Good conversations do happen between travelers, although I have trained myself not to expect too much. It is better to aim for a few words of pleasantness, declare victory, and then move on. But the other day a pickup truck driver and I surprised each other, I think. He had made a wrong turn and was getting turned around. I was on the bike, with the Little Cute One running beside me. Therefore we were both pretty approachable.
We were both complaining about over-crowdedness in an area that we both loved. It seemed like the conversation was headed into a dead-end, with the usual complaints about crowds, tourists, etc. But I redeemed the conversation by saying that, "It's not that I hate the human race or something, and it's not that the other people are doing something illegal, it's just that I love slipping into a certain mood in the outdoors. And it is hard to get into that mood with hordes of people around."
A big smile broke out on his face. He was thinking the same things I guess. Some outdoorsmen take an aesthetic attitude towards nature. They like a challenge with physical activity, navigation, or their own imaginations. When the experience has been made to work, they sit back and say, "Ahh, that was fine."
An outdoorsman is the curator or conservator of a romantic mood. I was surprised to walk through a non-descript area in central Utah recently. There was no real attraction to it. Somebody had gone to considerable trouble to build a bench for sitting, I guess. Looking around in all directions, it was perfectly placed to be out of the wind. And they had a fire ring there. It was a place of perfect solitude or maybe a great conversation between friends.
It was odd how much I was affected by a moth that I just barely noticed on my laundry that was still drying in the bright Utah sun.
Love those antennas!
On You Tube the other day I was listening to young Pavarotti. Singers are usually so much better when they are young! It was his debut. He sang the Big Song from early in Puccini's "La Boheme." Despite it being not such a good recording, you can imagine sitting in the audience, and being affected like they were. The audience is not supposed to clap or yell 'Bravo' until the last note, and the audience knew that. But when he hit the Big Note, there was an involuntary gasp from the audience.
How exquisite! And how easily the moment would have been damaged if some blockhead would have started clapping just after the Big Note.
But most tourists (motorized yahoos, gun nuts, "me too" van nomads, music players, generator morons, etc.) see the outdoors experience the same way a grade schooler sees recess playground. Kiddies are supposed to be rambunctious and noisy during recess, with just enough adult supervision to keep them from serious injury or starting a fire.