This weekend my husband and I holed up in a yurt in the Boulder Mountains of central Idaho. The trip was booked to celebrate our wedding anniversary, but on any given weekend we're more likely to be in the mountains than in our small Idaho town.
It was our first time staying in a yurt, but it hardly seemed to matter as we efficiently unpacked our adventure bins full of tried-and-true clothes, gear, and food. Within minutes we were at home.
As Mike headed outside to chop firewood, I marveled for a moment at how easily we'd settled into a weekend disconnected from the world. Second-nature is defined as a habit done so many times that it appears instinctive. As I sat on the deck, looking out at the mountains, I took pleasure in the idea that perhaps there's something beyond second-nature. Maybe this life had now become our nature. Our first nature.
We filled the weekend with mountain bike rides, alpine lake hikes, sunsets on the deck, and games by the woodstove. When I woke up in the middle of the night I gazed at the Milky Way - visible with the naked eye - through the clear dome in the roof of the yurt.
On Sunday, after a late morning swim in the river, we drove our truck up an unmarked dirt road. Fluttering prayer flags caught the corner of my eye. We pulled over and walked across a sage-covered ridge to find hundreds of flags strung through the trees in this hidden corner of the mountains.
Whoever strung those flags, perhaps they are making the mountains their first nature, too. I sent a prayer out for others to join us. The flags danced in the wind.
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.