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Solitude provides the environment for introspection; crowds foster only kaleidoscopic mish-mash. Stripped down below undershorts, I've ridden my pony bareback into Glacier Park's Harrison Lake for a swim. But to most of us in this region, wilderness is where solitude in a natural world can best be located.You think I would dare do such thing if the campground and trail had been filled to overflowing? Lest there be doubters among you, let me hasten to add I'm not alone in a passion for privacy.So I do the next best thing and take it and grin because, as often happens when their bantering occurs, we'll be eating lunch in a remote canyon where we're unlikely to see another soul throughout the day.
Solitude permits individualism; crowds insist on regulation and conformity. Maybe if you're a seafaring sort you'd choose the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Wandering that country on autumn elk hunts became a yearly tradition.
When they had children, Gene and Gary accompanied their parents on the annual wilderness elk hunts.
In addition, a flock of Canada geese fed in our neighbor's uncut barley field, on our way to and from the woods. I knew about the elk herd using the valley floor five miles south of our place—near where Otto once had his fly-tying shop. We still hear the little wolf-dogs yipping on occasion, despite all the homes being built nearby. Yesterday a bald eagle sailed from a tree as we walked his way.
The lady's cheeks were still flushed from the exercise—or the excitement. We saw our first elk in the woods where our horses shelter from winter storms only the year previous. That herd had thrived since before Jane and I came to this valley 52 years ago. All demonstrate a great deal of adaptability in order to get along in a world rapidly being overrun by we humans. The wish to survive may well be instinct, but the mechanics of that survival lies somewhere between the ears.