Rikki Hall, managing editor and publisher of Hellbender Press, says in a local alternative newspaper some people can be protective about their favorite backcountry spots. They fear their secret camping or fishing spot will become popular and spoiled by careless slobs.
But, Rikki adds, people who worry that way are being overly concerned about the problem.
“Strapping 20 pounds onto your back and wandering into the woods is a self-selecting act. It implies a level of commitment and planning that normally precludes dumbasses.”
I was thinking the same thing last July after hauling my ass up to Ruby Lake (pictured) and a meadow a couple miles beyond it on Ruby Creek, remote sites of breathtaking beauty in Weminuche Wilderness Area. The only routes to get there are by way of incredibly steep and sometimes overgrown trails.
There were times on the hike up I wondered if I was a dumbass for thinking I could hike that trail while keeping up with 16 year-olds.
When we got there I didn’t see any other dumbasses, so Rikki must be mostly right.
And he’s completely right when he says,
“If we treat wilderness as a secret, we risk forgetting why it ever mattered.”