Ronnie Johnson


Thoughts, ramblings, and explorations from my desk.

Go Forth and Explore


Growing up in southern New Mexico, mountains were never a cause for celebration. Aside from providing the occasional scenic view during the winter months, they sat as a relatively silent backdrop to my childhood. They were always just there.

I think it’s only having lived in Dallas now for the past two years, that I realize how much I miss them. Although, I don’t think it’s just the mountains I miss, but areas of land that are free from our human fingerprint. There’s something mesmerizing about being in a place where nature is untouched and remains largely as it’s been for centuries.

Needless to say, I was a bit excited when my wife and I booked our flights out to Colorado to spend a few days with her parents. They live in a sleepy little town called Frederick with a main street you can walk in just a few minutes.

On this particular trip my wife and I made plans to head up to Horsetooth Mountain Park in Fort Collins for the day. The drive was pleasant and the christmas music coming through the car speakers added just the right amount of holiday cheer. We had never been to this part of Colorado and the anticipation was building with each passing mile.

We arrived at the entrance of the park and began our hike up the trail towards Horsetooth Falls. It was an overcast day and a biting wind had picked up. We continued walking and passed a few other hikers along the way but for the majority of the hike, it was just the two of us surrounded by miles of wilderness.

We walked a bit further and approached a lonely wooden bench at the top of a ridge. It was weather torn and had some names carved on it from previous hikers. I think a Jim and Sarah, if I recall. We set our stuff down and after catching our breath just stood still. The only sounds were coming from my heart beating in my chest and the soft crackle of the creek a few hundred feet below.

And in that moment, everything was as it should be.

It was amazing! No people talking or cars honking, just the perfect silence of the great outdoors. I was in awe. I didn’t want to leave or even move. It’s almost as if I could’ve stayed in that moment — in that place — forever. With so much beauty around me, it was hard to turn around and head back to the car but something was different about this trip.

These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man’s weak praise should be given God’s attention.”
― Donald Miller

Even after being home now for a few weeks, I’m still not entirely sure what was so different about this trip. All I could think was that with 2015 around the corner, it gave me a clear perspective on things.

There’s a whole world that’s just waiting to be experienced. Oceans and beaches and mountains and streams — God created the perfect habitat for us to exist in and enjoy.

I hope that if nothing else, this has inspired you to go outside and explore. There’s so much more to life than tweets and if we wait too long, we just might miss it.

Ronnie Johnson