whats your excuse?

3:23 a.m. on April 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Often times I go into the backcountry just for the pleasure of being out there. But for lack of a better term, to motivate me into going, I make "Excuses" for having to go, and schedule time off work for it.

Number one on the list has got to be Hunting. Have'nt used this much lately but sure works great. After all ya laid out money for the Tag so ya gotta use it right? That meens several scouting trips espeacialy if its a new area. And maybe a week vacation from work for the hunt if its an Elk or Deer hunt. Bird hunts make great weekend trips or even single day trips

Fishing is a great one too. Single day or weekenders. Even made some nice trips to Montana and Minnesota for that. Would love to do a Fly in trip in Canada or Alaska some day.

Four wheelin works well. Gotta try out those new Off-road tires and shocks. I know its not really a topic here on TS, but always carry a day pack with ya cuz you'll be in some secluded country. So load up the pack and start up the boots!

My latest is Gold prospecting. Ive been trying to incorporate it into Hilikng and Packing. Find a good water source, tie the Pan to the pack and head out. Did a real nice dayhike up an area called Burro Creek couple weeks ago. Beautiful canyon with year round water. Did some panning, enjoyed the scenery and wildlife, tried out some new gear then back to the truck.   Didnt find any gold.....this time. But what the heck, it sure made a good excuse to go.  Already planning for an overnite pack in. Just a little more time and I kno I'll find that nugget.

So whats your "EXCUSE"? What drives you into the backcountry?

 

11:39 a.m. on April 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Nature, serenity, sanity, and peace

1:06 p.m. on April 21, 2011 (EDT)
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You are right about hunting. Back when I hunted, the gun was a "prop", symbolizing a practical reason for wandering aimlessly in beautiful country.

Photography is also workable as an "excuse". Fishing is always good. I like the gold-panning idea, I may try that soon.

1:20 p.m. on April 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I always refer to mother nature as my primary source of therapy and I always need a session. Honestly if I didn't have the responsibilities that I do I would probably live in the hills 365 days a year.

4:24 p.m. on April 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I have to copy what Rick-Pittsburgh said. I also try to find some running water to watch. It seems my troubles and stress go away with the water down stream.

4:41 p.m. on April 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Going some place where I don't hear a single sound of "civilization" is my therapy or meditation or what have you. And in NJ those places can be hard to find!

5:18 p.m. on April 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Gear, permits and gas are cheaper than therapy!

8:07 p.m. on April 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I don't think about an "excuse" to go, I have been bushwhacking with young companions and mostly alone since age 10, in the BC mountains and it is just what I do. I hit 65 at the end of June and, having lived extensively alone in some of Canada's most remote wilderness since the mid-'60s, I would move into the wilderness, with my Rottweilers, for good, had I not marital responsibilities.

9:59 p.m. on April 21, 2011 (EDT)
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If I went into the woods or streams looking for therapy or happiness or any other insubstantial wonder -- I would not find it. However, if I go with some material matter in mind (hunting, fishing, etc.), then I can be delightfully surprised by the joy of life.

It is much like learning to fly. If you throw yourself forward, flapping your arms, you won't get off the ground. If, however, you throw yourself at the ground... and then get distracted before you complete the act; voila, you are flying.

Peace and contentment don't come to those that seek them; they arrive as the result of someone getting outside themselves, either by relating to others or to something greater.

JMHO, of course.

12:50 a.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Being raised in a large city and not being exposed to the great outdoors growing up, is the only excuse I need to get out.  Making up for the lost time my wife says.  My life (as I am sure, many others, if not all) is filled with things that I constantly have to "think" about.  Dealing with issues for clients/co-workers during the week at work, being apart of my marriage, raising my children, taking care of the house and chores, etc.  I enjoy getting "out there" to allow my body and reflexes work, and let my mind relax and take it all in.  A beautiful, peaceful, mental vacation.   

12:20 p.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Marriage.  Hopefully no explanation required...

Ed

1:23 p.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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After a week passed in the city my state of mind is about to drive everybody around nuts. Then they excuse me to go outside. My mom once gave sixty bucks to go play outside when I was a kid.

2:54 p.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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In order - for Adventure, Nature, Peace, Camping, Hunting(fishing/Turkey)

3:03 p.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Marriage.  Hopefully no explanation required...

Ed

LOL :)

Fortunately, my wife is very understanding and supportive of my need to spend time outdoors. She knows I am a much more pleasant and "alive" person when I get out in nature regularly.  I was sure to make sure I communicated and explained my need to get out in it when we were dating. OUr long courtship of 4 years dating and another two of engagement gave us a lots of time to get used to what the other person's needs are to be happy.

5:50 p.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm afraid I don't understand these comments about "getting away from wife/family/etc". Barb and I were both raised in families that were in the outdoors much of the time. That's the way life is for us, whether together or separately, including Young Son. I don't comprehend the part about "excuses".

