It was the 3rd week of backcountry trips in one month. As I was on the 3rd back to back trip in the backcountry that month, I found myself on top of Gregory’s bald above Cades Cove stargazing. The summer night was chilly enough for a light rain jacket to knock off the breeze. As our night was winding down on top of the mountain, I looked into the far distance at the valley below with bustling lights. You could imagine the energy of the people walking with families around town or driving to their homes to watch their favorite shows for the night. Directly below, you could see cars circling the Cades Cove loop as their automatic headlamps turned on due to the sun going down and darkness taking over.
At that point, I had a craving to be back with my family. I wanted to experience the comfort of having people around and the security of sitting inside my home with lights on. It was not a feeling I often have in the backcountry.
There is great solitude to be found in the wilderness during prolonged periods of time. These times seem to allow for opportunity of reflection and consideration of important aspects of life and community. There seems to be a sense of security and comfort amongst community of people that differs from the wilderness solitude. I concluded that both of these experiences, wilderness & city, are necessarily important to each other.
Go into the solitude of the wilderness to find times of reflection.
Enjoy the City and community of people.