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Uncle Rico

David Stillman Speaks

Some of you may know David, or at least know of him. I spoke to David recently to find out what he's been up to. Here's what he had to say.

On the other hand, [the blog] wasnít fun anymore. I began to understand that the need to generate new material, to stay popular and relevant, and to one-up myself every time I went out was really not what I wanted to be about anymore. It started reminding me of Caesar; Vini, Vidi, Vici and all that. I just gradually started to feel like the blog, and not my time in the woods, was what was more important. When finally recognized what these feelings were I decided it was time for a change.

I hope Mr. Stillman gets over his Caesar complex, because I, for one, simply enjoyed reading his articulate stories and learning about new routes. Maybe he feels he has nothing left to learn from the general hiking community, and so why should he share more of his secret wisdom, receiving nothing in exchange. That's fine. To each his own. But I never expected him to continue one-upping himself in perpetuum. That's ridiculous. I expected him to do what he wants to do and write about it on his blog. Clearly he still has that desire within him.

To this day, every time I go out and come back with great photos and a solid tale I want to post. The bug is still alive, but I
also realize that Iíd be less active in the Los Padres, and I certainly wouldnít be out there doing 25 mile peak bagging days. Mostly because I donít feel I have anything to prove. Iím content that I left a record of achievement in that forest that stands on itís own.

Mr. Stillman, you do realize that your blog doesn't have to be limited to 25-mile peakbagging trips in the Los Padres, right? You don't feel you have anything to prove? Maybe you have nothing to prove in the Los Padres. But you have plenty left to prove on your blog. Prove that you actually have a "solid tale to post." Let the bug roam free!
David R

I enjoyed reading the Stillman hikes and still use it as a reference but there was an ego undercurrent in all of his writings. Even when it was a standard peak there was typically some flowery language to make it something more then it was. This clearly is underlined in his answers in the Q&A. Burd started similarly in his early writings but then he did so many difficult hikes that it just became commonplace and his writing showed it.

On another topic, I have no idea who knows the Los Padres best in that area. There are plenty of hikers that I have met in very odd places who never post or talk about their accomplishments and that suits them just fine. I would say that for myself I typically write about 10% of my hikes in the San Gabes and every time I do I try to have a purpose for that writing otherwise its my personal experience to savor. Forum Index -> General Discussion
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