If you have a spouse who doesn't share the wilderness with you and/or does not understand that the outdoors is fundamental part of Life, face it - you made a fundamental mistake in your choice of spouse. It is time to get a new spouse.

Homo sapiens did not evolve in a house or in a city, but in the outdoors of the savannah, jungle, forests, and deserts. Caves were just a place to get out of the rain for a while.

Life without the wilderness is Death.

6:15 p.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm with Bill on this one. My wife never really was into the hiking/camping thing(even though she grew up by Mt. Davis) until I came into the picture. Well a few weekend trips, a few day hikes, and taking her fishing a few time has her hooked. She loves it.

Now on the flipside unlike me she is a late spring thru early fall type of gal. Once the temps drop she calls her hiking season quits. I go out year round regardless of what the forecast is.

Its that time of year again and she is becoming quite inquisitive about gear. I think I am gonna buy her her own pack. She wants one. I never minded playing pack mule. At the same time I am pretty happy about her interest. Nothing but good times. :)

8:56 p.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Now BillS, becuase my wife does not participate, nor do my 16month, 23 month, or 3 year old daughters participate, does not mean they do not support it.  Hell, if it wasn't for my wife, I would not have been exposed to the outdoors.  She grew up with the outdoors as a part of life being raised on a ranch in prime Elk hunting territory, and now is raising 3 little girls, so does not have the desire to "get out".  Good for you Bill, you and your wife raised your cub "outdoors".  I myself, was raised in the inner city lifestyle of LA, where one is more influenced with the gang and drug culture .  Being a "boy scout" was not something kids did in the neighborhood or school.  I don't think I knew 1 boy scout growing up.  Now for you privelaged folks, I am sure this is hard to comprehend.  These activities are not easily attainable for a poor inner city kid.  When I met my wife while she was attending school, we took a trip to her home town.  I did not know life could be lived as such.  No "homies on the corner", no "ghetto bird" every night, no constant shootings or drive bys, hell, wearing colors meant nothing.  No one in her town had ever been murdered.  No school shootings.  Hell I am in rememberance of a friend who was murdered 10 years ago today.  But what there was, was a lot of open ground and solitude in the woods.  Something I had never experienced, and now love and embrace.  If not for my wife, I would never have even experienced it.  I may not even be alive today.  So I have resentment towards your comment on my choice of spouse.  I had much respect from reading your post and comments and look forward to what you had to share.  You are a well traveled, educated man.  Well spoken, and very respected.  I however am deeply offended by your comment of making a fundamental mistake in my marriage.  Who are you to be my judge??

5:38 a.m. on April 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm afraid I don't understand these comments about "getting away from wife/family/etc". Barb and I were both raised in families that were in the outdoors much of the time. That's the way life is for us, whether together or separately, including Young Son. I don't comprehend the part about "excuses".

If you have a spouse who doesn't share the wilderness with you and/or does not understand that the outdoors is fundamental part of Life, face it - you made a fundamental mistake in your choice of spouse. It is time to get a new spouse.

Homo sapiens did not evolve in a house or in a city, but in the outdoors of the savannah, jungle, forests, and deserts. Caves were just a place to get out of the rain for a while.

Life without the wilderness is Death.

Oh I don't agree there. People evolve throughout a relationship. Tastes and interests change. People can also have different tastes and interests in the beginning as well. Simply replacing them with a new spouse because of different interests seems to be a poor way of approaching a long term commitment to someone.

8:36 p.m. on April 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I just GO.   Because I CAN.

Yogi Robt

12:36 a.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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willwalk4free and JCollins62 -

Sorry that you so completely misread and misunderstood my post.

willwalk4free - interesting comment about my judging you, following your comments about my being "privileged". I am curious about what way you believe I am "privileged" and how I got to be so "privileged", as well as how my growing up was "privileged". What is your definition of "privileged"? I will agree that I am indeed extremely privileged, but I can almost 100% guarantee you that the way in which I know I am privileged differs drastically from what you mean by the term.

JCollins62 - of course people evolve. If you are not evolving constantly, you are dead and should turn yourself in to the nearest mortuary. The question is how you and those around you are sharing in your and their evolution.

12:41 a.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Oh believe me, it doesnt take much of an excuse to go out into the wild other than its there and I want to!

overmywaders - I like the term "prop" Whats your "prop" might have been better or atleast another off-shoot of this.

Whats your "PROP"

Bow

Fishing pole

Camera

Jeep

Gold pan

______________ you fill in the blank

Or maybe all the various gear like packs and tents and things. I know I get excited about a new piece of gear and cant wait to try it out

4:37 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Bill:

I was hoping I wouldn't have to explain, but your comments compel otherwise.  (any excuse for a debate!)

