There are so many places to get lost in Montana, and the many bumper stickers, t-shirts, and kitsch stamped with that slogan "Get LOST - Montana" is constantly there as a reminder. I love getting lost out here, it's my childhood dream come true. Except now, instead of building a fort and a fake fire with sticks for lunch, we have espresso in the morning and Spencer's pumpkin chili for dinner. I can hike for hours without seeing another human. Sometimes that's scary (not as much so now that I've started carrying bear spray), but mostly it's just sublime. Hanging out here in nature totally solo is a reminder that the world is huge, and still untouched in some places. And at this moment, the untouched places seem to be the best ones.
We were 100% checked out this weekend, meaning zero cell phone service or access to an internet connection. Disconnecting is always a double edged sword, it's tough because I want to be available if my family needs to call me, but also want to try and be less reliant on being plugged in. And what can happen in 48 hours that could be so horrible?
Coming out of two days lost in the woods and reading about what had happened in Charlottesville, VA - a group of ignorant, hateful people marching to spread their small, petty, horrid message in front of the rest of America. And then, the violence those people inflicted towards a crowd of people who bravely showed up that day to protest. To propel a message of love and human connection in a time of fear and division. There are no sides in this. There is one side, humanity, goodness, love, and acceptance. Acceptance isn't even the right word. Tolerance isn't either. Togetherness?
It would be so easy to get lost again. To walk back into the woods and ignore everything that feels awful. It would be easy to move four hours north to a place that doesn't have a racist running their country. But that's not the right thing to do. The right thing to do is to speak out against this shit. When I was in 7th grade Jason Edwards would come up to me after school when I was at my locker and whisper "nazi" under his breath, you know what I did? I smiled at him. Isn't that crazy? I smiled because I was too scared to say anything brave. When he started yelling "nazi" out of the bus window, I still smiled. But I'm not smiling now. Not fucking smiling. I'm speaking. I wish there was more I could do. I'm sure there is, it's time to figure out how.