Simplicity: The Most Beautiful Luxury

DAY 23 – EMILY’S ENTRY – MAY 5 – 8:50AM – MUDDY GUARD CABIN – BIGHORN NATIONAL FOREST, WYOMING

 Last night we stayed in the Muddy Guard Cabin. Before the trip began, I had a small thumbnail image of this cabin. The image was small, but I could see that it was a solitary cabin in the middle of a field surrounded by wildflowers with nothing around for miles. This cabin was my goal. When things got rough, it was great to have a visual goal of something to look forward to. I always imagined this cabin, and it did not disappoint.

After we settled in, we took a hike and saw a herd of graceful deer prance together. At night, we danced to the sounds of an old TV/Radio. Sometimes simplicity is the most beautiful luxury.

Wyoming is so much more than I thought it was. Since Yellowstone, we’ve driven though lush forest, snowy peaks, grassy plains with elk, antelope and buffalo roaming, echoing canyons, and the most incredibly colored rock formations originally inhabited by the native Shoshone people. There are canyons of pure red and rock formations that include every hue of varying texture. I have to admit; I think Wyoming is the most naturally colorful state I’ve seen (this coming from a Florida girl!).

I’ve flown over the U.S. dozens of time visiting Corey on the West Coast when I was on the East during our time long distance. Viewing the country through the window of an airplane does not compare to the experience of driving the land. I had no idea so much was out here. I think the best way to see America is in a car, constantly looking out the window for wild animals, constantly being blown away and humbled by every bold mountain peak, and at an intimate level with the place we call Home.

Day 23 – Corey’s Entry – May 5 – 8:55am – Muddy Guard Cabin – Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming

There’s a lot on my mind today. Lots to reflect on and mull over. First, I’ll just describe this place. Bighorn, WY. Wyoming has so much to offer. In one day we drove from the mountain peaks of the Tetons, through snowy and frozen lakes, farmland, then canyons of layered colorful rocks. Then we arrived to the grassy plains. We’ve seen open fields and big skies. Herds of deer dot the land. Spots of forest can be found everywhere.

Last night was especially exciting for me. I planned on doing a time lapse of the stars, which would require hours spent outdoors late at night in pitch dark, because my light source could ruin the flow of the time-lapse. As soon as I stepped outside, I hear a loud “Ahr, Ahr, Ahroooooooo!!!” It was a wolf or coyote a stone's throw away howling at the full moon. I couldn’t see it, but I could hear it must have been just at the tree line.

An ancient, instinctual fear arose inside of me, and chills ran down my spine. I wasn’t really afraid... Oh wait, yes I was. I kept thinking about listening to “White Fang” on audio book earlier that day. I stayed in and edited that night instead of staying outside. Emily and I ended up in a tan, leather chair, curled up by the fire listening to David Bowie’s “Ground Control to Major Tom” on an old, Magnavox radio. I will cherish that beautiful moment.

My understanding of time changes more everyday on this adventure. Living like nomads, time is so precious and moves so fast. I’m a man of schedules, plans, and routines. One of my biggest challenges has been most of our plans going right out the window.

In the morning, we get up around 6am, make breakfast, pack up camp, pack up the car, reorganize the car, clean everything, then if we have the time, write and photograph. On the road, we often need to resupply, so we go off to find somewhere that resembles a grocery store, a camping store (to replace busted gear), or a diner to charge our devices and blog. Then we can continue heading to our next site. We usually arrive before sunset.

It’s funny looking back at when we thought we would have time to check out the new Avenger’s movie or I could finish that Bill Bryson book I was reading. It amazes us at the end of each day when we look back and realize that every minute of the day was spent working. But everyday feels worth it. I shoot sunrises and photograph the stars. Being productive comes naturally to me; it’s something my mother gave me.

Every day is precious. God limits our days so that we learn to appreciate each one. On this journey we experience the high highs and low lows. It’s important not to dwell on the low moments. As Adam Savage from Mythbusters says, “There is no failure, there is only results.” Get out there and make the most of yourself and your situation! I can’t tell you how important it has been to me to travel in the wild and new cities. If you get out there, you will be surprised what you learn about yourself and the world around us.