Consider yourself lucky that you have found your match in Barbra.  My parents had a great marriage too.  I both admire and envy those fortunate enough to find themselves in such good company.  But not all of us can find the perfect match, or for that matter make ideal mates ourselves.  I think I would be a handful for most anyone to live with, yet I have no desire to be a career bachelor.  I am sure at least half the turmoil of my home life is my own doing.  I got married later in life, so have been around the block – several times – and have come to realize both through personal experience, as well as vicarious experiences, that not all of us have the good fortune of meeting our so called soul mate.  One makes the best of what they have. 

As for dumping a spouse because they don’t do outdoors like me; selecting a mate on that basis would further limit my options to not only the very few people capable of putting up with me, but also expecting to find that person among the very few women who enjoy the outdoors doing what I like to do.  That isn’t such good advice!  Men seem to outnumber women ten to one in the backcountry, fating most of the boys to a life of going solo.  In any case, there are plenty of other diversions one can enjoy in life, and my interests (and I assume yours too, based on your other musings) are hardly so single dimensional as to suggest the primary criterion for mate selection is a mutual interest in any single category of activities.  I seriously consider my mate’s ability to merely cohabitate with me without losing their sanity as an important prerequisite, outweighing almost any mutual interest.  Should one find they are unhappily married and have dependant children, I would strongly advise they weigh the consequences of divorce.  Studies have shown children from split households statistically do not fare as well later in life as those from intact households – even households in turmoil – as long as violence or other clearly unacceptable behaviors are not present.  A parent's matromonial happiness is a poor excuse to burden their children. 

My spouse is fine with me disappearing on my hiking, climbing, and skiing trips.  We do little day hike picnics, and I can occasionally lure her into car camping.  She probably would backpack too, if not for her lack of conditioning, necessary for that type of activity, and her fear of snakes (don't ask).  My wife likes the out doors, but isn’t fond of exertion or vigorous workout regimens.  Actually my daughter is the one who is least interested in the out-of-doors.  We have taken her on picnics in the local mountains since she was able to walk.  She has been on several car camping trips to a variety of destinations too.  We use all the tips and tricks a parent would use to lure their kids into the wilds, but alas, my sixteen year old daughter remains only lukewarm with car camping.  But at least she is into running and not a couch potato.  In any case a vacation from “she-who-must-be-obeyed” helps me reset my circuits, and makes the day to day more bearable.  I venture to say the feeling is mutual, based on her behavior, too.  One makes the best of what they have.

Ed

5:31 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I am a proud memeber of the  Heman Women Haters Club

6:07 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Siiigggghhhh .......

It always amazes me that the Internet promotes so much misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Although I fully understand the sources of "web fog", and see a lot of lip service paid by others to understanding the sources of "web fog" (and then plunge off into demonstrating a major misinterpretation).

One explicit statement - I did not state, nor do I believe, that a person and their significant other must march in lock step or agree on everything. That would be incredibly dull/boring/living in a vacuum. I know couples who complete each other's sentences and support each other's every statement - I spend as little time in their presence as possible - least interesting people I know (I didn't say "completely uninteresting", because there is some fascination in watching a train wreck and other disasters).

One of my personal axioms is "Variety is the Spice of Life".

And, of course, everyone needs some personal space and personal time.

But statements like "my spouse forbids me" and "my family won't let me" are a big red flag that there is a lack of communication, a lack of mutual respect, a lack of mutual tolerance of each other's foibles (I, of course, am perfect and never make missteaks), and a lack of understanding of each other's needs and desires.

"Match" does not, to me, mean "cookie cutter" or "mirror image" (I doubt I could tolerate someone like me for more than 30 seconds, if that). It's more like a certain detective story writer's comments which can't be directly quoted on a family-friendly website about angles matching curves. Complementing characteristics and skills (and yes, that is "complementing", although "complimenting" is an important part of it).

Ed said "Men seem to outnumber women ten to one in the backcountry". Really??? Boy, we sure move in different circles. I sure see a lot of women in this photo, all of them super climbers (this was after a day of climbing at the Edges near Pinecrest)

GianWomen.jpg

Look at so many of the posts that keep saying that the two people have little or nothing in common, that they have to "get away from each other". Look at the numerous posts that state that they find their families are a burden, that they are "obligated" to forgo their personal interests because of those "obligations". These are all signs that the posters feel "trapped" and are "prisoners" (those words are all too often used).

Ed, you made a comment about the consequences for the kids of a divorce. What about the consequences for the kids and the example being set by the misery and feelings of burden, often expressed in arguments, when one or both partners feel trapped? Comments about "the old ball and chain"? Maybe, just maybe, these feelings, expressed or bottled up, are providing a negative example for the kids that is as bad or worse than a nasty divorce.

