View Full Version : inspiration for 09ers

02-13-2009, 15:26
I was concerned about money for my thru hike since i currently do not have a job and I would probably spend the majority of money that I have on this thru hike. I came across this quote from an autobiography of Sterling Hayden. After reading this I know now I am 100% sure of what I am about to do. I hope this inspires some of you too.

To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea-"cruising," it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
"Iíve always wanted to sail the South Seas, but I canít afford it." What these men canít afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the routine of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.
What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. Thatís all - in the material sense. And we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

02-13-2009, 15:41
Bankruptcy of purse - I like that. It's what I chose many years ago. My life is full, my bank account (quite literally, right now) is empty. My only regret is that I don't have the financial wherewithal to help those in true financial need. The best I can do is offer a pad on the floor in my basement apartment, but I have all I'll ever need and then some.

02-13-2009, 15:42
Thanks for posting, very cool :)

Lone Wolf
02-13-2009, 15:44
yup. hit the trail with very little money. you'll be off the trail in a very short time. it ain't sailing

02-13-2009, 15:49
With some places offering "work for stay" (though not many, as it gets abused), you could save some $$ in town while doing clothes and taking a shower. If you have a trade, you might be able to take a job for a couple of days in some towns and earn enough to keep hiking. Just don't become a financial (and emotional) anchor to others.

02-13-2009, 16:50
Great quote. Money is a necessity but far too many people become overly attached to it.

02-13-2009, 17:00
Before I leave on March 4th, I needed to put my financial house in order so that I would have the peace of mind to be present with the experience on the trail. That meant getting closure on a number of debts, making out checks for 6 months to leave with my family so my basic bills (car, health ins, monthly stuff, TAXES) are taken care of without a burden to them. I am fortunate to have the resources to go the six months without working, but that took 25 years to build up. Before I could truly make the plan to go the distance, I needed to get honest and make sure financially it was doable. So off I go (my accountant just shook her head), but that's why she is an accountant.

02-13-2009, 17:53
What an awesome quote. Thanks for posting, it's going straight into my 'inspiration' file.

02-14-2009, 09:50
great quote. thanks for this.

02-19-2009, 00:32
yup. hit the trail with very little money. you'll be off the trail in a very short time. it ain't sailing
I imagine you read that quote to criticize, not understand. The opening phrase plainly says "To be truly challenging..." Yea id say anybody can hike the trail if they have thousands of dollars at their expense to stay in hotel rooms all the way up the eastern seaboard, but where is the fun or challenge in that? If you actually read the quote you would see that he acknowleged the fact that food, warmth, and rest are necessities which are obtained by money... but what more do you actually need? So screw your pessimistic attitute, and right on Coyote awesome quote!

02-19-2009, 01:57
LW is correct, "it ain't sailing", but sailors who set off with very little money rarely make it, kinda like some hikers. More likely they're stranded in some rat infested harbor, begging for their next meal or sobbing phone calls to mom for money to get home.

Let's not forget that at a young age Sterling Hayden got paid for going to sea. Later in life he financed his "voyages" with his acting career. If you got a deal like that, then go for it. Otherwise, you might want to file his quote away as BS.

02-19-2009, 02:16
I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, honey, rich is better.
From birth to age eighteen, a girl needs good parents. From eighteen to thirty-five she needs good looks. From thirty-five to fifty-five, she needs a good personality. From fifty-five on, she needs good cash. - Sophie Tucker

FWIW, by age 19 Hayden had his own command at sea. At 28 he was a Marine, transferred to OSS, ran guns in North Africa for them during WWII, was awarded a silver star, then appeared in 27 movies and wrote two books. Not a man who exactly blew off the power of money. If anything, he understood the relationship between money and the degree of freedom it could provide. He used his success to make money to finance that freedom.

Hiker Chris
03-24-2009, 13:34
Couldn't say it any better myself.... good post.