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Photographer's Note

"There are always some people in the mountains who are known as "hikers". They rush over the trail at high speed and take great delight in being the first to reach camp and in covering the greatest number of miles in the least possible time. They measure the trail in terms of speed and distance.
One day as I was resting in the shade, John Muir overtook me on the trail and began to chat in that friendly way in which he delights to talk with everyone he meets. I said to him: "Mr. Muir, someone told me you did not approve of the word 'hike'. Is that so?" His blue eyes flashed, and with his Scotch accent he replied: "I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike! Do you know the origin of that word 'saunter'? It's a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply - "A la sainte terre", 'to the Holy Land'. And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them."

Now, whether the derivation of saunter Muir gave me is scientific or fanciful, is there not in it another parable? There are people who "hike" through life. They measure life in terms of money and amusement; they rush along the trail of life feverishly seeking to make a dollar to gratify an appetite. How much better to 'saunter' along this trail of life, to measure it in terms of beauty and love and friendship. How much finer to take time to know and understand the men and women along the way, to stop a while and let the beauty of the sunset possess the soul, to listen to what the trees are saying and the songs of birds, and to gather fragrant little flowers that bloom along the trail of life for those who have eyes to see!"
--- reference: Albert W. Palmer - "The Mountain Trail and its Message (1911)"

In this view, Mono Lake 'tufa' and the distant Sierra Nevada.

I wish everyone a lovely and happy Valentine's Day.

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Additional Photos by Ray Anderson (photoray) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1037 W: 1 N: 2668] (10983)
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