Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Even the dull and ignorant have boring stories.

Go placidly to the trailhead, and do not fart in the car, no matter what you had for breakfast. Remember what peace there may be in fresh air, and that you are with others.

As far as possible be on good terms with all persons even if they do not hold it in, but take a window seat just to be safe.

Remember to pack the night before, and to use your checklist, for you are a child of the universe and are getting forgetful. Many errors are born of fatigue and carelessness, and stupidity also, so that's why you have a checklist, Dork Brain. Use it.

Do not expect others to loan you things on the trail, like food.

Or a sleeping bag.

Beyond this wholesome discipline, feel free to be a slob, and remain as much as possible to the downwind side.

And when on the trail do not whine. Whining is what you do at work. Remember that we have sticks.

Avoid being a loud and aggressive jerk. Loud and aggressive jerks are vexations to the spirit, especially if they whine, and they get whacked with sticks.

Overall, hike your own hike. Don't follow too closely. Bring your own toilet paper.

Let your achievements speak for themselves, and not the other way around, lest you wake some morning to find yourself all alone in a deserted camp with no map, and that we have left for parts unknown without you.

In other words, be yourself unless you are obnoxious - then be someone else. Seriously. You can learn to fake it.

But do not let all this blind you to what virtue there is in hiking with others. Many persons strive for high mileage, and everywhere trails are full of power-hikers and competitive buttheads with two-ounce packs and $300 sunglasses proclaiming themselves to be heroes. And though they may have their place, such as up against the wall, facing the firing squad, we prefer aimless wandering and mindless sloth.

Have a nap in the sun every now and then.

Ignore the bugs, for no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should, and you may only be here to provide them with essential nutrients.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune, such as explaining WTF to someone who sees you back in town six days before your trip is due to end. But do not distress yourself with imaginings - lying is a craft that you too can learn, and there is nothing so truthful as a really good lie, and there are books that can teach you how.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, for eventually we all get old and ugly, but the young are clueless, and deviousness always wins. So cheat. Know your territory and every shortcut therein. Practice guilelessness. Never share your secrets.

And every now and then you will meet a lovely willowy young thing who is attracted to mysterious geezers, even if only temporarily. Never miss an opportunity for it may be your last.

Therefore be at peace with God or Ray Jardine, whichever is more frightening, and no matter what kind of crap goes down on the trail remember this: With all the dust and dirt and hail storms and nasty food and bug bites and blisters and ripped tents it is still better than the cubicle back home.

Even if it pays so much less.

Though you are less likely to be eaten in your cubicle.




Deteriorata Text