May 15, 2010


I've always had a good time collecting quotes from wherever I see them. I thought I'd share some of them here. I have found inspiration and perspective in quotes, hopefully you will too.

Fortunately we are a happy go lucky set of fellows and look more to our present comfort than our future danger.
      -George Bradley 8-8-1869

"No servant brought them meals. No traffic cop whistled them off the hidden rock in the next rapids. No friendly roof kept them dry when they misguessed weather or not to pitch the tent. No guide showed them which camping spots offered a night long breeze and which a nightlong misery of mosquitoes; which firewood made clear coals and which would only smoke. The elemental simplicities of wilderness travel were thrills because they represented complete freedom to make mistakes. The wilderness gave those rewards and penalties for wise and foolish acts against which civilization had built a thousand buffers.
        -Aldo Leopold (1887-1948)

Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.
        -Stonewall Jacksons last words

In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung barbed wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down all the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land, and called it progress. If I had my way, the land here would be like God made it and none of you sons-of-bitches would be here at all.
         -Charles Russell 1920’s

With some eagerness and some anxiety and some misgiving we enter the canyon below.
          -John Wesley Powell 8-13-1869

Say that I starved; that I was burned and blinded by the desert sun; footsore, thirsty, sick with strange disease; lonely and cold, but that I kept my dream.
           -Everett Ruess

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling, and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground, at our feet, and learn to be home.
            -Wendell Berry

Gaze not too long into the abyss, lest the abyss gaze into thee.
             -Fredrich Nietzsche

It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.
              -Sir Edmund Hillary

Speak to the earth and it shall teach thee.
               -Job 12:8

When one is open to learning from hidden teachers the world awakens to completion.

You cannot find a peril so great that the reward will not be greater.
                -Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal circa. 1419

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous; leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
                 -Edward Abbey

After dinner we pass through a region of the wildest desolation. The canyon is very tortuous, the river very rapid, and many lateral canyons enter on either side…Piles of broken rock lie against these walls; crags and tower shaped peaks are seen everywhere, and away above them, long lines of broken cliffs; and above and beyond the cliffs are pine forests, of which we obtain occasional glimpses as we look up through a vista of rocks. The walls are almost without vegetation; a few dwarf bushes are seen here and there clinging to the rocks, and cedars grow from the crevices- not like the cedars of a land refreshed with rains…but ugly clumps, like war clubs beset with spines.
We are minded to call this the Canyon of Desolation.
                  -John Wesley Powell, 7-8-1869

I am lookin I am searchin I have found, near the ground, my soul, myself beneath this trail. Theres no place I’d rather be can’t you see me out here walkin in the rain and hail. A purpose in life seems to me is not to take yourself too seriously. I wouldn’t want to be an old man sittin in an office somewhere far away, worry on my face. You can take my car, my stereo, my little money leave me with nothing but my true family take my dress of clothes, my cheap cologne, my college loans, I don’t mind, no I don’t mind. If that tax man comes lookin for me I’ll be at 10,000 feet cookin up some oatmeal or some rice and beans. Find some ground, lace up your boots and start walkin, you’ll find reason, enough reason to believe. You can drop your worries in the parkin lot, or way down in the city where the sun burns hot. Although civilization is a nice place to visit, I wouldn’t want to live there. Don’t burn yourself out, be zion. It’s not enough to fight for the land, it’s more important to enjoy it while you can while it’s still there. So git out there and hunt and fish and mess around, ramble out yonder, explore the woods, encounter the griz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep that yet sweet lucid air. Sit quiet for a while, contemplate that precious stillness of mystery and awesome space. Enjoy yourself, keep your brain in your head, your head attached to your body, your body active and alive. I promise you this much, I promise this one sweet victory over our enemies. Over those desk bound people with their hearts in a box and their eyes hypnotized by calculators. I promise this one sweet victory. You’ll out live the bastards.
                -Lyrics of a song by a group called the Tabasco Donkies inspired by Edward Abbeys speech at a 1987 Earth First rally at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

