I made my way carefully along a steep stretch of rock that opened to a cliff of still water, where I simply stopped, standing still, watching as far as my eyes could see. I let my breath catch in my heaving chest before hiking up along the bank to the highest point. Discovering a familiar flat perch, I unfolded my chair and sat. I studied the edges of the forest, across the small body of water, keeping my eyes peeled for wildlife that I knew would be near. I didn’t know what I hoped to see exactly but I knew that by just being among the wild places that I would begin to feel better. Part of me hoped to see a black bear, or some powerfully winged creatures take to the open skies. Anything at all would be welcome, because even though the true sound of Nature had always brought with it a peacefulness, I was beginning to feel lonely by myself.
The wind gently rippled the surface of the lake, and with it came the soft pattering of rain. Like a glittering disco ball, the reflection muddied and soon, all I could see in the mirror was a shadow of trees upon a bubbling plane. I feared getting caught in a downpour and contemplated heading back, but then I remembered that I had a plastic raincoat in my pack. For a few brief minutes of trickling cool water, the rain slowed and the breeze went still. A silence so powerful came over the scene. And I began to appreciate the soundless moments, for there were no humans and no civilization that could spoil the peace that began to form deep in my soul.
“I know that sound,” I whispered to myself. The call of a bald eagle. And sure enough, after a moment of scanning the skies, I found her beautiful silhouette as she tore across the clouds, ever so gently and with such a grace that my eyes began to water. I watched for a long time, before making my way back the way I had came. I hiked for another hour, exploring the wilderness, and enjoying the tiny scurrying creatures. On my drive home I felt renewal, a sharpness of mental focus that cut through the haze of stress that I had felt upon waking, and when I got home, I sat myself in front of my keyboard and the words flowed once again. Sometimes, all I need is to step away so I can rediscover what’s truly important in life. And other times, I simply need to recharge in the wild where once we were born.
The 20L Adventure Pack is the perfect size for day hikes and short trips into the bush, because it’s small, lightweight, yet quite versatile in that it has a lot of space via the top opening and is loaded with a lot of features like well balanced front pockets made for carrying water bottles. It has a range of straps for hanging additional gear or for extending the size of the main compartment of the pack, as well as an elastic chest with a wide range of sizing options that make it versatile for men and women of all shapes and sizes.
If you would like to find out more about Orange Mud, click here.
Article written by Brandon Scott / Eye & Pen
(Main photo by bluecorvette via Flickr / Second photo by den-s via Flickr)