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nature A publication of ENG 201, Spring 2013

Dan Millis

rhapsodizes on the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Aimee Ahumada Maya

on the new craze of upcycling


04. “Cool article” by Frank Martinez 06. “Another cool article” by Elizabeth Harnack 07. “Briliant Insight” by Rebekah Cullum 09. “Mind-blowing ideas” by Justin Flory 11. “Life changing article” by Perry Lewis


a new age

rucksack wanderer by Dan Millis

R

estlessness is a virtue, but begins a nuisance, slowly picking the lock on the closet door deep within my consciousness where I hang thoughts unspoken. It slithers down my neck and through my shoulders and elbows and knee caps until I must move; I have to get up, I have to get out, “get outta Dodge,” my mother would say. This trip is much more than stumbling out to the fridge at 3 am, no, this restlessness is a spiritual, an emptiness of biblical proportions. My creator, whom I choose to call God, has created all men equal; freedom of wills, civil rights, and accountabilities shared by all. However, I do not believe that all minds are of equal perceptions of what is home or peace or rest thus Earth has been created with all imaginable terrain and climates suited for each unique soul upon our shining blue planet. High up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains the brown trout beneath the ice of Serene Lake are safe from fly and hook from September until June. The frozen mountain run off is topped with the kind of snow that falls gently and silently like confetti swept by St. Peter from havens doorstep and the warm embrace of the midday sun felt trekking the meadow is as though I am being held in the arms of God himself. Rucksack wanderers have been taking to the Sierra’s since the first pioneers made their way west. Just before the turn of the twentieth century John Muir, a fellow restless soul and bearded brother, built his home around a great Redwood in Yosemite, brook babbling straight through one end of the cabin and out another.

Jack Kerouac sought its solitude in the 1950’s to meditate and harness the enlightenment and inner peace of ancient Chinese monks. My trip was on of humility and humbleness at a time in my life in which I felt I had no place, and it was there that I understood that I am small and my place is here, not necessarily in this geographic location but in this moment. Mountain peaks, sunsets and sequoias whispered to me that I belong to God and no one else, and my place on Earth is to know him and love him and that nothing else matters. Be of the world not in the world. My quest for inner peace may never be complete but The Lord says it isn’t supposed to be- “I pray that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with you in the next. Amen.” Muir was not only a trailblazer in tune with the rivers and the clean mountain air, he understood the connection between them and the spiritual world, and set out to preserve America’s most pristine lands. He commissioned President Theodor Roosevelt to camp with him for two weeks in Yosemite where he conducted sermons to his followers and prepared meals of fresh fish, beneath boughs of trees thousands of years old. What president Roosevelt took from that experience was exactly what Muir had been preaching for a number of years to a number of restless seekers- the idea that these wild cathedrals and chapels created by God for us to deliver our sermons and to sit in His lap and feel his embrace must be preserved, and in 1916 Roosevelt created the National Parks Service. Without men like Muir and Roosevelt, men like Kerouac and I may not have been able to seek what we



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