The following is a collection of outdoor quotes from a Yahoo group I helped to maintain: the Colorado Hiking and Outdoor Society “back in the day”. The group is now on Meetup.
Most of the quotes were chosen by me. I found the quotes from my readings, cribbed from other sites or just happened to hear. A few I chose for a specific day (e.g. Halloween). A few were chosen by friends when I went away on vacation and they handled the e-mail list. Most, but not all, the quotes are outdoor and/or adventure related The really oddball quotes are probably by my buddy Josh . 🙂
Have the quotes up to Spring 2006 from just before I left for the CDT. I also have extra quotes that I like and never used and/or added to over the years. The quotes are from over a decade at this point.
CHAOS E-mail Quotes
Feb 25 03
Life should be an unfinished business.
-Colin Fletcher, RIVER
Feb 28 03
I like Boulder because there is fun.
– from a child’s drawing on Pearl St.
Mar 4 03
“What is Tao?” Master Ummon replied: “Walk On”.
Mar 7 03
Ask for the ancient paths where the good way is;
and walk in it and find rest for your souls.
Mar 11 03
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it
is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Mar 14 03
When you get to a fork in the road, take it.
Mar 18 03
May the stars light your way and may you find the interior road.
Forward! -traditional Irish farewell
Mar 21 03
They make a desert and they call it peace.
Mar 25 03
Of course we weren’t lost. We were merely where we shouldn’t
have been, without knowing where that was.
— T. Morris Longstreth, guidebook writer for Catskills and the ‘Daks
Mar 27 03
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
– John Muir
Apr 1 03 “A special e-mail”
They will take this gun from my cold dead hands!
Apr 2 03
Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done
by jostling on the street.
Apr 4 03
It’s designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring,
when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer,
filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill
rains come, it stops, and leaves you to face the fall alone.
-A. Bartlett Giamatti, Baseball Commissioner
Apr 8 03
If you do not know where you are going, then any road will take you
there. –Yiddish Proverb
Apr 11 03
The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience
to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and
richer experiences –Eleanor Roosevelt.
Apr 15 03
Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is
beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but
the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza. –Dave Barry
Apr 18 03
The path to our destination is not always a straight one, Ed. We go
down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t
matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.
–Leonard to Ed, NORTHERN EXPOSURE
Apr 22 03
Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit.
Apr 25 03
Life is meant to be lived, not survived.
–CDT “thru-hiker” on HOW TO HIKE THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL video
Apr 29 03
A near tragedy: the first week out on the expedition someone lost the
bottle opener, and for the rest of the trip we had to subsist on
food and water.
MAy 2 03
Solvitur Ambulando (It is solved by walking)
May 6 03
“Hey Yogi, I think we’re lost.”
Yogi Berra – “Ya, but we’re making great time!”
May 9 03
All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me
rejoice like a child.
May 13 03
Bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible.
-Shakespeare, JULIUS CAESAR
May 16 03
Time is an illusion, lunch time doubly so.
–Douglas Adams, HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
May 20 03
Here I am safely returned over those peaks from a
journey far more beautiful and strange then anything I
had hoped for or imagined.
How is it that this safe return brings such regret?
May 23 03
We cannot see anything until we are possesed with the
idea of it, take it into our heads, and then we can
hardly see anything else.
May 27 03
Afoot and light hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path leading wherever I choose.
–Walt Whitman, opening lines to SONG OF THE OPEN ROAD
May 30 03
The imagination may be compared to Adam’s dream:
He awoke and found it truth.
–John Keats, in a letter written to a friend
Jun 3 03
Everything to Excess! To enjoy life take big bites.
Moderation is for monks.
–Robert A. Heinlein; said by alter-ego “Lazarus Long”
June 6 03
And the Lord said unto Satan, “Where comest thou?”
Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to
and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
June 10 03
I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the
rest, because Aunt Sally sheÂ’s going to adopt me and
sivilize me and I canÂ’t stand it. I been there before.
–Mark Twain, HUCKLEBERRY FINN
June 13 03
ThereÂ’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym.
–BILL NYE, The Science Guy,
June 17 03
The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always
beyond reach; its is also an expression of loyalty to the earth…
the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need
–if only we had the eyes to see it.
June 20 03
The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep…
June 24 03
“Work sucks! I’m going to the mountains.”
-As seen on a t-shirt
June 27 03
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping
Than you can understand.
–Yeats, THE STOLEN CHILD
July 1 03
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
July 8 03
Zen Master to hot dog vendor – “Make me one with everything…”
July 11 03
Nature is indifferent to our love, but never unfaithful -Ed Abbey
July 15 03
I want to see whatÂ’s on the other side of the hillÂ—then whatÂ’s
Â—Emma Â‘GrandmaÂ’ Gatewood, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike
the Appalachian Trail (1955)
July 18 03
Be open to your dreams, people. Embrace that distant shore.
Because our mortal journey is over all too soon.
Â–Chris Stevens, NORTHERN EXPOSURE
July 22 03
Take nothing for granted. Not one blessed, cool mountain day or
one hellish, desert day or one sweaty, stinky, hiking companion.
It is all a gift.
Â—Cindy Ross, JOURNEY ON THE CREST
July 25 03
We shall not cease from exploration,
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.
July 29 03
What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to
walk free and owe no superior?
Aug 1 03
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the
winds long to play with your hair.
Â—-Kahil Gibran, THE PROPHET
Aug 5 03
The flowers bloom, the songbirds sing,
and though it be sun or rain,
I walk the mountaintops with spring
from Georgia north to Maine.
Â—-Earl Shaffer,first thru-hiker of the AT. Finished Aug 5, 1948
Aug 8 03
THIS IS WHAT YOU SHALL DO: Be loyal to what you love, be true to
the earth,fight your enemies with passion and laughter.
Aug 12 03
We shall be known by the tracks we leave behind. -Dakota proverb
Aug 15 03
Weep, all ye little rains
Wail, winds, wail,
All along, along, along
The Colorado Trail.
