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Friday, December 03, 2010

Much and Little about Far, Much and Little

Words, more importantly, the definitions thereof, are vitally important to one's knees and back. Allow me to elucidate. Let's set the wayback machine for just last Saturday morning...

Rascal and i hit the trail that morning at around seven or eight. i didn't have Crocodile Dundee with me to tell me exactly and i didn't care enough to find out. At about nine-thirty Rascal asks, "are we almost there?"

"Almost where? Where do you think we're going?"

"Anywhere, I thought we were camping." i had to stop. He immediately sat down, something he was prone to do whenever i stopped walking. He thought we were camping. Here we were, on a mountain in a state forest with snow falling all around and backpacks the size of armoires. What was it he thought we were doing now?

"What is it you think we're doing now???"

"Hiking."

"That's camping!" i explained carefully with elaborate hand gestures for emphasis.

"I didn't think there was going to be this much walking." i wasn't doing anything at that moment so i had nothing to stop doing out of incredulity. i might have blinked. i doubt Rascal noticed. After talking for another couple of minutes with many more elaborate hand gestures for emphasis we arrived at the source of the problem.

Words. Specifically, the word "camping." Y'see, when i bite into the word "camping" i get the sensation of being on a mountain top, wind in my.. ON my scalp and the world at my feet. My dream is to get as far from civilization as possible, see as much as possible while bringing as little as possible. This may not have always been my feeling, it may have been heavily influenced by people: stealing my gear, blaring their radios, glaring their lights; a love of the wilderness and the movie "Last of the Mohicans." Where e'er it comes, it is burrowed deep within my heart now and is constantly pushing it into motion. Whether by canoe, motorbike, foot, horse or hamster team, that is my objective: Far, Much and Little. The mode of transportation of the Little is a means to an end. The making of camp: a vile necessity since i can't hike in the dark and tend to fall asleep if i walk, ride or row all day. Far, Much and Little, an objective i thought my youngest frick shared when on our last trip, where we made camp in the truck, it wasn't until we were taking a day hike down the gorge that he said to me, "Now it feels like a camping trip."

Assumption versus communication. The assumption was that Rascal and i shared a meaning. Communication, with elaborate hand gestures for emphasis whenever possible, revealed that what Rascal meant was... going into the woods some-where, making a semi-permanent campsite, striking out from said campsite with the goal of going to see some-thing and then returning to that same aforesaid campsite in the same afternoon, if not by lunch.

There's an African proverb that goes, "If you need to travel fast, go alone. If you need to travel far, go with friends." The American version would be something like, "If you need to travel fast, go by car. If you need to travel far, you're on your own."

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