Journal #1 from Series 7 (1984-1986)
1st Excerpt – Cover, Front Matter & Pages 1-2
Series VII, #1
Enero 23 de 1984.
Durente la noche de enera 21-22 hizo un poquisimo de nieve; asi, fui a cazar. Hace pocos dias qui di un paseo por encima de la colina que esta al norte de mi cabena y vi el rastro de una liebre junto a un declive fuerte pero curto – lugar algo pintoresco. El rastro era viego y no considere que valise la pena sequirlo, pero me enseno que habia liebres alli. Durante la parte temprena del invierno yo habia recorrido dos veces (si mel no me acuerdo) aquella vecindad sin encontrar ni una sola huella de liebre. Creo haber mencionado en ulganx parte de mis apuntes la hipotesis de que las liebres se muevun en el invierno desde las lugares bajos cuesta arriba.
[During the night of January 21-22 there was a very little snow; So, I went hunting. A few days ago I took a walk over the hill to the north of my head and saw the trail of a hare along a steep but short decline - a somewhat picturesque place. The trail was old and I did not consider it worth following, but it showed me that there were hares there. Twice during the early part of winter I had traversed (if I do not remember) that neighborhood without finding a single hare track. I think I mentioned in Ulganx part of my notes the hypothesis that hares move in winter from low places uphill.]
2nd Excerpt – Pages 11-13
Febrero 5. Hoy Sali al amanecer y subi el cerro. Tuve poca esperanza de conseguir carne; fui prinoi palmente a hacer ejercicio y refrescarme el amla con la naturaleza. Coge mucho esta bellisima mallana – el cielo azul, los rayos del sol en la parte temprana de la manana, los prados pardos – pues le mayor parte del suelo esta descubierto, especialmente en las laderas que dan al sur, porque a fines de diciembre, durante unos pocos dias calurosos, se deshelo la mas de la nieve, y desde entonces ha caido poca nieve, de manera que, sobre la mayor parte de la tierra, no solamente es possible andar sin raquetas, sino que se puede prescindir de las botasde invierna y llevar zapatos de verano.
[February 5. Today I went out at dawn and climbed the hill. I had little hope of getting meat; I went mainly to exercise and refresh my amla with nature. Take a lot of this beautiful mallana – the blue sky, the early morning sun rays, the brown meadows – because most of the ground is bare, especially on the slopes facing south, because at the end of December, during a few hot days most of the snow thawed, and since then little snow has fallen, so that, over most of the land, not only is it possible to walk without snowshoes, but one can dispense with boots. winter and wear summer shoes.]
3rd Excerpt – Pages 66-69
Julio 14. “Cuando don Quijote se vio en la campaña rasa, libre y desembarazado de los requiebros de Altisidora, le pareció que estaba en su centro y que los espíritus se le renovaban para proseguir de nuevo el asumpto de sus caballerías, y volviéndose a Sancho le dijo:
—La libertad, Sancho, es uno de los más preciosos dones que a los hombres dieron los cielos; con ella no pueden igualarse los tesoros que encierra la tierra ni el mar encubre; por la libertad así como por la honra se puede y debe aventurar la vida, y, por el contrario, el cautiverio es el mayor mal que puede venir a los hombres. Digo esto, Sancho, porque bien has visto el regalo, la abundancia que en este castillo que dejamos hemos tenido; pues en mitad de aquellos banquetes sazonados y de aquellas bebidas de nieve me parecía a mí que estaba metido entre las estrechezas de la hambre, porque no lo gozaba con la libertad que lo gozara si fueran míos, que las obligaciones de las recompensas de los beneficios y mercedes recebidas son ataduras que no dejan campear al ánimo libre. ¡Venturoso aquel a quien el cielo dio un pedazo de pan sin que le quede obligación de agradecerlo a otro que al mismo cielo!
[WHEN DON Quixote saw himself in the open, free and unencumbered from the wooings of Altisidora, it seemed to him that he was in his element once more and that his spirits were strong enough to pursue the business of chivalry again. Turning toward Sancho he said: “Freedom, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts that heaven ever gave to man. Neither the treasures hidden in the earth nor those the sea covers can equal it. For freedom, as well as for honor, one can and should risk one’s life. And the opposite is also true—captivity is the worst evil that can befall men.]
[“I say this, Sancho, because you’ve witnessed the entertainment and the abundance that we had in that castle we left. Well, right in the middle of those delicious banquets and beverages made from snow, it seemed to me I’d been placed in the straits of hunger, because I couldn’t enjoy them with the same joy than if they had been my own. The sense of obligation imposed by the benefits and favors received are fetters that prevent one’s free will from flourishing. Fortunate is he whom heaven has given a piece of bread, without his having to thank anyone other than heaven itself!”]
4th Excerpt - Pages 69-78
Sept. 12, 1984. It’s about time to catch up on some items going back more than a year. Most of what follows is transcribed from some notes that I have on odd scraps of paper.
