Why Bother To Regard Recreators?
Of the fifty-three million acres of land in Idaho, twenty million is national forest. With forty percent of the land dedicated to maintaining seven national forests we could say that Idahoans love the out-of-doors
Inside those national forests are campgrounds, hiking trails, rivers, lakes and streams. Miles upon miles of dirt roads lead to trail heads that take you deeper into wilderness areas. And the deeper you go, the wilder it gets.
These national forests are open to the public and anyone and everyone is welcome, yet we all have our own ideas of how to recreate in the great out-of-doors.
Not Everyone Has The Same View of Recreation
How we spend our time recreating or refreshing ourselves, I think, depends on our point of view or from where our view of nature comes from. Mine started with my Dad.
My father liked sitting on the porch swing after dinner to smoke a cigarette. Being the youngest daughter, I usually found myself on his lap instead of in the kitchen helping with the dishes. When thunderstorms rolled in we stayed put on the swing, under the shelter of the porch roof. As the air chilled and the leaves rustled in the breeze, Dad tightened his arms around me and we watched the performance together. The dusky evening turned black, lit by flashes of lightning for seconds at a time. Next came the low rumble of thunder that sounded as though God was rolling a giant bowling ball across the floor of heaven. The boom that followed, a strike, always made me jump. Finally, splats of rain hit the porch roof and sidewalk, slow at first and then increasing with volume and velocity.
The storm’s intensity never lasted long before it moved on to the next county. Then the air warmed again, the light of dusk returned, and the sounds of crickets replaced the thunder.
Watching those storms with my father taught me that nature is powerful and beautiful at the same time.
Later, when we moved to Colorado, I’d fall in step beside one of my older brothers and we’d cross the county road that ran in front of the house, traversing the endless game trails. Or, we’d cross the highway behind the house to walk along the shore of the West Animas River. Wherever we went, I smelled the scent of pine trees, heard the river rushing over rocks and felt the sun on my skin. From my brother, I learned how simply one can enjoy nature.
After marriage, and while raising sons, my husband and I took them on hikes into the mountains to swim in the cold lakes or to rocky points where we sat and stared at vistas that stretched for miles. It was our way of introducing them to the power and beauty of nature and simple ways of enjoying it.
There are lots of ways to recreate. Some prefer to fly fish in a river while some elect to float down the water in an inner tube. Some favor the idea of camping in a tent, others would rather take their motor-home. Power boats and wave runners share the same waters as kayakers, and swimmers. And hikers may find themselves on the same trail as motorcycles.
However we choose to enjoy the great-out-doors, perhaps it would be a good idea to remember that nature does not belongs solely to anyone, rather it is something lovely to share.
Why bother to regard recreators? It is worth it to regard recreators since we all have something in common. We simply want to enjoy the beauty and power of nature from whatever point of view we view it.