Almost Over the Hill Hikers
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    #97792 - 06/10/08 06:20 PM Where I want to die
    hikerduane Offline

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2124
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    A story in the 'Nevada Appeal" said a couple gentlemen, neighbors from Lincoln, CA, 70 and 78 were on a planned two day bp trip into the Desolation Wilderness by Lake Tahoe in CA and lost there lives. An autopsy showed the first man died from a heart attack and the other was hiking out in the dark and fell down a steep hill, supposedly struck his head and was knocked unconscious and consequently died of his injury and exposure. That is where I want to die, in the backcountry somewhere, with my boots on.

    #97793 - 06/10/08 06:49 PM Re: Where I want to die [Re: hikerduane]
    CAbackpacker Offline

    Registered: 02/01/05
    Posts: 13
    Loc: Northern California
    I'm with ya' Duane! There's about 2 dozen comments following that story in th Sacramento Bee, a bunch of them were from folks like us who are getting up there & years and envy those two gentle men for "dying with thir boots on - doing what they loved to do!

    Well, I'm off to Desolation Wilderness this weekend, I'll think of those guys when I'm up there!

    Here's the link to the article...

    #97794 - 06/10/08 06:57 PM Re: Where I want to die [Re: CAbackpacker]
    JAK Offline

    Registered: 03/19/04
    Posts: 2569
    Sure beats the heck out of death by freeway.

    The Solitary Woodsman

    When the grey lake-water rushes
    Past the dripping alder-bushes,
    And the bodeful autumn wind
    In the fir-tree weeps and hushes, --
    When the air is sharply damp
    Round the solitary camp,
    And the moose-bush in the thicket
    Glimmers like a scarlet lamp, --
    When the birches twinkle yellow,
    And the cornel bunches mellow,
    And the owl across the twilight
    Trumpets to his downy fellow, --

    When the nut-fed chipmunks romp
    Through the maples' crimson pomp,
    And the slim viburnum flushes
    In the darkness of the swamp, --

    When the blueberries are dead,
    When the rowan clusters red,
    And the shy bear, summer-sleekened,
    In the bracken makes his bed, --

    On a day there comes once more
    To the latched and lonely door,
    Down the wood-road striding silent,
    One who has been here before.

    Green spruce branches for his head,
    Here he makes his simple bed,
    Crouching with the sun, and rising
    When the dawn is frosty red.

    All day long he wanders wide
    With the grey moss for his guide,
    And his lonely axe-stroke startles
    The expectant forest-side.

    Toward the quiet close of day
    Back to camp he takes his way,
    And about his sober footsteps
    Unafraid the squirrels play.

    On his roof the red leaf falls,
    At his door the bluejay calls,
    And he hears the wood-mice hurry
    Up and down his rough log walls;

    Hears the laughter of the loon
    Thrill the dying afternoon;
    Hears the calling of the moose
    Echo to the early moon.

    And he hears the partridge drumming,
    The belated hornet humming, --
    All the faint, prophetic sounds
    That foretell the winter's coming.

    And the wind about his eaves
    Through the chilly night-wet grieves,
    And the earth's dumb patience fills him,
    Fellow to the falling leaves.

    Charles G. D. Roberts

    #97795 - 06/10/08 08:13 PM Re: Where I want to die [Re: JAK]
    hikerduane Offline

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2124
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    Thank you David and JAK. David, nice words from peoples comments on these two men. Some, just don't get it. I can see being a little cautious, but one died of a heart attack in his tent and the other did what he could in a valiant effort. Nothing extreme or fool hardy here. I'm not ready to go camping in a cabin yet, if I am, I can stay at home by my woodstove, safe. That is roughing it for some, renting a cabin in a Park or in the mountains.

    David, enjoy your trip, I am still cutting firewood while the woods are open, a bp trip coming up in a week though, Maria's funds improved, so she is going bping close to home.

    #97796 - 06/11/08 06:02 AM Re: Where I want to die [Re: hikerduane]
    chaz Offline

    Registered: 10/22/07
    Posts: 1149
    Loc: Tennessee
    That would be the way to go if you have a choice. But if someone knew your plans, there would probably be a law against doing it. If you live long enough you may have to look at a video of beauty while you pass on. Like E.G. Robinson in the movie Solient Green. Then again you may not be in control of your faculties at the time to even make that choice.
    If I had a choice though, I would go to the sierra's also.
    Enjoy your next trip...

