We were meant to go out and experience all of these beautiful creations in this world. If we just spend our lives sitting inside, watching television, or writing blogs, then all that there is in this world will be forgotten. I believe that God gave us the mountains, the oceans, and the rivers to explore and enjoy. Do not be one of those folks who just wastes away inside. Get out there and start a new journey in the outdoors. The liberating feeling one gets when being outside and being active is unable to be duplicated. So to all of my friends and family, get up, go out, and start exploring. Do not ever stop exploring.
Restlessness. Something I have been dealing with a lot lately. I am an active human being that loves the outdoors and everything that is related to the outdoors. Not being able to go outside and go for a hike kills me, not literally but you understand. I live in the high plains, and that means that there isn’t much to do outdoors besides farm and hunt. I am also and avid snow skier. The closest mountain to me is three and a half hours away. Its like being trapped in a small box, except the box is a wide open flat field that seems to never end. I don’t know what’s worse, a box or a never ending plain. On top of this, I have a lot of spare time in between classes. Most people say “just go home between classes.” I would go home if it wasn’t twenty miles away. Gas prices…
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Alright so I’m sure everyone has heard about wanderlust at some point here recently. For those who haven’t heard about it, it is the strong desire to travel, according to the dictionary. People have this uncontrollable urge to go out and wander around the earth and discover new things or nothing at all, and it has become one of the most popular topics on Pinterest and Instagram and is constantly trending all over social media. It’s amazing to see all of the wonderful pictures and videos of people’s travels, it’s also very tempting not to go. I think I speak for everyone in the entire world, aside from maybe hermits, that we all have a desire to discover places we haven’t seen. It’s just human nature to have a hunger for the unknown and to discover cool crap! There is nothing wrong with it. However, I’ve been thinking about it some…
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Every once in a while I get to go to place that is referred to as the “Sportsman’s Paradise”. This area is one of my favorites in the entire world. I’m not sure if it is the memories that I have there or, how beautiful this part of America is. I guess it is a mixture of both. Louisiana is tied with Colorado at the top of the list of my favorite places to be on this planet. It is so beautiful to see all the creation that God has laid before us.
How wonderful it is to see creation that has been untouched by man. How wonderful it is to see unadulterated nature. There are very few things in this world that can be considered pure and I believe these woods are pure and refreshing to the spirit. I have been reading John Muir’s books and I am completely indulged in them. The way he speaks about nature and life is inspiring. I feel the same way he does about creation. Am I putting myself on the same level as John Muir? By no means! He is one of my hero’s and I wish I could be half as adventurous and inspiring as he is.
Beauregard Parish is one of my favorite places in the world. Lee Spears road leads to the place that my family likes to call “The Hill” more properly “Spears Hill”. I have 2 great (they really are great!) aunts and uncles that live up there along with my GG and Pawpaw (who are also great!). My Maw Maw lived up there until she went on to be with the LORD. It is a serene place that looks like it could go on the cover of a magazine.
The memories that I have there are wonderful. That’s where I learned how to shoot. That’s where I learned how to fish. The many memories I have here are some of the best of my life.
I guess this is where I found my love for adventure. Where I found my love for God’s creation. There is no other place in the world like it. The wildness is awe-inspiring. This unadulterated land is something every eye should see.
Its been a while since I’ve written a blog. I wish I could use an excuse like “I’m too busy” or “Life has been crazy” but, I should have written more. I have gotten to do some amazing things since I’ve last written. The most memorable of them was an incredible trip to The Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and Aspen. Needless to say this trip was amazing. Three of my best friends and I went on a trip that I will not soon forget. It was full of serious laughter and memories that won’t fade.
The trip started for me at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 7th. I got up from my 45 minute nap and went to my friend Seth’s house. Shortly after I had a cup of coffee Hunter showed up and we finished packing the Suburban. Next we went to Chase’s house and packed his things. We started our 680 mile journey to the Grand Canyon. The first half of the 3 1/4 of the journey went very smoothly. We caught up with each other and some of us (Chase and Hunter) on sleep. Then, the adventure began. We stopped in Gallup, New Mexico to eat and gas up. As we got left our table I began to feel nauseous. $10 down and about 5 pounds lighter, we began our journey again only to realize that we needed a new battery for the “Burban”. The battery was found in Flagstaff and our journey began anew.
The moment we all saw the Grand Canyon was one that is unforgettable. I am still in awe of it (I’m still not sure if it was real or not). There was a moment of silence between all of us. One thing I know for sure is that our silence was not due to exhaustion. It was in awe of what we were seeing. The sheer beauty and vastness of it was a wonder that none of us have seen before. That very night we set up camp in some BLM land (Bureau of Land Management). The site was awesome and we weren’t close to anybody. The first day and night were a success with some memories added in.
The next day we sat our for Utah. On the way we stopped at Horseshoe Bend. That was an unexpected surprise and that was one of my favorites of the whole trip. That is something that everyone should see. It is a natural 270 degree switch back in the Colorado River. It is another incredible sight.
