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Wondering in the Washington Wilderness


Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

While thrashing along in vegetation so thick I could hear, but not see a stream less than a body-length away from me, a rational person would probably reconsider their choice of hobbies – or at least their choice of a destination. But for some peculiar reason, and based on my conversations with other backpackers I’m not totally alone, I derive a strange sense of satisfaction from such up close and personal experiences with the flora of our public lands. It was easy to enjoy the first few miles of well-graded and maintained trail through a lush old-growth forest on my way to the junction with the more primitive path, which led to an uncrowded alpine wonderland. It can however, be quite a bit more challenging to appreciate stumbling into devils club and pushing through slide alder that obscures a path which lacks any moderation when it comes to the concept of rise over run. Such experiences notwithstanding, when reflecting back on over a decade of backpacking, I’ve realized that I’ve come to view “wilderness” as a synonym for “paradise”. From primeval forests in the Southern Appalachians...

In Issue 40, @Mark shares thoughts on wilderness, and finding our own wilderness experience wherever our backcountry travels may take us. Check out the full article below:

Wondering in the Washington Wilderness

Wondering in the Washington Wilderness

Issue 40 Page 1

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  • Aaron Zagrodnick changed the title to Wondering in the Washington Wilderness

HI Aaron.  I am retired forester.  We hardly ever used trails.  Same with a lot of work out in rangelands. 

The fastest way to get away from people and experience wilderness is to get off the trails.  You just have to be careful and navigate your way.  The rewards are many.

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