Where I want to die

Posted by: hikerduane

Where I want to die - 06/10/08 06:20 PM

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.
Posted by: CAbackpacker

Re: Where I want to die - 06/10/08 06:49 PM

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... http://www.sacbee.com/dyn/comments/stand...agically#372647
Posted by: JAK

Re: Where I want to die - 06/10/08 06:57 PM

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
Posted by: hikerduane

Re: Where I want to die - 06/10/08 08:13 PM

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.
Posted by: chaz

Re: Where I want to die - 06/11/08 06:02 AM

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.
Posted by: Paddy_Crow

Re: Where I want to die - 06/11/08 06:31 AM

I think Winston Curchill put it well, "There is nothing more certain in life than death, yet nothing more uncertain than its hour."
Posted by: 6brnorma

Re: Where I want to die - 06/11/08 07:40 AM

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.........
Posted by: JAK

Re: Where I want to die - 06/11/08 08:55 AM

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)
Posted by: CAbackpacker

Re: Where I want to die - 06/11/08 09:49 AM

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!
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Where I want to die - 06/11/08 12:41 PM

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?
Posted by: hikerduane

Re: Where I want to die - 06/11/08 05:15 PM

I think there was a mention of a flashlight. I would have to go back and read the article.
Posted by: lv2fsh

Re: Where I want to die - 06/11/08 10:06 PM

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.
Posted by: hikerduane

Re: Where I want to die - 06/12/08 11:29 AM

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.
Posted by: Earthling

Re: Where I want to die - 06/15/08 04:00 PM

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="" />
Posted by: lv2fsh

Re: Where I want to die - 06/16/08 11:10 AM

You've met my wife then?
Posted by: 300winmag

Re: Where I want to die - HA! - 09/06/08 03:36 PM

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.
Posted by: altadude

Re: Where I want to die - HA! - 09/06/08 06:32 PM

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.........
Posted by: chaz

Re: Where I want to die - HA! - 09/07/08 07:48 AM

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="" />
Posted by: mockturtle

Re: Where I want to die - 09/08/08 06:25 PM

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="" />
Posted by: wyohikeit

Re: Where I want to die - 11/23/08 04:49 PM

Plant me in a place like this

Posted by: intrek38

Re: Where I want to die - 11/26/08 10:35 AM

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..
Posted by: Windwalker55

Re: Where I want to die - 03/04/09 07:04 PM

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.
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Where I want to die - 10/21/09 11:01 AM

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.
Posted by: bigb

Re: Where I want to die - 10/23/09 08:54 PM

hopefully like Hunter Thopson I will know when I'm done and take my last walk in the woods never to return.