Belmont University

Just Visiting

JenniThe Wilderness Act of 1964 defines wilderness as "an area where man himself is a visitor who does not remain...with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable." As I think back on today at Glacier National Park and the first 17 days of our journey I realize how much of our trip has been wilderness to us.

We started the day off at Night Owl Restaurant where we had a delicious and cheap hot breakfast. It was interesting to see the way we stuck out as a group of outsiders in a crowd that seemed to be predominantly local. Several times throughout the meal I felt the familiar discomfort of intrusiveness that I remembered feeling in other places like the church service in Little Rock and Fort Bliss in El Paso. In a way, all of these places mentioned were wilderness to us in some way or another and it was up to us to decide the way in which we were gonna survive. Did we possibly carry with us some metaphoric bear spray to keep enough of the wild out of these adventures to maintain our current beliefs?

I love the way Henry David Thoreau talks about being in nature "wishing to live deliberately to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." As I write this I am wrapped in my snuggy in the parking lot of the Super 8 with a beautiful mountain towering over me. I can't help but feel small and humble with all that Glacier offered me today. It was so refreshing to experience something in a state of deliberate passivity because I had no need to put up a defense. I wondered how our breakfast experience would have differed had we viewed the small town diner culture as a wilderness...

The Rain didn't stop us from having S'mores on Big Mama (the bus)