Thoughts of a young traveler

“Three or four years ago I came to the conclusion that for me, at least, the lone trail was the best, and the years that have followed strengthened my belief.

It is not that I am unable to enjoy companionship or unable to adapt myself to other people. But I dislike to bring into play the aggressiveness of spirit which is necessary with an assertive companion, and I have found it easier and more adventurous to face situations alone. There is a splendid freedom in solitude, and after all, it is for solitude that I go to the mountains and deserts, not for companionship. In solitude I can bare my soul to the mountains unabashed. I can work or think, act or recline at my whim, and nothing stands between me and the Wild.”

Everett Ruess

slot canyonThose are the words of a twenty year young traveler and artist. Those are not just words. Everett Ruess lived his words exploring the most remote parts of the Southwest in the 30s, when the country was in a Depression. Nothing stopped the young adventurer from writing poetry and painting water colors while exploring and experiencing the vast and desolate landscape. Not limited financial resources, not the lack of supporting companions, nor the hardship that came with the rugged terrain and the extreme desert climate prevented him from spending months at a time as a teenager away from his family.
Some historians claim that he was one of the youngest traveler, writer, and painter of all times. He left us with a rich portrait of a lone traveler in the wild, wild West. Everett cites the beauty of the wilderness as the reward for all the suffering and sacrifices he lived through during his journeys. A  beauty he could not really share with any one. A beauty he was willing to die for.