The adventure continued as we traveled North West to Zion. We set up camp that night in my least favorite camp on our trip. The only reason is was my least favorite is because when I woke up Tuesday morning it was already 80 degrees. We sat out to hike Angels Landing. Angels Landing is one of my favorite hikes that I have ever done. The view from the top is a wonder of its own. You can see almost the entire park. There was a sense of peace up there. The name is deserving because only a foolish person or an Angel would want to go to the top. So, we did it.
The next step in our adventure was completely unplanned. As we finished our hike of Angels Landing we were mowing over whether we should do the Narrows hike or not. I had an idea as I was sitting there drenched in sweat “Y’all want to go to Colorado?” I asked. Without any hesitation Seth said, “Y’all want to go to Aspen?”. We all agreed. The 104 degree heat made its impression on us to the point of turning to the mountains.
We made it past Grand Junction, and set up camp. Another hot night made the thought of Aspen all the better. The next morning we packed up camp and headed to Glenwood Springs. We decided to go rafting. Rafting was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip. There’s something about not showering for four days and then, having a “baptism” of sorts in the cool Colorado River. We all agreed that rafting was an awesome experience.
Next we found an incredible campsite in the BLM land of the White River National Forrest. This was by far the best campsite that we had. That night was used for setting up camp and relaxing by the fire.
When we woke up the next morning it was 37 degrees. Which was a breath of fresh air (literally) compared to the heat of Southern Utah. We hiked the Maroon Bells trail to Cathedral Lake. In my opinion this was by far the best and coolest hike we went on. All the way to the top the sites were magnificent. We had the Rocky Mountains surrounding us and a waterfall to guide our way. The high altitude lake was a sight to behold. It had a sense of peace and tranquility that I have never felt. The beauty of Colorado never ceases to amaze my spirit.
That night we ate and were merry enjoying Aspen’s scenery. John’s garden was our next stop. It was a beautiful tribute to the troubadour Mr. John Denver. Aspen is an incredible place (Dumb and Dumber didn’t lie!) Everything in Colorado was awesome and the weather was cool. The coolness of the mountain air is something that I will forever love and never take for granted.
As our adventure was coming to an end we had one more major stop, the Great Divide. This was another thing on my long list of things that I have always wanted to see. Independence Pass was the perfect way to end our long wandering. It reminded me of gates we needed to go through to enter the “real world” again.
This trip was one of (if not the best) greatest trips I have ever been on. I spent quality time with friends that are more like brothers. We spent 6 days in the great outdoors that made memories that we will never forget. 6 days, 4 states, 3,000 miles, and 0 showers made 4 best friends closer to each other as well as closer to creation.
I’ve always been the underdog. In every sport I played I was the shortest and the skinniest. I use to let it get to me and I always thought that it would hold me back. But, I have learned something in my short time on this earth, you should always believe in the underdog. I guess I’m kind of a sucker for believing in this. That’s just how I’m wired. I’ve been the underdog in everything I have ever done so that must be the reason. I want to make this clear, I’m not trying to make you feel sorry for me. I want to give you hope.
I was the smallest varsity football player on the field my senior year (#80 pictured above). A very generous weight given to me in the program was 125 pounds. I started at wide receiver. My best friend and I were given the nicknames “Sticks and Stones”. I was obviously sticks. I knew that I was the smallest on the field but, I never let that stop my effort. My mom and dad always told me that I had the biggest heart. They saw by my efforts to block and tackle opposing players that were sometimes double my size. That was the story my entire athletic career. Whether I had to guard someone bigger than me in basketball or, block someone of superior athleticism on the football field. I never played my size. If I would get knocked down, I’d get back up again and hit them the next play. I guess you could say I was the underdog but, I never played like I was the underdog. I never gave up.
I have grown fond of being the underdog. It’s fun when people count you out because of your outward appearance. I think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Against all odds he non-violently protested the heinous acts of men. A fight that we are still fighting today in the United States and all over the world. He was a martyr for his cause. Dr. King once said “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.”. I think this speaks volumes to everyone. He is a great example of an underdog who took a stand against the evils of this world. I look up to his example greatly. He never gave up.
Another man that I look up to is Aaron Watson. He is an independent Country music artist from Amarillo, Texas. He has had things happen in his life that lesser men have not recovered from. His father is a Vietnam Veteran and is 100% handicapped. He lost a child not long after her birth. He has also had to endure the struggles of an independent musician. His newest album is titled “The Underdog”. He sings about his struggles and the hardships of these things. The thing that stands out to me the most is, he never gave up.
There are so many great underdog stories to look at and to give you hope. I can look no further than the book that has and continually catches my interest, the Bible. I look at the lives of Moses, Ehud, David, Daniel, Jesus and, so many others that it is hard to count. Some of these men that we read about had insurmountable odds against them. Some of these men had faults that made them anomalies. What is the one thing that all underdogs have in common? They never give up.
