I heard this thing on NPR today about earthquakes. Airtalk host Larry Mantle was interviewing seismologist John Dvorak about earthquakes and earthquake “storms”. Generally speaking, earthquakes aren’t consistent. Pressure builds and builds and though occasionally you’ll have some relative release–Northridge quake of ‘94, Loma Prieta quake of 89’–the big movements come from the BIG releases. And when these big quakes come they tend to come in clusters. Clusters of several a decade, or several a century.
I thought about this today and related it to my outdoor life. I don’t hike everyday. I just don’t. I don’t even hike every week. I see myself heading out every Monday for a nice long excursion, exploring new areas, testing myself physically, snapping photos, and just in general marveling at a chance to be someplace really quiet. This is my ideal. And though it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t mean the pressure isn’t still building.
Because it is.
And a correction is coming.
So Switzer falls won’t cut it. A hike up Baldy might not cut it either. I’ll need something more. Not overnights. Not even three dayers. But long detailed escapes from everything.
The day to day grind does exactly that. Is this what drives trainhoppers or the lifelong road travellers to stay gone? Is the pressure too much? Or maybe like it’s more unpredictable. Like Dvorak said in the interview–quoting Charles Richter–when there are a lot of earthquakes there are a LOT of earthquakes.
© 2014 Christopher Dart