A Few Thoughts on Time…


Three years, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t a whole lot. Hell, with the way time passes nowadays, flying past us from dawn to dusk and back to sunrise again, it’s amazing to think what could possibly be accomplished in such a short stretch. I spent nine years of my life hidden in the crowds of Los Angeles, working hard to earn my degree, my license, start practicing as a physical therapist. I got married, got divorced; gained a huge amount of weight, then took it off again. I tried multiple sports: triathlon, Scottish Highland Games, outrigger canoeing. I found a true family in the latter: friends who helped me through my divorce and who gave me a goal to work towards while I was mourning.

Then came the mountains.

Actually, before the mountains, there were the canyons and mesas of the Southwest. Wide open expanses; broad skies across which towering thunderclouds would race and build and explode; the smell of the sage after the rain and wind and fury; the eagle soaring ever higher along the currents and never once flapping her wings as she scoured the earth for prey. I can still feel the temperature drop around me as I remember standing just before the bridge crossing the Rio Grande Gorge outside of Taos, sunlight cutting across the plateau as the lightning and darkness struck the mountains. I know the feel of the slickrock both under my hands and boots, see the colors of the stones in the washes. It was then that I knew that I had to be out more, to be self-sufficient, something bigger was calling. My freedom was calling. Trapped in a loveless marriage where my husband, suffering from depression, was simply pulling me further and further away from my own soul, I yearned, no, screamed for my freedom.

And then the madness began, or an obsession. Now hopelessly addicted, all day and night I dream of being out, of wandering, of setting goals and reaching them. I love the peaks, what it takes to achieve them. I love the lakes, swimming in the cold water at the end of the day and lying out on the rocks in the sun. I love the seasons, watching them pass as the sun sweeps from the southern horizon to high overhead, witnessing firsthand the birth and death of all life in the heights.

There is no limit to what I can do here. Both solo and with my friends, these deserts and rivers and rocks offer every adventure imaginable. I have been told that reporting my travels is bragging, showing off my accomplishments; that it is egotistical, narcissistic. I suppose, in one view, that opinion is valid. But to those out there who would feel that way, I would only say that you don’t know me. While trite, my motivation to write and shoot pictures is my own, my desire only to share what is grand about my small part of the world. I only want others to see that if you truly want to explore those places high above and deep within, it is absolutely within your reach, only a choice away. Three years ago, I made a choice to pick up my life and move to Bishop, to be at the heart of the Sierra and have the access to the mountains and grand spaces that have become interwoven with my very being. It was a brave move, and one that I will never regret. As well, I will never regret starting to write about my adventures. Reading back, my stories even make me smile. In three years, I have grown as I never thought possible. I have found my happiness, my soul.

And, I’ll keep sharing that, as I am able, with whomever cares to read.

 

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7 Responses to “A Few Thoughts on Time…”

  1. You’re an inspiration to many others. Keep writing Moosie…

  2. I’ve been following since the WPSMB days. Keep ’em the photos and stories coming. For those of us like me still stuck in the rat race of Southern California, you do much to keep me looking north. Who knows. One of these days I’d love to join you guys in the Eastern Sierra. Been dreaming since the 1970’s.

  3. : ) I seem to remember a little book called “Walden” that was all about one guy’s experience in the woods, but by extension was about everyone. Keep exploring and writing, Laura!

  4. Stacy Waldrum Says:

    Two words, “Hell Yes!”
    You have always been my biggest inspiration and motivation to get out there and really experience the mountains. Thank you Laura…I am proud and honored to be your friend!
    BTW – that was a mean beef stew! mmmmm good 😉

  5. Laura,
    You are more than an inspiration. You allow those of us, who can only dream to call the Sierras our backyard, a chance to smell the pines, feel the dirt beneath our feet and the cleanse of the mountain breeze in our hair, even if it is while we sit behind our computers. You have a poetic gift and a command of the camera that allows us to laugh, to cry, to be inspired. Don’t be constrained by the complaints of a few. You have so much to offer, and so much more life to live and to share with us!
    Kandy

  6. Laura

    I first found your trip reports on the Whitney board and always looked forward to reading them and hope to be able to read future adventures. I am in Arizona and your trip reports bring the Sierras to me, Thank you and can’t wait for more!!!

    Patty

  7. Laura, like you, I’ve sometimes wondered if my posts are a way of bragging (although nobody has ever told me that to my face). Rather, like you, it’s a way of showing to others what is out there, sometimes in our own backyards. If one other person can experience a fraction of the serenity & happiness I’ve felt as a result of being in nature, I’ll feel justified in my writings and photographs.

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