This trip checked several boxes. As more and more high-rise buildings eat up urban skies and leave much of New York City in deep shadows by mid-afternoon, I appreciated being able stand in open horizons under a relentless sun, special effects-like cloud formations, and a clear, sparkling Milky Way.
As residential and commercial developments force Americans interested in wildlife to travel farther for dwindling pristine sites, I treasured being able to sit on my deck and have birds and other creatures pass or pause so close that they seemed to come visit me.
As a range of first-world cultural developments erode even the inclination for contemplative awareness of our environments (and of ourselves!), being grounded somewhere beyond their reach for a little while recharged that spark of humanity ensuring that it fuel another quest like this one soon.
Humans remain the top predator everywhere, but it was again mysterious, humbling and occasionally awesome to feel a little vulnerable, but never actually threatened, in truly wild spaces like my ancestors once navigated and that we’ve had the good sense to preserve.