Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the same three questions

Did you ever realize that most of the time people ask you the same three questions?

It's been true for me. And there is a definite pattern to them depending on where they were asked.

As a wilderness ranger in the White Clouds:
"How heavy is that pack?'
"Are you ALONE out here?"
"Aren't you afraid of (fill  in the blank: bears, mountain lions, people)?"

In a lonely, windswept cow town I won't name, but is in Eastern Oregon and starts with B:
"What does your husband do?" (I was single)
"Do you have kids?"
"Do you hunt?"

Working for the National Park Service in Nevada, Washington, California, Wisconsin, et al:
"What countries are you traveling to this winter?"
"What other parks have you worked in?"
"Wanna go (fill in the blank: caving, hiking, to the hot springs)?"

As a firefighter in the Everglades:
"Were you in Yellowstone in '88?"
"How many years you been fightin' fire?"
"Aren't you afraid of (fill in the blank: snakes, alligators, panthers)?"

In Alaska:
"What kind of gun do you carry?"
"Do you have a boat?"
"Are you married?"

And here in Wallowa County:
"Do you ski?"
"How do you like it here?"
"Have you been to (fill in the blank: the canyon, the river, Don's barn dance) yet?"

What about you? What are YOUR three questions? How do they define where you live?
On the beach in the West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness. "Is it flat enough to camp here?" "Any bear sign?" "Any more trail mix left?"


  1. Mine aren't so exciting. I get/say 'WTF?' a lot. :-) That pretty much defines where I live, work, and what I do.

  2. Do you really stay here (in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) ALL WINTER?

    Aren't you afraid of the (mosquitoes, wildlife, quiet/solitude, cold)?

    Have you been to the (Ice Caves, Pictured Rocks, Copper Country, Porkies)?

  3. Of New Hampshire...
    Aren't you afraid of hitting a moose?
    How can you stand the winters?
    How far from Boston are you?

  4. And if you get a fourth question:

    From UP natives (looking apprehensive) to visitors: Are you going to move here?

  5. In Northeast WA we get "Will winter be as crazy as last years?" Even if the previous year's wasn't too bad. "How do you drive in this stuff?" This question is asked in all four seasons. Winter = snow, every other season = construction.

  6. Do people really live here year round?
    What do you do in the winter?
    Is there a grocery store on the island?
    And on and on and on.

  7. heh. When traveling with my shovel to far-flunk AK: you goin' clamming, girlie? Is that gun really yours? Do you fish?

  8. -Do you miss Alaska?
    -Have you been to Burning Man yet? (or more accurately for me, "You haven't been to Burning Man??!")
    I guess Reno folks don't care enough to ask a third.

    When I was a Wilderness Kayak Ranger in Misty, though, it was:
    -Where do you live out here?
    -Tell us a bear story
    -What does your mother think of your being out here? (like I asked her)


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