The implicit message is communication, understanding, tolerance, mutual appreciation, and having a major overlap and sharing of interests.

When I pointed Barb to this thread, her instant response to the comments about the wife not going to the outdoors was "Why not? Is it because she has to do all the domestic chores, just like at home - all the cooking, washing dishes, changing the diapers? Come on, Dad, you played a role in creating those kids (or choosing them, if they are adopted). So you get to change diapers, too. Remember, those kids might just have to change your Depends in a few years. And why don't the kids like the outdoors? Did you force them to go? Would they rather be with their friends, 'cause Dad isn't any fun out there? Is Dad playing hero macho man?" And yes, I get to clean Barb's fish as well as the ones I caught. Remember my comment about "complementary"?

The topic was (and is) "excuses". With mutual and complementary interests, good open communication, mutual understanding, tolerance, and mutual appreciation, "we don' need no stinkin' excuses". No excuses. No secrets.

By the way, Barb is 21 years old, despite what her driver's license, birth certificate, and Medicare card say, and always will be. And she has kept putting up with the Old GreyBearded One for over 45 years now.

7:19 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I don't think I use any excuses or pretenses really, the outdoors is just a fundamental part of my life.

I do enjoy various activities in the outdoors including hiking, fishing, cooking, observation, learning, etc.

A large part of why I enjoy those activities is because of the solitude & relaxation associated with them. Which is what I think your post was actually driving at, so yeah, in a way those are my "excuses".

7:59 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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My therapy requirements mandate that I get out and get lost as often as possible so its not so much an excuse as it is a necessity. Mother Nature "my therapist" is very strict about adherence to her prescribed regiment.

10:16 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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My "excuse": I fundamentally disagree with many of the major tenets of the society I exist in, and thus "need" to do this, or I will only further hasten my decent into insanity.

Said another way, the mountains call, and I can do nothing but listen and visit on occasion.

7:44 a.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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I am reminded of something my fellow-Marylander, Edgar Allan Poe, once said:

I became insane ... with long intervals of horrible sanity.

Hmmm ....

Yogi Robt

9:47 a.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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I am reminded of something my fellow-Marylander, Edgar Allan Poe, once said:

I became insane ... with long intervals of horrible sanity.

Hmmm ....

Yogi Robt

Robert, I was born in Silver Springs and my family is from Md. I have a cousin who has a few dental offices in Annapolis. Also family living in Damascus, Rockville, Bethesda, dads in Germantown... Ya ever been to Popes Creek?

11:19 a.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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My "excuse": I fundamentally disagree with many of the major tenets of the society I exist in, and thus "need" to do this, or I will only further hasten my decent into insanity.

Said another way, the mountains call, and I can do nothing but listen and visit on occasion.

Old saying - "All the world is crazy except me and thee. And I am not so sure about thee."

12:11 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Bill stated

"But statements like "my spouse forbids me" and "my family won't let me" are a big red flag that there is a lack of communication, a lack of mutual respect, a lack of mutual tolerance of each other's foibles (I, of course, am perfect and never make misteaks), and a lack of understanding of each other's needs and desires."

 

You are right.

 

Also, statements like the above likely signify that the person who says them, doesn't truly understand the obligations and responsibilities they have. When a husband says "my wife won't let me ____", he is likely playing victim and forgetting to include the details that make her view seem a little more credible.

 

Maybe the $300 he wants to spend on a tent need to be used for a home repair or something for the kids, maybe the weekend he wants to spend climbing needs to be spent with family for one reason or another, who knows.

 

I just know from my own personal experiences and from the experience of listening to others during my residencies as a therapist, that we tend to dramatize and victimize ourselves rather than admit that we are selfish. Self awareness, and self acceptance, as well as the acceptance of others' needs and demands doesn't come easily to a species that is inherently focused on self.

 

If nothing else, maybe we can take away a lesson from hiking and climbing: selflessness, helping others, and simplying our lives.

12:13 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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sorry, last sentence should have read *simplifying*

1:34 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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iClimb ~~

Don't be so sure about the "dramatize and victimize ourselves" attitude you are coping.

You're but 26 years old.

Hang around for another 26 ... and, then see what your attitude might be.

Yogi Robt

1:49 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Well said, iClimb.

1:59 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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iClimb ~~

Don't be so sure about the "dramatize and victimize ourselves" attitude you are coping.

You're but 26 years old.

Hang around for another 26 ... and, then see what your attitude might be.

Yogi Robt

 I don't think there is any call to be derogatory or condescending.

 Acute observation and an understanding of human nature is not exclusive to those over the age of 50.

2:42 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Gonzan: Though time does not have to be a factor in one's development in this regard, I think the Yogi was trying to point out that it would indeed be quite an extraordinary thing to find a 26-year old so far developed, and so conscious of this development, as to be so certain in his or her beliefs. He could have said it with less condescension and more humility.

