Posts filed under Quote

Friedrich Nietzsche on walking

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche

A wonderful quote by  Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher and composer. Written in 1888 and taken from "Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer"

Only thoughts reached by walking have value
— Friedrich Nietzsche - Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer, 1888

Wisdom from the wise, I couldn't agree more or have said it better.

Posted on December 3, 2013 and filed under Quote.

A Fragment



A little Nesmuk gold as summer kicks into full force. This is from his excellent poetry book, "Forest Runes."

Oh, leave this chase for place or gold, Through legal quips and tangles, Which makes young eyes grow hard and cold, With crowsfeet at the angles.

The miser’s hoard but pays his board, With meager clothes and bedding, While oft he finds a golden road, Exceedingly hard sledding.

Then come, ye dwellers of the town, From shop, and lane, and alley, To where a river sparkles down, A hemlock shaded valley.

Take from your life one week of strife, And add a week of leisure, That memory may some future day, Fall back upon with pleasure.
— Nessmuk - Forest Runes, 1887

If that doesn't make you want to escape the big smoke and get out into the woods I don't know what will.

Posted on July 8, 2013 and filed under Quote.

Lt. Colonel Percival Harrison Fawcett

Lt. Colonel Percival Harrison Fawcett

Lt. Colonel Percival Harrison Fawcett

I just started reading the excellent "Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon" a book by David Grann which follows the footsteps of Lt. Colonel Percival Harrison and his search for the fabled lost city. Fawcett was a distinguished British artillery officer, an accomplished archaeologist and possibly the greatest South American explorer of all time, another truly great adventurer with a truly great family motto. His disappearance in 1925 during an expedition to find "Z" is one of the true mysteries in exploration, inspiring countless others to trace his steps, many to their own demise.

Nec Aspira Terrent. – “Difficulties be Damned”
— Fawcett Family Motto

Walt Whitman - Song of the Open Road

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

I'm a little embarrassed it has taken me this long to quote Walt Whitman, this is an excerpt is from "Song of the open Road" self published in Leaves of Grass, 1855. What an opening, it perfectly captures the giddy expectations and desires one gets when embarking on a grand journey. Enjoy.

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune, Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms, Strong and content I travel the open road.
— Walt Whitman - Song of the Open Road, 1855
Posted on July 23, 2012 and filed under Hero, Quote.

Walking On Hallowed Ground

First AT Blaze

First AT Blaze

This weekend Mrs VHD and I headed to the Maine woods for a few days in the wilderness. Our weekend residence was a cabin nestled in the mountains near Andover, surrounded by trees, mountains, miles of hiking trails and little else. This was it, my first chance to get on the Appalachian Trail. For more than ten years I've read stacks of books about it; everything from AWOL On The Appalachian Trail, Walking The Appalachian Trail and Walking With Spring to Long Distance Hiking–Lessons From The Appalachian Trail and A Walk In The Woods to name a few. I was ready.



We approached the trail from Sawyer's Notch and there it was, my first white blaze. From where I was standing if I went north I would head deeper into Maine and eventually reach Mount Katahdin (which is no mean feat), if I headed south I could walk all the way to Springer Mountain in Georgia. Amazing.

We chose to head south up to Hall Mountain lean-to. I had butterflies as we headed up the steep rise following a tumbling stream. It looked as if we were the first people to get up there for some time–the previous register entry was from November 2011 and there was no sign of any other human footprints. There was still a decent amount of snow on the mountain, all of it undisturbed. We had lunch at the lean-to and poked around a bit, reading the funny entries in the register and relaxing before we headed back down.

It sounds strange but it was a weird feeling being on the trail for the first time, walking where the likes of Myron Avery, Earl Shaffer and Grandma Gatewood (amongst thousands of others) have previously trodden. I dearly look forward to seeing more of the trail.

To those who would see the Maine wilderness, tramp day by day through a succession of ever delightful forest, past lake and stream, and over mountains, we would say: Follow the Appalachian Trail across Maine. It cannot be followed on horse or awheel. Remote for detachment, narrow for chosen company, winding for leisure, lonely for contemplation, it beckons not merely north and south but upward to the body, mind and soul of man.
— Myron Avery, In the Maine Woods, 1934
Posted on April 17, 2012 and filed under Quote, VHD.

The Call of the Wild – Robert W. Service

Robert W, Service's Cabin

Robert W, Service's Cabin

It doesn't really get much better than this.

Have you gazed on naked grandeur where there’s nothing else to gaze on, Set pieces and drop-curtain scenes galore, Big mountains heaved to heaven, which the blinding sunsets blazon, Black canyons where the rapids rip and roar? Have you swept the visioned valley with the green stream streaking through it, Searched the Vastness for a something you have lost? Have you strung your soul to silence? Then for God’s sake go and do it; Hear the challenge, learn the lesson, pay the cost.

Have you wandered in the wilderness, the sagebrush desolation, The bunch-grass levels where the cattle graze? Have you whistled bits of rag-time at the end of all creation, And learned to know the desert’s little ways? Have you camped upon the foothills, have you galloped o’er the ranges, Have you roamed the arid sun-lands through and through? Have you chummed up with the mesa? Do you know its moods and changes? Then listen to the Wild — it’s calling you.

Have you known the Great White Silence, not a snow-gemmed twig aquiver? (Eternal truths that shame our soothing lies). Have you broken trail on snowshoes? mushed your huskies up the river, Dared the unknown, led the way, and clutched the prize? Have you marked the map’s void spaces, mingled with the mongrel races, Felt the savage strength of brute in every thew? And though grim as hell the worst is, can you round it off with curses? Then hearken to the Wild — it’s wanting you.

Have you suffered, starved and triumphed, groveled down, yet grasped at glory, Grown bigger in the bigness of the whole? “Done things” just for the doing, letting babblers tell the story, Seeing through the nice veneer the naked soul? Have you seen God in His splendors, heard the text that nature renders? (You’ll never hear it in the family pew). The simple things, the true things, the silent men who do things — Then listen to the Wild — it’s calling you.

They have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching, They have soaked you in convention through and through; They have put you in a showcase; you’re a credit to their teaching — But can’t you hear the Wild? — it’s calling you. Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us; Let us journey to a lonely land I know. There’s a whisper on the night-wind, there’s a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling... let us go.
— Robert W. Service - Spell of the Yukon and other verses, 1916

If that doesn't have you reaching for a pack and your boots I don't know what will.

Posted on February 6, 2012 and filed under Quote.