–from the Colorado Trail (traditional cowboy song)
Aug 19 03
Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
Aug 22 03
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how
few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.
Aug 26 03
Duct tape is like the Force. It has a dark side. It has a light side.
It holds the universe together. –Anon.
Aug 28 03
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear
never beginning to live.
Sept 2 03
As I walk, As I walk
The Universe is walking with me.
–from Navajo rain dance ceremony
Sept 5 03
You say the hill’s too steep to climb,
You say you’d like to see me try,
You pick the place and I’ll choose the time
And I’ll climb
The hill in my own way
–Pink Floyd, FEARLESS
Sept 9 03
Look to this Day! For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
–from the Sanskrit SALUTATION OF THE DAWN
Sept 12 03
Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.
Sept 16 03
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. –Thoreau
Sept 19 03
There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t sit still,
So they break the heart of kith and kin
And they roam the world at will…
They range the field and rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain’s crest,
Theirs is the curse of gypsy blood,
And they don’t know how to rest
–Robert Service aka “The Poet of the Yukon”, THE MEN THAT DON’T FIT IN
Sept 23 03
…Nature, who is superior to all style and ages, is now, with pensive
face, composing her poem Autumn, with which no work no will be to
–Thoreau, A WEEK ON THE CONCORD AND MERIMACK RIVERS
Sept 26 03
For afterwards a man finds pleasure in his pains,
when he has suffered long and wandered long.
So I will tell you what you ask and seek to know.
–Homer, THE ODYSSEY
Sept 30 03
Pain is mandatory. Misery is optional.
Oct 3 03
You can observe a lot by watching. –Yogi Berra
Oct 7 03
It’s the same with white people. They cleared the forest, they dug up the land,
and they gave us the flu. But they also brought power tools and penicillin
and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Â–Marilyn Whirlwind, NORTHERN EXPOSURE
Oct 14 03
…the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out
their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
–T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia), SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM
Oct 17 03
We wanted to make good time, with the emphasis on good and not time.
-Pirsig, ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE
Oct 21 03
I’ve never been lost, but I’ve been a mite bewildered for a few days.
Oct 24 03
Glorious it is when wandering time has come.
–from an Inuit song
Oct 28 03
It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. -Sir Edmund Hillary.
Oct 31 03
From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
Nov 4 2003
The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on.
Nov 7 2003
Why wilderness? Because we like the taste of freedom; because we like the smell of danger.
Nov 11 2003
You road I enter upon and look around,
I believe you are not all that is here,
I believe much unseen is also here
–Walt Whitman, from SONG OF THE OPEN ROAD
Nov 14 2003
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the
bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds
in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Nov 18 2003
We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.
–John Steinbeck, TRAVELS WITH CHARLIE
Nov 21 2003
Its pretty far, but it doesn’t seem like it. -Â–Yogi Berra
Nov 25 2003
Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous,
leading to the most amazing view. –Ed Abbey
Dec 2 2003
Then here’s a hail to each flaming dawn
And here’s a cheer to the night that’s gone
And may I go a roaming on
… until the day I die
–On a grave marker in the Adirondacks
Dec 5 2003
We celebrate not the trail, but the wild places it passes through.
Dec 9 03
Be a half-assed crusader, a part-time fanatic. DonÂ’t worry too much about the fate of
the world. Saving the world is only a hobby. Get out there and enjoy the world, your
girlfriend, your boyfriend, husbands, wives; climb mountains, run rivers, get drunk,
do whatever you want to do while you can, before itÂ’s too late.
Dec 12 03
Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.
–Robert A. Heinlein; said by alter-ego “Lazarus Long”
Dec 16 03
Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He, who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today!
Dec 19 03
If you stand, stand. If you sit, sit. But don’t wobble!
–Zen Master Ummon
Dec 23 03
Perhaps what most moves us in the winter is some remeniscence of
far off summer. How we leap by the side of open brooks! What
beauty on the running brooks! What life! What society!
The cold is merely superficial; it is summer still at the core,
far,far within. –Thoreau
Dec 30 03
Carefully observe the way your heart draws you and then choose
that way with all your strength. –Hasidic saying
Jan 6 04
…who can say where a voyage starts – not the the actual passage
but the dream of a journey and its urge to find a way?
–William Least Heat Moon, RIVER HORSE
Jan 9 04
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think,
all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and
all the friends I want to see. –John Burroughs
Jan 13 04
Does the road wind uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
–Christina Rossetti, UPHILL
Jan 16 04
Our eyes may see some uncleaness,
But let our mind not see things that are not clean,
Our ears may hear some uncleaness,
But let not our mind hear things are are not clean.
Jan 20 04
On the trail marked with pollen, may I walk.
With grasshoppers about my feet, may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty, may I walk.
Jan 23 04
For you shall go out with joy, be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
— Isaiah 55:12
Jan 27 04
No one goes there anymore. Its too crowded! –Yogi Berra
Jan 30 04
A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world.
Â—-John Le Carre
Feb 3 04
The man with the knapsack is never lost. No matter whither he may stray, his food
and shelter are right with him, and home is wherever he may choose to stop.
Feb 6 04
Most people are pantywaists. Exercise is good for you!
Â—-Emma Â‘GrandmaÂ’ Gatewood, at age 67 first woman to thru-hike
the Appalachian Trail (1955)
Feb 9 04
There are three great times of thinking:
On the john, in the shower, and while walking.
And the greatest of these is walking…
–Colin Fletcher, THE COMPLETE WALKER
Feb 13 04
Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke.
Feb 17 04
There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon.
Feb 20 04
“The world looks brand-new,” said Hobbes.
“A New Year … a fresh clean start,” said Calvin.
“It’s like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on,” said Hobbes.
“A day full of possibilities,” said Calvin.
“It’s a magical world, Hobbes old buddy … let’s go exploring.”
–last words of the CALVIN AND HOBBES comic strip
Feb 24 04
Our suicidal poets (Plath, Berryman, Lowell, Jarrell, et al.) spent too much of their
lives inside rooms and classrooms when they should have been trudging up
mountains, slogging through swamps, rowing down rivers. The indoor life is the
next best thing to premature burial.
