Tuesday, August 7, 2018

JOMO

"Did you see the naked hiker?" a couple of women asked. We were all at a stream crossing, taking off our shoes to ford.

Yes, yes I had. Wearing nothing but a backpack, he was spotted at the junction of a popular trail. He has to be wearing tan shorts, I initially thought. But...nope. I was almost sad I had missed the guy in a loincloth with six goats. (I am not making this up)

But all strangeness aside, I headed happily up the trail to one of my favorite canyons. It's a difficult hike, which keeps people out. When I had arrived at the trailhead, more vehicles than I had ever seen greeted me. People had parked haphazardly along the road and the bushes. I sighed with relief that I didn't have the recreation staff officer job here anymore. Someone else's problem! And 99% of those people were in one place--the Lakes Basin--where I have decided I can't go until after Labor Day (and it never used to be that way.)

But I left all that behind in a lush, river-divided canyon. Nobody was in sight except for two day hikers and a couple of pack strings, one packing people in, the other packing people out. Me, I was carrying my own gear (I hope I always can). I passed by beautiful Sky Lake, where I have camped often....


But decided to keep going, what's a few more miles, three to four to be not quite exact, but who cares:

That lake looks like it's a long way down!

Where there was still snow:



and drop down to the horribly misnamed Swamp Lake.

Swimming is the best in a high alpine lake!

While it does boast a swamp on one end, it is a breathtakingly beautiful place to camp. That night it was only me and a foursome, who invited me to their camp (this is becoming a pattern). While we sat around, them in the chairs the horses had brought in, me on a rock, I watched Ruby roam around the lake. She is a FOMO dog, I explained, forever fearful of missing out.

One of the women leaned back in her chair. "I'm a fan of JOMO, myself," she said. "The Joy of Missing Out."

We watched a ferocious storm cloud fortunately track over to the basin next to us, rumbles of thunder heralding its approach. There was something to that, I thought. Instead of worrying about missing out, pick one thing and enjoy it to the fullest. Don't worry about what you should be doing, or could be doing. She said she was planning to sit right in the chair and read the next day, regardless of all the hiking opportunities around.

I kind of love this. I'm going to adopt it.
Dog in sun
Even a FOMO dog needs her rest

22 comments:

  1. It would have to be a pretty good book to keep me in camp. Too antsy to see what's around the next bend or over the next rise :)

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    1. I feel the same way! I always tell myself I am going to just sit and read but never can do it!

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  2. The Slow Home podcast talks about JOMO a lot. Definitely something to embrace from time to time!

    And as much as I wish I had these places in my back yard, I can't imagine the crowds. We have some areas around here that are getting busier but it still isn't what the mountain west sees.

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    1. When I say "crowded" I am really being spoiled. This is nothing like the Western Slope in Colorado for example, or Mount Hood. Like this weekend I saw less than ten people. It's just that I am used to less than most people! It isn't that bad.

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  3. Working on JOMO myself. Glad to hear that area is still not discovered. We won't be out there this year but have it on the radar in the future. So nice you have it in your backyard!

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    1. Definitely the place to go, a lot of potential for loops, etc and lots of solitude. LMK when you come back!

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  4. Let me know if you actually ever sit down and read instead of going for a hike, I can't picture it. I on the other hand have backpacked in with a 3in thick book that came in the mail with the intent of laying a egg ound and reading it the next day. I have done exactly that. In my favorite place with Solitude, silence, no humans around. Bliss.

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    1. I always plan to do this but dont. I think it's because I have a sedentary job and when I can, I have to move.

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  5. Back when I lived in Juneau, I took the ferry for a two-night bike camping trip in Sitka with an enormous hardbound Harry Potter book. By afternoon on the second day I'd read the entire thing, and eventually got bored enough lying in my tent that I boosted myself out in the pouring rain for a bike ride. If Kindle existed back then, I probably would have just read all weekend.

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    1. Was I in Sitka then? Where did you camp, at the campground? Where did you ride? There's not a lot of places....

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    2. I camped at the campground near the ferry terminal. And rode some logging roads on the other side of town. This is my blog post about it: http://www.jilloutside.com/2007/09/sitka-all-silver-and-gray.html

      It was September 2007, so I believe you were there at the time?

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    3. I was! But I don't think I had found your blog yet.

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  6. I like the sound of both Fomo and Jomo. For me, I think there is a place for both.

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    1. Agree, I don't want to give up things, but I like the idea of being at peace with not trying to do everything.

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  7. I think, as I get older, I will try more to embrace the JOMO where it is needed and let go of some of the FOMO. It's not easy to let go of some of things you enjoyed doing, but there are other joys to be had, and some are surprisingly joyful!

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    1. I miss fighting fire and being able to run long distances, but I've found some good replacements.

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  8. JOMO doesn't necessarily mean doing the quiet thing. It means embracing what you did decide to do and not worrying about all the other stuff. So don't lament not reading the book!

    When I lived in SE Alaska, I often felt it was a great place to live but not necessarily to visit. Living there you can take advantage of the nice days, easily prepare for the not-so-nice, and hold up inside if you want without as much FOMO!

    Tom
    Fairbanks

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    1. You're right! I actually suffered from FOMO there though on sunny days. Should I run, kayak, hike? But I do agree, it is a better place to live than visit.

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  9. Winter camping is perfect for reading a lot. Summer....not so much. Our summer here has been cut short with all the fires nearby. My favorite campground (Oak Bottom at Whiskeytown) is completely gone. That's where I usually/used to take my solo trips. :(

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    1. Oh bummer. I was wondering what happened to Whiskeytown.

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