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Facing the Unknown

Adventure is any experience with an unknown outcome, and it’s not limited to extreme sports, visiting a new culture, or attempting something new. Adventure is finding out that school has been cancelled, restaurants are closed, and the new social bubble is now six feet in all directions. It’s discovering that your company is laying off employees, the stock market plummeted, or the country is in a state of emergency. It’s receiving a call that your family member is sick.

At Bighorn, we lead empowering outdoor adventures. This genre is quite different from what the world is facing now, but the guiding principles remain the same. Here are four things to remember when facing the unknown.

Trust Your Leaders

When taking a group rock climbing, it’s common to hear questions such as, “Are the ropes strong enough to catch me,” and, “How is the anchor system set up?” A leader is qualified to answer these questions confidently because they’ve been trained, logged the hours, and know their material through and through.

Right now, we need to trust our local and global authorities. Government and health care leaders are asking us to stay home. Even if the request seems difficult or inconvenient, they have been trained to handle these kinds of situations. Let’s trust them.

Fear Is Normal

Consider whitewater rafting. A majority of time is spent floating through calm, smooth sections of river. It’s a great opportunity to kick back and relax, right up until you begin to hear a faint roar in the distance. Your heart rate increases as adrenaline, and sometimes fear, begin to set in. Navigating rapids will send you bouncing back and forth. You may get wet. You may forget which end of the paddle belongs in the water. It’s a wild ride! But after the rushing rapids, another calm section of river greets you, providing time to regroup.

During this season of quarantine, you may come face-to-face with emotions that resemble a whitewater rafting experience. Know that you are not the only one experiencing these emotions. These are challenging times and it is okay to be afraid. Be honest about what you’re feeling, spend time with loved ones, and try to rest during the calm, smooth sections of the river.

Embrace The Unknown

Hitting a new trail, attempting your first high ropes course, or jumping into a lake all contain a similar element: embracing the unknown. Choosing courage and navigating feelings of anxiety or adrenaline can often lead to something fun and exciting.

COVID-19 is the unknown--for all of us. Because of social distancing or stay-at-home mandates, we can’t hit a high ropes course together or meet to hike a mountain. The adventure is found in quarantine and social distancing. Embrace this new season and try to discover the good. Read an exciting book, find a new hobby, call a friend you haven’t spoken to in years, play board games, and laugh with family. Little bits of fun and excitement can be found everywhere.

We Are Not Alone

God is with us at every turn, every fall, and at the start of every new trail.


“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…. ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’” Psalm 46:1-2, 10 NIV

Photo: Taken by Caleb Whitman, Journey Wilderness Backpacking Trip, November 2018
Pictured: Adam Rice, Journey Director at Camp Bighorn