With that being said, I am 29 years old, and I know more so every day, and with increasing certainty, that I am young and incredibly stupid.

Acute observation is neither a necessary or sufficient condition for the understanding of human nature, methinks. One must learn to see without seeing.

6:16 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Yogi -

I have had clients who have had the same attitude towards my youth because they think to themselves "what can he know, he hasn't experienced anything, he hasn't had the years to figure life out, he's half my age, etc"

My reaction to them is the same to you - I have a fresh perspective that can provide you with insight and a new direction to look at the same issues. Alarmingly enough, despite their initial reactions to seeing how young I am, they end up finding I am surprisingly good at dissecting situations, facilitating change in their lives, and helping them reach their goals. Not bad for a young buck.

If you think you can brush aside my knowledge, my education, my experiences, and my insights on this issue just because I'm young, then age has taught you a lot less then you think it has. If you truly have developed wisdom, you'd embrace my spunk, my go-get-em attitude, and facilitate my yearning to learn new things...not discourage it by saying "you're young so you don't know anything"

Finally, it doesn't take age to come to the conclusion that human beings as a species are INCREDIBLY selfish. Also, most people who are selfish are not willing to change their selfishness or even admit it sometimes. If you disagree I'd love to hear how age has brought you to such a conclusion. I can offer a rebuttal with LOTS of information about egocentrism, neuroticism, and selfish behavior that has even led to people dying.

Pillowthread - I hope I didn't come off sounding like I know everything. I know I do not, and I know that learning never stops throughout life. I do disagree with your thoughts about observation though. Observation is most definitely a necessary thing for learning, for analyzing, and for understanding human nature. Observation is what drives science, it's what drives medicine. If you think observation is obsolete, don't go to the hospital next time you need medical attention.

10:16 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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iClimb: Not at all, my friend. I didn't think you sounded cocky. Regarding observation and human nature, I recognize the utility of observation, and it is necessary for learning and analyzing, but I don't think the understanding of human nature is involved with learning and analyzing.

10:21 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Acute observation and an understanding of human nature is not exclusive to those over the age of 50.

Yeah, but to quote another old saying:


Ve get too soon oldt, und too late smart

10:27 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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Gonzan: Though time does not have to be a factor in one's development in this regard, I think the Yogi was trying to point out that it would indeed be quite an extraordinary thing to find a 26-year old so far developed, and so conscious of this development, as to be so certain in his or her beliefs. He could have said it with less condescension and more humility.

With that being said, I am 29 years old, and I know more so every day, and with increasing certainty, that I am young and incredibly stupid.

Acute observation is neither a necessary or sufficient condition for the understanding of human nature, methinks. One must learn to see without seeing.

As a teen I made the observation that some people seem to be awfully ignorant, regardless of age.  As a bona fide geezer, decades later, I still hold this opinion.  Some people grow wise relatively early, while some just grow old.  That said, wise people do tend to get wiser with age.  Modesty is also a virtue that may come with age, but often the contrary is true.  Some of the biggest immodest fools are young bucks who think they can block the sun out with their thumb.  But bigger fools still are old folks who think age automatically equates righteousness, and proclaim they know better, because they learned from doing everything wrong in their youth.  Thank you, but the last person I’ll take advice about drinking is from a recovered old drunk.  Do not follow me, unless only to see what predicaments I get into!

Ed

10:46 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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I didn't know we needed excuses!  I would think that would take some of the fun out of it, for whenever we "make excuses" it means we know there is something else we should/could be doing.  Go because it's there.  Go because you want to.  Go because you can.  Go because if you don't you wouldn't be you.  Just go! 

10:55 p.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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I am finding this discussion quite interesting.

12:03 a.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Interesting that  some are dissecting my brief comments as condescending or derogatory.

They missed my point.

Ponder these circumstances / situations that I have lived through / with :

Was married to a beautiful woman with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a Bi-Polar personality disorder, who refused to take her medication.

Was in a LTR with a lovely licensed psychologist, who practiced her craft on me.

Had a great friend, another very excellent psychologist, that committed suicide.

Five other friends, including one very, very close to me ... and a very famous person (whom I shall not name), committed suicide.   I was a pall-bearer 3 times in 18 months.

I put my career on the shelf for 6 years to nurse and care for my mother at home, as she descended into dementia and ultimately Alheimer's Disease ... with NO HELP from siblings or family.   Cost me my health, my marriage, my career, at least $300,000 of lost income, part of my life's savings.

I am a proud and active member of Bugles Across America.  I volunteer to play "TAPS" for fallen American heroes, and at memorial services for veterans.  I do this regionally, up to about 150-miles radius from my home ... at my expense, and on my own time.