Feb 27 04
Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers Always Free)
–West Virginia state motto
Mar 2 04
I am one of you no longer; by the trails my feet have broken,
The dizzy peaks IÂ’ve scaled, the camp-fireÂ’s glow;
By the lonely seas IÂ’ve sailed inÂ—
yea, the final word is spoken,
I am signed and sealed to nature. Be it so.
Â—-Robert Service, from THE RHYME OF THE REMITTANCE MAN
Mar 5 04
The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all
that you are traveling for. –Louis L’Amour
Mar 9 04
When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.
Mar 12 04
Wander a whole summer if you can. The time will not be taken from the sum of life.
Instead of shortening, it will indefinitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal.
Mar 16 04
May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night,
and the road downhill all the way to your door.
Mar 19 04
Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.
— Walt Whitman, LEAVES OF GRASS
Mar 23 04
As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret
the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint
myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world
as I can. –John Muir
Mar 29 04
It is in our nature to explore, to reach into the unknown.
The only true failure would be not to explore at all.
–Sir Ernest Shackleton
Apr 1 04 (another special e-mail. )
A tree is a tree. How many more do you have to look at?
–Ronald Reagan, 1966
Apr 2 04
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
Apr 6 04
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving
safely, in one handsome and well-preserved piece. You should slide broadside
across that finish line, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, and
Apr 9 04
Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.
–Calvin from the CALVIN AND HOBBES comic strip
Apr 13 04
Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
–Winnie the Pooh
Apr 16 04
Calories, carbohydrates and pain killer all rolled into one. A hiker’s best friend!
— Thru-hiker referring to beer on the DVD “REALLY LIVIN'”
Apr 20 04
It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.
— Ursula K. LeGuin
Apr 23 04
The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own
life, but that it bothers him less and less. –Vaclav Havel
Apr 27 04
I too am not a bit untamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
– Walt Whitman
April 30 04
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.
May 4 04
And of what value was the journey? It is as well for those who ask such questions
that there are others who feel the answer and never need to ask.
— Wally Herbert, polar explorer
May 7 04
I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till
sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
May 11 04
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There’s a whisper on the night-wind, there’s a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling, calling. . . let us go.
–Robert Service, THE CALL OF THE WILD
May 14 04
It is not down in any map; true places never are.
–Herman Melville, MOBY DICK
May 18 04
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or
we find it not. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
May 21 04
Everyone comes back. It makes no difference how far we wander, we
always have our country, our land, in our souls and our minds.
May 25 04
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river
was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of
time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the
words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.
–Norman Maclean, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT
May 28 04
Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.
June 1 04
Running provides happiness which is different from pleasure.
Happiness has to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing.
June 4 04
…for there is no opiate like Alpine pedestrianism.
–Mark Twain, A TRAMP ABOARD
June 8 04
I learned early that the richness of life is found in adventure. Adventure calls on all
the faculties of mind and spirit. It develops self-reliance and independence. Life then
teems with excitement. But man is not ready for adventure unless he is rid of fear. For
fear confines him and limits his scope. He stays tethered by strings of doubt and
indecision and has only a small and narrow world to explore.
–William O. Douglas, OF MEN AND MOUNTAINS
June 11 04
Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse–and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness–
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.
–RubÃ¡iyÃ¡t of Omar KhayyÃ¡m
June 15 04
Never for me the lowered banner, never the last endeavour.
–Sir Ernest Shackleton
June 18 04
..there is always a Land of Beyond for those who are true to the trail.
June 22 04
Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes,
and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s
right with the world. –Ada Louise Huxtable
June 25 04
I know dark clouds will gather o’er me
I know my pathway’s rough and steep
But golden fields lie out before me
Where weary eyes no more shall weep
— THE WAYFARING STRANGER (Traditional)
June 29 04
The mind and body do not necessarily have to follow the the same path.
July 2 04
Surely the true path is to dive deep into nature.
–Vincent Van Gough
July 6 04
Theres is no real hope of traveling perfectly light in the mountains.
It is good to try,as long as you realize that,like proving a unified field
theory, mastering Kanji,or routinely brewing the perfect cup of coffee,
the game can never be won. — Smoke Blanchard
July 9 04
Not all who wander are lost.
July 13 04
…never easy, often painful, but always rewarding.
–from an earlier edition of the Colorado Trail data book
July 16 04
What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy
is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make
money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.
–George Mallory, on climbing Mount Everest
July 20 04
A traveler. I love his title. A traveler is to be reverenced as such.
His profession is the best symbol of our life. Going from–toward;
it is the history of every one of us.
July 23 04
A venturesome minority will always be eager to set off on their own,
and no obstacles should be placed in their path; let them take risks, for godsake,
let them get lost, sunburnt, stranded, drowned, eaten by bears, buried alive
under avalanches – that is the right and privilege of any free American.
July 27 04
Do not look to the ground for your next step; greatness lies with those who look to
the horizon. –Norwegian Proverb
July 30 04
To travel, to experience and learn; that is to live.
— Tenzing Norgay
Aug 3 04
Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I
can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and follow where they lead.
— Louisa May Alcott
Aug 6 04
Everything else being equal,choose a john with a view.
— Colin Fletcher
Aug 10 04
Live well. It is the greatest revenge.
Aug 13 04
The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.
Aug 17 04
Remember that nature and the elements are neither your friend or your enemy;
they are actually disinterested.
–Department of the Army Field Manual FM 21-76 “Survival” Oct. 1970
Aug 20 04
Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to
lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are
constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things
– air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky; all things tending towards
the eternal or what we imagine of it. –Cesare Pavese
AUG 24 04
Smegma, dogmatagram, fishmarket stew
Police in a corner, gunnin’ for you
Appletoast, bedheated, furblanket rat
Laugh when they shoot you, say
“Please don’t do that”. –Phish
AUG 27 04
It is our mission to interactively fashion long-term
high-impact meta-services so that we may continually
disseminate parallel leadership skills for 100%
– Dilbert Mission Statement Generator
AUG 31 04
“What will you have, Norm?”
