Why We Love The Mountains
“The Rocky Mountains are the marrow of the world. I aint never seen ’em, but my common sense tells me the Andes is foothills and the Alps is for children … these here is God’s finest sculpturins”
So goes the monologue from Del Gue in the 1972 classic mountain man movie “Jeremiah Johnson” starring Robert Redford. The mountains are a magical place. They have certainly changed a lot in the last decade as large skiing and real estate conglomerates have gobbled up all the land to build Starbucks communities and raise lift ticket prices to a demoralizing $150. However one cannot put a price on the mental escape and soul food that a trip to the mountains brings.
We Love The Mountains Because We Can See
We love the mountains because we can see. We can see for miles without encountering a telephone pole or a stop light that our brains are conditioned to seek and react like Pavlov’s dog. Many lifelong sailors took to the sea years ago for this same reason. They want to be able to see. The 9 to 5 grind is like sitting in the back seat of a Prius on a cross country trip, going from bedroom to car to job to bedroom, repeat. Zero visibility. We like mountains because we can see for the first time in months or years. We can see a big friendly world not run by people but run by the laws of nature and requiring common sense. This is why a mountain trip is truly a vacation in every sense of the word.
We Love The Mountains Because We Can Hear
We love the mountains because we can hear. We can hear everything. We can hear our footsteps as we walk out of the cabin. We can hear ourselves breathe as we hike up a ridge. Hell, we can even hear our car running. We love the mountains because we are allowed to hear, contrary to city lives where society is forced to listen. Hearing has become a luxury item as listening has elbowed its way into every facet of our lives to the point where society has become tone deaf, unable to distinguish between noise and communication. We love the mountains because we can hear and hearing leads to a more conscious full bodied existence. It’s no surprise that hearing loss leads to dementia, and city life leads to hearing loss.
We Love the Mountains For Its Community
We love the mountains because there is vibrant and authentic community. There is a neighborly way about how mountain townfolk go about their day. Most full time residents make an earnest living and do so by having 2-3 seasonal jobs. There is a refreshing sense of support among mountain people that is fading in the big cities of America. There is no competition to have a better car or a more glamorous vacation than your neighbor. There are no forced conversations at the soccer game, and competition amongst parents about who is wearing number 23 this season. There is no bragging about ziplining in Costa Rica or wherever the new waspy vacation spot is, Cuba I suppose.
What there is is genuine support for one another. The local restaurant trades meals to get their parking lot plowed after storms. Your neighbor who loves to bake always makes a little extra so she can run through the snow and leave a loaf on your doorstep in exchange for some firewood. Each restaurant in town has a specials night so that they will have at least one night midweek with a full house. The next night is Fish & Chips at another restaurant, sharing the local revenue among business owners. You don’t have to launch a social media and PR campaign when you are starting a business. Your friends don’t act like you just asked them to donate a kidney to attend an art gallery opening. You just have to turn the sign around that says Open and the people come, excited to have been invited. We love the mountains for its unconditional and vibrant community.
We Love The Mountains For Time Well Spent
We love the mountains for time well spent with our friends and family. In today’s face-in-phone society where everyone is looking for the BBD, the bigger and better deal, we are losing touch with the people we care about. Sure we exchange emails and send the token Christmas card with only a picture of the kids, and we like, oh how we like Facebook posts and photos, but when was the last time we really caught up with our good friends? A trip to the mountains, especially in the winter guarantees some idle & quality time to engage with your friends and family in a meaningful way.
There is nothing quite like starting a fire in your cabin with Duraflame Firelogs, a glass of Cabernet or a smoky bourbon during a snow storm. Chopping it up with friends and family, having the time to ask questions and genuinely be interested in the response is what “time away” is all about. If you are lucky enough you will be in a cabin with poor cell service so you can really get down to the good stuff, the juicy nuggets in a friendship. How’s your marriage? How’s your brother doing? Remember when we wanted to join The Peace Corp? and Have you ever thought about moving to the mountains?
We like the mountains because it’s simply, time well spent.
Thanks For Reading!