I volunteer to play "TAPS", "The Star-Spangled Banner", "Amazing Grace", etc., at civic events and functions.   I played at six locations in two States last Memorial Day.   My expense; my time.

I spent 5 years in the Christian Outreach Prison Ministry ("Prison Fellowship"), volunteering my time to preach the Gospel to maximum-security inmates in NY, MD, Dela, PA, VA.; and to mentor some inmates slated for work-release ...  at my expense.

According to iClimb, I MIGHT be one to "dramatize and victimize' myself ... AND (to boot) I just might be SELFISH.   Or -- I just might be focusing on SELF.

Imagine that!

Quoting Louie Armstrong: "Oh, What a Wonderful World".

Oh, well .... 

12:20 a.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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..statements like "my spouse forbids me" and "my family won't let me" are a big red flag that there is a lack of communication, a lack of mutual respect, a lack of mutual tolerance of each other's foibles (I, of course, am perfect and never make misteaks), and a lack of understanding of each other's needs and desires...

..Ed said "Men seem to outnumber women ten to one in the backcountry". Really??? Boy, we sure move in different circles. I sure see a lot of women in this photo, all of them super climbers (this was after a day of climbing at the Edges near Pinecrest)

GianWomen.jpg

Look at so many of the posts that keep saying that the two people have little or nothing in common, that they have to "get away from each other". Look at the numerous posts that state that they find their families are a burden, that they are "obligated" to forgo their personal interests because of those "obligations". These are all signs that the posters feel "trapped" and are "prisoners" (those words are all too often used).

Ed, you made a comment about the consequences for the kids of a divorce. What about the consequences for the kids and the example being set by the misery and feelings of burden, often expressed in arguments, when one or both partners feel trapped? Comments about "the old ball and chain"? Maybe, just maybe, these feelings, expressed or bottled up, are providing a negative example for the kids that is as bad or worse than a nasty divorce...

.

When I pointed Barb to this thread, her instant response to the comments about the wife not going to the outdoors was "Why not?...

Boys and girls who backpack:

Nice picture, but surely you can’t be serious, claiming there is even a remote balance between the numbers of male and female climbers and backpackers!  My observations have nothing to do with my social circle.  Hike along most any trail beyond the day hikers will illustrate my point.  Heck, you don’t even need to set foot on a trail; just a casual peek at the membership on this web site will indicate what I am stating.  Likewise for every other outdoor oriented web site I know of with a membership community.

-----------------

Why she doesn’t backpack:

Anyone who has ever accompanied me on a car camp trip, hike or climb eventually realizes I will do all of the preparation, driving, and camp chores if left to my own designs.  I have no problem with this; it keeps my hands busy, something this hyper personality needs to keep sane.  Thus, my wife is pampered and feted on our camping trips.  She merely has to show up.  The reason she doesn’t hike is she doesn’t like the discomfort of the physical activity necessary to get one’s butt up a mountain, while shouldering a pack.  and a monumental fear of snakes.  As for my daughter, we have used all the tricks one can imagine.  Our last car camping trip was toZion, with one of her friends.  It was “ok” but only because there were boys hanging out along the river running past the camp sites.  Otherwise she would have been bored, it seems she isn’t yet drawn to the beauty of nature for its own sake yet.  Dad is not the macho summiteer when out with his family, we do what they choose, and on their terms.  That said, I know many women who won’t even car camp, because they are creeped out by bugs, require full on bathroom facilities, just can’t stand getting dirty, or in other words are too girly to find this activity appealing.  Different strokes for different folks. 

 ------------------

Trapped at home/need permission:

I cannot speak for others, but I need a break from civilization – and sometimes from whomever I am cohabitating with - on occasion.  I am sure civilization and my cohabitants feel likewise about me.  Friends and acquaintances consider me “hardcore” in most any pursuit, be it cycling, camping, gardening or cooking.  I don’t think this is the case, but I am passionate about what I do with my time.  The fact I rarely sleep more than five hours probably wears everyone down, and contributes to their observations. 

I am unwilling to comment, however, on others’ feelings of being trapped, or needing permission.  I read those posts too, but realize there is often more to these situations, and these folks need our compassion, not our opinions.  While you see needing permission as a red flag, it may well be the very opposite, but it is impossible to tell, we know nothing of their obligations, resources, priorities or struggles.     

----------------

Impacting one’s children:

The arguments you raise about the impact of bad marriages on children are not new.  What are new are several longitudinal studies that indicate children living in the midst of parents in a distressed as a group are better off later as adults than those from fragmented families, or families where the parents divorce and remarry.  You can opine all you want, but the research indicates otherwise.  It seems children are much more capable of discriminating the difference between the relationship their parents have, from the relationship the child has with each parent.  While they are often exposed to less than ideal exchanges between the parents, as long as the children are not the target of abusive behaviors they fare better off than children in families that break up.  They do really need their mommy and daddy more than almost anything else.