I know that I have never gone through the things that these men have. My life is minuscule compared to theirs. I may never do anything as great as these men, even though I hope to. But they give me hope. They lived and/or are living by the example to never count out the underdog.
I have a longing in my soul to go on an adventure. I have read countless tales of vagabonds that are on quests. This is so appealing to me. It is incredible when someone chooses to leave their home and everything they knew behind. I hear the story’s that J.R.R Tolkien has written about the groups that went out on incredible quests. All the things they found and learned along the way. I also read the tales of John Muir. His love for creation is awe-inspiring by itself. He found beauty in nature and life. Along with these great men I find the vagabond spirit stronger in no other than Jesus of Nazareth. Most will not think of Jesus Christ as a vagabond (That is rarely what is focused on in his life). He left his home and lived the example of loving God our Father and people. These men have all had an impact on my view of the world. Tolkien and Muir gave me a heart that loves creation and nature. Christ gave me a love for the Father and for people.
This world is so caught up in the thought of pursuing wealth. Our human nature cannot help the want we have for materialistic items. It is almost sickening to think that we have an adventurous spirit that is rarely ever acted upon. I gave you a few examples of the men that expanded my mind to think past these terrible notions that our society has been stricken with. These men have helped me realize that there is more to life than what we perceive. We have been given a beautiful place to dwell, this earth is full of beauty and adventure. This life was meant to be lived and explored. I do not see a reason in letting this flame within our souls for exploring to be relinquished. I hope that the fire within me to love this world and its people can never be allowed to burn out.
I don’t consider myself to be a normal twenty year old. But, what is normal? I guess I view normal as wanting to be wealthy and famous. To want to live in the suburbs with a white picket fence and a family of four. To work a 9-5 job sitting behind a desk everyday. Normal is to live the “perfect life”. I don’t believe in any of that. I believe in the pursuit of happiness. I believe in doing things, not for yourself, but for others. What is the point of just living just to gain wealth? What is the point of using your God-given life just to live for perishable things like money? I don’t see how that is good for your soul. All this said, I do want a family and I do know that you need money to survive in the American society. But, I don’t want to live the way that society wants us too.
I want to travel this world. I guess that’s the only way I can sum it up. I don’t want to just travel. I want to make my life an adventure. I don’t want to be under the term “normal” Honestly it is kind of a disgusting word. Normal. I don’t think any of our greatest moments in our life are defined as normal. I look at all the people that I find interesting and the people I consider my hero’s and none of them are “normal”. All the great people throughout history were not normal. What they did was extraordinary. That is what I want for my life. I don’t want to be under the umbrella that is considered normal. I want to pursue life, love and, passion. I want to pursue pure joy.
This picture I have is of my favorite place in the world. It is the pond outside of my Grandparents house in Louisiana. This area is some of the most beautiful country in the world. I love exploring the bayou. I love walking through the woods and admiring creation. This is where my love for the outdoors began. I don’t ever want to lose the feeling that I have for exploring this world. I don’t ever want to be normal because, this world is not normal. It has so many abnormalities that make up its beauty.
This blog is something I have wanted to do for a very long time. It is just something that I want to start and share things with the world. I’ve never considered myself a great writer or very creative. I’ve honestly never thought that anyone would be interested in me or what I have to say.
I will start off by saying a few things about myself. My name is Jacob and I am twenty years old. I am a student at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. I am a very passionate person. I love the outdoors. Outside is my favorite place to be. It does not matter what I am doing outdoors as long as I am there. My favorite things to do are snowboard, golf and, hike. Anything that involves me exploring and bettering my self. Another thing I am passionate about is love. Love is the most important thing in this world in my eyes. I am a strong believer in loving God, people and, our planet. I gave my good confession and was baptized on November 8, 2007. I do trust in the Lord and it seems that this trait is becoming an anomaly. I also believe in loving people, all people. I love interacting with people and learning more about them. I also believe that this planet was given to us and we need to take care of it. I must mention (since we are on the topic of love) that I have been in a relationship with an incredible girl for just over two and a half years. She is my rock and supports me no matter what. She is my best friend and I would not be who I am today if it was not for her.
Let me tell you something that I have learned in my short twenty years on this planet. Here is a quote that I live by, “A life lived without passion is a life lived without purpose”. I think being passionate about something is the most attractive quality in a person. If you find something that you love and you express it that is when a person is at their best. My two best friends in this world are passionate about being outside. I guess that’s why we are such good friends. We love to be outdoors. We love the creation that we are surrounded by. We are passionate about doing the things we love. I always know that we are going to have a great adventure when we go some where. I joke with them and say that I feel like Bilbo Baggins when we get together. I know that we will always have unexpected things happen. That is what makes for the greatest of adventures. When things don’t go according to “the plan” is when the real journey starts. I love how passionate we are when we get together. It is truly something special when you see the look of pure joy on someones face. I think that that look comes from being passionate and having fun.