It was June 12 when I said to my dad, "let's go on a hike."
And so we did. Up American Fork Canyon nearby. We drove to a lake in the canyon, and it looked like San Francisco beach or something. The shore of the lake was completely crowded. People everywhere, no place to park. Noise noise noise. And the beach looked like graffiti on a train car, what with all the colorful blankets and swim suits people had brought.
How depressing! Who comes to the woods to bump into people every five feet? How can you enjoy a nice view or a refreshing dip with people all around you like you're back in the city?
We found a place along the side of the road to park and said, let's go into the woods on an unmarked trail to avoid all these people. And so we did.
And what a difference! 300 feet out and there were zero people, and zero hint of any people. I could enjoy nature in my solitude. Of course, it wasn't perfect. The trail was close to a road, and both went along the same route. Saw campers, cars, and tents around.
That's what Western Lands Preservation (WLP) is for. To let people enjoy nature through a hike in the woods instead of trying to on a crowded beach. Every bright green shirt you see out there mixed with the careful hues of the pines takes you out of that moment of enjoyment. For me, one goes out to nature to be alone with nature and to get away from the cities and other people.
One day I hope to create parks vast enough, but also accessible enough, for anyone to completly detach from the city and enjoy nature.
. . . Oh, one more thing, it just popped into my head!
On the trail, we came across a picnic table. That would have been nice, having a sturdy table in the woods to rest at after hiking for a while. Alas, but there is no such thing. The picnic table was right off a road, which was right next to a campground.
There's nothing wrong with that. But I would have been excited and pleased to find a table a ways into a trail, with the trail being the only way there. The road was a downer because the table seemed like a nice reward for hiking there, only to be subverted by a road that indicated anyone could drive a car up, walk 50 feet, and be at the same table.
A table would be a nice reward for a spontaneous trek. Perhaps perfect for a person to trek out a little bit and enjoy a calm lunch in the middle of nature. I'm writing that one down in my WLP Idea Book!
– Steven Whitney
12 April 2022
|Thoughts On Fire|
7 August 2022