Sean Jordan: Explore and experience | TheUnion.com

Sean Jordan: Explore and experience

With the 2018 Wild & Scenic Film Festival kicking off this week I'd like to take this opportunity to talk about one of my outdoor adventures, and to also encourage everyone to get out and explore or experience what the Sierra has to offer.

Growing up in the Tahoe area I was always active outdoors.

I rode my bike to friends' houses, and even to the movie store when I was young, which was more than a 10-mile round trip. I have done just about every outdoor activity you can think of, which makes sense when you grow up in a place like Tahoe.

I also spent a great deal of my adolescence skiing and going on hikes with my family.

But hiking was not something I enjoyed.

During my younger years I was not enthused about going for a hike and I may have even hated it, but I have come to appreciate what hiking did for me as I have grown.

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I remember once, I must of been 16 and I was living in Alpine Meadows, when I had the urge to get out of the house and clear my head. I left home with nothing but a water bottle and a granola bar and I took off.

Heading up toward the ski resort on the right-hand side there is a decent size mountain that if you climb it, you can see a great view of Tahoe and its surroundings. In fact, this particular peak is the halfway point between Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley.

So, there I was, climbing up the side of a mountain in early winter, working through manzanita and bouldering up cliff faces to get to the top of the mountain.

Hours later I made it to the top of a cliff and I sat, while dangling my feet off the edge enjoying the spoils of my hike.

I could see everything around the Tahoe area. Behind me was Squaw Valley and the Five Lakes trail. In front of me I could see all of Alpine Meadows, Diamond Peak and Heavenly trails carved into the mountainsides, and to the left was the backside of Northstar.

My entire "neck of the woods" in one viewpoint. Gorgeous.

I will always remember that day — one that I was dealing with some teenage angst and I thought if I could climb a mountain on my own, then I could get through anything.

I know how silly that may sound, but I really needed a win that day.

Hiking the mountain on my own was my win.

Had I not experienced that, who knows what would of happened. All I know now is what I felt that day and what I learned.

I learned that I am an outdoors man and I enjoy being around natural beauty.

I learned that sometimes walking through life you may need to cut through some manzanita and climb over problems to reach your goal. I learned how great it feels to accomplish a goal.

And lastly, I learned that it is really stupid to hike in early winter with skate shoes.

Contact Prospector Editor Sean Jordan at 530-477-4219 or sjordan@theunion.com.