It is strangely fantastic to reflect back to these early days, when all our dreams were open-ended and unfulfilled. Not so many years have passed, but life is measured by the potholes, not the length of the road. A person has but one chance in life, when he is young and foolish and ignorant, to absolutely and perfectly desire something as I then desired to get onto the high crag. It’s the genius of not knowing the “proper” proportion of things, of focusing everything on what you wanted, not what others thought you needed. The best part of it all is how clean and honest it felt, following desire so precisely, with no pathos or pretense or second thoughts at all. It seemed that if we didn’t follow our calling, all was lost, and life would never make any sense to us. Only later would things get too complex and muddled to think and act so decisively, and only later would I realize that those early days on the boulders were the best days after all.

John Long – rock Jocks, wall rats and hang dogs: climbing on the edge of reality

“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 – Desert Solitaire