Standby

I wasn’t going to write anything. We’re all sick of politics and even more sick of the vitriolic hate being spewed on the internet every single minute of every single hour. No, no more of that. Instead, I just let this site stay quiet over the past week as I attempted to cope with the actuality of last Tuesday’s election.

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I originally planned to return today with a post I’ve been working on for a bit: A Weekend in Paris. I love Paris and after visiting a few times over the past couple years, I’ve come to realize it’s one of my favorite cities…..and I don’t do cities.

But here’s the thing: I just can’t slap my Paris post up on my blog and move on, pretending like our new President-elect doesn’t matter to me, that he doesn’t affect me or my lifestyle. I can’t pretend everything is business as usual when in fact, it’s just the opposite. Pretending to do or feel any other way is simply trite and untrue. I’m devastated; heart broken; embarrassed; disappointed; and scared.

Near as I can tell from my Facebook feed {the current beacon of all insanity}, those emotions may label me a “crybaby” or a “sore loser” by many. That’s okay. I’m concerned about the behaviors that this election has condoned and I’ll be damned if I cower on my own blog from the angry comments I may or may not receive. I realize many of my readers may not agree with my political inclinations and I’m not here to discuss who is right or wrong or why we all chose to vote the way that we did {or didn’t, as apparently is the case for millions of Americans.} What happened happened and I’m working on understanding how I can best move forward and make a difference in my own way.

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PC: Will Rochfort

As I said in my Facebook post above, this site is first-and-foremost a place for all of us to share a love for the outdoors. That will continue. But I will also strive to help protect the places I hold dear to my heart, regardless of how popular those opinions may be to the upcoming administration. I can’t predict what the President-elect will actually do, but a denial of climate change, a desire to renegotiate and/or leave the Paris Agreement, and a vow to scrap the Clean Power Plan have all been on the table during his campaign. And none of that sounds great for Mother Nature.

My friend Beth once wrote that, “The night is dark and full of sparkles.” For environmentalists and outdoor-lovers, the future is very uncertain right now. But I’m pretty sure we can all find our sparkles: do something. Give yourself some time to mope, accept the conclusion, and do something. Volunteer your time in local elections; donate monthly allocations to organizations that support the environment; speak to someone different than you while on the trail. If we all work together, I’m pretty positive we can figure out a way to get through this.

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15 Comments

  • Reply Shawnté Salabert November 15, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for being such an inspiring voice for the outdoors – and for those of us who seek to not just celebrate, but also protect it.

  • Reply Whitney Vestal November 15, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been wanting to write something on my blog about it all as well, but haven’t found the words yet myself. I agree with all of what you wrote (clearly have the exact same feelings you do about the election). I have a feeling that most readers of your blog probably fee the same way seeing as you write an OUTDOORS blog. Your quote: “…but a denial of climate change, a desire to renegotiate and/or leave the Paris Agreement, and a vow to scrap the Clean Power Plan have all been on the table during his campaign. And none of that sounds great for Mother Nature…” is just one of the many reasons I am very sad about the outcome of the election as well and I feel like a lot of people haven’t even realized these things are indeed true and can very well happen especially with the way the house and senate look now. I went climbing the day after the election and hear a many bummed voices say, “enjoy it while you can” in regards to the outdoors….. blurg. 🙁

  • Reply Amanda Haas November 15, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Thanks for continuing to be a positive voice for the outdoors – I hope many of us can agree we need to protect our world for the future, even if the future seems uncertain now.

  • Reply Cayla November 15, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Thank you for your awesome post–you echoed exactly what myself, and I think many others are battling with right now. Unfortunately, according to his new site, http://www.greatagain.gov, under “Make America Great Again”>”Making America Secure Again”>”Energy Independence”, his plan is spelled out pretty plainly–more fossil fuels, less clean energy, exiting the Paris Agreement and Clean Power Plan. Since this site was created after he was elected, I can only imagine this is exactly his intention. I’m not reiterating all this to turn the knife, I just want to bring this issue home–its no longer just campaign rhetoric, but his plan for the American future. Keep motivated, stay strong, and remember now is the time to take action–its not just senseless pandering for votes anymore, this is reality.

  • Reply Cathryn November 15, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    You speak for another reader as well. The environmental impact is the one that concerns me the most – other mistakes can be undone but this one? Not so much.

    Thanks for the quote about the night being dark and full of sparkles (and for finding me a lovely new blog to read). Without meaning to preach, this is the same overall thought that I’ve been having from a faith perspective as well. As the world gets darker, I think my christian faith calls me to sparkle brighter – to shine harder for love and kindness and compassion (which is clearly something people can do without faith as well).

