Bucket List

IMG_9914.jpg43. Bucket lists. I don’t have one. I’m of the belief that today is the one day that we have for sure, and so if there’s a desire to do or see something, now is the time. We can balance responsible living with living with passion and exploration. It just takes a bit of practice, flexibility and imagination. And often another who reminds you that anything is possible. But Yosemite in the winter time, that had been on my list. I had lived aside the Merced River just outside the park for a summer after college. Three students and I were hired by the Department of the Interior to perform energy audits of park buildings. We lived in a double-wide trailer with a coin operated laundry machine, bears invading our dumpster each evening, and a view of the wild Merced and surrounding mountains that was jaw dropping. Yosemite feels so familiar, after seeing it from the bowels of the operations: the facilities department, the backs of kitchens, the stockrooms. Having spent that time, I always wondered how it would feel to walk through that sacred land on skis, after the hundreds of thousands of tourists had gone home for the harsh winters, planning their return for the following July. So a couple of winter seasons ago, as my partner and I drove home from LA to Seattle, we passed through the park. Our back country skis had been in the car, but in a just in case fashion. We had no plan. We had work and life to attend to back in Seattle. But in true serendipity, we snagged two last minute openings in a back country cabin, and hiked 12 miles on skis to paradise. A little cabin in a bowl of snow welcomed us after a grueling day of up and down. We entered to a warming fire, twenty cots, a giant farm table, a cookstove to prepare our simple meals, and two dedicated days to ski and unplug. We made some fast friends, and experienced true connection with others, ourselves, the brilliant night sky and the tremendous power of nature. Yosemite in the winter. Check, check and check. And yet another reminder to put yourself in the way of magic. To say yes, when it’s far easier to say “nah, I gotta get home to do the laundry.”

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