On the other hand, I yield to no one in my distaste for the self styled dog-lover, the kind who heaps up his frustrations and makes a dog carry them around. Such a dog-lover talks baby talk to mature and thoughtful animals, and attributes his own sloppy characteristics to them until the dog becomes in his mind an alter ego. Such people, it seems to me, in what they imagine to be kindness, are capable of inflicting long and lasting tortures on an animal, denying it any of its natural desires and fulfillments until a dog of weak character breaks down and becomes the fat, asthmatic, befurred bundle of neuroses. When a stranger addresses Charley in baby talk, Charley avoids him. For Charley is not a human; he is a dog, and he likes it that way.

He feels he is a first-rate dog and has no wish to be a second-rate human.

From Travels With Charley
By John Steinbeck


  Down by the sea, farther to the west, a young squirrel was skipping aimlessly about in the snow. He was quite a foolish little squirrel who liked to think of himself as “the squirrel with the marvelous tail.”
  As a matter of fact, he never though about anything for very long. Mostly he just had a feeling about things. His latest feelings was that his mattress in the nest was getting knobbly, so he had gone out to look for a new one.
  Now and again he mumbled: “A mattress,” to keep himself from forgetting what he was looking for. He forgot things very easily. 

From Moominland Midwinter
By Tove Jansson


Banadad Ski Trail - 17 miles
One working boot and 3 amigos

Part of the force that sent Sam trudging across the white prairies was love of life, a gladness for health and youth that filled him as Mozart’s gayest music filled him; and part of it was his belief that the earth on which he walked had been designed by the greatest of the artists, and that if a man had the courage and fortitude not to fail it, it would not fail him. In Sam’s rough mountain-man philosophy those persons who became the wards of sadness and melancholy had never summoned for use and trial more than a part of what they had in them, and so had failed themselves and their Creator. If it was part of the inscrutable plan that he was to live through this ordeal, and again cover the bones of wife and child with mountain lilies, the strength was lying in him, waiting, and he had only to call on it – all of it – and use it, without flinching or whimpering. If he showed himself to be a worthy piece in the Great Architect’s edifice he would live; in Sam’s philosophy that’s all there was to it. 

From Mountain Man
By Vardis Fisher


And we the people are so vunerable. Our bodies are shot with mortality. Our legs are fear and our arms are time. These chill humors seep through our capillaries, weighting each cell with an icy dab of nonbeing, and that dab grows and swells and sucks the cell dry. That is why physical courage is so important – it fills, as it were, the holes – and why it is so invigorating. The least brave act, chance taken and passage won makes you feel loud as a child. 

From Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
By Annie Dillard



I have a house where I go
When there’s too many people,
I have a house where I go
Where no one can be;
I have a house where I go,
Where nobody ever says, “No”;
Where no one says anything – so
There is no one but me.

From Now We Are Six
By A. A. Milne


  We evolved in wilderness and although we are now able to satisfy many of our physical needs outside it (at least in the short term), psychologically we still need the vital diversity, complexity, grandeur and beauty of wild places. We need to feel connected to something tangible that can be seen, smelled, tasted, that is much greater than our own fleeting existence.

  Preserving and fostering the fantastic life on earth grants infinitely more practical and intellectual rewards than the expensive but trivial knowledge of whether there are microbes on Mars.

From The Trees in My Forest
By Bernd Heinrich

  A woman said unto a man, “ I love you. ” And the man said, “ It is in my heart to be worthy of your love. ” 
  And the woman said, “ You love me not? ” And the man only gazed upon her and said nothing. Then the woman cried aloud, “ I hate you. ” And the man said, “ Then it is also in my heart to be worthy of your hate. ”

From The Wanderer
By Kahlil Gibran


            A man dreamed a dream, and when he awoke he went to the soothsayer and desired that his dream be made plain unto him.

            And the soothsayer said to the man, “ Come to me with the dreams that you behold in your wakefulness and I will tell you their meaning. But the dreams of your sleep belong neither to my wisdom nor your imagination. ”

From The Wanderer
By Kahlil Gibran


  When he reached the shore the moon was already high over the ice, chalk-blue and terribly remote. Something moved, beside Moomintroll, and he looked down into Little My's ferociously gleaming eyes.
  "It's going to be quite a fire." She laughed. "Make all the moonshine look silly."
  They looked towards the hilltop at the same time and saw a yellow flame rising in the sky. Too-ticky had lit the bonfire.

  It wrapped itself in flames at once, from ground to top; it gave a roar like a lion and threw its reflection straight down on the black ice. A lonely little tune came running past Moomintroll: it was the musical shrew, who was late for the ritual.

  Small and great shadows were solemnly skipping round the fire on the hilltop. Tails were beginning to thud on drums.
  "Goodbye to your garden seat," said Little My.
  "I've never needed it," Moomintroll replied impatiently. He stumbled up the icy slope. It was glittering in the firelight. The snow was melting from the heat, and warm water wet his paws.
  "The sun's coming back again," Moomintroll thought in great excitement. "No darkness, no loneliness any more. Once again I'll sit in the sun on the verandah and feel my back warming..."
  Now he was at the top. The air was hot around the fire. The invisible shrew was blowing another wilder tune. 

  But the dancing shadows were already gliding away, and the drums were thudding on the other side of the fire.
  "Why did they go away?" asked Moomintroll.

  Too-ticky looked at him with her calm blue eyes. Still, he wasn't quite sure that she really did see him. She was looking into her own private winter world that had followed its own strange rules year after year, while he had lain sleeping in the warm Moominhouse.

From Moominland Midwinter
By Tove Jansson


Every tree like every man must decide for itself - will it live in the alluring forest and struggle to the top where alone is sunlight or give up the fight and content itself with the shade.

-Ernest Thompson Seton


Rocky and Bullwinkle Beer Floats
Rocky road ice cream + Moose Drool beer
= Delicious
*Alternative version of Fat Squirrel beer and Moose tracks ice cream has been fantasizes, but not attempted.