  • Reply Sarah C November 15, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    You’re right to speak up. You may “lose” readers but I say good riddance to those who think that the earth is here to be trashed by us rather than protected and defended. I’m in the act now of limiting the blogs and sites I visit to only those who vow to fight against the horrible policies that are being suggested by this incoming regime. So, instead of possibly losing readers, think instead of how you’ve kept a reader in me!

  • Reply Lynn @ The Not Dead Yet Blog November 16, 2016 at 7:03 am

    I am so scared of what a Trump presidency will do to our wild places. I will admit, the past four years I have been complacent. I have donated a little time, a little money, but mostly I have just let things continue on, secure in the belief that nothing truly bad could happen. No more. Now I am focused. This is my cause, and I am ready.

    Oh, and if he tries to make my friends’ marriages illegal, I will fight that too.

  • Reply Natatlie November 16, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Heather, I clicked the button to add my voice to the many to not only thank you for your words, but, also, reflect on what’s before. I find that the right ones won’t come as I still haven’t quite processed what this will mean. My emotions in the last week have swung all the way from devastation to rage to unfounded hope that it can’t possibly be as bad as we imagine and back again. I am committed to fighting for our wild places as well as against the many horrifying turns this administration could take. My hope is that this has sufficiently motivated us, and we’ll never become complacent again. (not a judgement of Lynn’s complacency from the previous comment-I did the exact same thing!)

  • Reply Janet B. November 16, 2016 at 10:24 am

    It’s a tough pill to swallow however you voted I think. What I don’t get is the absolute hate and vileness it inspired on both sides. I addressed that in my “shouldn’t blog on politics, but will” post. I also fear for the environment as a result. Where I live in Alaska, will ANWAR be opened for drilling? Will the proposed mines go through? Is the Arctic to stay forgotten? I don’t know. I found comfort in a blog post written by the CEO of REI. Hope you don’t mind me sharing. http://blog.rei.com/news/remarks-from-rei-ceo-jerry-stritzke-on-the-election/. If you love the outdoors, it’s definitely worth a read. Here’s hoping for the best in the next for years.

  • Reply M.G. November 16, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Thank you for this. My trail running and adventures in nature are often healing and an escape, but this election – and my dread of the changes unfolding and about to unfold over the next four years – has transcended even that happy place. I have not found solace in reading my usual blogs or instagram feed, because the election outcome – and everything it portends – is going unspoken in those places and it’s a huge elephant in the room. I’ve honestly thought to myself, “I love my trail peeps, but are they this apolitical that they can just turn the other cheek when I want to scream and talk action?” I can’t just ignore it no matter the venue – work, trail – and I don’t think it should be ignored. A fundamental change is upon us, and I can’t be complacent and look the other way. Thank you for addressing it on your blog.

  • Reply Howell November 17, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Nicely said, HBR. Unfortunately, we’re living in an era where we have a “cult of the presidency.” Folks on both sides ascribe to it, and it is a belief that the President can do whatever he/she wants. As though we are electing a monarch to rule us without the checks and balances we have built into our Constitution. Obviously, a President cannot “rule” us. Have hope. President-Elect Trump cannot impose his will on us without Congress, the courts, the states, the people, etc. He has a plan for energy independence that might be a gigantic, pandering pipe dream. So don’t get too discouraged. As for losing readers… I wouldn’t worry about losing readers who promote any viewpoint if they aren’t willing to engage in the exchange of ideas. Don’t surround yourself solely with similar thinkers. It’s not good for constructive dialogue or open-mindedness. Cheers!

  • Reply Michael Anderson November 17, 2016 at 11:17 am

    A friend of mine shared this on Twitter, and wanted to chime in. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts – there should be no reason for any of us to hide from who we are and what we believe. And you’re absolutely right – we can be the positive change we want to see in the world!

  • Reply - The Morning Fresh November 22, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    […] and the third? How can we protect the places we play? What do we say to our children? We can’t pretend this isn’t happening, so what do we do […]

  • Reply We elected a climate denier, so now what? Roll up your sleeves for the outdoors - The Morning Fresh November 22, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    […] and the third? How can we protect the places we play? What do we say to our children? We can’t pretend this isn’t happening, so what do we do […]

  • Reply Dave P November 23, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Janet B and Howell – spot on. Agree fully on those posts. Outside Together.

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