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Day 6: Backpacking through Montana

Day 6. “Breakfast” – every morning at 7 am, the familiar loud piercing shout seems to come just a little too soon and way too commanding. We must be totally packed and ready to go before that call. But after breakfast we have the easy part, take down the tents, while the crew pack, tie, lift and secure two heavy, heavy (as much as 200 pounds each) manties to every mule. Performed, it seemed, like a smooth surgical procedure – though so much more muscular. Not to mix metaphors but the whole morning prep for departure of 16 horses and 13 mules is like at grand symphony in the wilderness.

I know tying and knots -- but only surgical knots. Nothing about real knots. Trip was full of "learnings" and today was ranch knot tying. As others climbed peaks. Tracy and I found solitude. Amidst breathtaking mountains and clear clean air. No roads, no smartphones, no computers. Just embracing nature and sounds of breezes, bumble bees, and butterflies (really). Relaxing, calming, centering. Clutter falls away. Thoughts seem a little clearer. “We need the tonic of wilderness,” reflected Thoreau.

We should actively protect this connection to nature so our great grandchildren (and theirs) can experience. These public lands are ours and we are their custodian. Once wilderness taken away it can never be regained. It is lost forever. Too many words from Washington today suggest that these public lands are at risk. We need to be smarter.


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Hiking above creek

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