Trout Republic: Sauntering through life

The world is an interesting place and it only takes a little people watching to come to the conclusion that there are all types represented.

Way back in 1615 Don Quixote first said,  “In the world there must surely be of all sorts.”

Ol’ Dutch has heard this used quite a bit when discussing a human oddity and my response to “it takes all types” has always been, “why?”

The “sorts” that fascinate me are those who go sauntering through life. You know the type? They seem to have no real clear cut course to follow but simply wander along day to day, taking life as it comes.

The famous  John Muir, who is often referred to as “The Father of National Parks,” for his work in establishing Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park spoke often about sauntering. And while his description about that concerns traversing the land, it pretty well describes how some people approach life, too.

“I don’t like either the word [hike] or the thing.” John Muir once said. “People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike. Do you know the origin of that word saunter? It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’  which means ‘to the Holy Land.’ And so, they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not hike through them.”

Ol’ Dutch has been known to saunter at times when in the mountains. On the rare occasions I do take an ATV ride for instance, I end up being left far behind the other riders as I am more about the forest around me than the destination. I often arrive at that agreed upon place to find the rest of the group deep in their ham sandwiches, chips and Gatorade much like we find people in life who are driven to an end or success.

Since I retired, I have learned to saunter a bit more I think and it drives Miss Trixie to distraction. Every night for the past eight years she asks me what my plans are for the morrow. And every night I tell her I plan on getting up and drinking coffee and seeing what develops. Obviously, she is on a hike while I am sauntering through life.

Ol’ Dutch long ago decided to follow in John Muir’s footsteps when afield and saunter up through the forest glades and glens, enjoying the wildlife and not really worry about the destination. That is until I read the news last week out of Colorful Colorado.

It seems there is a quite attractive blonde woman who has taken it upon herself to hike all the 14’ers in a shorty, short red dress and high heels. I got to thinking about that -- to which Miss Trixie frowned -- and I got worried about the poor woman’s lonesome, vulnerable self out there traversing those dangerous mountain slopes all alone. It seems a shame that no one is there to watch her and protect her from the bears and lions and generally protect her back-side.

So maybe Ol’ Dutch will have to get in shape of some kind other than round and volunteer to assist her endeavors next summer. I may even be able to convince her to begin sauntering instead of hiking and save her high heel clad hooves from untold injuries.

Miss Trixie informs me that the young lady has already completed the 58 14ers around the state in hiking boots and there’s no way I’d be able to keep up with her, even in high heels. And, alas, as always Miss Trixie is probably right.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV of hike daily. His email is [email protected] Additional news can be found at  or on Twitter at TroutRepublic.


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