Ed

4:23 a.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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This discussion has been quite interesting thus far...all over the place...but definitely entertaining! My "excuse": it's great fun, good for the mind, body, and soul, and shows my kids that there's an entire world of wonder out there away from tv, video games, and iPhones.

4:24 a.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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..Ponder these circumstances / situations that I have lived through / with...

..Quoting Louie Armstrong: "Oh, What a Wonderful World".

Oh, well .... 

Quoting a friend who took his own life:  "We grow old and die troubled."  I now know that is why we have hobbies and whiskey.

Unsettling as this observation may be, your list of tribulations is in rough parity with many people your age and older. 

I am a survivor of a severe head injury sustained at age 20.  I am part of a longitudinal research project studying survivors of head trauma.  I am told only 5% of individuals similarly afflicted manage to carry on a life that approaches anything resembling normal.  Most do much worse, finding themselves institutionalized, unable to retain a job, incarcerated, or dead from drug abuse and suicide.  I won’t dwell on the details, but it impacts most every aspect of my life.  Some members of this forum have commented my prose suggests an unusual perspective; now they have a partial explanation.  

The economy has not been so kind either.  I have bounced from career to career six times (that's careers not jobs), with the attendant hardships, this, however, due to the vagaries of the economy over the past forty years.  I have also had to deal with the death of friends and family, and other set backs such as personal health issues and a couple of serious auto related injuries.  But I am hardly alone in these tribulations. 

I guess the fact I am here on this forum makes me lucky.  We are unique, but only in the combination of experiences we endure; many people have traveled equally rough trails or worse over the years to get where they are.  Unique, yes, exceptional, not really.  I would prefer if fate lead me down a path of opportunity, consisting of challenges where success leads to accolades, status and financial well being, instead of mostly challenges just to keep my head above water, but I guess there's no lime in my dice.  Find victory where you can; the fact my family and friends scarcely know how messed up my mindscape really is, I consider my biggest accomplishment.  No need for others to lose sleep over matters beyond their control.  It is, however, a secret victory few will ever have privy to, thus I glow in obscurity.  What is important is we have the spunk to rise to whatever challenges we find ourselves confronting.

Ed

6:45 a.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert -

I never said everyone was selfish. When a blanket statement is made about the human race, there is always the expectation that there are exceptions. There are exceptions to every rule.

Then again, others would argue that many of your actions, as amazing as they all sound, still have selfish aspects to them. Do any of the things you state you have done make you feel good? Make you feel as though you have contributed great things to other people? If you get any personal gain from them, they are not truly altruistic, which means they are partly selfish.

I also see a trend of you dealing with people involved with mental health, and some bitterness and a tendency to point out that those involved with mental health have their own problems. Well no kidding. Psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists are people like everyone else. Of course they have problems - just because they know about mental health does not mean they are somehow immune to it.

I still stick to my guns. Most people are selfish. You may involve yourself in "selfless" acts, and I think the things you are involved with are great. But just because you take part in these activities, it does not mean everyone else does. Most people are selfish as hell, and a key example here was the true story of the woman yelling for help as she was assaulted and raped in a NYC subway a couple of years ago, and a subway booth attendant did nothing because he didn't want to get involved for fear of retribution from the attacker. Selfishness is everywhere. Watch the news, watch mass media and what it holds important, just look around you. Have you grown old with your eyes closed?

10:08 a.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Interesting that  some are dissecting my brief comments as condescending or derogatory.

They missed my point.

Robert,

I truly have compassion for the troubles you have been through, and do not think that to relate the difficulties in one's life, either past or present, is necessarily selfish.

It is easy to misscommunicate in conversational text interaction, and because of that fact actively give the benefit of doubt if there is any indication that what was stated was not what was meant.  However, in your post, you used three separate one-sentence paragraphs to convey your thoughts. All three were consistent in tone, denotation, connotation, and implication- both individually and aggregately. The words you used, individually and assembled as they were, communicate a sentiment quite clearly and definitely. If that sentiment was not one which you hold or intended to communicate, then other wording was needed to convey something else.

12:31 p.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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well said gonzan, thank you for putting your words together more eloquently than I could.

12:35 p.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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more importantly gonzan, is the fact that he took what I wrote almost as a personal attack on him. As if I wrote - this is about Robert.

 

In reality a made a blanket statement - just like many others have on this thread - about relationships and excuses to hike.

 

Why he took it personally says a lot about what he is (or has) going through emotionally and mentally, and says nothing about me thinking of myself as "all-wise"

1:45 p.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Fascinating discussion.  As for excuses, I agree none are needed.  I go because it simply makes me happy.  For me John Muir said it best...

