“thinks he has found a name for his outdoor writing blog. “A Taste for the Woods” pretty much describes me. The phrase comes from a letter by historian outdoorsman and writer Francis Parkman. In the letter he corrects a friend for suggesting he was drawn to the subject of the French settlement of Canada by the nobility and grandness of the topic. Instead Parkman wrote “From boyhood I had a taste for the woods….” “
I wrote that Facebook status update a year ago. And what a year its been. Yes, we started a year ago as a diary and “outdoor writing blog”, but we’ve expanded to more than that. And in the upcoming year we will expand further still as we move to our own website. More and more varied articles, and more voices. Gear reviews. Interviews. A podcast. And more to come.
Regardless of the changes I’m still going to be here, and writing about the outdoors. How can I not? Over the past year I’ve experienced marvels I’d never have seen had I remained 400 pounds and trapped in a little room. A writer is nothing without a reader, and in this case thanks to the readers of A Taste For The Woods I’m having outdoor experiences I’d never have considered otherwise. I’ve been a writer all my life, I’ve won awards, but A Taste For The Woods contains my best work, and you challenge me to be better day after day, and post after post. Thank you.
But aside from my growing and challenging myself as an outdoorsman and writer there is an impact from my sharing a story of a former sedentary man rediscovering the outdoors. There are people in the woods who want to play gatekeeper, restricting the wonders of nature to an elite few. Last month a major retailer tried to tell me I wasn’t thin enough to backpack. People are routinely discouraged from participating by an outdoor culture that confuses athleticism with activity. We as a community have the potential to do so much and help so many by dispelling the lies of that outdoor culture, by tearing down the gates. As we grow in the coming year lets all work to show that the outdoors of this great big wonderful world is truly for everyone. Because we all have a taste for the woods.