“Well, I’m in a gambling mood, Sammy. I’ll take a
glass of whatever
comes out of that tap.”
“Oh, looks like beer, Norm.”
“Call me Mister Lucky.”
Sam Malone/Norm Petersen — Cheers
SEPT 3 04
Live Simply so that others may simply live. ~Elizabeth Ann Seton.
SEPT 7 04
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to
the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the
clouds. ~ Edward Abbey
SEPT 10 04
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it
attached to the rest of the world. ~John Muir (1838-1914)
SEPT 14 04
We should eat all our food so we shan’t have to carry it.
–Winnie the Pooh
SEPT 17 04
When I was very young and the urge to be someplace was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. …
In other words, I don’t improve, in further words, once a bum always a bum.
I fear the disease is incurable. — John Steinbeck, TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY
SEPT 21 04
Nobody seems more obsessed by diet than our antimaterialist, otherworldly, New Age,
spiritual types. But if the material world is merely illusion, an honest guru should
be as content with Budweiser and bratwurst as with raw carrot juice, tofu, and
seaweed slime. –Ed Abbey
SEPT 24 04
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
SEPT 28 04
When despair grows in me and I wake in the middle of the night at the
least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
–Wendell Berry, THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS
OCT 1 04
Strange the faithless fuss made about taking a walk in the safest and pleasantest
of all places, a wilderness. –John Muir
OCT 5 04
Life is cruel? Compared to what?
OCT 8 04
Support bacteria – they’re the only culture some
people have. –Steven Wright
OCT 12 04
I was the world in which I walked.
–Wallace Stevens, TEA AT THE PALAZ OF HOON
OCT 15 04
Farewell we call to hearth and hall!
Though wind may blow and rain may fall.
We must away ere the break of day.
Far over wood and mountain tall.
–J.R.R. Tolkien, LORD OF THE RINGS
OCT 19 04
It is always there, of course, when you come back from the green world. You
have been living by sunrise and sunset, by wind and rain, surrounded by the
ebb and flow of lives that respond only to such simple, rhythmic elements.
But now the tone and tempo of the days switch. Instead of harmony, jangle.
–Colin Fletcher, WINDS OF MARA
OCT 22 04
It is a great art to saunter.
OCT 26 04
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. –Frank Zappa
OCT 29 04
Hark! Hark to the wind! ‘Tis the night, they say,
When all souls come back from the far away-
The dead, forgotten this many a day!
NOV 2 04
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President;
I’m beginning to believe it. –Clarence Darrow
NOV 5 04
Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against. –W.C. Fields
NOV 9 04
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.
Nov 12 04
…as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.
–Herman Melville, MOBY DICK
NOV 16 04
The sun is slowly sinkin’
The day is almost gone
Still darkness falls around us
And we must journey on
–DARKEST HOUR IS JUST BEFORE DAWN (Traditional)
NOV 19 04
For as I far as I can see, the canyon country of southern Utah extends
in all directions. No compass can orient me here, only a pledge to love
and walk the terrifying distances before me. What I fear and desire most
in the world is passion. I fear it because it promises to be spotaneous,
out of my control, unnamed, beyond my reasonable self. I desire it because
passion has color, like the landscape before me. It is not pale. It is
not nuetral. It reveals the backside of the heart.
–Terry Tempest Williams, RED
NOV 23 04
I’m drunk on the fiery elixer of beauty.
–Everett Ruess, VAGABOND FOR BEAUTY
NOV 30 04
There is something in the country…in the vastness and emptiness of it, that
resists knowing, –Rob Schultheis, THE HIDDEN WEST
DEC 3 04
Talk of mysteries! Think of our life in nature – daily to be shown matter,
to come in contact with it, rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks, the solid
earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact!
DEC 7 04
Of one thing I am certain, the transformation I yearn for is incomplete. I
do not know whether I am any closer to enlightenment – I do not really expect
to acheive it – but I know that the attempt is worth the effort.
–Oliver Statler, JAPANESE PILGRIMAGE
DEC 10 04
We do not commonly live our life out and full; we do not fill all our pores
with blood; we do not inspire and expire fully and entirely enough … We
live but a fraction of our life. Why do we not let on the flood, raise the
gates, and set all our wheels in motion?
DEC 14 04
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so
that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. –Cherokee saying
DEC 17 04
Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow, Filling the sky and earth below, Over the
housetops, over the street, Over the heads of the people you meet.
Dancing, Flirting, Skimming along.
DEC 21 04
There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you….
In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other;
only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when
you can savor belonging to yourself. — Ruth Stout
DEC 24 04
Did you ever notice, the only one in A Christmas Carol with any character is Scrooge?
Marley is a whiner who f***ed over the world and then hadn’t the spine to pay his
dues quietly; Bell, Scrooge’s ex-girlfriend, deserted him when he needed her most;
Bob Cratchit is a gutless toady without enough get-up-and-go to assert himself;
and the less said about that little treacle-mouth, Tiny Tim, the better.
DEC 28 04
All the best to you in the future, even though the
future ain’t what it used to be.
–Yogi Berra, from a college commencement speech
DEC 31 04
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
–Lord Alfred Tennyson
JAN 4 05
It’s a fool’s life, a rogue’s life, and a good life if you keep laughing
all the way to the grave.
JAN 7 05
I sought the trails of South and North,
I wandered East and West;
But pride and passion drove me forth
And would not let me rest.
And still I seek, as still I roam,
A snug roof overhead;
Four walls, my own; a quiet home. . . .
“You’ll have it — when you’re dead.”
–Robert Service, THE WISTFUL ONE
JAN 11 05
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them
–A. A. Milne, EEYORE from WINNIE THE POOH
JAN 14 05
The problem of living is at bottom an economic one. And this alone is bad enough,
even in a period of so-called “normalcy.” But living has been considerably complicated
of late in various ways – by war, by questions of personal liberty, and by “menaces”
of one kind or another.
