Delton Bushey

True North

Like every great adventure, it’s more about the journey than the destination. I took this picture of my father in the Fall of 2014 while walking along the Nantahala River. I had just started my freshman year as a zoology student and my dad came up to visit my college and go hiking to take pictures of the mountains. As we were walking along the river, looking for the best areas to take pictures, it struck me how simple walks just like this one had influenced and changed my life over many seasons. The man patiently walking in front of me had nurtured my curious nature from a young age through his love of fishing, camping, hiking, and photography. As I surveyed my surroundings, I realized I knew the names of the tree species, plants, animals, and even which direction we were headed. I knew all of this not because of my ecology classes, but because growing up my dad took the time to follow every finger I pointed, answer every question I asked, and made sure whatever direction I headed I could find my True North. In life, there isn’t always a star to follow or moss to give you a direction. As for me, I will always take comfort in knowing that no matter what path I take, my father gave me the skills and tools to always find my way home.