Today, as I was out hiking, and was standing at a beautiful mountain lake surrounded by rocky peaks on a picture-perfect day, I heard a great quote,  “I think if I died today and went to heaven, it would be a lateral move.”  I understood where that gentleman was coming from, as I have always felt that exquisite  happiness and contentment while out hiking in the mountains.

I love a good quote, and I particularly love quotes from famous conservationists.  Somehow a good quote just carries a certain power to the words.  I have a book called “The Earth Speaks” that includes a lot of quotes, prose, poetry that focus on nature, conservation, wilderness.  There’s a lot of good stuff in this book from writers like Wallace Stegner, John Muir, and Rachel Carson.  But I have to say my favorite is from Edward Abbey:

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, encounter the grizz, 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, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space.

Definitely words to live by…..