It is no secret to the folks around me that I am a bit of an Edward Abbey fanboy. Moving from the Northeast to the Southwest in my early 20’s, he spoke to me. He was a little punk rock, a little redneck and had a whole lot to say. I could relate. The following passage is from a speech that Abbey delivered to environmentalists in Missoula, Montana in 1976. It’s one of my favorites and I find it just as relevant today as it was 40 years ago.
“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast…a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”
Even better than this quote, is this video I stumbled upon today by Bjorn Olson (check this site out. It’s fucking rad). He puts Ed’s words to video perfectly for a wanderlusting bike nerd like myself.
Go out and get some! Outlive the BASTARDS!