THE MERRELL BLOG: WHAT'S NOW. WHAT'S NEXT. LET'S GET OUTSIDE.
The Chance to Relax
The joy of doing nothing:
Here, David Hiser captures backpacker Steve Miller in 1972, mid-break in Utah. The original caption for this photograph reads: "One of the Joys of a Long Hiking Trip in the Desert Is the Chance to Relax and Do as You Please."
Beyond the immediate silliness of seeing "Do As You Please" as a photo title, this seems like a strange observation to make. Because usually relaxation means...uh...napping in a hammock. Or in a large hot tub, followed by a free massage. General static activity, right?
Hiking miles through the Canyonlands, or any-lands, is strenuous on the body. But there is also an integral part of the trek that includes stopping along the way or finding a final destination to rest. It is the time to take in the scenery, to appreciate your progress, divvy up snacks, or just to do nothing.
Getting outside does not always mean high intensity—we are not all scaling Everest this weekend. And that's pretty OK, since there are plenty of other adventures to explore, challenging or not. Also, that would be way too many people on Everest and highly unsustainable and probably boring.
Here's to doing nothing this weekend, at the end of your long hike. Or maybe at the beginning of your hike. Or maybe instead of a hike, you plan on doing nothing outside. Breathe the air, take in the scenery, talk to your companions.
Or talk to you masseuse about all the mountain climbing you will be doing next weekend.
Photographs from the EPA's Documerica Project (1971-1977)