    #97797 - 06/11/08 06:31 AM Re: Where I want to die [Re: hikerduane]
    Paddy_Crow Offline

    Registered: 11/08/04
    Posts: 2285
    Loc: Michigan
    I think Winston Curchill put it well, "There is nothing more certain in life than death, yet nothing more uncertain than its hour."

    #97798 - 06/11/08 07:40 AM Re: Where I want to die [Re: chaz]
    6brnorma Offline

    Registered: 05/11/05
    Posts: 252
    Loc: Arizona
    If I had a choice though, I would go to the sierra's

    Double Cienega....10,000 ft elevation, White Mountains of Arizona, September...Elk are in rut/bugling....Aspen just starting to turn.......home sweet home.........

    #97799 - 06/11/08 08:55 AM Re: Where I want to die [Re: 6brnorma]
    JAK Offline

    Registered: 03/19/04
    Posts: 2569
    Of course this leads back to some important questions:

    Is living a means to an end or an end in itself?
    Where do you want to live? How do you want to live?
    How important is it to share and communicate such thoughts with others?

    Poem I wrote the other day...

    o timeless circle
    of exploding gas and fire
    consuming one self

    awaken, rise up
    from sleep and in hope and prayer
    break dawn, live, share light

    (might have been indigestion)

    #97800 - 06/11/08 09:49 AM Re: Where I want to die [Re: JAK]
    CAbackpacker Offline

    Registered: 02/01/05
    Posts: 13
    Loc: Northern California
    Interesting points JAK, of course I don't WANT to die yet & hope to be backpacking for a long time yet, but, since I accept the fact that my physical body will only last a certain amount of time, when it does wear out then I'd rather it do so quickly & while I'm doing something that I enjoy (like backpacking!), rather than gradually decline & put me through years of pain & suffering with some chronic disease condition, cancer or similar thing. As to the other part of your comment, my personal belief is that my spirit lives on!

    #97801 - 06/11/08 12:41 PM Re: Where I want to die [Re: hikerduane]
    Jimshaw Offline

    Registered: 10/22/03
    Posts: 3938
    Loc: Bend, Oregon
    A world class climber friend of mine died of a massive heart attack on an easy low mountain. They say he was dead before he hit the rocks. RIP He would have wanted it that way.

    But the second of the old guys left his gear behind, presumeably to travel faster and lighter. Would a flashlight have spared him?
    These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

    #97802 - 06/11/08 05:15 PM Re: Where I want to die [Re: Jimshaw]
    hikerduane Offline

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2124
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    I think there was a mention of a flashlight. I would have to go back and read the article.

    #97803 - 06/11/08 10:06 PM Re: Where I want to die [Re: hikerduane]
    lv2fsh Offline

    Registered: 04/27/08
    Posts: 111
    Loc: socal
    When I was younger I used to think I want to be shot by a jealous husband in my 90's <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />. Now I'll take the mountains, preferably looking up at a starry sky picking a trail home.

    #97804 - 06/12/08 11:29 AM Re: Where I want to die [Re: lv2fsh]
    hikerduane Offline

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2124
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    Me too.

    I was talking with a lady at work who is in her 60's, she said the Golden years are when you are in your 20's.

    #97805 - 06/15/08 04:00 PM Re: Where I want to die [Re: hikerduane]
    Earthling Offline

    Registered: 02/22/03
    Posts: 3228
    Loc: USA
    Yeah? then how come seniors get to buy the discounted 'Golden Age' National Parks Pass <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

    Lv2fsh, guess that comes with being married eh? Shoot me just not in my own bed..... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

    #97806 - 06/16/08 11:10 AM Re: Where I want to die [Re: Earthling]
    lv2fsh Offline

    Registered: 04/27/08
    Posts: 111
    Loc: socal
    You've met my wife then?

    #97807 - 09/06/08 03:36 PM Re: Where I want to die - HA! [Re: hikerduane]
    300winmag Offline

    Registered: 02/28/06
    Posts: 1342
    Loc: Nevada, USA
    When I was backpacking in the Grand Canyon this April with a Sierra Club group of "senior" hikers I heard some unsettling words from my companions.

    We were hiking the 9 miles back from Clear Creek to Phantom Ranch. It was the hottest day and a longest hike of the trip. As we sat in the shade of a boulder resting I said, jokingly, "If I don't make it tell the ranger tp get a mule and pack my body out, but only if my wife wants proof of death."