–Benton Mackaye, 1921, AN APPALACHIAN TRAIL: A PROJECT IN REGIONAL PLANNING
My latest sun is sinking fast
My race is nearly run
My longest trials now are past
My triumph has begun
–ANGEL BAND (Traditional)
FEB 1 05
If I had some duct tape, I could fix that. –MacGyver
FEB 4 05
We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces
perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope. And hope does
not disappoint us. –Romans 5:3-5
FEB 8 05
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is
exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather,
only different kinds of good weather.
FEB 11 05
I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think
about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me
with a weapon. –Anon.
FEB 15 05
It is a gentle art; know how to tramp and you know how to live….
The camel groans, the soldier grouses, but the tramp puts ever something more into his
capacious rucksack for pleasure or profit… his danger is putting in too much and
not putting in the right things….
–Stephen Graham, THE GENTLE ART OF TRAMPING
FEB 18 05
The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult. –Du Deffand
FEB 22 05
Hunger makes the best sauce. –Anon.
Feb 25 05
A pickup truck is fine, a horse is better, but in the end when you come right down
to it the noblest mode of locomotion is by way of the legs, proceeding upright,
erect, like a human being, not squatting on the haunches like a frog.
–Ed Abbey, THE FOOL’S PROGRESS
March 1 05
Learn the rules, so you can break them properly. –The Dalai Lama
March 4 05
There are three things: to walk, to see, and to see what you see.
— Benton MacKaye, on the purpose of the Appalachian Trail
March 8 05
You already have the precious mixture that will make you well. Use it.
March 11 05
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
March 15 05
For my own part, I am pleased enough with surfaces — in fact, they seem to me to be of much importance. Such things, for example, as the grasp of a child’s hand in your own,
the flavor of an apple, the embrace of a friend or a lover, the silk of a girl’s thigh,
the sunlight on rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of
granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind
— what else is there? What else do we need?
–Edward Abbey, DESERT SOLITAIRE
March 18 05
Ma dheanann tu seiteiracht, go ndeana tu
seiteireacht ar an mbas,
Ma ghoideanntu, go ngoide tu croi mna;
Ma throideanntu, go dtroide tu i leith do bhrathar,
Agus ma loann tu, go n-ola tu liom fein!
(If you cheat, may you cheat death.
If you steal, may you steal a woman’s heart.
If you fight, may you fight for a brother,
And if you drink, may you drink with me!!)
-Traditional Gaelic toast
March 21 05
The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.
March 25 05
The masses do not see the Sirens. They do not hear songs in the air. Blind, deaf,
stooping, they pull at their oars in the hold of the earth. But the more select,
the captains, harken to a Siren within them…and royally squander their lives
with her. –Nikos Kazantzakis, THE ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL
March 29 05
They change their sky, not their mind, who cross the sea. A busy idleness possesses us:we seek a happy life, with ships and carriages: the object of our search is present with us
–Horace, EPISTLES (I, 11, 27)
APR 1 05
This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other
three hundred and sixty-four. –Mark Twain, PUDD’NHEAD WILSON
APR 5 05
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
APR 8 05
As soon as April pierces to the root
The drought of March, and bathes each bud and shoot
Through every vein of sap with gentle showers
From whose engendering liquor spring the flowers;
When little birds are busy with their song
Who sleep with open eyes the whole night long
Life stirs their hearts and tingles in them so,
Then people long on pilgrimage to go,
And palmers set out for distant strands
And foriegn shrines renowned in sundry lands.
–Geoffroy Chaucer, prologue to CANTERBURY TALES
APR 12 05
Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby. –Langston Hughes
APR 15 05
The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.
— Albert Einstein
APR 19 05
I bequeath myself to the dirt, to grow from the grass I love.
If you want me again, look for me under your boot-soles.
–Walt Whitman, LEAVES OF GRASS
APR 26 05
I wait. Now the night flows back, the mighty stillness embraces and includes me;
I can see the stars again and the world of starlight. I am twenty miles or more from
the nearest fellow human, but instead of lonliness I feel loveliness.
Loveliness and a quiet exultation. –Ed Abbey
APR 29 05
Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. –Thoreau
MAY 3 05
There are old mountaineers and there are bold mountaineers; there are very
few old and bold mountaineers. –Anon.
MAY 6 05
Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
â€™T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,â€”you â€™re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.
MAY 10 05
Upon hiking the Pacific Crest Trail you will be transformed from a well fed
city slicker into a walking gullet! You will have visions of devouring doughnuts,
eating sweet rolls, raiding smorgasbords and fruit stands, and swimming in canned
fruit cocktail. You will think about all those peanut butter sandwiches you threw
away back in grade school. In short, you will become quite food-oriented.
— Chuck Long, from the the PCT HIKE PLANNING GUIDE, 1976 edition
MAY 13 05
Rainbows apologize for angry skies. –Sylvia Voirol
MAY 17 05
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though
checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither
enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows
not victory nor defeat. –Theodore Roosevelt
MAY 20 05
There is no try. Do or do not. There is no other. –Yoda
MAY 24 05
I have been in many beautiful places, and did not wish to taste, but to drink deep.
-Everett Ruess, VAGABOND FOR BEAUTY
MAY 31 05
A few days ago I rode into the red rocks and sandy desert again and it was like
coming home again. –Everett Ruess, VAGABOND FOR BEAUTY
JUNE 3 05
Whatever satisfies the soul is truth. –Walt Whitman
JUNE 7 05
I do not ask to walk smooth paths, nor bear an easy load,
I pray for strength and fortitude to climb the rock-strewn road.
Give me such courage, I can scale the heartiest peaks alone,
And transform every stumbling block into a stepping stone.
JUNE 10 05
Sail Forth- Steer for the deep waters only. Reckless O soul, exploring. I with thee
and thou with me. For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared go. And we will
risk the ship, ourselves, and all. –Walt Whitman
JUNE 14 05
Jars of spring water are not enough. Take us down to the river.
