Friday, September 7, 2007

Colin Fletcher, 1922-2007

Not sure how I missed this one, but he died on June 12th, 2007. Author of "The Complete Walker", he was considered the Father of hiking and backpacking. The book was first published in 1968, and has not been out of print since. It's a very entertaining and delightful book, as was the author. He was 85 years old, and was almost killed a few years ago when struck by a Toyota 4Runner. My favorite Colin Fletcher quote? "Every walk of life falls under the sway of the Testicular Imperative: Either you have the world by them, or it has you."

Another good one about one of his "extended" hikes:

"I was gently accused of escapism during a TV interview about a book I had written on my length-of-California walk. Frankly, I fail to see how going for a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains can be judged less real than spending six months working eight hours a day, five days a week, in order to earn enough money to be able to come back home to a comfortable home in the evening and sit in front of a TV screen and watch the two-dimensional image of some guy talking about a book he has written on a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains."

Somehow, I read an earlier version of The Complete Walker sometime around 1976. Google him, you'll find it interesting...