Second nature


It’s hard to realize how far from nature I actually am.

Last weekend, I went camping with friends in the West Virginia Highlands. The campground was about an hour from pretty much anything. We almost ran out of gas getting out.
It took 40 minutes to get to a hiking trail and when we found one, it ended abruptly after three quarters of a mile – overgrown and scattered with baby pine trees. It was impossible to tell which direction the trail used to go in. Even the service road looked like it would take some bushwhacking before being able to pass.
Nevertheless, the road to get to the campground was paved. To get there from the main road, we had to drive on at least an hour of perfectly paved road through a forest. Even though it was remote, it wasn’t that hard to get to.
It made me notice how well most hiking trails in my area are maintained. It made me notice how far from nature I typically am while hiking. Usually, I think of hiking as getting some time in nature. But really, it’s just getting some time in another fabricated space. In second nature, on top of first nature, which is long gone.
Do you ever think about how few people ever go places beyond what’s been built by humans? I don’t think I ever have been.


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