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Jonathan Stull | 06.02.2017

To oceans and mountains we give our romance. The forest, on the other hand, is a place that we fear. From the earliest moments of recorded history, the forest was a place of danger—a place to be conquered or avoided, not explored.

Forests are quiet, dark, and dank, places that incite the imagination rather than overwhelm the senses. We populate them with our imagination: ogres, fairies and nymphs, cross-dressing wolves, trees that move, feel, and talk, and packs of furry horned beasties. Now, in the modern age, the dangers of the forest have changed, but the essence remains the same. Breadcrumbs were replaced by GPS navigation, grizzlies and wolves are all but eradicated from the lower 48, but electronic devices suffer the whimsy of serendipitous failure, and carnivorous animals were replaced by shadowy figures on the fringe, hominid incarnations of untamed aggression. This is the place of the wildeor, wild beasts, where our idea of wilderness and the word itself originate.

For this installment of the #52WeekAdventureChallenge, we encourage you to tease your imagination with a night in the woods. Camp as close as you can to a place of discomfort, light a fire to keep yourself warm, and remember that the more you stare into its flames, the harder it is to see in the dark.

Let the wild rumpus start.

Washington

California

Utah

Colorado

Oregon

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