August 14, 1983. The fifth of August I began a hike to the east. I got to my hidden camp that I have in a gulch beyond what I call “Diagonal Gulch.” I stayed there through the following day, August 6. I felt the peace of the forest there. But there are few huckleberries there, and though there are deer, there is very little small game. Furthermore, it had been a long time since I had seen the beautiful and isolated plateau where the various branches of Trout Creek originate. So I decided to take off for that area on the 7th of August. A little after crossing the roads in the neighborhood of Crater Mountain I began to hear chain saws; the sound seemed to be coming from the upper reaches of Rooster Bill Creek. I assumed they were cutting trees; I didn’t like it but I thought I would be able to avoid such things when I got onto the plateau. Walking across the hillsides on my way there, I saw down below me a new road that had not been there previously, and that appeared to cross one of the ridges that close in Stemple Creek. This made me feel a little sick. Nevertheless, I went on to the plateau. What I found there broke my heart.
The plateau was criss-crossed with new roads, broad and well-made for roads of that kind. The plateau is ruined forever. The only thing that could save it now would be the collapse of the technological society. I couldn’t bear it. That was the best and most beautiful and isolated place around here and I have wonderful memories of it.
One road passed within a couple of hundred feet of a lovely spot where I camped for a long time a few years ago and passed many happy hours. Full of grief and rage I went back and camped by South Fork Humbug Creek, and then I returned home as quickly as I could because—I have something to do!
Up on the plateau I heard a helicopter and several explosions, as if of dynamite. I suppose that they are still exploring for petroleum there, that they have found something, and they’ve put the road in because they are going to drill for oil, or something like that.
Note: In August 1984 I took an overnight hike into that area expressly to find out what was going on around Trout Creek. I explored some of the roads but could find no evidence of oil-drilling, mining, or anything else going on there. I did see some stumps of trees that had been cut well away from the roads so it may be that the roads were put in for the purpose of “selective cutting” logging; i.e. logging where they just cut the trees here and there rather than making a clean sweep of them. But the number of trees cut seemed too small to justify the expense of the roads, so the whole affair is unclear to me.
Undated note: Ever since seeing how the Trout Creek area has been ruined I feel so much grief whenever I am sitting quietly, or when I am walking slowly through the woods just looking and listening, that I have to keep occupied almost all the time in order to escape this grief. That was my favorite spot. Whoever has read my notes knows very well what the other causes have been. Where can I go not to enjoy in peace nature and the wilderness life? — which are the best things I have ever known. Even in the officially designated “wilderness” there must be the continued noise of airplanes, especially the jets, since I know that planes are permitted to fly over the Bob Marshal and Scapegoat wildernesses. Are there fewer planes there than here. Maybe, maybe. Perhaps one of these days I’ll go and find out. But so many times I’ve gone looking for a place where I can escape completely from industrial society, and always . . . [three dots in the original] well, I’m very discouraged. So, I’ve been playing around with mathematics a good deal lately. It’s a rather contemptible game, but while I’m involved in it, it enables me to escape from my grief.
I can hardly describe how deeply satisfying I found the wilderness life. My grief at losing it is in proportion to that satisfaction. It’s as if I had a taste of paradise and then lost it.
5th Excerpt – Pages 103-107
Nichols’ dream of ‘tribe’ vanishes by Bob Anez - Great Falls Tribune
VIRGINIA CITY (AP) – A Bozeman women who was kidnappeed in the mountains of south west Montana last summer was meant to be charter member of a wilderness “tribe,” Don Nichols says.
His plan to abduct a woman for companionship was part of a years-old dream, said Nichols, who faces charges of kidnapping Karl Swenson, 23, and with fatally shooting her would-be rescuer, Alan Goldstein.
I am surprised by Nichols’ apparent need for people. Not only do I adjust comfortably to solitude myself – I’ve read in books about lots of other people who’ve adjusted comfortably to prolonged wilderness solitude – in fact they seem to find it rewarding, as I do.
Mentioned Reading in 1984
Gaius Memmius by Caius Sallustius Crispus, Jugurthine War, 31, 16 or thereabouts
Stolen by the Indians by Dorothy Heiderstadt, David McKay
Jugerthine War and Conspiracy of Catiline by Gaius Sallustius
Sallust, Conspiracy of Catiline
The Nuer; an ethnological study by E. E. Evans-Pritchard
The Vigilantes of Montana by Thomas J. Dimsdale
Inside the Third Reich, memoirs of Albert Speer
Spandau by Albert Speer
Don Quijote, Miguel de Cervantes
Cartas Finlandesas. Hobres del Norte by Angel Ganivet
Los tramperos del Arkansas by Gustavo Aimard
How I found Livingstone by Henry M. Stanley
Mentioned Reading in 1985
The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey
Cuentos y relatos del Norte argentine by Juan Carlos Davalos
Sapphira and the Slave Girl by Willa Cather
The Colditz Story by J. B. Lippencott
Psychology of adolescence by Karl C. Garrison
My Lives in Russia by Markoosha Fischer
Pages from his Life by Leonid I. Brezhnev
The Sea Wolf by Jack London
Admiral of the Ocean Sea; A Life of Christopher Columbus by Samuel Eliot Morison
Reading that Ted referred to having done at an earlier unknown date
The Leatherstocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper