adventureandthewild adventureandthewild

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Brittany Stoess  🌲 Hand-lettered designs for creative adventurers, at home and in the wild 🏠 Chattanooga, TN 📧 — RE-LAUNCHING SOON!

A big goal of mine for 2018 is to complete the 52 Hike Challenge. I didn't get outside anywhere near as much as I would've liked this year—and I felt it.⠀⠀⠀⠀
The outdoors encompasses so much for me. It's a way for me to connect more deeply with God, others, myself, and the world around me. It makes me feel alive, strong, capable, and small in the best of ways. It reminds me to let go because the world is wild and I'm not in control of a whole lot anyway. It challenges me physically and refreshes me mentally (and often, vice versa). It's my place to⠀⠀⠀⠀
My word/theme for 2018 is "grounded," and that's what I'm hoping to get out of this challenge: to be more disciplined, to be more connected to the world around me, and to leave more space for quiet + contemplation—laying the foundation to grow those deep-down roots I've been missing. It's a way to hold me accountable to get outside, even if I don't feel like it, and to stay on track, because the weeks slip by faster than we imagine they will.⠀⠀⠀⠀
Are you doing the 52 Hike Challenge, or have you done it in the past? Let me know in the comments!

Lately, I've been feeling the need to slow down. Not physically, but in terms of how much I'm consuming as a whole, how I'm taking in information, how I'm communicating. There is so much going on in the world, and it's impossible to keep up with it all. At the same time, it's vital to pay attention more than ever.⠀

For me, I think the key is to slow down and go deeper. It's not about taking a break, but about taking a different angle. Every insane thing that's happening is a symptom of a much deeper, much darker problem, and I'm feeling a tug to start writing more about those under the surface connections. That's always been where my attention goes anyway—the connections between things more than the individual pieces themselves. There are plenty of hot takes about the issue of the moment out there, and right now, they're exhausting me. They aren't helping to connect the dots.⠀

It's time for me to do deeper work, if not for anyone else but myself. It's time for me to focus more on the roots that ground me underneath the ever-shifting world above.⠀


@skylinespeeder isn't much for birthdays, but he's definitely someone worth celebrating. He keeps life interesting with his ever-growing list of hobbies (just look at his Instagram), and he's one of the most selfless, loyal people I know. He has a contagious passion and unwavering dedication to the things he believes in, and will never pass up a good adventure.⠀

Happy 28th, Mike! I'm glad you're mine :)⠀


“For most of us, knowledge of our world comes largely through sight, yet we look about with such unseeing eyes that we are partially blind. One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, "What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?” | Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder⠀


There’s something so mystical about the Appalachians. Their quiet beauty is different than the majesty of the west, but there’s something special there that’s hard to pinpoint. They represent a kind of unassuming strength and depth that has taught me more than most anything else I can think of. These mountains are where I learned to love the outdoors, where I became (and continue to become) myself, and the place that will probably always feel most like home. #adventureandthewild

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac⠀


"We need the sun, the moon, the stars, the rivers, and the mountains and birds, the fish in the sea, to evoke a world of mystery, to evoke the sacred." | Thomas Berry⠀

To think we can divorce our faith from the natural world is a mistake. It keeps me grounded and in awe, both at once. It teaches me to slow down, to remember that real growth and change take time. It reminds me that, though the world is wild and much bigger than me, my individual actions do matter, and I can use them to destroy or to cultivate life. I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s where I’ve always found God best, and I think that’s something worth preserving.⠀


It's worth taking a chance and seeing what happens. It's worth creating, even if you aren't getting paid to do it. Even when things don't work out how you hope, you're better for trying. #notestoself




First sight of the Pacific: Cape Flattery, the most northwestern tip of the contiguous U.S. It’s worth the drive.⠀


The Hoh Rainforest is like another world entirely. Ferns, moss, evergreens, and bright pops of yellow maples for autumn—it feels like something straight out of a storybook.⠀

#AATWildinthePNW #findyourpark

Olympic, you were magical, mysterious, stunning, and a genuinely special place. You are wonderful, but so not what I expected.⠀

I'm still processing my thoughts (and photos) from our trip, so I'll have plenty more to share soon. In the meantime...this sunset was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen.⠀

#findyourpark #AATWildinthePNW

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