Memoirs of a Mountain High

It was the summer of 94 when I took a Wilderness Leadership

Semester from the Colorado Outward Bound School . Needless to say
that it was the most emotional, challenging, and rewarding
experience that I have had in all of my 19 ears of existence. One
week spent running the Upper Green River in westernColorado and
northern Utah. Through The Gates of the Ladour Canyon and

Dinosaur National Monument, we floated to end where the Green
meets the Colorado River just beyond Echo Canyon. The high desert
canyons echoed with rapids ovarious classes; Hells Half Mile and

Disaster Falls were the most memorable. Upon completion we headed
to climbing camp in Wyoming at a place called Vedauwoo (va-da-

vu).Two weeks of vigorous climbing these granite towers left many
scars both physically and emotionally for this rock was indeed as
sharp as knives. Somehow no matter hard climbed; even if
successful, this rock always seemed to have the last say. By this
time a month had passed and I was very grateful to have that one
shower on the way to the Gore Range in Colorado. This section of
the course was by far the most demanding, the mountaineering
section. Stepping off the bus in Frisco, Colorado we looked back
knowing that we were not to see civilization for at least a
month. There were 8 men and women in my group from all over the
country. Each one had a unique personality not knowing that we
would all become closer to each other than family, possibly being
dependent during life threatening situations which we experienced
on many occasions. This in itself could be another long story. By
the end of this section we were required to do what they call a
solo. In addition to rest up for the 15 mile marathon and finals,
(a week of travel) this was also used for reflecting on our
experiences. The solo was for three days. During these three days
we were all to be separated about a quarter to half mile apart,
alone. All of our flashlights, candles, and watches were taken
away along with any books which were left at base camp. All we
were allowed to take was our clothes, a tarp(not a tent) which
wasn\'t but 5ft by 2ft, a water bottle, a pencil, paper, and our
iodine to purify the water.I also want to note that we had the
choice to fast or take a survival pack which consisted of a few
crackers and raisins. I wanted the full experience so I chose to
fast. This was a trip in itself, no food for three days. My spot
on this solo was at around 12000 ft, the highest of my group. the
only water I had was from an alpine stream which dried up on me
the first day, after searching for a while I did find another
stream. The first day it rained all day, the next was clear, I
didn\'t do much...just thought allot. I have never been this long
without seeing or talking to another person,not even
pictures...everything I had was in my mind.No toys...no material
possessions.....no problems....just me....at this time I felt the
true essence of the wilderness and everything that is so sacred
to me, It is much too difficult to explain, I didn\'t feel human
in some respect, truly a wild creature....possibly like a
wolf.....this is where I thought of Of the Wolf, every goal I
stated on this solo has come true so far. There is much, much
more to the story but due to time I will condense it. On the
second day it was rather warm so I decided to wash my clothes in
the stream, yes I spent the whole day naked, clothes...as natural
as one can get....of course I didn\'t think much of it because I
was far from any other living creature. Not much lives that high.

While my clothes were drying I sat naked on a rock.... the view
was incredible.... absolutely stunning......and I wrote.....A
crack in the glass and I\'m thinking....Alone in the field and I\'m
sinking, Soaking in breeze on a rock and I\'m hypnotized, the
world inside me Cranking the weight off of my mind...testing the
strength of a fine line Relative thoughts... no control... become
justified, the world defied me Tasting the sweat off of my
lips...feeding my soul with the suns kiss laughing out loud I\'m
remembering everything... foolishly sighing Now I\'m lost inside
these words that speak so loudly in my head Honestly I\'ll take
the vow to cut these chains off of my wrist