For the past few years, I was blessed with traveling with an amazing man, I called him my "mountain man." He was not just my love but a true explorer. His knowledge of the outdoors was extensive, he knew of camping, backpacking, fishing, hunting, off-roading, and many outdoor skills. He kept me out of trouble when I wander off to take a photo or was oblivious to danger. He was there to protect me. We went on many adventures, many of which were not publicized on my social media. I have so many amazing memories of our adventures. I always felt safe because I knew he would get us home safely. He taught me so much and showed me a whole new world (starting to sound like Jasmine in Aladdin, but it is true) I never knew. He taught me to push the limits and not give up. I went on my first ever backpacking trip with him and I could not imagine doing this with anyone else. He proved to me that I was stronger than I thought I was. I learned so much and saw so many beautiful places by his side. I am grateful for the time we had together and thank God for blessing me with loving such an amazing man. He has forever changed my life. Sadly that chapter of my life is closed. Now I have to face the reality of exploring alone again.
It's hard to face reality. I miss him. Exploring California will never be the same. It is hard to move forward when I see an empty seat in my Jeep. It's been a long time since I had the urge to explore and the pandemic is only making it worse but today was a breakthrough. I finally made the effort to start looking into getting new tires for my Jeep. My current tires are factory stock and not fit for off-road exploring. I research some all-terrain tires (something I learned from my mountain man) and I will be ordering them soon. I had a sudden spark of adventure, fleeting but I am hoping I see more sparks soon once I get my new tires. I had forgotten that prior to us being a couple we were individual and I was an explorer. I still am. I will continue to explore.
I had many adventures of my own and with family. I would often take off on long road trips to find new and exciting places. Those years seem so long ago. I was young and fit, less afraid and unaware of the dangers. Today it is scary to imagine being alone in the middle of nowhere but I am an explorer and curiosity is stronger than fear at times. My mother and sisters have an adventurous spirit, and so do I. I have to remember who I was. I have new skills thanks to my mountain man and I plan on using them and learn new skills of my own. I hope that I become the explorer I dream of when I was a young girl.