JUNE 17 05
Eastward I go by force, but westward I go free. –Thoreau
JUNE 21 05
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date
–William Shakespeare, SONNET XVIII
JUNE 24 05
I am fevered with the sunset,
I am fretful with the bay,
For the wander-thirst is on me
And my soul is in Cathay.
–Richard Hovey, A SEA GYPSY
JUNE 28 05
I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-spangled sky to a roof, the obscure and
difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities –Everett Ruess, VAGABOND FOR BEAUTY
JUL 5 05
That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
JULY 8 05
In this glare of brilliant emptiness, in this arid intensity of pure heat,
in the heart of a weird solitude, great silence and grand desolution, all things
recede to distances out of reach, relecting light but impossible to touch,
annihilating all thought and all that men have made to a spasm of whirling dust
far out on the golden desert.
JULY 12 05
The hardest part about any trail is the seven inches between your ears.
JULY 15 05
Touch water in the West and you touch everything.
JULY 19 05
For him in vain the envious seasons roll
Who bears eternal summer in his soul.
–Oliver Wendell Holmes, THE OLD PLAYER
JULY 22 05
Like Magellan, let us find our islands
To die in, far from home, from anywhere
Familiar. Let us risk the wildest places,
Lest we go down in comfort, and despair.
JULY 26 05
Life itself is the proper binge. –Julia Child
JULY 29 05
O Open Road You express me better than I can express myself.
You shall be more to me than my poem.
AUG 2 05
Minimize your therbligs until it becomes automatic; this doubles your effective lifetime –
and thereby gives you time to enjoy butterflies and kittens and rainbows.
–Lazarus Long (alter ego of Robert A. Heinlein)
AUG 5 05
Road Rule 4: Never eat at a nationally franchised restaurant; there’s
no sense of adventure, no diversity, no risk involved in patronizing
them. They’re uniformly bland.
First Corollary: You can stop at nationally franchised restaurants to
use their restrooms; there’s no sense of adventure, no diversity, no
risk involved in using them. They’re uniformly clean.
–Dayton Duncan, OUT WEST
AUG 9 05
Adventure is putting oneâ€™s ignorance into motion.
–William Least Heat Moon, RIVER HORSE
AUG 12 05
I’ve roamed and rambled and I’ve followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
AUG 16 05
I now laid myself down on some will boughs to a comfortable
nights rest, and felt indeed as if I was fully repaid
for the toil and pain of the day. So much will a good shelter,
a dry bed and a comfortable supper revive the spirits of
the weary, wet and hungry traveler.
–from the journal of Meriwether Lewis
AUG 24 05
What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo
in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself
in the sunset. –Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator
AUG 26 05
Road Rule 26: The final value of any expedition is not what you failed to discover but
what you found in its place; the important thing is not so much the dream you pursued
but the fact that you pursued it. Looking back on your journey, what you remember most
is not what you were searching for, but the search itself.
–Dayton Duncan, OUT WEST
AUG 30 2005
The world is older and bigger than we are. This is a hard truth for some
folks to swallow –Ed Abbey
SEPT 2 2005
Men Wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness,
constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.
â€”-Sir Ernest Shackleton, newspaper announcement before his Endurance expedition.
SEPT 6 2005
I get my exercise from being a pallbearer for those of my friends who
believe in regular running and exercise.
SEPT 9 2005
A man who couldn’t make things go right could at least go.
He could quit trying to get out of the way of life. Chuck routine.
Live the real jeopardy of circumstance. It was a question of dignity.
–William Least Heat-Moon, BLUE HIGHWAYS
SEPT 20 2005
I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman,
“Where’s the self-help section?”
She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
-Steven Wright, comedian
SEPT 23 2005
From Annie Hall:
[Alvy Singer does a stand-up comic act for a college
audience] Alvy Singer: I was thrown out of N.Y.U. my freshman
year for cheating on my metaphysics final, you know. I
looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
When I was thrown out, my mother, who was an
emotionally high-strung woman, locked herself in the
bathroom and took an overdose of Mah-Jongg tiles. I
was depressed at that time. I was in analysis. I was
suicidal as a matter of fact and would have killed
myself, but I was in analysis with a strict Freudian,
and, if you kill yourself, they make you pay for the
sessions you miss.
SEPT 27 2005
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect
and joy in each other’s lives. –Richard Bach
SEPT 30 2005
The goldenrod is yellow
The corn is turning brown
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.
–Helent Hunt Jackson
OCT 4 2005
After all, time is not money. It is an opportunity to live before you die.
–Donald Culross Peatty, JOY OF WALKING
OCT 7 2005
There is something in October that sets the gypsy blood astir:
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame,
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.
–Bliss Carman, VAGABOND SONG
OCT 11 2005
By endurance, we conqueor.
–family motto of Sir Ernest Shackleton
OCT 14 2005
When of thy mortal goods thou find thyself bereft,
from the goodly store two loaves alone are left
Sell one, and with the dole
buy hyacinths to feed thy soul
–Moslih Eddin Saadi
OCT 18 2005
Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees.
OCT 21 2005
Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.
–John F. Kennedy
OCT 25 2005
Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a
distant journey into unknown lands. The blood flows with the fast circulation of
childhood. â€”-Sir Richard Burton, journal entry
OCT 28 2005
I’ve learned there are three things you don’t discuss with people:
religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin.
–Linus, IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN
NOV 1 2005
Dream big and dare to fail.
–Norman Vaughan, polar explorer.
At age 89 climbed a mountain named after him in Antartica
NOV 4 2005
The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience
to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and
richer experiences –Eleanor Roosevelt.
NOV 8 2005
Courage is the price that Life extracts for granting peace
The soul that knows it not, knows no release
From little things;
Knows not the vivid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings.
How can Life grant us boon of living, compensate
For dull gray ugliness and pregnant hate
Unless we dare
The soulâ€™s dominion? Each time we make a choice, we pay
With courage to behold the restless day,
And count it fair.
NOV 11 2005
I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages.