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

"Society speaks and all men listen. Mountains speak and wise men listen"

5:33 p.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm suprised that so many people are taking the word 'excuses' so literally. Maybe it's just my interperatation, and pardon me if I'm the one whose taken it wrong azrhino, but the original thread has 'excuses' in quotation marks and later on, in capitals and quotation marks.

We all love the outdoors, that's why we are all here (with the exception of those who just stumbled upon this site, browsed it extensively enough to find this thread and read it, in which case they, as well, must like the outdoors just a little!). At the core of every activity on this site is being outdoors, being one with nature in one way or another.

I feel like "EXCUSE" was used in jest. Whether or not your spouse, kids, uncles, aunts or goldfish support you in your passions is for an entirely different site.

If I'm wrong let me know and I'll make up an excuse why I was wrong! ;)

7:45 p.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I think you're right Jake.

8:04 p.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm suprised that so many people are taking the word 'excuses' so literally. Maybe it's just my interperatation, and pardon me if I'm the one whose taken it wrong azrhino, but the original thread has 'excuses' in quotation marks and later on, in capitals and quotation marks.

We all love the outdoors, that's why we are all here (with the exception of those who just stumbled upon this site, browsed it extensively enough to find this thread and read it, in which case they, as well, must like the outdoors just a little!). At the core of every activity on this site is being outdoors, being one with nature in one way or another.

I feel like "EXCUSE" was used in jest. Whether or not your spouse, kids, uncles, aunts or goldfish support you in your passions is for an entirely different site.

If I'm wrong let me know and I'll make up an excuse why I was wrong! ;)

Hey Jake, even though I agree with you, you're wrong but totally right.... Wait a sec, does that make me wrong or half right? Or am I completely right or half wrong? Or am I..... Ugggghhhh. I give up, I'm going with confused. :)

8:57 p.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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SDC10325.jpg


My wife Susan loves to go camping, and even take short hikes, long hikes or multi day backpacks not so much, she'd rather hang out with family.

We've always found a way to balance our individual and mutual interests by supporting each other.

I can't tell you how many times I have gone on solo backpacking trips with her support, or for that matter how many times our family has gone car camping.

Sometimes you just have to start out by fostering whatever level of participation or activity your kids or spouse show an interest in.

Some people are initially interested in hiking & backpacking pristine backcountry areas, while other people need to start out with picnics in the park.

 Some people can't be more than 50 feet from the fridge it seems, I guess they have their own 'excuses' why.

12:42 a.m. on April 29, 2011 (EDT)
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It is a consolation to the wretched ... to have companions in misery. --  Maxim 995, Publilius Syrus

True words are not beautiful. -- Lao-Tzu

5:54 p.m. on April 29, 2011 (EDT)
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to get away from this computer

11:17 p.m. on April 29, 2011 (EDT)
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!! THANK YOU JAKE W !!

Excuse was not ment to be taken so literally. I also asked "what drives you into the backcountry?" Why did this not start a huge debate over choice of transportation? And where are you folks from PITA? Afterall I did mention hunting and fishing.

It has amazed me where this discussion has gone. You are all obviously very passionate about your beliefs. But as the saying goes, "Sometimes you cant see the forest cuz your to close to the tree"

So plez folks, step back, take a deep breath and relax. Whatever your reason for going, with or without your significant other(s), make no excuses and go

8:20 p.m. on April 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Absolutly, I'm gonna go back all the way to the orginal post again, and I mean no offense by this azrhino, but I thought that gold panning comment was a joke. Hahaha, I realized by reading further that you were "serious". In the interest of clarity, I don't mean joke as in you are stupid for doing it, waste of time kind of thing.....of course who I am I to judge why you go out.....I mean it as in that's a fresh new "reason" to head out there.

 I enjoy "needing to test the new gear" excuse. It kind of helps justify the new purchase as well in that you bought it, you need to utilize/test it out!

12:53 a.m. on May 1, 2011 (EDT)
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No offense taken. Some of my 4x4 buddies started prospecting while out on trips so I thought I'd try it hiking and packing. I've only done one day hike with that in mind so far. But I think it has potential. Didnt find any gold but made for a nice hike up a beutiful canyon with a stream running thru (not many of these in the AZ deserts year round) I sat creekside panning for awhile and found it pretty relaxing.

Got the "test new gear" in on trip too. My new MSR miniworks ex works nice. Was definitly worth the $$. Now hopefully I wont have to carry so much water all the time.

Was planning on going back for an overniter on my next two days off, (got more new gear to test) but got a surprise visit from family coming into town on those days so postponed trip. May have to wait untill fall/winter, Its starting to get a bit toasty here.

New excuse - Non Profit Voluntary Gear Tester.

I like the sound of that, could get expensive but I think it could work.

August 1, 2014
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