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255Re: [hr100] course change?

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  • Rich Limacher
    Mar 7, 2001
      Well, friends, I am finally convinced. Our friend and head
      of the all-volunteer Trailmarking Army, Gen. Chas. T. Thorn,
      USTA, is as literarily powerful as he is climbingly strong.
      His so-called "diatribe" is, in fact, a most distinguished
      literary essay, and I am personally just as proud to read it
      as I am to climb behind him.

      But let's not kid ourselves. This rhetoric is long overdue.
      And I'm hoping those of us with "the writing bent" aren't
      too late to start lobbying.

      The way *I* see it (**DISCLAIMER**/personal-opinion-only all
      over this e-mail) the way the Colorado Environmental
      Coalition sees it is that they think they'll make a better
      name for themselves by ridding the wilderness of EVERYTHING
      than they think will accrue to their credit for exempting a
      "nutcase" event like the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run.
      Having witnessed tinpan politics for years and embittered
      years as a local newspaper reporter, I've now reached a
      point where the mere mention of ANY newly elected or
      appointed political entity makes me want to puke. I think I
      know (in my non-humble opinion) the petty motive that drives
      these demigods, and I don't like it. In the end (also in my
      opinion) the work they do accrues only to their own benefit,
      and the common good be damned.

      In my opinion, any newly designated Wilderness Area amounts
      to a latter-day setting aside of an Indian reservation--and
      look at the enriched landscapes THEY've been given. Yes, I
      agree with Charlie that setting land like this aside is GOOD
      for the land. And frankly, when I see all the ruins and
      mine dumps and rusted junk our forefathers littered the San
      Juans with, I'm thankful silver mining has not continued. I
      believe, to paraphrase Lincoln, it is the lesser angels of
      our nature causing us to pollute our planet (but always in
      the name of "progress"); and all you need do is join
      Charlie's Army to see the job our grand- and
      great-grandpappies did to unleash their angels all over our

      Here's an idea. Why doesn't the CEC *clean up* the place
      FIRST, and THEN declare it "off limits"? I'd pay good money
      to watch some cig-smoking politico lugging down a rusted ore
      cart from the abandoned Buffalo Boy Mine.

      I have a private theory. I'm thinking that Mars was once a
      vastly thriving civilization, whose inhabitants--in the name
      of "progress" certainly--poisoned their entire planet
      umpteen billion years ago. We see now what is left.
      Personally, I'd like not to leave our Earth in quite the
      same way. So, it is indeed good to preserve as much of the
      Wilderness as we possibly can.

      On the other hand, who are we preserving it for?

      If the ecological zealots don't want NOBODY trodding on
      their precious tracts, who's gonna see our birds and our
      bees? Or, how 'bout our elk and our moose? I say, if our
      Wilderness is ever to be appreciated and thereby preserved,
      we hikers and climbers had better be allowed to plod there.
      If it weren't for us, or Charlie and his panoramic camera,
      who would ever even know what is in fact being preserved?
      Do you think the politicians who rule as part of these
      committees and panels and coalitions and things EVER HIKE
      ANYWHERE??? I don't. I think they think they're protecting
      our environment by driving carbon monoxide-spewing Jeeps.

      And I would challenge every one of THEM (just as I used to
      demand access to every record in village halls citing the
      "Freedom of Information Act") to follow any of *us* and
      prove to any congress anywhere that WE are the cause of ANY
      damage whatsoever being done to their declared "Wilderness."

      --We don't shoot. (Except cameras.)
      --We don't bate-and-hook. (Except maybe wide-eyed naive
      post-marathon runners, such as the formerly huffy author of
      the piece you're reading right here.)
      --We don't trap. (Except maybe by omitting a couple trail
      markers now and then... :)
      --We don't remove samples for display cases or do taxidermy
      on any live thing for our "living" rooms. (Except maybe for
      the just-stuffed author of this thing here, who's now on
      display for his bride in his den. :)
      --We don't leave anything behind. (Except maybe a few swear
      words, and those are all aural--not carved or spray-painted
      onto the landscape.)
      --And we don't allow *just anyone* to do this. (The HRH
      organizers, however, might possibly have overlooked this
      principle by admitting yours truly. :)

      But the argument is always: "If we make an exception in
      YOUR case, we'll have to make exceptions in ALL cases."

      To which I submit: Not so! Says who? I allow as to how it
      is perfectly in keeping with keeping the Wilderness wild to
      allow wild folks like us to frolic there. It is my belief
      that ANYONE should be allowed to be wild in the Wilderness,
      provided they all do everything that's itemized two
      paragraphs above. No exceptions. If you don't shoot, fish,
      trap, kill, take, or leave anything, you and your qualified
      runners, hikers, and climbers ought to be free to move about
      the country.

      Is there anyone who wants to argue with this?

      You bet there is. They're called politicians. And if they
      owe favors to people who don't like us "running around all
      night in our underwear," and if *those* are the people who
      appointed or elected them or GAVE THEM MONEY to "help their
      campaigns" in the first place, who do you think is going to
      lose this fight?

      Frankly, I hope it doesn't happen; but I'm afraid, in the
      end, that it will. To borrow another line from Jim
      Morrison, "they got the guns, but we got the numbers." And
      *they* will win UNLESS we show them our numbers.

      If everyone reading this will write just ONE letter to a
      Congressman (or, of course, Congresswoman), our message
      might just have a chance of getting through. Why? Because
      Congress, and Colorado, will think that WE control more
      votes than this aforementioned "they" do.

      I, for one, have always believed in the power of words.
      Look at how many of 'em I just got YOU to read!

      Yes, in this case, the cathode ray tube is indeed mightier
      than the caucus. And our cards and letters to
      our--supposedly, so far--democratic representative
      government will do more good in the end than all the
      high-minded edicts, favors owed, and bribes received under
      the table can ever hope to accomplish by stopping the
      Hardrock Run.

      Does anyone remember a couple years back when nOrm & bOard
      urged everyone to write their Congresspeople in order to
      save No Hands Bridge? Well? Guess what. A whole lot of us
      did write and, last I heard, that bridge is still there.
      (I'll tell you for sure after I run Western States this

      So now let me take Charlie's place on the soapbox. Do NOT
      take this stuff lightly. If you or your children *ever*
      hope to run Hardrock, write NOW.

      Actually, you know what might be easier? Let's all "do
      tanning" and declare ourselves the Silverfeet Tribe. We'll
      petition the Bureau of Indian Affairs. We'll cite broken
      treaties (or hypocritical edicts). We'll crawl across these
      mountains on Wounded Knees. And who knows? They might just
      think the land is worthless and give it to us. We'll call
      our place: "The Thorn Reservation."

      Rich Limacher

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Charles T. Thorn <thorn@...>
      To: <hr100@yahoogroups.com>
      Cc: <cappis@...>; <spat@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2001 5:50 PM

      You can all please read it for yourselves.
      And thanks, Charlie, for putting it on my screen in the
      first place.
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