A Celebration

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Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m really not that into birthdays, especially mine. I don’t care for being the center of attention, I’m not much of one for accumulating a lot of things, and am always ok to pass on cake. About the only thing about a traditional birthday celebration I am interested in is the ice cream. (To be clear, I’m always interested in ice cream.)

That said, I really want to be the kind of person that welcomes the passing of years with gratitude and grace. After all, my life just seems to get more lovely every year. I would never ever want to undo the blessings and the growth that the passing of time have bestowed me. I decided that this year I wanted to celebrate instead of ignoring the day, and more than anything, I wanted to go camping. Colton and Miara were kind enough to sign up to go with us.

We packed up after work and headed to the Uintas, planning to take a short backpacking trip into the backcountry. With Labor Day now past, we seemed to have the whole forest to ourselves.





The evening light was radiant as we slowly picked our way toward the lake. Even at a snails pace we only hiked a short while before we picked a picture perfect spot overlooking Naomi lake in which to pitch our tents. There wasn’t another soul in sight.



The boys made camp and I got to work creating my favorite camping meal in the dwindling twilight and then savored the gnocchi by headlamp. When we’d licked our plates clean, we brought out the peach cobbler for dessert.

As we ate, the stars slowly came out of hiding until the Milky Way stretched across the sky, yielding us the most impressive views of the universe I have ever witnessed. Despite the plummeting temperatures, we stayed out to soak in the pristine night as the air froze all around us.


I felt content to my very core to be high in the mountains with people I love, watching the heavens trail around the north star. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate life and welcome in a new year.


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