Autumn Standup Paddle Boarding in Patagonia - Aubree McAtee

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Here I am floating in this landscape of still water, birds chirping and a bright blue sky. Surrounded by the warm colors of fall, feeling a sense of comfort of joy from the seasonal change. Always fond of fall and it remittences I have found new appreciation for change and these colors. Throughout Parque Patagonia, the colors are going off. 

To me these times means go out and explore. See every color, every line of change on each leaf and appreciate the moment the leaves begin to change to the time when the trees are bare and the ground now holds the beauty. 

For me it meant to explore on water, horse and on foot. To get closer to the change in all aspects. This game me a chance to explore late into each day. On horseback it allowed me to have perception and to hold a sense of embracement amongst the trees at a higher level. I could see from above how the color had changed the valley floor. It also gave me the ability to quickly embrace lakes and lagoons from above, cultivating a desire to return with my board. 

As ones moves on foot, they must be attentive to where is calling them and the direction that pulls them. I usually go about my hikes with a wandering state of mind. Going where I am called, not worrying about time but just paying attention to the life around me. This has worked in the past and continues to guide me time after time. Discovering streams, forests, carcasses, animal tracks and beauty in this Park. 

My senses fully come alive when I get this ability to quiet the mind and listen in all four directions. I find this stillness in all forms of movement, but the one where I can embrace it most is when I on the water. For me, water is the mother of all nature. Providing a home to many and hydration to all who encounter. When I have these moments to sit on these bodies of water here in Parque Patagonia, I realize that I am probably the first human being to be floating upon these waters. With that, I practice respect and gratitude with the animals who occupy these spaces. 

Locals always remind me that a sense of quietness and tranquility in the morning is key to understanding what the day holds. They remind me to take in the morning slowly, sharing mate around a warm fire and to listen and observe the life around them. Reminding me that noise can be polluting and one must be aware of what the day holds by slowing taking it in. 

Here in Parque Patagonia, each season holds a beauty of its own. But for me Autumn has my heart…It becomes a time of preparing for the darkness that will come about and the cold that winter will bring. It becomes these moments of embracing sun rays until every last minute, and soaking up the last of what remains from summer. The time has also slowed down, tourists have left and it is left for those who call this place home. For me it is the best time to embrace Patagonia, as it becomes quieter, little movement on the roads and endless trails to explore.

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