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M Mistaken for Strangers

by Eugene Smith

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Article Summary:

I slip out of the car and spill onto the trail as a stranger, an old distant friend at best, paper name tag firmly plastered over my upper chest, reads as follows: "Hi, My Name is Eugene Smith"- I'm as awkward as a maladjusted, pimple faced fifteen year old on a prom date, one in which I was asked to attend. You get the picture. Reacquainting myself with the backcountry, the wild places where pavement gives way to the full beauty of our Earth, where the dashed yellow lines atop asphalt based road transform into earthen trails of freedom, is sometimes an uneasy process, fueled by a dangerous combination of overt excitement and those "first day of school" like jitters. I willingly respond to "The Call", that innate desire to stretch out and explore, to frolic in the mountains, to drink from the waters, to slip unseen beneath the trees, to wade in the shallows of an azure New Mexican sky broken up only by the fleeting clouds of a passing storm - acting upon this desire is only a natural response, one that takes place deep within me. I go because it's there. How can I not?


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# PHOTOS: 24

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