Katie grew up going on annual canoe trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) and Quetico National Park with her family. Jessamine grew up as an indoor kid in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Slowly but surely, Katie brainwashed Jessamine into enjoying time spent outdoors. She did this by dragging Jessamine to various car camping trips, canoe trips, and a weekend backpacking trip. Now Jessamine frequents REI and gets a chuckle when customers think she works there.
When we got married, our wedding ceremony included a reading of excerpts of Carl Sagan’s writings:
“Our ancestors groped in darkness to make sense of their surroundings. Powerless before nature, they invented rituals and myths, some desperate and cruel, others imaginative and benign. As long as there have been humans, we have searched for our place in the cosmos. Where are we? Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions, and by the depth of our answers.. .
The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”
We feel that we can begin to find meaning in life only through love. To find our place in the world is to explore the relationships we have with other people and with our surroundings. Love for each other and love for the environment are what inspired Stargazer Camping. That, and because we enjoy seeing a night sky blanketed with stars, a sight that can only be experienced these days outside the city.
Our long-term goal is to complete a “through paddle” of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT), a series of lakes and rivers that link upstate New York to Maine. Such a trip will take two months to complete, a challenge that motivates and excites us. Until we embark on this journey, we’ll write about our planning process for the NFCT, as well as post entries about any paddling or backpacking excursions we take in the meantime. Up next is the BWCA in the summer of 2016 with Katie’s family!