Explore Your Independence

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Story and photos provided by Alyssa Newman

 

In the United States, today, it’s Independence Day.  Tomorrow it’s Independence Day in Venezuela.  Various countries have been declaring and celebrating the many forms of independence since at least the 1300’s.  I get a little nostalgic on such holidays.  Sure – it’s great to have an extra day to spend with family and friends, and I’ve shared many a watermelon and BBQ over the years…culminating in an over-the-top display of fire and lights put to some interpretive soundtrack.  I think it’s also important to give at least a small shout out and moment of thoughtful pause to the reason for the day…and remember what independence is all about…the first significance of the day… and reinterpret the day for the present…and explore our unique independence a bit.  Inspiration comes from many sources.

 

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About a month ago, I took a trip through the desert and had my own independent epiphanies.   Most of us learned in school that Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 – his own mission of independence and exploration, and he “discovered” America…conventional wisdom said the world was flat, but he sailed to prove them wrong.  Ironically, today we live in a world where many new authors say the world is flat once more.  Columbus landed on the Bahamas (thinking he was in Asia), and thought he saw Indians.  The Indians he saw were what we learned were the true first inhabitants of the land, and they lived there quite sustainably on the land until some of our ancestors decided they had a piece of paper that said they owned the land.

 

People had actually been living there for thousands of years…in some land we’d now find quite inhospitable, generations thrived…and later disappeared.

 

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Montezuma’s Castle

 

 

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Sedona, AZ – view near the end of a vortex scavenger hunt.

 

My friends would probably say that I spend far too much time thinking about energy independence (they tell me that when I’m going on and on about solar energy).  The many energy seeds stories we try to tell are all about independent actions and thinking catalyzing change.  Independence is a goal and a journey…relevant to every individual around the world.   Sometimes it takes a little oil to explore, but eventually we can and will live in a world with much less oil. What role will each of us play in that new world?

 

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Areas that were once a jungle may somehow wind up in a painted desert.

 

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Areas that are now desert, may be oceans once more.

 

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Rt. 66 is now many highways, and new roads and modes of transport will connect us in the future.

 

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Who will be around in the future to tell these stories?

We drove over 2,000 miles with a fuel cost over $600.  I bought 1.79 tons of CO2 offsets from Native Energy to support Remooable Energy projects at a cost of a mere $24…truth be told, I still do and should feel guilty about driving…but that won’t stop me from exploring.  Sometimes you have to see the things you want to protect and learn from firsthand – wikipedia is nice as are the NPS websites, but they don’t impart the beauty…the snow, wind, rain and 50+ mph gusting winds…all that can and does occur on the trail.  On this July 4th, I encourage you to get out and explore your independence, be mindful of your carbon footprint, and tell your story.  Oh, and don’t forget to surge the sun!

 

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One Response to “Explore Your Independence”

  1. Greg Says:

    Stunning pictures! Great thoughts… You are correct, you cannot “Google” what it is like to experience life – thanks for sharing your trip!

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