View Full Version : Nature, Outdoorsy, or Mountain Quotes

02-01-2011, 08:00 PM
Hey Everyone,

I wrote a blog posting yesterday on a few of my favorite nature quotes and thought it may make an interesting/fun thread with the group we have here (could bomb too...time will tell!). For some reason, I love notable nature quotes, as many people do. Obviously, guys like John Muir have a ton of them. These are the three I highlighted...which you may or may not know:

"The mountains are calling and I must go" - John Muir

"A mountain has no need for people, but people do need mountains. We go to them for their beauty, for the exhilaration of standing closer to mysterious skies, for the feeling of triumph that comes from having labored to reach a summit." - Earl Hamner, Jr.

In reference to the Old Man on the Mountain: "Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoemakers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but in the mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men." - Daniel Webster

If you have a favorite wilderness/nature/mountain quote, it would be great if you listed it here. Let's see if we can get a good list of them. I'd love to see some new ones that I've never stumbled across!


02-04-2011, 04:23 PM
I like an excerpt from a JRR Tolkien poem in "Fellowship of the Ring."
"Not all those who wander are lost."

Although it can describe many things, I it apply it to my desire for aimless exploration of the outdoors.

02-04-2011, 06:44 PM
Most of my favorites are John Muir. The one on my signature is one of the best. The one you used Karl is another. Here are a few more:

Wherever we go in the mountains, or indeed in any of God?s wild fields, we find more than we seek.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.

I used to envy the father of our race, dwelling as he did in contact with the new-made fields and plants of Eden; but I do so no more, because I have discovered that I also live in ?creation's dawn?. The morning stars still sing together, and the world, not yet half made, becomes more beautiful every day.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.

The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.

Society speaks and all men listen, mountains speak and wise men listen

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.

In God's wildness lies the hope of the world

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.

And perhaps the best of all...

Going to the mountains is going home.

02-05-2011, 09:49 AM
Rough were the mountain stones, and the path very narrow...
At dawn I left the mountain and, alone, lost my way;
In and out, up and down, while a heavy mist
Made book and mountain green and purple, brightening everything.
I am passing pines and oaks which ten men could not girdle.
I am treading pebbles barefoot in swift-running water --
Its ripples purify my year, while a soft wind blows my garments...
These are things which, in themselves, make life happy...

By Han Yu, from a 1980s Early Winters mini-book The Outdoor Muse

Jimmy Legs and Little d
02-05-2011, 11:48 AM
Karl, Here is one of our favorites:

I want to live in the mountains capped with white snow
In a cozy warm cottage with a garden below
Where asters grow purple and goldenrods sways
In the New Hampshire hills I will live out my days
The seasons will bring me the beauty I seek
As I witness the splendor of the highest white peaks
The snow in the springtime will melt fast away
White birch trees will dance as they rock and sway
Summer will find me where wild flowers grow
In spectacular colors I choose not to mow
The glory of autumn in colors of gold
Will thrill me completely until I grow old.

Linda May Pitman 2002


02-05-2011, 12:11 PM
Believe you can and you're halfway there -T. Roosevelt

Speak softly and carry a big stick -T. Roosevelt

OK, they're not really mountain quotes, but I think they do speak to the creation of our NPS as he did so much.....

For mountains:

The mountains are calling and I must go - J. Muir

And, whatever Horace Albright siad to Mr. & Mrs. Rockefellr standing there on that ridge looking down to the Teton's.... just think if they hadn't had that conversation the "snake river land company" would never have been formed by John Rockefeller, and that land may have never been bought up & dedicated to save the Tetons

02-05-2011, 12:14 PM
kinda of topic but here's a pretty unique snapshot of history showing Muir hard at work

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.nps.gov/discovery2000/photos/leader-large.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.nps.gov/discovery2000/photo-leader.htm&usg=__OUzpn4DF5NHFtTDvav0bFAKJm5c=&h=428&w=428&sz=39&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=8mKKGRIDEeF6mM:&tbnh=146&tbnw=158&ei=P4VNTaq_Foiq8AaT86WjDg&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpicture%2Bjohn%2Bmuir%2Band%2Bteddy%2 Broosevelt%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3DVWm%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26biw%3D1920%26bih%3D1023%26tbs%3Disch :1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=135&vpy=63&dur=3989&hovh=225&hovw=225&tx=170&ty=147&oei=P4VNTaq_Foiq8AaT86WjDg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=66&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0

02-08-2011, 06:34 AM
I just finished reading Good Morning Midnight - the biography of Guy Waterman by Chip Brown - and came across the quote from Guy from Forrest and Crag. A great testament to these places that we all love so much.

"Whatever else, these hills of the Northeast have been and will be unfailingly interesting. Certainly they are small - absurdly small to be called mountains in comparison to the world's great ranges. But that smallness gives them their intimate connection to people. . . . The very scale of the world's big ranges limits the possibilities of human activity in them. Only the few well-trained mountaineers can make them their playground or experience their varied moods. But the hills of the Northeast - capable of savage ferocity on occasions but friendly and welcoming on others - are available to all who respond to the natural world. . . . Considering the scope, diversity and depth of their human relationships, these little hills may well be the most interesting mountains on the face of the earth."

How true...

02-08-2011, 07:32 AM
Wow, great set of quotes guys! I'm sure there are a ton more out there, too!

@redthorne - That's a great one...that's certainly true among the folks here!

@Mark - You picked out some great Muir quotes! The "good tidings" one is one of my favorites. Love the last quote you just posted. It certainly does our mountains justice. I also think they are the most interesting mountains on the face of the earth!

@Donna - That's a great Pitman poem. I've never heard that before and is now one of my favorites. Sums up what I want in life, too!

@Surferclimber - Pulling out Teddy was a great idea. I had no idea he had such an impact on the NPS network until I watched Ken Burn's National Parks. Those are good quotes and I think they can be applied. Especially "believe you can and you're half way there"...that applies to my hikes each time I hit a trailhead :)

Thanks everyone for the awesome quotes.


rockin rex
02-08-2011, 09:36 AM
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings is one of my favorites. Since my wife and I were getting married on Mount Washington we had wedding invitations made that were mountain themed. This was the quote we had on the front of the invitation. John Muir was an amazing author.

02-09-2011, 07:21 AM
The Webster quote has been one of my favorites for quite a few years. It's been in my signature on this, and a few other forums as well.

a quote which has always been near and dear to me and can be considered outdoorsy when applied properly is, "Hey, watch this!", can also be not so famous last words.


02-19-2011, 08:32 AM
This one isn't from anyone famous, just someone named Paul that I met last year during flags on the 48. It was just something he came up with while a few of us were talking on one of the summits.

"Go hiking, it's like the flu, only outdoors. You are tired, achy, and your nose runs."

Bill O
02-19-2011, 12:02 PM
I wish we could all live in the mountains at high altitude. That's where I see myself
in five years.

Phil Connors, Groundhog Day

Oh, John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt probably had some more famous ones.

03-04-2011, 11:36 AM
Hi folks - all great quotes!! Here's a short one to live by . . .

Aspire to inspire before you expire . . .

You have all done that, here, with your "inspiring" quotes. Can't wait to get out there this Spring! Although I'll sure miss the cross country skiing . . .