I had the recent privilege to spend a weekend backpacking in the DBNF with a childhood friend of mine named Robert Mudd. Heading out to the frosted forest with anyone is bound to be a good time. When you happen to be in exceptionally awesome company, it's an experience you may not forget for many years. With this trip being the first of many frigid journeys in the new winter season, I spent my time breathing in the deep sweet cold air while talking literature/composition with Robert. This weekend seemed like it was just the two of us out here, probably having something to do with that 20 degree wind chill.
It's such a pleasure to hear another passionate person telling me of their adventures, hardships & dreams. I do believe that Robert will do great things throughout his life, he has a strong will & equally strong writing ability. We conversed for hours with our visions in life & where we want to ultimately take them. After setting up camp just as the sun began setting, we roamed down the Cloud Splitter ridge & were on a hunt for down limbs for the nights fire. I was happy to see that the fire ban had been lifted due to some recent precipitation. Mother Nature has grown Bi-Polar with this disease of global warming she's experiencing. After collecting the smaller chunks of downed limbs & twigs, we had our sights on a fallen softwood that was lodged between a beautiful bristling pine & sandstone boulder. Me & Robert took turns detaching every limb, each pop & crunch giving off strong aromatic pleasures of citrusy cinnamon & earthy pitch. Surprisingly, we got back to camp with our sixteen foot fire source in just under fifteen minutes. Not too bad considering we hauled it up slick sandstone walls with just the glow of two headlamps. The rest of the night consisted of eating while regurgitating jokes & memories from our years of friendship. Once the fire retreated to an orange blazing simmer, we headed for our tents & called it a night (while in our own tents, still reminiscing on the "sandlot" crew we grew up with & the hijinks we all inherited along with it).
Robert Mudd is a writer & outdoor enthusiast, he's currently spending his life with the intention to see more & own less. That's something we can all appreciate, he currently is dedicated to his project titled "Peregrennials". Give it a look by clicking the photo below.
All images shot with Kodak Tri-X 400 film.
George Barnett, a Kentucky native that spends the better part of his days in the remote wilderness backpacking & roaming to find the next mountainside of inspiration. He & his son Levi Barnett have a untouchable relationship that only the tree's & lakes can comprehend. George searches for truth in conservation, the purpose of nature & it's inhabitants.