Mount Monadnock

We climbed an epic mountain today.

It was pretty Hardcore.

Yes. WATO did.

Without the boys dying from leaping down the rocky trail like a gazelle jumping off of a cliff.

Did you know that Mount Monadnock is the only mountain that Henry D. Thoreau ever climbed?

IMG_1928[1](Pre-hike strategies)

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(Nice view.)

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(My hand looks like a phone <3)

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(Rocking Out)

IMG_1977[1](Can you see anything Tim?)

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Stampede Trail vs. Chris Johnson McCandless Trail

Yesterday afternoon the president of the Alaska Division of Parks and Recreation Paul B. Gudd announced a final decision in the controversial renaming of the Stampede Trail. “…the Stampede Trail will not be renamed the Chris McCandless trail but will instead remain as the Stampede Trail.” This statement was made after a lengthy string of debates.

The defendants were a motley crew of Park Officials, outraged Alaskan citizens, and Chris enthusiasts. One self-expressed acolyte remarked; “Chris McCandless would not want this place renamed after him. He went there to be free of people and society; a separate world that was untouched by humans, under no ownership. This place is where he died. We should be celebrating his life, not his death. Is where he died really important?”

Chris’s sister spoke in an interview about her views on the debate. “If he was watching that, he would be frustrated that we were all getting caught up in this trivial debate. Then again, he might just think it was funny.” Said Carine in the interview. “I am glad that his life has inspired so many people, but do they really think that renaming the trail after him will make a difference? This trail is the Stampede Trail, that’s how Chris knew it, that’s how people will continue knowing it, even if the sign at the trailhead says differently.”

When she was asked what her opinion was, she answered that “Chris wouldn’t want fame just for the sake of it. It would be against his ideals. He was trying to make a point going there, and in his whole life really, how society is so corrupt. This was Chris’s chance to live freely, without human complications and rules and restrictions.”

But in the end, it was an overwhelming response from the public that shot the proposal down. “We got letters from all over. From all over the States, even a few internationally, just boxes and boxes of ‘em.” Says Paul Gudd, the President of the Alaska Division of Parks and Recreation. “From farmers and lawyers, school children and retired couples. Some supported the switch, but almost all of them didn’t. They expressed a powerful response; Let this be. And I can agree with that.”

We went camping

We sang our loudest.

We sang many songs.

We only sang the choruses.

We only knew the choruses.

We stopped under the power line.

We carried tents under the trees.

We carried fear in our hearts.

We carried mosquitos under our skin.

We made a s’more.

We want some more from our S’more.

We make a better S’more.

We eat this ultimate S’more.

We walk away from the light.

We face our fears.

We face the clouds.

We face the near.

We didn’t conquer the wet.

We didn’t conquer the night.

We haven’t conquered our fears.

We only conquered the way we thought.

 

THIS week in photos

We saw everybody’s backyards, homes, and schools. I think that was one of the highlights this week for me. We all had such different backgrounds to our daily lives.

We went to Jamaica, there’s good tubing there. Jamaica= Jamaica State Park.

Everyone wrote down 5 things they would bring into Alaska in order to survive. I wouldn’t agree with some of those things, but I do agree that I would want a dog.

If you’re mountain biking, stay on the gears 1(123) and 4. Otherwise everyone will get mad at you because you can’t get up the hill.

We spent an entire morning trying to build a fire. The hardest part is holding everything still so that the bow doesn’t come off and fling your peg a hundred feet away. If it was just a matter of drawing the bow string back and forth it would be easy.

(I didn’t get my camera out much this week so there are a few random pictures)

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(My dog I built in Ceramics class. He’s coming  with me to Alaska)

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(The result of 13 people working on building a fire all morning)

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(Another “nature invading the school bus” themed picture)

IMG_1662[1](Hanging out with Belle)

What does it mean “to survive”?

When I saw this question, I immediately thought of this chart I saw when I was in school. It divides the needs into material and spiritual. The author is trying to point out that yes, you need material things, but spiritual needs are just as important. They’re essential parts of our life, our emotional stability.

The most important point in this chart is “Arts/Culture”. Where would we be without art? How would humans stay sane if they didn’t have a sense of community and safety within cultural structure? They are a part of us that we couldn’t live without. What if you were sent into space in a rocket ship, and watched as earth exploded, and you knew that you were the only human left? Would you want to live?

I think what I’m trying to say is that you need these spiritual things to survive. What is the point of surviving physically if you lose your mind? YOU wouldn’t survive. Only your body, but not your self. It’s a two way deal. For me, these are the things that I can’t live without; My family and friends; books to feed my mind with new ideas and philosophy.

“The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation  rather than upon mere survival.”-Aristotle