Falling Stones at Two Goat Camp

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Falling Stones at Two Goat Camp

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    Andrew Marshall
    BPL Member


    Locale: Tahoe basin by way of the southern Appalachians

    Companion forum thread to: Falling Stones at Two Goat Camp

    Andrew Marshall’s account of a Wonderland Trail thru-hike at the intersection of permits, wildfires, the birth of his son, and trauma.

    David Hartley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western NY

    Wow! This was an incredibly powerful read. I hope the gift of your precious son pulls you and your wife out of the mist. Children, especially babies and toddlers, are Zen – their immediate needs can pull us out of the deepest mist into the living moment. They won’t settle for anything less ;-)

    Steven B
    BPL Member


    Incredible. I often wonder why I hike and backpack, and this gets at some of the explanation eloquently. Well said, photographed, and illustrated. Thanks for this, and congrats to you and your family.

    BPL Member


    EXCELLENT READ!!! I have two little girls that bring me a joy that is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. Children bring the highest highs, but also the lowest lows…But a gift (being a mother) I wouldn’t trade for anything else. I was the girl that was NEVER going to get married or have kids (that would ruin my life lol). An awesome guy asked me to marry him and then out of the blue I got pregnant on an IUD…Baby number one came along and two years later number 2.  These two girls, now 2 and 4, have helped me broaden my horizon, taught me new things and scared the S&%T out of me. It hasn’t all been pain free, but so worth it. I cant thank you enough for that great read Andrew. Enjoy the new opportunities your son brings to your life.

    Kimberly Wersal
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western Colorado

    Wow–I thought it pretty poetic, actually. Not everyone can share their emotions so powerfully. Amazing photography, and the pen and watercolor sketches are lovely. I would buy one anyday!


    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest (Washington State for my wife and British Columbia for me)

    A brilliant and insightful account of dealing with trauma and the sanctity of mountains in wilderness that helps some of us deal with trauma and tragedy. I lost my wife to cancer nearly a decade ago and after being her caregiver for her final two years I spent significant chunks of time trekking in high and remote places around this glorious globe.

    Grieving is an adventure in it’s own right. It is different for everyone. Shortly after my wife died I stumbled across a book called ‘Finding Jim’. It is a personal account by his widow of dealing with the loss of her husband, Jim Haberl, a Canadian mountaineer. I thought at the time that it took her so long to grieve. Some nine years after my wife dying I came to realize that for some of us the process carries on for a long time, maybe forever. I don’t know.

    What I do know is the time I spent and spend in the mountains, often alone, is critical to my grieving and healing.

    I have moved on. I have remarried and once again have been blessed by an amazing lady who thinks I am alright to share a life together.

    Rarely does a day go by that I do not thank the mountains and wild places for guiding me through those difficult times.

    Andrew I hope for the best for you, your wife and especially young Alister.

    Blase H
    BPL Member


    Andrew, thanks for skillfully and courageously sharing such a taut experience.  Parental angst against the backdrop of nature, so visceral.  I’m a sucker for happy endings :-).

    eric lansford
    BPL Member


    Locale: PNW

    Great story.  My heart goes out to you.  Life has a way.

    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member


    Didn’t expect a BPL article to bring tears to my eyes. With beautiful writing, too.

    Andrew – you have many gifts. Please keep backpacking, writing, editing, painting, photographing, cultivating a wonderful family – and bringing unforeseen joy to the rest of us.

    Thank you.

    — Rex

    Josh B
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western New York

    This was a moving read, thank you for articulating your experiences so beautifully. I agree with Rex, continue using your myriad gifts. The photography and paintings are truly stunning, especially the Duck Creek photo and Goats watercolor.

    I’ve suffered from moderate to severe panic disorder since I was 14. I empthatize with that struggle deeply.

    Andrew Marshall
    BPL Member


    Locale: Tahoe basin by way of the southern Appalachians

    Thank you all for your incredibly kind words on this piece. It means a lot to me that it is connecting with folks on such a deep level.

    Dan Gregerson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Bob Marshall Wilderness

    Hand down, the best trip report I’ve ever read.  Powerful, moving and inspirational while never shying away from the harsh light of reality.  Great work Andrew!

    If I may suggest, MBSR is something you might be interested in.  In my 25+ years as a mental health counselor, I’ve found that mindful meditation is by far the most powerful tool in overcoming anxiety, especially panic attacks.

    Ben Kilbourne
    BPL Member


    Locale: Utah

    Great work Andrew. I can tell a ton of time and effort went into this one. Well crafted sentences, paragraphs, structure. Got the message through to us clearly. Excellent.

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