I'm in a city right now, just one week from my hitchhiking trip to the Sierras. I need the serenity badly. not that I can't find it here, it's much easier out there.
a week can go by without seeing another person, the only man-made sounds are from aircraft and helicopters.
no smells of human habitation either. the first thing I notice when coming off the river is the smell of internal combustion. it sometimes gags me after 10 days or so smelling nothing but pine-scented air.
it can be lonely, but I always talk to God out there and hear back from Him in His subtle and mysterious ways.
civilization is overrated. I'm on my computer enough right now, but I'm not nearly as fascinated with technology as I used to be. the way I feel right now, if the world were to suddenly revert to the 17th. century, I would be at home.
it's hard work. 6 hours a day digging in the hot sun wears a body out, especially my semi-old butt. but I sleep soundly and wake with the sunrise and feel stronger with every shovel of gravel I dig, every boulder I move out of the way, every bucket I run through my sluice.
my old legs start limbering up. I'll be in pain the first week in, but by the end of the second week my ankles will be iron. my hands get torn up. gloves hinder my progress digging, so I do without. and I'm a member of the Royal Order of the Purple Finger, with oak leaf clusters, for all the times I've moved a pinched rock and it pinched back.
someday, I'd be more than happy to die in those mountains. not anytime soon, mind you, just after I've gotten all the gold.
All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.