Our Natural Roots

Our Natural Roots

“The frontal lobe, the part of our brain that’s hyper-engaged in modern life, deactivates a little when you are outside,” Florence Williams – Nat. Geo 

The Calling of the Great Outdoors 

There is something that happens when you enter the wilderness of the outdoors. The detachment from ticking clocks and ringing phones acts as a reset from the daily pattern of life. Simon Forster, age 23, born and raised in Washington State, can tell you through his experiences in the outdoors that he believes it to be true that the human desire to be with nature is one that can never fully be satisfied.  


Going Back to our Natural Roots

The amount of research that scientists have studied concerning the way humans are affected when they are surrounded by nature is a field that still seems unexplained to most. These studies range from stating a single house plant can increase your mood, to the fact that the Japanese Government now supports “forest bathing”, to how trees can decrease murder rates in cities. What do you believe? That is one of the beautiful things about this area of research, each person interprets and believes what they see to be true, exactly how each person experiences the outdoors in their own unique and unexplainable way.  

As technology becomes uncontrollably intertwined with our lives, the more we need nature’s calming omnipresenceKris Abrams, psychotherapist and student of ecopsychology and wilderness therapy, can tell you why that is true. Nature teaches you subconsciously that there is nothing wrong with you. There aren’t mirrors hung on trees when you are out hiking, or billboards of models as you scale mountains. Kris says that one of her theories suggests that we love and desire nature because we evolved in it. Kris knows that broad theories like these often leave people questioning the truth unless they have felt this sensation for themselves.  

Simon Forster, customer of Silver Cup Coffee and an avid outdoorsman can tell you firsthand this feeling of euphoria after a backpacking trip in the Cascades.  

Following a backpacking trip, most people experience a degree of exhaustion, crave any high-calorie substance, and cannot wait to kick their boots off. One unique thing about backpacking is that no trip can be perfectly recreated. Each experience is different. The people change, weather patterns change, the surroundings of your location change, and that is simply the way it is. Nature is wild, and it is constantly evolving. When you’re out in the wilderness with no cell-phone reception and limited distractions, it forces you to connect with the people that you are with. Backpacking trips are an easy way for people to really bond. This leaves me with the feeling of social fulfillment following nearly every trip. Being in the mountains provides me the opportunity to learn new things about the people I’m with that I may not have learned otherwise.”  – Simon Forster

With all that we strive and fail to control in our own daily lives, we simply cannot in nature. We can’t change the temperature, or delay the sun setting, or stop the ache of our burning muscles as we scale mountainsides. We are forced to surrender to these things and remember that hardship and lack of control are part of our reality. Accepting this reality makes it not only bearable but nearly impossible to not feel the joy of being alive.  

As Washingtonians, we have unprecedented access to the great outdoors. Whether you enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, boating, skiing, or simply sight-seeing, there is no better place to experience nature’s beauty than in Washington.” – Simon Forster

Follow Simon around the PNW by hiking in the small town of CleElum (pictured below left), or an overnight backpacking trip in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness at the Rampart Lakes (pictured below right). Remember to do your research to plan and pack accordingly, and make sure to double check the coffee is ready to go.  

“It’s important to have good company on these trips. This looks different for everyone. Personally, I favor going with people that can find contentment with whiskey by the fire, a fresh cup of coffee at sunrise, and can handle a mosquito…. or six. On the flip side, backpacking can be great for those who may not know if they like being in nature. You’ll never know the wonders of sleeping under the stars if you’ve never slept under the stars.” – Simon Forster

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