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By Austin Adventures Guides /

A word from Denise Reynolds, an ALA Guest…

I am ALA’s Grateful Seeker. I have recently discovered a new perspective of life I hadn’t seen, or had chosen not to notice, before. Or, perhaps, it is that I just hadn’t considered it before. Did my brain tuck it away as irrelevant or not applicable? Or did it decide that it was just too scary and uncertain to consider?   It appears that the answer to these questions and thoughts was just a mere 2490 feet up a mountain. When Dan Austin, my high school friend, challenged me to take one of their trips, never in a million years would I have considered the possibility that such a gift was right there at the top of Mt. Constitution in the San Juan Islands.


How do I thank the folks at Austin-Lehman Adventures for giving me the space to allow for such a gift? How can I express my gratitude for finally being able to see the next piece of the puzzle called my life? It truly boggles my mind that I am FOREVER changed as a result of this adventure. I hope to do my friend justice in the words I write here. It’s very important to me that you all understand the passion and joy and friendship this trip reminded me of, the grateful gift of outdoors. What these trips allow for all of us is an opportunity to be reminded. For me at least, this was the culmination and result of the adventure of ME thus far…. A truly Grateful Seeker.

I grew up fishing and camping with my family. My father was passionate about the outdoors. He loved hunting and fishing and he took us out as often as life would allow. We owned our home, but money was tight and camping didn’t cost a lot so we indulged often. His first lesson, and something he religiously addressed the moment we arrived at the perfect spot to pitch our tent, Austin-Lehman Adventures adheres to as well. “We leave each place we visit a little better than when we left it”. This was the first moment of a tweak in my perspective. My head was rotated just enough to remember what is most important to keep my focus on. A bit of clarity about what is good… a nudge from the Universe to keep on THAT trail.

Dan has asked me to write about my experience on my first Austin-Lehman Adventure and I am very delighted to do so. The childhood memories that this trip brought back as I labored up those amazing switchbacks to the top of Mount Constitution brought tears of joy to my eyes. The smells of the forests, the crisp dawn and the vision of lakes sparkling with the first light of the morning sun are some of those memories. The struggles I really didn’t have to carry around all these years appeared to begin sliding off my shoulders as I climbed up that mountain. The realization that all I needed to do was change my perspective just a little tiny bit hit me right against my forehead as I looked out the tower window at the top of the world. From that perspective, my life’s view changes. My hope is that Austin~Lehman Adventures can give that opportunity to you too.


Thank you my friend Dan and your whole Austin-Lehman family.

Denise, ALA’s grateful seeing guest…

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