Kristen Lodge – Use this reminder to get busy living |

Kristen Lodge – Use this reminder to get busy living

Kristen Lodge / Outdoor Adventures
Grand County, Colorado

Everyone remembers where they were that day, September 11, 2001. It was a life-changing day and we will never forget it.

I was living in Killington, Vt.; five hours north of New York City. I was working at the Killington Golf Course Club House and the entire office watched the news all day. We stared in disbelief that this was happening. It was one of the saddest days of my life.

I kept wondering if I was safe here, in a small mountain community five hours north of the city. However, for many months after, I didn’t want to travel, I rarely left the small community I lived in, and watched too many news reports.

I read a story in Backpacker Magazine about two men who were on a backpacking trip during the attacks. They heard about the planes and towers when they came back to civilization. I can’t imagine how they must have felt coming back to a changed world. Backpacking is one way to escape the hectic pace of life; but coming back to a world that is completely changed is inconceivable.

The longest backpack trip I did was four days on the Appalachian Trail when I lived in Maine eight years ago. The feeling of coming back to the world after many days on the trail is a faint memory now. I don’t remember details of the trip at all. I don’t remember how I felt at the end of the fourth day when I got back to Bethel and watched television after entertaining myself just watching the sunset. I need to get out in the woods again and find that feeling.

A long backpacking trip on the Continental Divide has been on my list of things to do since reading “Life’s Little Instruction Book”. You know, the book that tells you how to really live. “Call your Mom” “Be kinder than necessary.” Great stuff. The instruction I remember: “Make a list of all the things you want to do before you die.” I’ve added to the list through the years and it’s getting long.

For example, some things on the list: Take a train across country, travel to Spain and Italy, mountain bike every trail in Fraser and Winter Park; some are more realistic than others. But the best part of having the list is the sense of accomplishment when I check something off as done.

One of my favorite movie quotes reminds me: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” (The Shawshank Redemption)

On this anniversary of Sept. 11, I vow to “get busy living” and not let anything prevent me from completing all the things I want to do. This anniversary reminds me that life can end in an instant and to not waste a bit of it

So I’m planning a backpacking trip next week. I want to get out there before the snow covers the high peaks. I’m going to hike all day and watch the sunset while sitting on an ancient rock as my dogs chase squirrels. I will sleep under the stars and hope the world doesn’t change too much before I get back. I can’t wait to check this off my list.