Cover image: Julie’s immersion in nature started young. Image: Julie’s mom, Cheryl.
I was potty trained on nature hikes and in farmers’ fields. Sometimes Mom carried a small training toilet on our adventures. Other times, I went au naturel. Either way, there was something formative about getting outside on trails and by ponds, catching crayfish and, yes, answering the call of nature outside in the fresh air and, often, mud.
Nature in Her Bones
Ask me to recall the specific bird species, animal tracks or trees I learned about as a kid, and I’ll draw a blank. But that time spent outside has driven my adult choices, nonetheless. The continued desire to immerse myself in the natural world is in my blood.
Going Further Afield
I carried this passion with me when I left my home state of New York for Colorado in the summer of 2007. As a young graduate student I felt the world was mine for the taking. And what a playground to take!
My first major summit was late that summer. Pikes Peak (Colorado Springs, CO). After a long and steep slog, I stood on the summit feeling completely humbled and falling in love all over again with the great outdoors.
Fresh air continues to feed my soul. It’s one reason my husband and I’ve ditched the trappings of traditional life and moved into our R.V. The second half of 2016 was spent on the road with my husband and mutt. The country’s expansive landscapes became our living room.
Family photo in our “living room.” Image: Julie Tickle Photo & Design
We pulled into Whitefish, Montana in December and planned to stay for the ski season. It didn’t take long to realize there is too much to do and see to leave anytime soon. Fresh snow covered the Flathead Valley daily.
Where to Next?
I woke up each morning excited, a blank canvas to paint with new adventures. I try to live in the moment but it’s difficult to ignore the small signs of spring. Can you feel it? The anticipation is mounting in our household as we discuss the possibilities that the new season and location brings; Glacier National Park, The Bob, summits to ascend, streams to float and fish, national forests for backpacking, camping and biking, “Oh Canada!” up the road, sparkling lakes to dip our toes, new critters to view, and trails to explore.
Our list is overwhelming in the best way possible.
As this new chapter takes shape I can’t help but reflect on where it all began. I’m extremely grateful to those who instilled in me this incredible sense of wonder. Here’s to rosy cheeks and new adventures in Big Sky Country!
Fresh snow inspires new adventures. Image: Julie Tickle Photo & Design
Julie Tickle is a full-time RVer, currently living in Whitefish, Montana with her husband and mutt. She’s always up for a new challenge and loves to explore on foot and by bike. Julie’s passion for the great outdoors has led her to a career in adaptive and adventure sports. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook: @openspace.smallplace and @jtphoto.design