–Bill Mauldin, WILLY AND JOE
NOV 15 2005
The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night,
Ya-honk! he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation:
The pert may suppose it meaningless, but I listen closer,
I find its purpose and place up there toward the November sky.
–Walt Whitman, LEAVES OF GRASS
NOV 18 2005
Short is the little time which remains to you of life. Live as on a mountain.
â€”-Marcus Aurelius, MEDITATIONS
NOV 22 2005
The desert is an ocean in which no oar is dipped.
–often attributed to T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia)
NOV 29 2005
A person may exercise a right increasingly restricted these days: to wander
at random. This aimless roving may be contrary to the principles of industrial
progress, but for a wanderer nothing is better calculated to clear the mind
and enlarge the vision.
–Ann and Myron Sutton, THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL: ESCAPE TO THE WILDERNESS
DEC 2 2005
You gotta know where you’re going. Otherwise, when you get there you’ll be lost.
DEC 6 2005
Out of the bosom of the Air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow Descends the snow.
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, SNOW FLAKES
DEC 9 2005
Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.
DEC 13 2005
No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.
DEC 16 2005
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.
‘We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,’
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
–Oliver Herford, I HEARD A BIRD SING
DEC 20 2005
O Winter! ruler of the inverted year,…
I crown thee king of intimate delights, Fireside enjoyments,
home-born happiness, And all the comforts that the lowly roof
Of undisturb’d Retirement, and the hours Of long
uninterrupted evening, know.
DEC 23 2005
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in Mayâ€™s new-fangled mirth;
But like of each thing that in season grows.
DEC 27 2005
Snowboarding is an activity that is very popular with people
who do not feel that regular skiing is lethal enough.
DEC 30 2005
Yearâ€™s end, all
corners of this
floating world, swept.
JAN 3 2006
The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead.
The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All
hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!
— Edward Payson Powell
JAN 6 2006
We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where
we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us.
JAN 10 2006
“Come to the edge,” he said.
They said, “We are afraid.”
“Come to the edge,” he said.
They came, and he pushed them
And they flew.
JAN 13 2006
As we passed on, it seemed those scenes of visionary enchantment would
never have an end. –from the journal of Meriwether Lewis
JAN 17 2006
Pessimism and negativism are cankers in the soul of long
distance voyagers, and continuance of journeys owes about
as much to blind faith as realistic assessment,
–William Least Heat-Moon, RIVER HORSE
JAN 20 2006
I used to work in a fire hydrant factory.
You couldn’t park anywhere near the place.
JAN 24 2006
The peaker learns surely and certainly that life can be worthwhile, that
it can be beautiful and valuable. There are ends in life, i.e., experiences
which are so precious in themselves as to prove that not everything is a
means to some end other than itself. –Abraham Maslow, HIERARCHY OF NEEDS
JAN 27 2006
Zorba came upon an old man planting an apricot seedling and asked why he, an old man,
was planting a new tree. “I live life as though I would never die,” was his reply.
“And me, I live as though I might die tomorrow,” said Zorba, “which one of us is right?”
–Nikos Kazantzakis, ZORBA THE GREEK
JAN 31 2006
Experience is a great teacher, but the tuition is high.
FEB 3 2006
And still I wander, seeking compensation in unforseen encounters and unexpected sights,
in sunsets, storms and passing fancies. –Charles Kuralt
FEB 7 2006
I am an agnostic on most matters of faith, but on the subjects of maps I
have always been a true believer. It is on the map, therefore it is, and I am.
–Tony Horwitz, ONE FOR THE ROAD
FEB 10 2006
It’s not the thing you fling, it’s the fling itself.
–Chris Stevens, NORTHERN EXPOSURE
FEB 14 2006
I detest ‘love lyrics.’ I think one of the causes of bad mental health in the United States
is that people have been raised on ‘love lyrics.’ – Frank Zappa
Feb 17 2006
There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.
Feb 21 2006
Majestic doesn’t appeal to us. We [Americans] like the Grand Canyon better
with Clarence and Arlene parked in front of it, smiling.
–Garrison Keiler, LAKE WOBEGON DAYS
Feb 24 2006
Many ways of life passed away before your time.
Then, go about the earth and behold what happened.
Feb 28 2006
One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is
constantly making exciting discoveries.
–A. A. Milne, WINNIE THE POOH
March 3 2006
Spring is about to spring. Persephone is coming back and the ice is groaning,
about to break with the exquisite and deafening roar. It’s a time for madness;
a time for our fangs to come down and our eyes to glaze over so that the beast
in us can sing with unmitigated joy. Oh yes, ecstasy, I welcome thee!
–Chris Stevens, NORTHERN EXPOSURE
March 7 2006
People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves
of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the
ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves
without wondering. — Saint Augustine
March 10 2006
Some people say that I must be a terrible person, but
it’s not true. I have the heart of a young boy in a jar on my desk.
March 14 2006
In memories we were rich. We had pierced the veneer of outside things….
We had seen God in His splendours, heard the text that Nature renders. We had
reached the naked soul of man. –Sir Ernest Shackleton
March 17 2006
May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.
March 21 2006
A little Madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King.
March 24 2006
I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark
should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live,
not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time. –Jack London
March 28 2006
Before enlightenment: chop wood, get water.
After enlightenment: chop wood, get water.
March 31 2006
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
Apr 4 2006
April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
–T.S Eliot, THE WASTELAND
Apr 7 2006
He who does not travel does not know the value of men.
Apr 11 2006
The truth is that it is natural, as well as necessary, for every man to be
a vagabond occasionally. –Samuel Hammond
Apr 14 2006
I also realized that I’d grown soft, Things had been going to well
latlely. Too easily. I needed something to pare the fat off my soul,
to scare the shit out of me, to make me grateful, again, for being
alive. All I knew, deep and safe, beyond mere intellect, that there
is nothing like a wilderness journey for re-kindling the fires of
life. Simplicity is part of it. Cutting the cackle. Transportation
reduced to leg- or arm-power, eating irons to one spoon.
