Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Outdoor Life and Profound Experiences

What life experiences stand out as profound, unusual, or turning points? A great question; one that prompted me to write my book of stories about living in mountain towns.

My first hike was in 1988 when my boyfriend at the time took me on an overnight hike to Mount Lafayette in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I’ve written so many stories from many different perspectives about that first pivotal hike. It changed my life. Once I hiked that first peak, I wanted to hike every peak I saw in the distance. Those days I was running from everything, but hiking a high peak made me feel like I was accomplishing something. I knew that I would be climbing mountains for a very long time. I loved the work it took to get to the top of a mountain.

I loved the views once I got there, that maybe only a few people saw. I loved the companionship of hiking with a friend and the ensuing conversation on the way to the magnificent view. I love the flora and the fauna and the wildlife, I sometimes encountered.

The second profound moment of my life was driving out west, to Colorado; just me, my dog and the open road. I wanted to be a westerner since I was 17 and at 33, I became one. I wanted to know everything about being a westerner: the landscape, its pioneers, its natives, its artists. I fell in love with the landscape, the pioneer history, and the artists of Colorado. I love the adventurous spirit of the people who choose to make a mountain landscape their home.

There are more stories to share and to write; most of the good stories happened when I opened myself up to each experience and just let things happen. Most of them happened while outdoors, or participating in outdoor experiences like hiking, biking, running or skiing. It’s a good life; this outdoor life in the mountains.

1 comment:

  1. I have enjoyed Kristen's writing for years, and appreciate her inclusive attitude. I know so many "elitist" outdoors people. Kristen is a breath of fresh air in that she is an elite athlete that encourages laymen to join in these sports and get out of their comfort zone to enjoy something truly extraordinary in the Colorado back country. She fits in well with "old school locals", "hardcore athletes", and makes "newbies" feel welcome. Way to be.