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The Survival of the Fattest

"Pity the man who loves what death can touch."
—Eugene O'Neill

Late one summer afternoon, tired and dirty after four days' camping and a 21-mile ride out of the Wind River Mountains over rough granite trails, 1 swung off the horse and opened the registry book that the National Forest Service places at the boundary of its federally designated wilderness areas. Since I hadn't signed in, I couldn't sign out, but a friend had suggested that 1 would be interested in reading the comments obediently inscribed by visitors to the Bridger-Teton Wilderness from Philadelphia, New York, Denver, and San Mateo. I opened the book and read: "Get horses out of pristine wilderness!" "Horse crap on trails spoiled our trip!" "Amen!" Too bad. Using the pencil-on-a-string thoughtfully provided by local agents of our masters in Washington, I appended, "Kids in short pants and sneakers out of wilderness! Easterners and Californians go home! Get a horse." Approaching the trailhead, I met a pretty girl backpacker, inbound for the mountains, who refused to speak or even look at me. It might have been because I smelled bad, but more likely it was that I happened to be riding a horse.

The Cold War never died, it moved to the Rocky Mountain states of the American West, which have lately been discovered by yuppies, computer programmers,...

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