Thursday, July 27, 2017

Wilderness to Stay Sane

Was I completely mad, or was the rest of the world. Driving back from Dawson City to Cottage Grove, Oregon after having spent two months in the wilderness, with drivers hugging my rear bumper at 70 mph, you'd think I'd be ready to integrate back into society, take a shower, sleep on a level surface without rocks sticking me in the back, maybe eat a descent meal, and start gaining back those 17 pounds I lost. But somewhere around Kamloops I had a revelation. I didn't want to go home to my life of drudgery, working, eating, sleeping, staying in one place too long, slipping into the doldrums of modernity. No, I wanted to go back to the wilderness. But I couldn't. I didn't have money to get there, and I had an aging dog to take care of. I had to enter the shit storm of work and haste, people running here, doing that, always in a freaking hurry. That was what I loathed most about going back home, the hasty lives everyone led, and the noise of motor traffic needling my brain. I've understood for a long time, since I was a child, that I needed wilderness to make me happy. But now, driving dead-eyed since leaving Dawson City, catatonic as hell, and thinking about traipsing along a remote stream in the Ogilvie Range somewhere, I needed, with absolute certainty, big wilderness to keep from going crazy.