    Their reply, to a man (and woman) was along the lines of "I get his pack." , "OK, but I want his SteriPen." and "Hey, I'll take that WM sleeping bag and UL Thermarest."

    Such sentiments motivated me to get my @ss in gear and hit the trail. Of course I hit camp way ahead of my "friends".

    Death on the trail indeed!


    P.S. Remember the mountain man movie "Jeriamiah Johnson"? There was the scene where Johnson (Redford) came upon an old mountain man who had "gone under" sitting at a beautiful vista, holding his Hawken rifle and a final "will and testament" letter about his passing there. Pretty touching. I watch that movie from time to time for many reasons.
    "There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

    #97808 - 09/06/08 06:32 PM Re: Where I want to die - HA! [Re: 300winmag]
    altadude Offline

    Registered: 11/16/03
    Posts: 524
    This post and your other about taking steps to keep "healthy" on the trail at altitude cause me to respond.

    first and foremost: on a ttips forum "jeremiah johnson" made my top 5 movies of all time.......great pick: it is one of the many many things my wife has introduced to me and one of the great things we have shared over the past 28 years..........

    I will start a top 5 movies thread here..........on the OT

    Sounds like your friends certainly know your gear and I cannot blame them for claiming the items or for you to want to stay one step ahead of them :-)

    Finally, in your last thread about altitude prevention. I am not an expert on altitude sickness but most experts only recommend preventive therapy for AMS/HAPE/HACE if you have had problems previously. Those over the counter supplements are probably not all that helpful, beyond the placebo affect. Most people suggest Diamox or Nifedipine as first line treatment/prophylaxis and to high tail it to lower ground. NO or nitric oxide is very controversial in medical treatments as a FYI.........

    #97809 - 09/07/08 07:48 AM Re: Where I want to die - HA! [Re: 300winmag]
    chaz Offline

    Registered: 10/22/07
    Posts: 1149
    Loc: Tennessee
    Hey! they would have to lighten you up so they could carry you out. Reduce pack weight. Besides, it would be kinda like scattering your ashes. If you believe that some of your Karma can rub off onto material things, you would live on in sprit and in gear. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
    Enjoy your next trip...

    #97810 - 09/08/08 06:25 PM Re: Where I want to die [Re: hikerduane]
    mockturtle Offline

    Registered: 06/06/07
    Posts: 251
    Loc: WA
    Last week I was kayak camping & hiking in North Cascades National Park and have decided that would be as nice a place to die as any I know. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

    #97811 - 11/23/08 04:49 PM Re: Where I want to die [Re: mockturtle]
    wyohikeit Offline

    Registered: 11/23/08
    Posts: 6
    Loc: NW Wyoming
    Plant me in a place like this

    Time in the hills is always worth more than money

    #97812 - 11/26/08 10:35 AM Re: Where I want to die [Re: wyohikeit]
    intrek38 Offline

    Registered: 11/29/03
    Posts: 430
    Loc: Hesperia, Calif
    Nice pic.
    I think if I'm still able to hike when I'm hopefully 90 someday, and I'm thinking about dying, I'll probably hike to my favorite spot, and turn around cause by the time I get there I'll have my next trip already planned. It's not up to us..

    #112263 - 03/04/09 07:04 PM Re: Where I want to die [Re: hikerduane]
    Windwalker55 Offline

    Registered: 03/04/09
    Posts: 4
    Loc: Missouri
    I've told my kids that when I reach that point I'd just like them to saddle me up with a backpack and a couple of six packs and head me into the Wind River Range. I doubt they will really do it but falling asleep after some beers in the wild and not waking up would be preferable to a rest home.

    #122736 - 10/21/09 11:01 AM Re: Where I want to die [Re: hikerduane]
    oldranger Offline

    Registered: 02/23/07
    Posts: 1735
    Loc: California (southern)
    A gentleman once lived in on the outskirts of Tucson and took a daily morning walk in the nearby desert. One day he did not return on time, and after a bit, his wife called SAR to locate him.

    We followed his route and quite soon found his body - heart attack. What impressed me was the calm, contented look on his face. I have always thought that way a pretty good way to go.

    #122831 - 10/23/09 08:54 PM Re: Where I want to die [Re: oldranger]
    bigb Offline

    Registered: 07/05/09
    Posts: 124
    Loc: Maryland
    hopefully like Hunter Thopson I will know when I'm done and take my last walk in the woods never to return.
    "In the beginers mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
    Shunryu Suzuki


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