One thing that I’ve learned is how to stay calm in crazy situations. If you want to live you better contain yourself.
                 -Kirsten Kremer

I aware from previous experiences that a breaking point occurs a few days into such solitary journeys; it is best to proceed through this barrier because on the other side there is some measure of increased tranquility.
                 -Philipp L. Franklin from Sagebrush Country

Life is a hypocrite if I can’t live the way it moves me.
                 -Christopher Fry

The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.
                 -Albert Schweitzer

He begins to die, that quits his desires.
                  -George Herbert

The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the worlds deep hunger meet.
                  -Frederick Buechner

The spiritual life cannot be made suburban. It is always frontier, and we who live in it must accept and even rejoice that it remains untamed.
                  -Howard Macey

If you had permission to do what you really want to do, what would you do? Don’t ask yourself a faithless question like how, that will cut your desire off at the knees…How is Gods department.
                       -John Eldridge

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes me come alive because what the world needs are men who’ve come alive.
                      -John Eldridge

Your talent is Gods gift to you, what you do with it is your gift to God.
                      -Lee Buscaglia

Some people walk in the rain others just get wet.
                     -Roger Miller

"Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck: it's what you were put on the earth to do with such passion and intensity that it becomes spiritual in your nature or your calling."
                   - Vincent van Gogh

"So this is a River"
"THE River," corrected the Rat.
"And you really live by the river? ---What a jolly life!"
"By it and with it and on it and in it," said the Rat.
"It's brother and sister to me, and aunts, and company, and food                 
 and drink, and naturally, washing."
"It's my world, and I don't want any other. What it hasn't got is not worth having, and what it doesn't know is not worth knowing. Lord! The times we've had together..."
              -From the Wind in the Willows, KennethGrahme

Just because I ain’t got no regrets doesn’t mean I didn’t get it wrong.
             -Joe Purdy, Santa Rosa in the Snow

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea and music in it’s roar:
I love not man the less, but nature more…
            -Lord Byron

I yanked the colors out of the locker and hoisted them at the bow. We had played our hand out and won against desperate odds! Whether the game was worth the powder or not, I leave to the judgement of others.
           -Jack Sumner at the conclusion of the JWP exp. 8-30-1869

“Finally a word of caution. Do not jump into your automobile next June and rush out to the Canyon country hoping to see some of that which I have attempted to evoke in these pages. In the first place you can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you’ll see something, maybe. Probably not. In the second place most of what I write about in this book is already gone or going under fast. This is not a travel guide but an elegy. A memorial .. 
            -Edward Abbey, Introduction to “Desert Solitaire,” 1968

Do, or Do not, there is no try!
            -Yoda in Empire Strikes Back

A man is caught in a flood, and as the water rises he climbs to the roof of his house and waits to be rescued. A guy in a motorboat comes by and says “hop in, I’ll save you”.
“no thanks” the man on the rooftop says “my Lord will save me” and the floodwater keeps rising. A few minutes later a rescue plane flies over and the pilot drops a line. “no thanks” the man says “my Lord will save me” but the floodwaters rise ever higher and finally they overflow the roof and the man drowns.
When he gets to heaven, he confronts God
“my Lord, why didn’t you save me?” he implores
“you idiot”, God says “I sent you a boat, and I sent you a plane”

Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt
           -quoted by roman warriors on entering the coliseum

We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.
           -Huck Finn

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
            -Annie Dillard

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul
           - Nelson Mandella

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
                  -Mark Twain

 By Endurance we Conquer
                                -Sir Ernest Shackleton 

The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide worlds joy
                         -Henry Ward Beecher

"what day is it" asked Pooh
"it's today" replied Piglet
"my favorite day" said Pooh

You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view as if it were a changing spectacle...
to see it, you have to toil from month to month through it's labyrinths
                                  John Wesley Powell - 1869

It should not be denied that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression, and with absolute freedom....and the road has always led west.
                                 Wallace Stegner
“When Summer lies upon the world, and in a noon of gold, Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold; When woodland halls are green and cool, and wind is in the West, Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is best!” 
                           ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

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