“The Reluctant Enthusiast”

Martin here…(because let’s not kid ourselves, this is really Theo’s blog).

Where, you might ask, does “reluctant enthusiast” come from?

The name of our blog comes from a speech that Edward Abbey delivered to environmentalists in Missoula, Montana, c. 1976.

Explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers…

This passage was recited at the end of every Moving Mountains, a trip that dictated the direction of my college experience. From participating and meeting wonderful people at the start of my freshman year to leading and introducing others to the great outdoors. Time spent exploring has proven to be a necessary part of my life and one that I have pushed on Theo with somewhat reckless abandon.

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.                       ~ Edward Abbey


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