Such simplicity, together with sweat and silence, amplify the rhythms
of any long journey, especially through unknown, untattered
territory. And in the end such a journey can restore an understanding
of how insignificant you are – thereby set you free.
–Colin Fletcher, RIVER
Apr 18 2006
Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business.
Apr 21 2006
Even aimless journeys have a purpose…
–Tony Horwitz, ONE FOR THE ROAD
Apr 25 2006
My body is not made for this…my spirit is.
–North Face ad from ~1998.
Apr 28 2006
COACH: Can I draw you a beer, Norm?
NORM : No, I know what one looks like. Just pour me
one. Norm and Coach from Cheers
May 2 2006
Trust in dreams, for in them is the hidden gate to eternity.
May 5 2006
Fullness to such a burden is
That go on pilgrimage;
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
Is best from age to age.
–John Bunyan, PILGRIM’S PROGRESS
May 9 2006
What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially
in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right
there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you.
No yesterdays on the road.
–William Least Heat Moon, BLUE HIGHWAYS
May 12 2006
Only by going alone in silence can one truly get into the heart of the
wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.
May 16 2006
I thought myself well rewarded for my labor, as from this point
point I beheld the Rocky Mountains for the first time,
–from the journal of Meriwether Lewis
May 19 2006
The mountains are calling and I must go –John Muir
Vini, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
Down to Gehenna or up to the throne, He travels the fastest who
travels alone. –Rudyard Kipling
Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation
if it didn’t change once in a while. –Kin Hubbard
The end of summer is always hard on me, trying to cram in all the goofing off
I’ve been meaning to do”. –Calvin, CALVIN AND HOBBES
If you aren’t failing every now and then, you’re probably playing it
safe. – Woody Allen
The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to
ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. –Patrick Young
Every path has a few puddles.
I love to travel, but hate to arrive.
To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time,
but we must keep on stepping. –Chinese Proverb
Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose we came from the woods originally.
— John Muir
I have always held it a crime to anticipate evils.
I will believe it a good comfortable road until I am compelled
to believe differently. –from the journal of Meriwether Lewis
Tis a gift to be simple. Tis a gift to be free. –Shaker motto
I am one
Who eats his breakfast,
Gazing at morning glories. –Basho
(Walking) can in the end become an addiction, and that it is then as deadly in its fashion as heroin or television or the stock exchange. But even in this final stage it remains a delectable madness, very good for sanity, and I recommend it with passion. –Colin Fletcher, THE COMPLETE WALKER
A man will search his heart and soul, go searchin’ way out there, his peace of mind he knows he’ll find,
but where, O Lord, oh where? Ride away, ride away. –from the movie THE SEARCHERS
If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be. –Yogi Berra
Never trust machinery more complicated than a knife and fork. –Robert Heinlein, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND
All persons are born free and have certain inalienable rights. They include the right to a clean and healthful environment…
–Article II, Section 3, The Constitution of the State of Montana
When in doubt, go higher. –MOUNTAIN GAZETTE motto
After all, what was the whole wide world but a place for people to yearn for their hearts’ impossible desires,
for those desires to become entrenched in defiance of logic, plausibility, and even the passage of
time, as eternal as polished marble? –Richard Russo, EMPIRE FALLS
Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. –Basho
Sooooo…… When’s the last time you heard someone say they like the Indoorsy type???? –Anon.
“Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you — beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
— Edward Abbey, introduction to an illustrated version of DESERT SOLITAIRE
The Seven P’s: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance –Military axiom
Isolation breeds independence, self reliance and that special insanity. –Cohos Trail guidebook, 2nd ed.
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment. –Anon
And this our life, exempt from public haunt/Finds tongues in trees,book in the running brooks/Sermons in stones, and good in everything. –Wm. Shakespeare, AS YOU LIKE IT
If you should smell something out of the ordinary, don’t be alarmed. It is only fresh air. –THE ART OF SKIING (1941 Disney cartoon featuring Goofy)
If not now, when? If I am not for myself then who will be? And if I am only for myself than what am I? –Rabbi Hillel
NO SNIVELING! — popularized by Sgt. Rock . It is also on my truck, my laptop and my skis. I love this saying!
I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation – a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here. –John Steinbeck, TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY
Once a bum, always a bum. –John Steinbeck, TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY
It’s mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. –Anon
I was gently accused of escapism during a TV interview about a book I had written on my length-of-California walk. Frankly, I fail to see how going for a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains can be judged less real than spending six months working eight hours a day, five days a week, in order to earn enough money to be able to come back home to a comfortable home in the evening and sit in front of a TV screen and watch the two-dimensional image of some guy talking about a book he has written on a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains. —Colin Fletcher referencing his book 1000 MILE SUMMER
Ya wouldn’t git so tired if ya didn’t carry extra stuff. Throw th’ joker outta yer decka cards. — WILLIE AND JOE, Bill Mauldin
The woods were made for the hunters of dreams, The brooks for the fishers of song; –HUNTERS OF DREAMS,Sam Walter Foss
I just walked. I was VERY happy. –Bill Bryson, WALK IN THE WOODS
RULE #32: Enjoy the little things –from ZOMBIE LAND
It’s simple…it just ain’t easy — Anon.
Decide. Commit. Succeed. -P90 program motto.
Watch out where the huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow. – Frank Zappa
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing. –William Shakespeare, AS YOU LIKE IT
Every pleasure you forgoe on Earth is a pleasure you won’t get in heaven. — P.J. O’Rourke, DRIVING LIKE CRAZY
The places where water comes together
with other water. Those places stand out
in my mind like holy places. –Raymond Carver, WHERE WATER COMES TOGETHER WITH OTHER WATER
Ah, Colorado: the one place in America where people wake up earlier on weekends than workdays.
-Mark Obmascik, HALFWAY TO HEAVEN
It is better to go skiing and think of God, than go to church and think of sport.
Hiking is just walking where it’s okay to pee. Sometimes old people go hiking by accident. –Demetri Martin
Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped. – Andy Weir, The Martian
How to Camp Out by John Mead Gould, 1877