We Montanan’s are diligently watching the weather and trying to soak in the warmer sun. Winter is slowly leaving as we watch tree buds bloom and hillsides become littered with green. It’s not summer in Montana but it’s close, we can feel it, and we are chomping at the bit. All we want to do is be outside (or maybe it’s just me). Ever since I was a little kid I just wanted to be outside amongst nature—to climb trees, witness wild flowers, and to see mountains, the big sky and clouds—to immerse myself with what the earth provides us.
I was feeling heavy emotion last week. PMS tears welled up at the drop of a hat and I became frustrated at the stupidest of things. I needed to find nature so I asked the owners of a ranch where I can host retreats if I could hang out at their Wilderness Outpost cabin, which comes with 190 acres of surrounding land. I skipped out of town Friday with my bestie (Scarlett, my Subaru) and we took off down the road. I dreamt that I could camp for a couple of nights and wander the countryside aimlessly. As we left town and I took in the breathtaking scenery, all my worries started to lift. Things were already not as bad as they seemed.
Making our way through the Bridger Range and by the Crazy Mountains, we continued north to the Little Belt mountain range. Scarlett took the left on the dirt road that would lead to the log cabin in woods that sits on the hillside. I was stoked! Until that is, I saw that the surrounding scenery was just coming out of winter and not as green as Bozeman. I was disappointed. Nor could I even drive to the cabin as the road was still filled with snow. A few righteous cuss words came out of my mouth, but I decided to trek to the cabin on foot and scope the scene.
After a 10-minute walk straight uphill about 300 yards through the woods and avoiding snow, I made it to the cabin. Snow surrounded the building but I got in to take a gander. I had come to get away, find some peace, and let go of corona virus. Instead, I had likely found hantavirus due to the amount of mouse poop everywhere.
I sat on the porch in the sun checking out the Little Belt mountains across the valley. The views were pretty good. Could I stay here? After some assessment, I threw one of the mattresses outside, 409’d the crap out of it, and left it in the sun to bake. Then I started sweeping a bit. I went back and forth again and decided to stay. Whatever, one night. I made of mental list of what I needed, walked back to the car to grab my things and trudged back up the hill. I opened the windows and doors to clear the air, pulled out a mask a friend made me for errands around town, and went to work prepping a sleeping area. Blue skies above. Wind passed through. Calmer, I decided to explore and see what the area offered. I found a somewhat dried out beautiful meadow and hiked up the hill towards Keegan peak. Then I found a fence line and decided to not go any farther.
That first evening I built a fire in the stove and immediately started reading my book. A real, wood burning fire provided warmth and light on the soul. My emotions were in check and I was feeling relaxed. After just a few hours out there, I already felt like I had been gone for a week. My mind was clearing and I could just be. No digital nonsense, no social media going on here. I was completely disconnected.
Before bed I heard dogs barking across the valley. I slept like a baby and awoke the next morning smiling and feeling great. I was going to stay another day! Why not? I didn’t have anything going on at home, nothing is really open anyway, and I might as well enjoy some time away.
The sun shone brightly in the sky on the deck over looking the mountains. Wanting to finish my book, I started on it again and finished it late in the morning. I couldn’t believe how relaxed I had become. Time spent without anything digital and engrossed in nature brought back the grounding that I needed. No worries surrounded me at the moment except for where was I going to explore today.
I decided to give the mountain a try again. I wandered up the hillside and found a place in the fence where I could pass onto forest service land and followed a critter trail along the hillside in search of something. In search of ‘hidden treasures in nature.’ What I discovered was a beautiful cliff looming 300 feet above me. With snow all along the bottom, I bailed to find a different route to the top.
I found a spot to climb straight up that wasn’t dangerous and had solid footing. After 5 minutes or so the peak gave way and I found myself standing on the high cliff that I had just seen from below. Bingo! I’d made it to the top. Sitting there and absorbing the expansive scenery and 360 views of the area, I snapped a few photos.
That second evening I started another fire, made dinner, read more and wrote about my adventure. I gave up hoping to find the most beautiful spot where I could capture awesome images. I gave up trying to make it better. I decided to let go. Let go of all things that typically cause me worry and stress. Here in mother nature I can just be who I am. I can let my guard down and she does the rest, offering healing that inherently comes by spending time in nature.
Here are my 5 reasons to leave the city and spend time in nature:
- To let your guard down. Mother Nature doesn’t care if your eyelashes are tweaked or you’ve gained a couple pounds.
- To lower stress and anxiety levels.
- It offers both complete disconnection from societal pressures and reconnection to self.
- It clears and frees the mind, allowing you to reclaim or boost creativity.
- It allows indulgence of full relaxation mode. Without intrusions from others or needing to check your devices, you can let go and relish some quiet time.
Stay safe my friends, am sending you love and health. Diana
About Diana – Owner of Your Adventure Rx
Ladies, if you thought you couldn’t do it, think again. If you hang out with us for too long you’ll start believing in yourself and leave knowing you can accomplish anything. Diana is an Adventurer, Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS), worked as professional outdoor recreation educator for people with and without disabilities for the last 20 years, traveled to over 20 countries and is also certified in Wilderness First Aid. She climbed many mountain peaks, biked numerous trails and paddled all around the world.