[...] But at the same time, there’s still a frontier attitude, and the elbow room to go with it; you can have all the rope you want to lasso your big dreams and adventures—or all you need to hang yourself. The lesson: Don’t look to anyone else for help when the grizzly charges and the rifle jams. You made your bet against this country. It’s your fault if you come up short.
There’s a brutal fairness to this sentiment, but I left these conversations feeling that it’s too easy to write off Michael LeMaitre as careless, reckless. How many of us have had near-misses—the somersault over the handlebars 10 miles from the trailhead, or the mini avalanche deep in the backcountry—and then laughed about those epics around the campfire later on when all was well? Have you ever thought how close you’ve come to disaster? We all have a strange friendship with risk. We crave its thrill—who doesn’t want to edge a little closer to the red line where the adrenal gland squeezes and the colors grow brighter? Yet we rarely understand how close we’ve skirted that line, or what’s on the other side. Accidents? Those happen to the other guy. Nobody ever laces up his shoes thinking he’ll lead off the Ten O’Clock News.
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