Three or four what-seem-like lifetimes ago, before I can remember, my soul formed a deep and persistent connection with wilderness. Not just connecting through a picture or a picnic in the woods, but that experience of walking long and far in to the quiet emptiness, carrying everything I need on my back, without needing to turn around until I'm good and ready. And in the many lifetimes that have ensued since this first realization and connection, I have felt this something-like-a-craving to be out there as much as possible. In fact, every free moment.
Of course, life ensued and bills, kids, a big job and...sigh...responsibilities that have slowly chipped away at free moments and opportunities and motivation. When the kids were little we made concerted efforts to take short trips into the backcountry; them carrying their teeny light packs. Our first trip was just a mile and a half but so important to show what it's like to be away, self sufficient, with only what's on your back and only your two feet to get you there; away in the blissful, quiet, starry wilderness.