“The great obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth,
the continents, and the ocean was not ignorance
but the illusion of knowledge.”
~Daniel Boorstin, The Discoverers, p. 86
Yesterday I took a day trip to Sage Hen Reservoir. I had asked my friend Kevin Laughlin for recommendations and he gave me his top three. I wanted a beautiful place I had never been, where I could relax, soak in peace, and contemplate. He delivered. Sage Hen is a relatively short drive from Boise, though the last 14 miles on dirt roads took me about half the time to get there.
Me, being me, did no research on Sage Hen and took no cash. So when the fella – nice guy – came by asking for the day fee I of course didn’t have it (even though Kevin had told me – I seemed to remember at the time – there was a day fee…). He let me stay an hour or so without paying so I could drink the coffee I had portaged all the way from Boise.
Later, after circling the reservoir and heading back I found another beautiful place to stop off the road and that’s where I set up for an extended time. Reminded me of spending time in the glory of Angel Fire and Red River, NM.
My plan the rest of this summer is to take a number of similar day trips or overnights in places like Stanley, where the Dark Sky Reserve (one of only eleven others in the world) makes looking at the sky a truly profound experience.
It is pushing into the unexplored that shows us the infiniteness of what we will never explore or even know enough to try to explore. It is the exhilarating freeing from any notion that we have all the answers, or maybe any of them, fully.
Yesterday, my only semi-goal beyond just “being” was to reflect a little about the first half of the year and to consider if there were better ways for me to approach going forward. Most of my days are very happy ones. I have a wonderful family, friends, job, and things I do that give me a sense of joy. There are plenty of things, however, that could use improvement or more emphasis, and I jotted those down as well.
I realize this essay is all about me (as many of them seem to be, I guess), but I can’t recommend more highly the salubrious effect of taking a few hours regularly for “doing nothing” much more than relaxing into our beautiful world.
Do you have a particularly special day trip that you would recommend? Would you share what makes it so? The kind I like are simple, inexpensive, relaxing, and remind me of – envelop me in – what is really important in the world. You might have different criteria and it would be neat if you would share those too.
It was a Sage Hen kinda day.
“In the crusader’s world the known was dogma and the unknown was unknowable.
But in the explorer’s world the unknown was simply the not-yet-discovered.”
~Daniel Boorstin, The Discoverers, p. 161
Boorstin, D. J. (1983). The discoverers (1st ed.). New York: Random House.
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