D r i f t l e s s

 

I get lost a lot.

Lost on the road, lost in the woods, lost in a new city, lost in Target.

I feel lost a lot.

Lost in my mind, lost from those around me, lost in my endeavors, lost from myself.

To be driftless means to feel like you have no direction or purpose. It means you're not sure what you're doing or where you're going or how to get there. It means you feel a little lost. I identify with feeling driftless. Not always, but sometimes.

I'm 27. I'm not sure what I'm doing with my life, and I'm not anywhere near what I imagined my life to be. By now I thought I would be married with children, living in Seattle or Washington D.C., and making decent money. None of these things are true.

I feel driftless.

To combat this feeling, I hike. When I'm hiking, usually with good friends, I feel found.

So this weekend, my friends Jeci, Diana, and I explored the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. Driftless also means free from glacial drift. So technically, I'm driftless in that way, too.

As we were driving, we happened to turn on the radio and hear this: "Losing yourself in wilderness can also be a way of finding yourself." Terry Tempest Williams was reading from her memoir, The Hour of Land (already ordered), and she was speaking a language that any outdoor enthusiast knows.

Listening to Williams while driving through rolling green hills and bluffs and past rivers, I decided that maybe being a little lost is the best way to find myself.

Never touched by glaciers, the Driftless Wisconsin Area is characterized by its beautifully sculpted topography. Forested hillsides reach down to valleys cut into limestone bedrock by cold-water trout streams. Forests, prairie remnants, wetlands, and grasslands provide habitat for wildflowers and wildlife.

www.driftlesswisconsin.com

If you're feeling lost too, this area might be for you. The Driftless region boasts that small town coziness, friendliness and, unlike its name, somewhere you could have a purpose. Somewhere you could be found.

If you have a weekend to explore the Driftless Area, here is what I recommend:

Hike

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Throughout the weekend, the three of us connected over hiking, ice cream, books, coffee and beer. Finding a bit of myself in these women, and all the people I surround myself with, helps me to feel less driftless. 

I'm not anywhere near not feeling driftless. But for now, I'm trying. I'm taking everything a day at a time and never missing an opportunity for an adventure.

I'm trying really hard to be found.

*Photos by Jeci CaspersonDiana Kraus, and myself*