Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Thinking About 2013

This quote sits under the plexiglass on my desk and I read it pretty much every day. Seems a fitting way to start the new year.

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

Taking Abbey’s advice…

-Edward Abbey from a speech to environmentalists in Missoula, Montana in 1978 and in Colorado, which was published in High Country News in the 1970s or early 1980s under the title “Joy, Shipmates, Joy.”

For those of you who have been slogging it out in the trenches, fighting the good fight for conservation and our public lands, you know the fight is only going to get tougher this year. Heed Abbey words from time to time and ramble out yonder!


  1. Chris Hunt says:

    That’s such good advice; sometimes I take it, and sometimes I don’t. Thanks for the reminder, my friend.

  2. Thanks, Tom…I appreciate your support and kind reminder to get out and enjoy what we are working so hard to protect.

  3. Walt Gasson says:

    There aren’t a lot of folks out there who can quote Abbey and not come off badly. You’re the real deal, Tom. Thanks.

  4. We will find more time to ramble again soon my friend!

  5. Thanks and thanks for all you do! Colorado is a better place for all your work.

  6. High praise pard, thanks. Hope we get some ramble time together this year.

  7. Chris "Kiwi" Kuhlow says:

    It’s hard to say it any better…great post.

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