Monday, October 29, 2012

Special month designations

So, all this last month (October) has apparently been Breast Cancer Awareness month.  It was a hard one to miss; I saw gigantic pink everythings all over the place.  I actually have a personal connection to breast cancer awareness; my mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor, which means that I'm keenly aware of the possibility that my wife may get breast cancer someday as well.  Certainly it's something that I am concerned about in her behalf.

And yet... I find most of the breast cancer awareness paraphernalia to be shallow, superficial, and faddish, and I'm not quite sure that it accomplishes much good other than to make the people who participate in it feel better about themselves.  Cranky and judgemental?  Possibly.  I make no excuses anymore for the fact that I've become a cantankerous old guy, lamenting the values of "kids today" and people who stand on my lawn.

And maybe I'm also just a bit put out by the fact that until sometime this last month, I didn't even know that September is National Wilderness month.  Hey, why is literally everyone aware of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and nobody knows anything about National Wilderness Month?  It's probably a good choice to pick September; conventional wisdom is that in most years, the best time to spend time in the mountains is late August and through much of September.  Occasionally I get people who I've talked to about my love of the wilderness assuming that I'm an environmentalist.  I actually dislike that label, mostly because it would associate me with people I consider to be really stupid and kind of crazy (like those folks on Whale Wars for instance.)  Rather, I consider myself an "old skool" conservationist, and take much of my lead on conservationist issues from the likes Theodore Roosevelt, and I take cues from the likes of John Muir and Ansel Adams as well (although Muir and Roosevelt didn't always see eye to eye on all issues.)

Because of that, here's some belated Wilderness shots, celebrating our nation's remaining wilderness areas.  Some of them I've even been to; others I strongly desire to visit and are on my short list of places to see.

Shadow Lake and the Ritter Range from across the valley on the Pacific Crest Trail in the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

Approaching the Cirque of the Towers in the Popo Agie Wilderness of Wyoming.

The Mount Timpanogos Wilderness in the Uinta National Forest.

The Chocolate Drops, Maze District, Canyonlands National Park.

Cerro Castellan, Big Bend National Park.

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