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by dylan

Treading Quietly in Hard Times

April 16, 2009 in Inspiration, Lifemaps, Retiree, Weekday Warrior

Outdoor values can suffer when economic, physical, or emotional hardship sets in. This is evidence that the outdoors has evolved from our source of life and survival to a conquest, from a conquest to an abstract idea, and from an abstract idea to a leisurely adventure. Hardships tend to press us back down the chain, most likely from our leisurely adventures back to a focus on our livelihood in mainstream society, where outdoor life is once again an abstract idea.

I’m no exception. I reveled in life as a Weekday Warrior while it lasted, but I’m back to chasing income during the week. Success in my work is paying less, and I’ve struggled with physical ailments. I’m still freelance while I can manage it, but writing about outdoorism has receded into the background for now. I think it’s okay to let the site be quiet for a while. Some of my favorite outdoor experiences have involved extended quiet times.

I break the silence for two reasons. One is to refresh my own commitment to outdoorism by writing a few of my recurring thoughts here. The other is to remind anyone else out there who may need to hear it that at least one more outdoorist continues to press on. Outdoorism remains a primary focus and value for me, even with fewer opportunities to express it. Should the hardships continue, I take some comfort in the fact that our most basic survival is rooted in an outdoor life, even if a few of the labyrinthine structures we’ve built on it collapse.

by dylan

Tom Hickey

August 3, 2008 in Retiree

It’s easy to underestimate Tom Hickey if you don’t get into a conversation with him. A retired tax accountant who lives in Santa Fe, I met him atop Desolation Peak above the Santa Fe Ski Basin on an afternoon hike. His stiff-kneed walk gave me the impression of an overambitious senior citizen. He was also on his way to Lake Peak, so I followed him towards the ridge, and was surprised when he clambered right along the spine of the rock catwalk rather than the easier, lower route. We chatted enough for me to realize he was intending to do a longer, better hike than I was. To my very good fortune he invited me to come along, and let me interview him. As you’ll hear, there’s far more to Tom Hickey than meets the eye.

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