Our first day in Montana began at sunrise. Heading into Glacier National Park for the first time, #PassportExpress guest Adam Kingman reflects on his journey through the park as well as what got him here.

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Never have my shoes looked so enticing. There they sat, on moist pebbles, on the side of the stream, topped with wool socks. I’ll come back for you, Nikes. I looked back down at my bare feet, ankle deep in the glacier river. They were losing feeling, and calmness levels were depleting quickly. I looked upstream. Tim was up to his waist by now. He was determined. Much respect. I quickened my pace, carefully navigating a route through the slick river rock. Before us was a slow reveal of the colossal corridor of stone, carved out from thousands of years of water erosion. Thirty foot walls of stone framed a family of waterfalls at the end, which we only could get glimpses of from our obstructed entry point. Tim was up to his neck in a glistening pool of aquamarine, illuminated from the morning light pouring in from above. Time’s up. The frigid water didn’t want us to get any closer to the falls. We retreated to the river bank, shivering, accomplished, but yearning for more.

I used to shoot ski videos with my friends in high school. ‘Dude, GTS [get the shot]!’ we’d shout as we dropped in. It was our anthem, the rallying cry that still resonates so strongly with almost everything we do. But today, I missed the shot. I left my camera in my pack next to my shoes. Hashtag heartbreak. But it’s a good thing. I can’t let photos dictate my actions. Tim and I didn’t hang out in ice water for the photo, we went in for the adventure.

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I’ve known Tim for almost two years, collecting a travelogue of hikes and camping trips with our friends in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The mountains are our happy place, our playground to run wild, our life kitchen to cook up anything we can fathom. With a habit of naming things, wondercamping became the verb for our treks. The framework is simple: surround yourself with friends who dream, who encourage, who move forward, and together you’ll find yourself right where you never imagined you’d be.

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I’m on a train trip with 38 dreamers. That’s bananas. Each day is filled with more curiosity than the one previous, more laughs than your belly can take, and ideas riskier than yesterday’s. This is wondercamping. Ask any of us how we got here and I bet we’ll all say the same thing: we took a step towards our dreams. And then another. And then one more. The staggered steps become walks, then strides, and soon we’ll be sprinting. What’s after the Passport Express, I’m not sure. The post-destinations are a mystery, but I have feeling we’ll go there together. Every adventure begins with a simple step. Sometimes it’s freezing, but keep moving forward. The company will keep you warm.

Story by Adam Kingman

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