Here in Bozeman the weather is starting to warm up, the snow is melting away, and we are taking advantage of our open air office. As I sit here and stare at my screen for 8-10 hours a day, my mind will drift to my adventures from last summer and I start to get excited about the possibilities of the upcoming season. Living here is great, but taking full advantage of all the benefits of living in Montana is becoming increasingly difficult as our business has grown and so have my babies. As the daily grind continues to take its toll, my need to unplug and connect with the mountains increases. There is a balance to life that we all need and for our Prime crew, we find that balance in the mountains. We can only take so much Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, so many lines of html and java script, so many Facebook posts, tweets, or Linked In groups. At some point, we just have to escape to the mountains to be recharged. Here are a few of our favorite activities to restore our creative souls.
Hiking is a great way to decompress. It's a journey that takes you from point A to point B, which in most cases involves a gain in elevation. It really gets the heart beating and the lungs working hard in the thin mountain air. I've been on a kick of picking out peaks to summit and then checking them off my list. When you get out in the backcountry your cell phone doesn't work, you are sweating, your muscles ache, and you have a lot of time to think during the 3-5 hours you are hiking. You aren't answering emails, digging through SEO data or writing lines of website code. It's just you and the mountain, one step at a time. When you get to the top you can look down to where you started and feel a sense of accomplishment that you earned that view with your own two feet. Thinking about that feeling has me fired up to lace up my hiking boots and hit the trail.
A wise man once said, "The great charm of fly fishing is that we are always learning," and it's true. When people think of fly fishing you get images of Brad Pitt waist deep in a fast moving stream beautifully casting his line out to the waiting mouth of a huge trout. A scene right out of A River Runs Through It, which, by the way, was filmed right here in Bozeman. That beautiful cast is the easy part. Knowing which fly to use, where the fish are, where to cast, how to let your fly drift, how to mend your line and what beer to drink at the end of the day are all far more difficult to learn and there is always room for improvement. The real beauty in fly fishing is the experience of being on the water, the thrill of the chase, and the victory of the catch...and release. It's also a great way to disconnect and focus on one thing, catching fish.
Self admittedly, I am not a rock climber. We do have a few climbing boulders in the public parks around Bozeman and I enjoy trying different routes to get to the top, but I don't spend my Saturdays in a harness scaling cliff faces. However, one of our developers is a big climber and does go out climbing on his free time. Don't get me wrong, I get it. Climbing is great exercise. You have to have pretty good upper body strength to be a great climber. It is also very challenging and I like to challenge myself. Climbers have that voice in the back of their head that is constantly saying, "Hey, bet you can't make it to the top." And talk about a sense of accomplishment. When you are standing a the top of a cliff looking down to the bottom, the adrenalin rush can be insane. In Bozeman, we have access to world renowned climbing in the mountains around Hyalite Canyon. There are so many places for climbers of all ability levels that it's easy to get into climbing and there are plenty of people to show you the ropes, so to speak.
Backpacking is the ultimate journey of exploration where you are reliant on yourself to carry all your gear and solve any issues that may arise. I would recommend some survival knowledge and backcountry experience, but it is the best way to really connect with the wilderness. There are no cars, no computers, no wifi, and no TV. Just you, nature and a buddy or two because backpacking by yourself is usually not a great choice due to all the "what if" scenarios that exist. A few days of strenuous hiking force you to interact with your surroundings differently and appreciate the modern comforts that we take for granted. Last summer I spent a couple days in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness exploring mountain peaks, fishing from ice cold lakes and enjoying alpine sunsets around a campfire. When we got back to the truck our bodies ached but our minds were clear and ready to take on our daily tasks with a restored sense of motivation.
So while we bust our asses to constantly pump out great work and stay up on new digital marketing trends, an escape is still needed. If the old saying is true, "The body fuels the mind," then there is no better fuel than getting out in the mountains to recharge your body and mind. Here's to all you adventurers out there. We hope you get out and explore this summer because you know we will. Cheers!