September 04, 2004
Sierra Club: I miss the city, part II.
Me at Fern Rocks Nature Preserve, February 2004. [The adventure continues, from part I.] I received a letter in the mail yesterday from the Sierra Club. I received one the day before from The Nature Conservancy, from whom I get mail quite frequently. I suspect this is a result of my former membership with PETA, who sells your address to "like-minded organizations" and then tells you they did and that you can ask them not to anymore, although it's already too late. (And that's still not the reason I am no longer a member of PETA.) Anyway, last fall, I was enamored of the idea of being one of those Thoreauvian, outdoorsie-type-people. Here I am 100 miles from the nearest real city, right outside of the largest wilderness in the huge state of Illinois. I am an Eagle Scout and have always loved camping and hiking and sitting outside all night talking around a fire. The only times I really got outside in Boston were walks on the shore of Quincy Bay where I lived and trips to Walden Pond in Concord. I should really take advantage of my situation here in Southern Illinois and go outside more, I thought to myself. So, in November, I relinquished my Timbuk2 messenger bag from my Boston days and drove 100 miles to get the specific Jansport daypack I wanted -- which is, frankly, the best daypack ever. Mine is black and bears the Moleskinerie buttons that Armand sent me last winter. I shaved my head and grew my winter beard, and I looked more than a bit rustic. My wife and I went hiking on Valentines' Day, like we did for our first V-Day in 1998. All was woodsy and well. But lately, I have been bitching about the fact that there is not much for a city boy to do in Carbondale -- not, however, unjustly. There isn't. I go to the movies a lot and the hobby store a lot and bookstores a lot and Target a lot, and that's the grandest that my adventures really get these days. I haven't even had a nice drive through the woods like I used to enjoy. There may not be a lot for a city boy who loves people-watching, but there is plenty to do. Geez, I won't sit here all day talking about all of the parks and rivers and lakes and canyons and such around these parts. I need to get outside more and to stop thinking about the city and all of the neat stuff I can buy there and how interesting the people are to look at over coffee and cookies. So, this is my round-about way and announcing -- in order to really commit myself -- that I have sent a check and membership form to the Sierra Club accepting their invitation for membership and that I will certainly be making an effort to get outside more this fall. Hell, it's my favorite season. And, dear readers, you get some nice photos of autumn in this region, which is nothing short of breath-taking. But don't worry. There'll be no blogging interruptions:)