Why is losing all the comforts of home something that rejuvenates my soul? It seems like an oxymoron. I truly believe it’s because it reminds you that this world exists on a vastly larger plane than our human minds can grasp.

There is something to the tiny house in the forest movement. Living as simply as possible to experience the most reward. I think with all this ‘noise’ that surrounds us in cities it is hard to relax in any possible way. When we remove all the ‘noise’, our souls find peace. You can actually take a deep breath and the oxygen will do its job instead of everything being distracted from its path. When I’m up in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by all that green and quiet, my anxiety calms its self. Suddenly my breaths are deeper, and my worries few.

I don’t believe humans were designed to be constantly overwhelmed by consumerism, capitalism, and over-satisfaction. S’mores or tinfoil dinners cooked on an open fire, even burned black from being too close to the coals, taste better than any restaurant can provide because we worked for the meal. We had to build a fire, let it get hot, all the while practicing patience, and then eat the food a while later. Chatting around a small fire while gazing at the sky that for the first time in months isn’t polluted with light and haze does more for my soul than any shopping spree could.

You have to lose your high and mighty mentality when you camp. You are not the top of the food chain anymore. You can’t have anything you want. There are bears and mountain lions larger than you in the woods if you hike away from civilization far enough.

After we spent the night in that meadow, we drove nearby to explore Mirror Lake. It was a largely populated campsite next to an extremely lovely lake/pond. No motorized boats allowed. While the campsite’s large population bothered my peaceful spirit, the nature walk revived it. We’d encounter people leisurely fishing along the water’s edge, dogs thoroughly enjoying the 68 degree temperature and all the places to explore, and everyone had a happy face on. It’s because we all felt the same thing. HEALING. 

Here’s a collection of some more of my favorite photos from the weekend. (Also, it shows a little of my first attempt at photographing the night sky!)

++ Where do you go to find 24 hours of peace?

Join the conversation!

  1. Well said, all of it. We're taking our family camping in the Rocky Mountains in a week and my husband and I can't wait. Because we know about the same things you talk about in your beautiful post. We're excited to show that to our girls and to get back into a place where we're not at the top of the food chain and can't access anything we want, too. I never thought of it as healing, but you're so right. Healing from even the day-to-day stuff of life.

    1. That is exciting! I love living so close to nature. Sure, this campsite was a 2 hour drive through the mountains, but we can be in a canyon within 15 minutes from anywhere in our area. I LOVE that about this area and I can't imagine what people do without mountains nearby.


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