Every time I see a road diverging in the woods, my mind recites the Frost lines that I memorized in elementary school. Literature is filthy with lessons inspired by the life outside, and I'm certainly not the first person to get all contemplative in nature. Thoreau said, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
I have a pretty short and simple checklist of things I need to maintain a life of balance. If I start to feel "off" I need only run through a few points. I take mental inventory of what I'm putting into my body, when I last spent time with people I loved, how much sleep I've gotten, and whether I'm creating, connecting, and contributing as often as possible. Ultimately, one of the required fields is, "when was I last in the mountains?" It's my happy, healthy, sacred place. For all that Salt Lake has to offer -- for every story we tell about the culture, creativity, food, architecture, and the general fabulousness of this city -- there are thousands of trails, hundreds of peaks, and countless roads [both traveled and not] to outshine it all. We're surrounded by more lakes, streams, and undiscovered meadows than you can shake a god damn stick at, and it's high time you take advantage. If you live in SLC [or Utah, for that matter], may I suggest you get outside. Find a trail. Run it. Walk it. Stand and stare. Get to appreciating this superbly impressive place we live. Go up, set some intentions and seek a little inspiration. This being summer and all, I've done a decent job of getting on a trail every day. This last week, after standing with my mouth open for several minutes, I snapped a few photos to pass on. Both trails shown are minutes from my place on South Temple; City Creek and the Pipeline Trail up Mill Creek are on my long-time list of favorites. Seeing it in person is obviously heaps better. Stop reading and head for the hills.
“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” -Emerson-