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One will never truly understand the wonder of backpacking until he or she straps a backpack on to their bodies, walks through airport security, boards a plane and doesn’t look back. Walking straight into the world of unknown. It’s exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. The weeks leading up to your departure date feel like a dream. Save money. Create a budget. Make dozens of trips to REI. Repack. Unpack. Repack. Download books. Download maps. Buy guide books. Who knows if you will ever truly be prepared? You fill your backpack with whatever you deem worthy to carry for...

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As straightforward as it may seem, the meaning behind “Nature Is Never Closed” can be interpreted in many ways. For some, it may be that the outdoors are always physically or geographically accessible to them, others may see it as no human has the right to say that another person cannot enter Nature since it is our collective open Earth.    To me, this means that there is always potential to have a significant connection with Nature, no matter where you are. Whether it be seeing the trees on the side of a busy road, raking the leaves in the...

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Nature Is Never Closed.   Mountains have no governments, no restrictions, no shutdowns.   They have seasons, mysteries, and legacies.   Mount Hood, Oregon (originally named Wy’East) features the longest ski season in North America. Olympians, X Games stars, up-and-coming rippers all congregate at Timberline to come shred at the only place with rideable snow in the Western Hemisphere mid-summer.   On August 2nd, many of us were twiddling our thumbs in quarantine, biting at any opportunity to get out and about at a safe distance. A friend and I rented touring gear to ski up and down the Palmer...

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Middle Fork Salmon   The Middle Fork of The Salmon. The River of No Return. The Frank Church Wilderness. The largest swatch of land in the continental US without road access. 2.3 million acres with another million in the adjacent Gospel Hump wilderness all roadless. Access to these remote areas is granted by bush plane and river corridor. This breathtaking section of the Idaho wilderness has quickly established in my mind as one of the most majestic places on earth.    An absolute bucket list river trip for seasoned and budding boaters alike, it is a weeklong adventure into some...

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I have heard that New Mexico will let you know whether or not you are welcome. That it will either envelop you in warmth and vibrant enchantment or it will spit you out, sending some away with their tail between their legs.   There is a place here known as Diablo Canyon where this proves true and strong in my heart.  It lies in the center of the Caja del Rio Plateau, 15 miles west of Santa Fe on ancient Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo land, with its titanous formations dating back 65 million years. The basalt canyon walls tower over a weaving prehistoric...

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