September 25, 2006

A time to speak and a time to refrain

Well, we've hiked Death Canyon into the Tetons. Let the mutt experience the Jackson Pet Garage. We've seen a bull elk chasing around a bunch of cows. We laughed as busloads of photographers with behemoth cameras spilled out to click the show.

Throughout this trip I've noticed again our different needs for silence. Jrex is happy to drive in total silence. He rarely wants music and every so often will listen to a book on tape. As a proactive measure, I bought myself an ipod before the trip. My theory was that with one ear I could have music and with the other, chat when Jrex feels like chatting. So far, so good.

Another time he prefers silence is while hiking. For me, this is mildly torturous. It means I spend hours trailing along forced to just THINK. Ugh. Usually I'm thinking about how tired I am, how far it is to the food break, nice view, cool rocks, are we done yet? I much prefer to go for a happy meandering wander with a good friend. I prefer to talk, laugh and have exercise that is incidental not monumental. But for us, this is my usual view while hiking.
Jrex has entirely valid reasons for loving silence. I understand them. I respect them. I just don't share them! Today I resorted to the ipod. I know its sacriligious to all 'real' hikers, but it made me very happy to hike along to Eden Burning and U2. The uphill was faster than its ever been.

As a total aside: we had our first and only snowball fight of the season near the top of the hike.

[I do have to acknowlege that after I re-injured my ankle on the way back down today, Jrex walked behind me chatting the whole way. He wanted to make sure I was ok as well as distract me from the pain.]

The irony for me is that as soon as we come into a hotel room, the TV goes on. I HATE it!! I grew up without a TV. In each home we've had as a couple, the TV is outside of the normal living area. To go from so much forced silence into a forced cacaphony feels somehow slimy? All the ads, the beer, the babes (hotels have ESPN--something else we've never had) and the annoying (how many times can we discuss the impact on the team of this injury? Oh wait, at least three more) commentators drive me nuts. I would be much happier if we both read books or magazines and were quiet together as we wind down for the night.

On the other hand, I am over here writing a blog entry as a way to end a beautiful day...


weigook saram said...

I'm enjoying reading about your trip. And more than a little envious!

It would be hard for me to hike with someone in complete silence. Culture, maybe? My husband is pretty quiet too. Ditto for the TV thing. I used to hate visiting his family because the TV was always on, even during meals. Aargh.

bg's Little Sis said...

The trip sounds wonderful still and I love the pics! I'm more like you on the hiking and driving stuff too, I don't think I could not talk while hiking. The snowball fight sounds like so much fun, sorry about the ankle, I hope it doesn't hamper any of the other plans.

As for the TV, I must say we it in our living area, but thankfully it's not always on and never at meals! But I've watched my share of ESPN and mind numbing shows while up with sick kids, and it does help pass the time, I am addicted to HGTV when I have time to view it too. PBS has always been a big hit in our house too.

Hope the rest of the trip continues to be fabulous.

scarp said...

As a pretty chatty person speaking here...

I need noise in the car if I'm driving or I get sleepy and dangerous. As a passanger, I can often be happy to watch the scenery quietly, although I'm not sure on a long trip.

But I often go on walks alone specifically for the quiet. Sometimes it's a God time for me, and I pray through things with little to distract me. Other times, I just let it be quiet - the combination of exercise and silence calm and 'cleanse' me.

Funny, because when it comes to 'talkativeness', I would have aligned myself more with you than Jrex...

OTR mama said...

I was lucky when I drove from Cincy to Portland that the AAA triptik guy was excited to show me places I wanted to see. I got to go through the Rosebud reservation, where Margie taught our 1st yr. out of college, and drove over gravel reservation roads to Wounded Knee in the first soft snow of winter, up through the Badlands, over the crazy mountains listening to John Denver, and past towns which made my heart feel like a part of America. Mt. R sounds awful to me, so I'm glad your replacing the time spent there with solitude and elks. I played every CD I owned on the way, plus listened to a bunch of sermons a friend had recorded for me. But the silence for praying, esp. when surrounded by such beauty, is priceless for me.

The genetic thing IS so weird. I met a cousin of Mike's from Mississippi who had never met another cousin of his from Ohio...they had the exact lankiness and mannerisms - it was amazing - only the accent was different!

I love your blog!

Anonymous said...

It's a joy to track your trip westward through
your blogs. Blessings to you both. You're
a blessing to me.

zelda1 said...

I would love the silence on the hikes, and I'm with you on the silence in the room. I hate having all that stimulation near where I am trying to fall asleep. So, we have one TV and it's in the living room. Your pictures are beautiful.