Darting eyes, bear prints and the Nebo knife point.

Oregon was the perfect playground as a boyscout but my father was the one that relentless fueled my desire for adventure. He would take my sister and me every Saturday outdoors and passed on his passion to me.

It is great reminiscing on why today that sense of adventure still lives on in me so strongly. Now it is me that takes the reigns of the adventures and inspire my friends to be active in the outdoors with me.

I'll never lose that desire for waking up at 3 in the morning, drinking your coffee in the car on the way to a Trailhead. Listening to good music, totally and completely stoked about the adventure I'm about to embark on! 

There are few moments in life that beat this excitement for me. 

One moment that does is the feeling of being on top of a mountain.

      It was 3:30 in the morning, driving down to Payson, Utah to go hike Mount Nebo, the tallest mountain in the Wasatch Range, standing at 11,928 ft. (3.636 m), stoke levels were off the charts!

We were hauling butt down to the freeway and in our haste, I forgot to fill up with fuel as the needle edged closer to perilous RED ZONE! Eager to summit by sunrise, it was an issue Bri Perri and I would deal with on the way home. The Trailhead and the 22 miles through deep forest that lay ahead was the only thing on our minds.

Finally we navigated the final turns in the darkness after several anxious kilometres.

Shimmering in the glow of the fading moonlight, the Trailhead looked like heaven as it differentiated itself from the star studded nights sky.

The stars shone like a densely populated city in the distance, the moon hanging tightly to the western horizon and the cool November night caressed the exposed skin of my face as I took the lead up the trail. 

"What's that?", a little jumpy from an experience she had two weeks earlier where she was stalked by a cougar for 2 miles while hiking Lake Blanche trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Bri spotted two sets of eyes focused in on her protruding flash ligh.

I knew from the fact there were two sets of eyes that this was probably not a cougar, it was probably just coyotes or deer, it was very hard to tell, but they just stared back unblinking for countless unending minutes. 

"Want to keep going?", I asked. Without replying she shifted her torch light to the trail and hiked on.

Soon after, we noticed paw marks in the snow right on the trail in the direction we were headed. They were smaller, probably bobcat, but this did not help the anxiousness we were now feeling. We trekked on quickly through this wooded area and soon made it out into a meadow, where the trail winded up the hillside to the ridge we would follow all the way to the peak. 

That vision of the sun was cresting the horizon in the east is something truly remarkable. Added to what we went through to deserve this view was truly amazing to see such a thing. The morning light began unveiling mountains.

Mountains were way off in the distance and in all directions. To the south we could see our destination, the peak of Mount Nebo! It jutted up from the ridge and was pretty prominent and epic looking. 

Excited, we almost hurried now in the improving light.


Suddenly, hiking the ridge line nearby a huge rockfall area and admiring the awesome view a thundering echo snapped us out of our ethereal feeling. It sounded close so we explored further.

Big and clawed, they were definitely bear tracks! We scanned the area for a good 15 minutes, waiting for something, some huge ass bear to crest the hill and come down to eat us. Haha! 

Impatience or bravery, I'm still not sure but we figured it could also be a mountain goat and the strong desire to reach the peak won out.
Continuing to scan the noise of loose talus falling was relentless but still could see nothing! 

Finally the culprit showed themselves. 

Loose rocks piles littered the mountainside, it clicked. These rocks were thawing out from the nights freeze. Now unharnessed by the morning sun, they rolled, tumbled and made one hell of a ruckus as they resettled on their own account.

Admittedly, we were a paranoid mess for most of this trip up the mountain! 

Laughing at ourselves we continued on our journey, following the bear tracks up the mountainside. 

Rockfall on our left and steep snowy slopes on the right and the ridge line in front of us started to diminish as more and more blue morning sky filled our view as the summit veered up majestically from the sharp knife-like ridge.

The knife-like ridge was exposed and long steep slopes of sharp rock fell away on both sides. It was epic. We traversed across this skinny ridge and headed up the steep peak face, trying not to slip or fall on the snow and ice, because doing so would not end well.

We carefully made our way and finally reached the summit and were rewarded with an amazing view of various mountain ranges within sight, a blue sky, and a bright and very warm sun.

It was truly an amazing adventure, punctuated with moments of suspense, uncertainty, and also countless joy and significant achievement

That is why I love adventuring so much!

Non are ever the same, even if you are on the same trail.

Being in the mountains clears my mind, satiates my desire for adventure, and gives me the chance to explore our incredible world. That sense of exploration that is embedded deep with the human soul is withing all of us, but not everyone chases after it. 

It's a cool feeling to be doing things not many others dare or make the time to do. Every experience I have ever had out in nature has been a good one and I never regret it, even if something bad did happen or if there were setbacks. 

That fact and the experiences that I gain every time I head out on the trail to explore keeps me going back and wanting more, always wanting to go somewhere new, to push myself and inspire others to get out and do something exciting.

This world really exists but it's not just enough for me to believe it and I need to get out and experience what the world has to offer and see it for myself. 

Go make your own unforgettable memories. 

From Oregon and currently living in Salt Lake City, Utah U.S.A. I am a lover of the Great Outdoors, Hiking, and any sort of Adventure. I enjoy a good laugh, hanging with my friends, and life in general. Photography is a passion of mine and how I choose to share my love of the outdoors, adventures and nature with everyone.
- Dakota Robbins