I know I’ve mentioned this before. I’m a mountain person. I do love the beach and the ocean, and I love visiting lakes -especially the Great Lakes. If given the choice, I would pick the mountains over the beach every time. The scenery, air and wildlife is a natural high for me. I completely understand John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High. When traveling in the mountains, and especially when hiking, there are dangers inherent in these activities. If you are with a guide, remember that they are the experts. Stay close to your guide and listen to their instruction. This is especially important on guided hiking tours. Be aware when in the mountains, depending on what part of the country, you could run across bison, elk, deer, moose, wolves, coyotes, and bear, to name a few. You’re in their world, so as you invade it, be on alert, remaining a safe distance. Carry protection with you that, at the very least, should include bear spray. If, like me, you have hundreds of apps on your phone, keep in mind you may need to rely on old school techniques like a hand held compass, instead of that compass app on your phone. Many places in the mountains do not have cell phone reception.¬†When traveling to areas with wildlife, do a bit of research to understand the wildlife you may encounter. Over the years, I’ve read much about bears and still learn new things all the time. Here’s one of my new favorite sites on bears:¬†https://www.bearbiology.org/.

“You don’t climb mountains without a team, you don’t climb mountains without being fit, you don’t climb mountains without being prepared and you don’t climb mountains without balancing the risks and rewards. And you never climb a mountain on accident – it has to be intentional.” Mark Udall