The end of the year is nearing fast and unlike any year before, this New Years actually means something. It means a lot. That's been on my mind lately, however, this post has nothing to do with that. This has more to do with putting heavy thought to the side. Actually, that's too specific. This post has to do with pushing thought out completely. That was the theme of this past weekend when I joined my brother and his childhood friends on their annual camping trip. This group really knows how to capture the moment.
It was the 7th annual St Augustine camping trip and the second time I was in attendance. It's a two hour drive north from home for all of us. The weather is no different, the beach is pretty much the same, and we could easily camp at the national park 15 minutes south of home. But that's not the point! This annual pilgrimage feels light years away. Australia, China, and London... All these places seem closer than this trip. This group makes the extra effort to create an experience outside of 'home' for a reason. Somehow they know how to escape... and their method is simple... more of the same. It's truly amazing. We're in a different world, but with the same people and the exact same environment that we've always known. The difference is that no matter what everyone is doing you force yourself to stop and come together... together as a united front.
The United Front. While I didn't have the same peers as this crew growing up I do have a very significant commonality.... Home. This entire crew grew up in the same environment that I did. We had the same teachers, experienced the same weather patterns, drove the same speed down Oak St. and as a result we seem to be on the same page with most everything. Things clicks. Everything escapes your mind easily. Life just is. Just like when living home. Life just IS. There's laughing, drinking, relaxing, and mostly just living. We're all in love, infatuated... with home... with simplicity... with friends... and with life.
'Windy Point' was taken with my iPhone and edited on iPhoto. Never thought I'd see the day, but I felt a responsibility to mention the trip I had with my brother in Colorado in July of 2008.
The obligation? To attend a friends wedding in Breckenridge, Colorado. So what was the plan for the other 3 days? Ha, plan! You should know me better. Adventure was our compass. After getting into Denver on a late summer evening we rented a car and headed to Breckenridge...
We're here with 3 days to kill and no place to stay. Now what? Let's climb! After all, we're in the heart of the Rockies. Being from Florida we rarely get to explore in the vertical sense of direction. So we drove... up. And 20 minutes into it we were on a dirt road and still going... up. It didn't matter where we were or where we were going (and that we were in a shitty 2 wheel drive Dodge Caliber). Neither of us had any important obligations and it was clear that both tomorrow and yesterday didn't matter at that moment. The trees were green, the air was thinning, and our mobile service was nil.
Before sunset we created a comfortable camp site, chilled our local microbrew in the nearby stream and built a campfire. We were somewhere in the 2.3 million acre White River National Forest and if you asked us to find the spot again we'd probably both agree that the experience just couldn't be replicated.