“Wilderness might be reducible, acre by acre, but wildness is something else again.” Michael Pollen, The Botany of Desire There’s a conversation going on about wilderness areas, and whether bicycles should be allowed. Currently, no mechanical devices are allowed, such as bicycles or chainsaws. The wilderness concept is to maintain a condition as close to […]
His (Daniel Boone’s) idea of happiness included unspoiled country where the land could sing its authentic songs, and where men could hear the call of wild things and know the precious freedom of the wilderness. ~ Stuart Udall, The Quiet Crisis I crossed the parking lot in a light rain. This mountain park had no […]
The prairie stretched in front of us for several miles. “What do you see?” I asked. Sara looked around with that half-bored expression teens sometimes have, “Grass,” was all she said. “Look down, then.” I instructed, “What’s right here beneath you?” She looked askance, then looked down, “Well, some grass. Some rocks, some of those […]
“If you want to destroy a barn,” a farmer once told me, “cut an eighteen-inch-square hole in the roof. Then stand back.” Chris Riddle, quoted in The World Without Us by Alan Weisman Ask any farmer what happens to his fields when they lie fallow for a year or two. He’ll tell you that it […]
“…it is important to bear in mind that nature bats last and owns the stadium.” Hawken, Lovins, Lovins, Natural Capitalism 1996 – Out on the plains to the east, the horizon stretches forever. In the valley between the foothills and the mesas, the sky is bright long before the sun’s first rays strike the valley. […]
“There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.” Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac The herd of elk had come down from the mountains to feed on the golf course and adjacent rough. Browsing and resting just off the road, they delighted the commuters and other drivers. As always, I […]
“People should adjust to, rather than change, nature.” – John Wesley Powell We came into the Everglades from the south; the transition from rough country to national park marked primarily by the absence of structures, fences and side roads. Where old shacks, farms and trailer houses were interspersed with the trees and grasslands, now there […]
“I am glad that I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.” Aldo Leopold, quoted in In Service to the Wild by Stephanie Mills 2002 – There’s a place where I walk often that I think of as feral land. At one time it was on the edge of a research […]
“The important thing is to touch the earth and stand in the wind, to know that you are part of the whole- not superimposed, like asphalt.”
Gaydell Collier, Leaning Into The Wind
Reese Witherspoon is great in “Wild”, the story of Cheryl Strayed hiking the Pacific Coast Trail and I enjoyed it immensely. Something was missing from the movie, however, and it took me a while to find it. I never sensed the joy, the discovery, of being in the wild.
While never undertaking anything as difficult as hiking the PCT, I’ve done my share of camping and hiking, mostly in the West. What stands out most about my trips, though, is not the incredible views or the pain and hardships, but the sensory overload that comes from being out in nature.