[at-l] Engines

bluetrail at aol.com bluetrail at aol.com
Mon Jun 13 10:35:22 CDT 2011


Here in Florida, it's getting harder and harder to find places where you hear only nature.  Even in the Ocala National Forest, you can hear distant traffic in a lot of stretches of the FT.  We never get the Death Valley total absence of sound, but I search out places where I hear only the wind in the trees, the birds,  the whisper of moving grass,  and the rustle of breeze-blown palmetto.

There's a newly open state forest, Bronson State Forest, just east of Orlando, where is possible to get that kind of "no engine" break.  I love it!

Joan





-----Original Message-----
From: Chuck Covington <chuckcov at gmail.com>
To: Amy Forinash <aeforinash at gmail.com>
Cc: at-l <at-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 11:05 am
Subject: Re: [at-l] Engines


For us who hike along the East Coast I don't think we are without engine noise...just a different kind of engine.  I hike Old Rag yesterday and sitting atop the summit I enjoyed the sound of birds and even the flies buzzing about.  I absolutely agree with not missing the din of civilization.  I've never felt more relaxed than when I layed out on top of a boulder listening to Mother Natures song.
 
Side note...I only saw a half dozen folks out on Old Rag yesterday....very pleasant surprise.  I started my hike at 7am so that may have been the reason.  The lower lot was full of cars when I returned at noon.


On Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 10:29 AM, Amy Forinash <aeforinash at gmail.com> wrote:


That. Right there. I'm looking forward to hearing no engines. In 48 days. 

Sent from my iPhone



On Jun 13, 2011, at 10:14 AM, "South Walker" <southwalker at windstream.net> wrote:





 
Every now and then something I have read speaks to me. This is from the short story “Engines” by Bill Pronzini. A little background is necessary. Geena has moved out and filed for a divorce. Scott has quit the job he hated and put the house on the market. Then he takes the jeep and drives to Death Valley, a favorite place of his, shoulders his pack and walks. He is alone and sees no one for 3 days and then he says................

 
“I thought about Geena only once, on the morning of the third day as I stood atop one of the crags looking out toward Needles Eye. There was no wind and the stillness, the utter absence of sound, was so acute it created an almost painful pressure against the eardrums. Of all the things Geena hated about Death Valley, its silence –”“void of silence,”” an early explorer had termed it -topped the list. It terrified her. On our last trip together, when she had caught me listening, she’d said, ““What are you listening to? There’s nothing to hear in this godforsaken place. It’s as if everything has shut down. Not just here; everywhere. As if all the engines have quit working.”’


 
“She was right, exactly right: as if all the engines have quit working. And that perception, more than anything else, summed up the differences between us. To her, the good things in life, the essence of life itself, were people, cities, constant scurrying activity. She need to to hear the steady, throbbing engines of civilization in order to feel safe, secure, alive. And I needed none of those things, needed not to hear the engines.”

 
One of the best things about my 1999 sobo thru-hike was having the opportunity to choose not hear the engines.
 
 
South Walker
MEGA ‘99

”Ain’t but three things in this world that’s worth a solitary dime; old dogs and children and watermelon wine.”
Tom T Hall




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