Last week Sita and I headed into the High Peaks Wilderness in the Adirondacks for four nights. We camped in the backcountry on the side of a mountain and about 100 feet from the North Fork of the Boquet River, which provided a continuous rushing and gurgling as the mountain runoff made its way over rocks hundreds of thousands of years old.
Sita is a great companion. We had to coordinate to cross the river multiple times and climb over some pretty big fallen trees. It meant stopping to take the packs off and helping each other out over and over. Our communication got really good from all of this working together.
She likes being the lead dog and would take a position about 20-30′ in front of me on the trail, stopping to check on me every once in a while to make sure I was keeping up. She took her role seriously and even scouted a better place to cross the river at a point where we had been going back and forth several times. To alert me to its location she left the trail and would not budge when I insisted that she had gotten off the path. I came over to her and saw that she had found a place where we could cross that would not require me to take off my camping shoes to cross the water. I pitched our packs across and then jumped myself. She jumped just after me. She was noticeably happy as we got back on the trail.
There are killer swimming holes everywhere in the North Fork of the Boquet River. The water is mountain runoff and can be frigid. But, there are about 40 days this time of year when it’s warm enough that you can really enjoy yourself when you go in. I went swimming three times and it was glorious. Not another soul except Sita around.
Every day I meditated four times over the course of the day and journaled a lot. It was a chance to review my life without any specific role being imposed on me. I thought about what was most important and dug deep into the issues I was facing. I have camped in this area several times before and always feel that the land is on my side, that there is a special magic in the earth and among the trees and water. It did not disappoint.
Where do you go for spiritual sustenance and how might you do it deliberately in the week ahead?
“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” – Robert Louis Stevenson