To date, some of my most memorable moments in the outdoors have been spent on solo journeys, so I wanted to dedicate this post to the memory of past solo journeys…and to the thought of more good ones to come. First of all…the Utah desert has been an area of deep inspiration:
I first passed through Moab-area in 2003 on a solo road trip in the 1970 VW van that I had at the time, and once I discovered the beauty in its red canyons, I returned over and over again to hike, run, bike, and camp by myself. I also camped and climbed with others, almost always staying at least one night near Bridger Jack Mesa:
Another place that has greatly contributed to my sense of peace in the outdoors is Antarctica:
As I hiked and skied by myself over the twenty-five months that I’ve lived and worked at McMurdo Station, I couldn’t help but feel comfort in such wide-open space:
And, of course, the French Alps–in particular, the mountains surrounding Chamonix, France–have been a special place. A three-day solo journey that I went on in this area is one of my most memorable experiences.
I encountered horrible weather on my first night out, but then the following days were charmed as I hiked up the Bérard Valley, climbed to the top of Mont Buet in the snow, and then crossed over glaciers and snowfields into the Aiguilles Rouges.
I’ve also shared many beautiful moments with friends and family in the outdoors, but these solo adventures will always be close to my heart. I enjoy the challenge of relying on my experience and judgment when I’m out alone, and I also feel recharged by solitude and vast open spaces. And–funny how it happens–I’m usually more talkative when I return home!
Want to know more about how you can be prepared to undertake a solo adventure in the outdoors?
Read my article on the About.com Survival Skills website: