Lone Wandering

Santa Barbara County Backcountry

“Two or more people disturb the ecologic complex of an area. I had to go alone and I had to be self-contained, a kind of casual turtle carrying his house on his back.”

—John Steinbeck Travels with Charlie In Search of America

There are three partners whose character is all the same. Not that they don’t enjoy a good hike with a fellow friend, because they do, but at the same time, they are each other’s own best company when out on the trail.

They never have to wonder or concern themselves with whether or not they should keep hiking long hard miles, or slow the pace to a crawl, or stop for hours just to observe nature or to daydream; or should they hike up that creek or down another; or should they expend energy and time hiking over to investigate an interesting rock formation or not. The answer to any of these questions for all of them is inevitably yes.

When out on the trail there is never a distraction from the keen observation of their surroundings and the natural world around them. As such they are far more likely to see things that would, in the company of one or more other people, be overlooked, missed or simply not pondered.

Their attention is entirely focused on the environment through which they pass making for a sensory experience not likely possible should they be accompanied by anybody else. These three pards are me, myself and I.

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5 Responses to Lone Wandering

  1. rommel says:

    Nice! Great ending. I picked up something from your blog. I will be doing some hiking in Santa Ynez next month. Can’t do it this month, too many scheduled travels.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very insightful and absolutely true, but don’t overlook the fact that sharing an adventure with a good hiking buddy is more fun than living in solitude. Makes for a busy evening sitting around the campfire talking to yourself running from one chair to the next to carry on a conversation about all that transpired in the course of the day, haha

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