Living in the Moment

I spent the three days backpacking in Sawtooth National Recreation Area. It was amazing to see how much snow still sits in the high country and I seemed to hike past one constant waterfall due to the gushing flow in the mountain streams.

What truly got my attention was the presence of bears on my hike back to the trail head. I ran across repeated signs of bears in the area. Their presence seemed to coincide with the fact that the trail became overgrown and I could not see much further than 5-10 yards ahead at best. A couple times I heard the loud crush of vegetation moving somewhere just off the trail. For the next two hours my focus was only on the moment. No day-dreaming or inner monologue- just focusing on not surprising a bear standing in the middle of a huckleberry patch.

It was a reminder that during moments of heightened awareness our focus can be well trained on the events at hand. Multi-tasking was out. I was not juggling a couple of responsibilities. It was simple, focus on moving down the trail in the safest manner possible.

I ran into a group of three backpackers who had started from a lower campsite and scared off three bears. I thanked them for their fine work.

How do you stay focused? What have you pulled off when you put your mind to a single outcome?

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