Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bare Feet and PB and J

In times like these, a person just has to find the small pleasures of life. Like a cool stream and a pb and J.
I hiked back into a canyon this morning (I'm sworn to secrecy, if I tell you they'd have to kill me). Even though it was around 9 a.m, it got really hot. Its June, and Utah, and very little shade.
When you find an oasis, you gotta take advantage of it. The trail gods would frown if one would spurn such a gift.
And anyways, this sandwich was only getting worse and worse, sandy, smashed, and dried out as I scrambled and bushwhacked way deep into uncharted (not seriously lost) box-canyon-territory.
I brought along the book about Yellowstone and read while enjoying this oasis. "Travels In the Greater Yellowstone" by Jack Turner is very interesting. A greater appreciation for our first National Park and the understanding of how it is being destroyed struck me with a curious thought. I really care cause I worked there last summer. I remember most of the places he describes. I care about the bison, the wolves, the nesting pelicans. I care about the white pines, the trails, the neighboring towns.
But, what if I had Not visited Yellowstone, had Not invested a part of me there, would I even read this book?
This summer I am really falling in love with Zion National Park. Hiking, living, breathing the land, now I will care when Zion is discussed, and the issues that face this remarkable national park.
And I came to the conclusion that if we are to protect the land, I think we must love it. Raise our children to love and care about it. Become invested in it. Not just intellectually, but with heart and soul.
And I realized that loving a place comes from experiencing it. Many and varied experiences. If we want future generations to protect the land, they must experience it, not from the comfort of a desk chair, but with sand in their shoes, wind in their faces, sunshine on their heads.
As a minimalist, my carbon footprint is small.
But now I'm wondering, what else can I do?

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