Lately Fort Collins has been getting to me. It's getting bigger, the traffic is much worse than it was even 12 years ago when we moved back after our stint in Arizona. It bothers me when I go out for walks in some places and cannot seem to have any space to myself- people are crawling everywhere. So I started having escape fantasies of going up to the mountains this summer, to our little piece of the earth near Trout Creek Pass overlooking South Park.
I am thankful for the memories I have from the 1980s and 90s when things were still relatively quiet and you could go places without being overrun by these loud dust-making machines, and people were not as maniacal about their motorized toys and guns.
And the weather seems drier and the roads get dustier and there's more fire danger, we've had beetle infestations and people make a lot more impact on the forest when camping with these massive vehicles. Whatever happened to car camping with a tent?
I guess it's time to start looking for a different way to escape- a different place to escape.
We bought our little piece of peace 21 years ago. It doesn't feel peaceful anymore. It feels exposed, overrun with people who don't respect peace and quiet.
And noise. They love to make noise. They have no concept of respecting the creatures who live here in the forest.
It’s actually quieter in the city because at least you don’t have people shooting guns or riding ATVs. But you have the lawnmowers, leaf blowers, which follow no reasonable schedule of operation, completely unpredictable. And occasionally you get the nutbag driving a testosterone-fueled mufflerless terror truck- usually some big burly white guy with a baseball cap on his head, in various orientations, with an American flag decal somewhere. And sometimes they have those coal-roller things that spew black smoke.
There is nothing scarier than a white guy in a baseball cap driving aggressively in a big, loud pickup with an American flag decal on it, add a Christian symbol and it's even more fear-provoking. To me, that is the picture of white straight male Christian entitlement, and resentment of all of us who are not.
It’s come to the point where there is no place to escape. It makes me very sad and I'm losing hope in humanity. We have a dying planet because people are completely disrespectful of its ability to sustain life. They strip the commodities along with the amenities for their own short term gain. Plundering the resources without giving a thought to the lives that might be affected by their assault.
I'm so tired of the mentality that says we have the right to do whatever we want, it’s public land.
But there should be places where you can go and shoot and places where I can go and have peace and quiet where they don’t interfere with each other. How about respect and dignity and safety without fear.
Reminds me of the poem The Bloodless Sportsman by Sam Walter Foss. Click on the link to read it. Please do, you must, I insist.