wild-monial – brittani karhoff
Hi, my name is Brittani Karhoff. I’m a professional dancer and live in San Francisco. I recently went on a desert quest with Gino.
I’d been stuck in hibernation, sleeping twelve hours a night, and not really making any effort to engage in the city around me. I was curious for something more attuned to my silence. I had simple motivations–to see a sky full of stars, to escape the noise of San Francisco, to be far away from the need for success and to-do lists.
While the physical elements were extreme, it was the drastic social change that hit me hardest. There was no ducking out and heading home when I’d had enough. And I learned that my typical modes of interaction kind of broke down after day two. That desire to please, or connect, or to be entertaining had to shed. No way can I keep that up for 5 days straight. That’s the thing about extreme environments–they force you to become efficient, to let go of anything extraneous, anything weighing you down.
Some amazing memories:
- Wading through the velvety mud of the first hot spring, dragging myself around the spring like some pre-historic alligator.
- Holding the topography map up in the fading sunlight and trying to figure out if we were really heading the way we thought we were. “Gino, why isn’t that mountain in front of us on the map?”
- Wandering around what felt like the most secret canyon, like I’d somehow stepped out of time. It was like I was eight years old again, setting off to explore the endless woods behind my house.
Gino gave me the space to discover his world, Black Rock, in my own way. He brought me there. He took me to places that move him and continue to teach him something profound. And those places are incredible! There’s something genius about a trip centered around hot springs. No matter how hard of a day I’d had, I knew that each night I could soak in the hot water and let it unravel… that each morning I could wallow for as long as I needed before setting off on a new adventure.
A month and a half later, I find myself lighter and clearer. This trip illuminated something elemental inside me, something that drives me and keeps me fascinated in the world.