Some thoughts on going fast and slow, inspired by Matt Colon's lament of speed-focused backpacking in the BPL print mag.
OK, readers, why do you go fast, or slow?
A quote from Colin Fletcher, the ultimate in slow-paced walkers, from The Man Who Walked Thru Time, "It makes no difference at all whether the challenge is in your mind or body, or whether - with richer promise than either alone - it embraces both."
Why I go fast.
Because I enjoy the physical pleasure of moving efficiently and quickly through the wild. I like to walk at dawn, and I like to walk at dusk, so why not walk all day.
Because traveling quickly over long distances opens up new possibilities , new trips, new vistas, distant plateaus, remote lakes - they now are in range. This is the same motivation I faced as a climber for 25 years - being a better climber allowed me to explore more beautiful climbs, more dramatic cliffs. For me, that was always the motivation - skill and speed expand your horizons.
Because, when times get tough, speed equals safety.
Because it is fun to go fast.
Why I go slow.
Because I can't draw or write when I go fast.
Because I like campfires and long mornings sipping coffee.
Because, just a few weeks back, I was resting near a remote desert waterhole in Saguaro National Park. While I rested a small Ringneck snake glided up to the pool, and began to forage among the reeds and insects. You miss that on a speedy day.
Because it is fun to go slow.