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Sitting Cross-legged Under a Tree or Traveling to the Yukon Territory

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If I were a monk or philosopher, I’d probably believe that you can be your best self wherever you are.

If that were so – or, at least, if I were more metaphysically evolved – it sure would save me a lot of blood, sweat, and sore muscles trying to reach the places I want to go.

Sometimes the exceptional places are exceptional because of the effort it took to reach them or what they represent.

For example, I’ve camped at more beautiful locations than the shore of the Arctic Ocean, and yet – come on – it’s the shore of the Arctic Ocean!

Postcard of a woman fishing on a river in the Yukon Territory

Another incredible place was near where we stayed just a few nights earlier at the end of our first day riding the Dempster Highway.

We pulled down a grassy, muddy two-track to where it dead-ended at a teacup saucer-size clearing.

After setting up camp, we trudged down a gully and past tall bushes to where the forest opened onto a wide, sparkling river rippling over sand and smooth boulders.

We gaped in wonder, then filled our canteen, and then gaped in wonder again.

Moxie splashed and drank, looked back to check her bearings, and then pranced off among the rocks and cool water.

So far, the Dempster had thrown some hard but manageable riding at us, which I rightly feared was far easier than the blistering miles that lay ahead.

But being in this place was, like sitting cross-legged under a tree, someplace not to worry about tomorrow.

So, until I actually learn how to sit cross-legged under a tree without thinking about chocolate or having to pee or what I want to do when I’m done sitting here, I’ll keep traveling to find those exceptional places.

And naturally some – like that machete slash clearing along the Ogilvie River – will stand out more exceptionally in my mind than others.

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