My life has been full of celebration lately. First there was Thanksgiving, my personal favorite holiday, and then my 33rd birthday was yesterday. For Thanksgiving our crew always goes out to climb and camp in Indian Creek, Utah, located just next to the southern edge of Canyonlands National Park.
I’m obsessed with climbing at The Creek. I’ll climb the fine sandstone cracks there till I am bloody and exhausted, and when I return home back to Durango in my mind I’m already planning when I can return next. However, it’s not just the climbing with our Thanksgiving celebration. It’s about friends, costumes, games, good food, the fire, and being in nature.
Out in nature, out at The Creek, amongst the countless red rock sandstone cliffs, the birds, the cottonwood trees, the bunny rabbits, the deer; something out there provokes a shift in the mental and physical realm. There’s no cell phone service out there, no interweb, Indian Creek evokes a time before this time. I like it like that, and I hope that it remains a place without phone service; most of us are attached to this technology more than we should be. That said, I heard a new cell phone tower was installed near the Abajo mountains, and in certain places one can send text messages easier than before. Still, it’s primarily out of sight, and out of mind.
Out in nature, with the blue sky above, the sun shining on us as we bask at the sandstone cliffs, I often contemplate the state of the world. I am more positive about humanity than I was when I was a college student, but I am also more complacent. I’ve realized that I am not going to change the world; I can only be a part of something that changes the world.
A question that’s entered my mind recently is what is the problem with mankind? Some might say it is numbers. More and more of us are on this planet, demanding resources, and polluting this sacred ball of rock in the sky more each day. Personally what I’ve been thinking, one of the major problems in the United States is just a simple lack of happiness. Why are people so obsessed with money? Why is success quantified with material possessions? Why do people that have so much still want more?
I’d like to think that my tribe of climbers is a happy group of people. On paper many of us might be lower class (I know I am), but in happiness we are millionaires. Sunshine provides more happiness to me than money could ever have. Would the world be a better place if society lived as climbers do: seeking just the right amount of resources to simply pursue what makes us happy?
That’s a big one, but those are the thoughts that go through my head when I’m out in the wild. I’m grateful that I could travel out to Indian Creek and be with my source of inspiration and celebration: nature and a tribe of people that find happiness through the simple activity that is rock climbing.
P.S. I recently wrote an article about the climbers' advocacy group Friends of Indian Creek for the Durango Telegraph. Click here to read the article.
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