February 11, 2018

Happy Birthday C. McCandless. The Sage of Solitude

Today was a good day. On Los Pinos trail. From hot springs with 2,000’ of ups. There were a few minutes on a perch overlooking Hot Springs Canyon. Contrails overhead, and a red tail hawk soaring below. Memorable for sure. It's not often that one looks down from were they stand to watch a hawk soaring. The best of all? For several hours there was not another human soul to be seen.

It reminded me of a scene with Alexander Supertramp, aka Christopher McCandless, from the movie Into the Wild. Randomly, he looked into the sky to observe a airplane passing overhead. In the movie everything goes silent for a few seconds as you watch this jet move across the sky. The contrail forming behind it. Why do they show this? There is no explanation. Maybe it is a silent protest of the fact that no matter where we are on this planet, we can’t escape human fingerprints. They are everywhere.

McCandless tried to escape from the fingerprints. He went to the farthest end of the earth, walked among grizzlies, ate wild berries and shot wild game. He was born 50 years ago tomorrow. He escaped the hands of society to travel the country, to find his refuge in a place a long way from the maddening crowd. A place with no lines. No malls. No traffic. No hordes. I wish he were still alive today. To share with us what motivated him to push the boundaries. To move "into" the wild. To shun what so many of us grasp onto.

Happy Birthday Christopher McCandless. You are the sage of solitude. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to go it alone.

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