By: Brendan Gallagher

Assimilation back into front country society was much more difficult than I expected. A month without technology, showering, and toilet paper is still incomprehensible looking back now. We all take so many aspects of daily civilizational life for granted, but myself and 13 of my peers were able to experience life without amenities. After completing the most productive month of my life in the Wind River range, I have successfully transferred an array of skills from NOLS into my everyday life. With verbal communication and constructive feedback bolstered to new measures, my relationships with the other gappers are continuously developing and flourishing. After indescribable physical, mental, and emotional adversity on the trails, it has truly made any hardships of reality seem significantly simplified. Additionally, I’ve loved the breathtaking sightseeing of the western U.S. especially Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore.

We’ve done a heavy amount of cramped group van but it has truly allowed me to renew my expanded appreciation for music. After a month of group acapellas and hum-a-longs, it’s great to be back listening to the reality of instruments combined with talented vocals (with the occasional unnecessary auto tuning). Overall, it’s been a bit overwhelming integrating into our technology-filled society. However, it’s been awesome reconnecting with friends from my high school, hometown and my family. It’s also so rewarding to continue the journey with such an accepting and optimistic group of fellow Elon students.

  1. Grand Teton National Parkbrendan-1


  1. Spring at Yellowstone National Park


  1. Old Faithful


  1. Three elated Gappers posing in front of Grand Prismatic Spring


  1. Grand Prismatic Spring


  1. Grand Prismatic Spring


  1. Angelo, Noah, and I at Yellowstone


  1. Mount Rushmore


  1. Angelo, Laura, and I


  1. Left to right: Noah, Laura, Angelo, Mary, Me, Alexa, Emerson, Sammy


  1. My dog Angus


  1. Crazy Horse National Monument



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