Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

Newfoundland may have to wait, Idaho here I come

Posted by Frum Hiker on August 20, 2007

I was going to drive over to Newfoundland Canada this week, but after looking at the weather and thinking about money constraints – I realized that the trip to the last place I have not visted on the Continent may have to wait till next year. You see, the ferry itself will probably run me 200 bucks and gas in Canada is rather expensive. The other major deterrant is the rainy weather they tend to have this time of year.

So I was driving in my car last night thinking about what to do with my end of summer which is traditionaly a road trip time for me- for multiple reasons the best being that I have extra money from working 2 jobs in the summer. So I was contemplating this while listening to some Alan Jackson and I decided I would drive out to Idaho and do my thing.

Idaho??? The only time I was in Idaho was in the summer of 2002, and I was there for only a couple days. All I really did was ride Sun Valley. I want to do a more extensive tour of the area, including some backpacking and long road rides- in its famed valleys. While I am out there I may also go to Washington and oregon- the two other states I have only been to once.

It looks like I would want to stay this shabbos in Minniapolis and then get out to Bear Pass in Montana and hike the Absorka-Beartooth area- which I always said I would- but always ended up in the Bob Marshall or Glacier areas on Montana. I may also try and stay with the chabad folks in Montana or Idaho- the newest additions to the western Shluchim crew.

Just the thought that I can pick up and go like this is making me think doubly about my whole career track or shall I say lack of it. I keep telling people who ask me whether I can support a family- that when the time comes I will settle down and get a “real” job- instead of the flexible well paying gigs I do now.

Will this actually happen though? That I cannot say, they say that most folks should just settle down, get a job and raise a family- but to me thats ounds horrible. I just cannot imagine settling down for longer then 6 months- are other frum guys like this? It seems that everyone I meet is intent on working, finding a wife and working some more- sounds boring to me.

Sometimes I wish I could just stop my lifestyle and join the ranks of normal society, and then I rethink my motivations- which seem to revolve around status rather then actual feelings of wanting to work and be productive. What the hell is being productive anyway. I work 40-50 hours a week a lot of the time, just not at a career type job. I tried it for 2 years and it drove me mad. Am I just selfish? YES- I am the first to admit that I am selfish, not in the way that most folks are though- more in the way of- “going out on a hike with someone else is such a pain, so I’ll just go alone.”

This is why I need to get away and into the wilderness, to think, meditate on my life goals and ride my bike.

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