G Dan Mitchell Photography http://www.gdanmitchell.com Daily photographs, news, observations, and ideas about photography Fri, 19 Sep 2014 19:25:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 G Dan Mitchell Photography http://www.gdanmitchell.com/images/Dan-at-Shuksan_VertCrop144Wide.jpghttp://www.gdanmitchell.com Daily photographs, news, observations, and ideas about photography The Young and the Old in the Backcountry (Morning Musing 9/19/14)http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2014/09/19/the-young-and-the-old-in-the-backcountry-morning-musing-91914 http://www.gdanmitchell.com/2014/09/19/the-young-and-the-old-in-the-backcountry-morning-musing-91914#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:00:26 +0000 http://www.gdanmitchell.com/?p=29659 Backpackers, Near MIlestone Basin

Backpackers, Near Milestone Basin*

I’m no longer the young person I was when I began backpacking at the age of just about 16, nor even the person who was young and footloose and fancy free in the Sierra during college and in his twenties. During the past few years, I and others have noticed a decreasing number of young backpackers compared to what we saw back in our youth. In a recent discussion, the subject of “young people in the backcountry” came up — in the context of noticing that their numbers seem to be increasing again. 

During the first part of September I was in the Sie
rra with a group of photographers “of a certain age,” among whom I may have been the youngest, when we were passed by a delightful young couple on the trail… and they brought back wonderful memories of my own travels when I was more like them in appearance and pace, and when everything in the mountains was new and fresh and unknown. That was a wonderful and magical time!

But I also thought about how much I love the deeper perspective and familiarity that comes from decades of visits and backcountry travel, and the knowledge and experience of many places, events, things, and people over that time. Today almost every Sierra experience is, for me, connected to and woven into a very rich tapestry of places and people and recollections, and my connection to the range and its backcountry only deepens.

As that young couple walked past, for a moment I almost stopped them to tell them how much I enjoyed seeing them on the trail and how wonderful the experiences ahead of them could be as they grow into their lives in the Sierra. But I didn’t, thinking it better to let them discover this the way I have. :-)

  • Original post of “Backpackers, Near Milestone Basin” photograph is here.

Morning Musings are somewhat irregular posts in which I write about whatever is on my mind at the moment.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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