What better way to celebrate Veterans Day than heading into the wilderness for a hike with friends and Betty the TurboPUP.
Driving up a very dreary and moody Hwy 2, we cleared the cloud cover at around 6000' to a perfect Fall day in the Angeles National Forest. With cool temps, blue skies and not another person in site we headed out on the Mt Waterman trail. Over the next 8.5 miles there was lots of friendly conversation, but also quiet as we soaked in the beauty around us. I enjoyed the time to reflect and started thinking about it being Veterans Day.
Almost exactly a month ago on October 10, 2014 this area became part of the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. We are lucky to live in country where preserving and protecting wilderness areas like these is a priority. Lucky to live in a country not in war, where we can wake up and feel safe to go about our daily lives. We have this this security due to the men and women who serve in the armed forces risking their lives to afford us this luxury.
In honor of Veterans Day I would like to give a special thank you to 3 special veterans.
The first is Stacy Bare. I have never met someone more committed to getting people outdoors. As Director of Sierra Club Outdoors this is his job, but he goes above and beyond inspiring others and taking a first-hand role in making sure that fellow veterans are getting to experience the magic of the country they fought to protect. As a 2014 National Geographic Adventurer, The North Face Ambassador and a regular blogger on the Huffington Post he tirelessly works to share with others the importance of getting outdoors. I am honored to call him a friend and mentor. Here is his story.