Riding through and around weather, weathering communication

Considering we’re at a campsite in the photo, it would seem we might be getting some hiking in too. But we’re actually just riding moto for a few days. A friend keeps contacting me to plan rides, which leaves little time for making backpacking plans. But when at camp, it’s the same acoustics and smells of the woods that draw me out anyway. I have wanted to backpack the last few months, but not day hike. Every time I start to plan it, this friend contacts me for some ride through the Cascades. I guess they’re the same mountains I hike anyway. We rode south through rain, going through the valley west of the mountains, and more rain while heading east into the foothills. Rains stopped about halfway through the range; after that, dry weather for the rest of the three-day loop.

It appears here that my friend’s fuel container is aflame and we just aren’t concerned about it, but that is actually the camp fire:

Trailheads started at this campsite, but all we did was sit and accompany the fire crackle with conversation while rain we carried all the way from the valley was driven from our boots by the fire. There’s a patch of blue, dusky sky still in the trees, seen though the moment’s fire-heated northern California air:

And apparently I said something smug:

Riding between rain storms might be the most immersed feeling part of rides, though I really enjoy moving through landscapes in general. Riding is certainly different than driving. I guess more like horseback riding; I can see why people enjoy that too, but I prefer moto over horse for various reasons. Anyway, it’s enjoyable, the way by chance my road will head straight into or dodge a rain storm. It’s nice to look ahead at the route in relation to the storm, see which way a downpour-containing air mass is moving compared to me, smell and feel the changes to the air, see clear sky ahead that will warm me especially if there’s good elevation loss on the way to it. Then roll out of national forest through foothills and farmland into a small town.

You can’t tell in this photo, but this northern CA diner makes amazing Mexican breakfast:

I didn’t get bored enough to backpack this summer. That sounds disparaging toward the activity, but it isn’t. I agree with the thought that it’s important to have opportunity to become bored uninterrupted. I think before continuous presence of electronic devices, we had uninterrupted boredom that allowed for certain creativity to emerge or initiate. And although backpacking and its planning aren’t especially creative, it’s akin or somehow related to the creative process. It seems that lack of activity, reading, and entertainment is necessary before a backpacking trip materializes. Almost like it needs its space to develop. It’s like the creative process, which seems to occur when there aren’t other stimuli bombarding the mind. Or maybe it’s not absence of stimulus that’s key, but absence of doing/activity. Mostly this is how it seems to work out. Maybe this is how the moto trip originated for my friend.

When I talk to this particular friend, there seems to be from him no words that are just loosely-related to the conversation or to the last sentence said. I think “focused” would describe them. Not intentional on his part; I think it’s just how he converses. It sounds ordinary, but you realize it’s not very common when you hear it. Maybe his thinking is normal and it’s just the articulation that’s unusually focused. Perhaps it’s just that superfluous sentences are excluded.

I wonder if this kind of focus would prevent the problem where two parties discussing two topics believe they’re discussing one. The unseen topic difference adds tension to a conversation or argument, often prevents forward movement yet promotes engagement, albeit with growing disconnect. It’s usually unintentional disconnect, unintended by the participants. It’s ironic how slight disconnect promotes a forced, entangled engagement, usually if it’s contentious content. If in friendly conversation, then the disconnect can shorten the conversation; there’s perhaps a smile and a polite ending of the conversation with “enjoy your day”, maybe followed by some head scratching separately. But back to my friend, I bet PR has little effect on him because the communication flaws/disconnect that PR emits and monetizes probably wouldn’t get through or take hold.

Maybe such focus also decreases and corrects the poor habit of drawing a conclusion prematurely and discussing it instead of the info. that surrounds or leads to it. Drawing conclusions prematurely can be accidental, or intentional (in the case of some PR — premature conclusion is probably a sneaky way of switching or adding subjects for sustaining conflict/separation or sales). Anyway, there does seem a natural or unconscious habit of forgetting the supporting info. and drawing a premature conclusion. Maybe scientists struggle with the timing of conclusion. But I guess at some point, a possible explanation must be proposed so findings can be applied. So it’s the timing of a conclusion that aids or blocks understanding.

Besides not pitting two parties against each other, a focus on supporting observations and a delay in drawing conclusions can also cause the party taking this approach to win or end the feud at hand.

I guess in scientific method, conclusions in proper time are sought. And in PR, conclusions are often timed instead to monetize misunderstanding, e.g., to sell or to sway votes with divide-and-conquer or other methods, with the ultimate goal obscured and likely financial. And in personal or work settings, conclusion drawing can be avoided to end conflict by sticking with the basis facts or with observations having little or no conclusion stains.

It also makes me think basis facts or observations of a conversation are relatively real while the conclusions never are but instead are the truest possible painting of the scenario. Basis facts are more upstream, closer to the headwaters/origin. But ironically, it’s often the conclusions that can be used or implemented, function as more real. Kind of like the basis facts are potential energy and the unreal conclusions are kinetic energy, even though an apple striking ones head seems more real than the preceding stress in the fruit’s stem. But then the eccentric scientist sitting in the tree’s shade didn’t observe the stress on the stem, only the apple on his head. So the upstream factor (stress on the stem) isn’t real to the person under the tree, while the apple on the head is. But we mustn’t talk apples and oranges like that; classical and quantum really are different things.

I think I’ll break here for brunch.


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