As the sun breaks above the mountains

Categories:Life | Trail Stories

You wake up to the sound of the world beginning to wake up. Crawling out of your sleeping bag you begin to gather your things and hop out of the tent. The sun has started to rise however there is still quite a bit of time before it shines down on the valley you are camped in.

You set up your stove and light it. You place the pot full of water on top of the stove. The water does not take long to boil. You have heated enough water to pour some into your cup for coffee and the rest goes into the breakfast pouch full soon to be delicious backpacker fuel.

You look groggily at the pouch hunting for the “cook time”. You find it and it says to let stand for twenty minutes. While you wait you begin to pack up camp. You are hoping to get back on the trail as soon as you are done with breakfast. Packing up did not nearly as much time as you had thought. You still have some time left before your food is ready to eat. Sipping your coffee you notice that the birds are starting to become more active and the sun has almost crested the mountains.

You are starving and a little chilly. With coffee in hand you begin to pace watching the mountains. You pace to get your blood flowing hoping that will warm you. You also pace is because it is to painful to sit or stand still for more than a minute at a time.

The food is finally ready. Opening the pouch you let the steam out and begin to stir. Stirring the unrecognizable mush you take quick smell and its heavenly. The smell takes you back to a grea sy spoon diner in small town America. Beginning to eat you find your gaze focusing on a very specific spot on the mountains. It is a low spot. The spot where the sun will first shine through. You patiently wait. Eating and sipping your coffee.


You look up and there it is. At that exact moment the valley in which you were camped is now bathed in sunshine. Instantly all the stress that you had been bottling up from home, work, and day to day worries are gone. Those thoughts had consumed you and had been occupying every inch of free space you had. As if a switch had been flipped all that was wrong in your world has been corrected. During this brief reprieve everything is right in your world and you have no worries. It is in that moment you are one hundred percent in the moment focusing on right now. You can recall every detail. The smells, sights, sounds, and feelings.

We seek out these moments every time we head out into the wilderness. They come to us when we least expect them at the top of a mountain, the middle of the trail, or even over coffee in a campsite. A magical moment in which you are filled with pure joy and happiness. These moments seem to last an eternity while we are lost in them, but they are only a fleeting moment in our lives.

It is in that moment when we become bathed in sunlight that we must hold close and tight. Collecting them like baseball cards from our youth to look back on during the gloomy days.

Adam Nutting relishes being an avid backpacker, hiker, and all-around adventure junkie. While he currently spends his time hiking in the backcountry of southern Arizona, he grew up in Missouri, where he was naturally inclined to spend as much time as he could outdoors. Adam’s passion for the outdoors grew as he climbed the ranks of the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts, eventually attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

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