February 21st, 2010: The World Gets Bigger in the Backcountry

If you've made it to a ski resort before, you've probably seen the kids who show no fear while they charge down the mountain. Have you seen eight and nine year olds hiking to the top of a sidecountry peak before? Neither had I, until today at Park City Mountain Resort. It brought a tear to my eye.

What inspired them to hike into the unknown? Their big brother told them it was cool.


Josh said...

Here's some advice for those cute little gals/fellas:

“Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

- Edward Abbey

Bernard Rocca said...

Ed speaks my language. Except with more profound words. Thanks for sharing the wisdom Josh.

Elena said...

Good call Josh. And rock on Mr. Abbey. But what's wrong with encouraging kids to be eager, undismayed, bold enthusiasts in everything they do, including inspecting their desk calculators? In that vein, I would also pass along Nikos Kazantzakis' advice to those budding explorers:

"It's all because of doing things by halves, saying things by halves, being good by halves, that the world is in the mess it's in today. Do things properly by God! One good knock for each nail and you'll win through! God hates a half-devil ten times more than an archdevil."

(minus the references to god)
(plus some reference to outdoor adventure)

Elena said...
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