The Outdoors: Call of the Wild

The regulars stepped off the bus wearing oiled boots, scruffy knapsacks, faded blue jeans. Bright-eyed, they talked of things and places far removed from everyday city life: of lady fern and sorrel, of landmarks with such strange-sounding names as Evolution Valley and Tuolumne Meadows, of high places where the air is pungent with eucalyptus. Their packs held only a few necessities: a knife to carve a walking stick, binoculars clinking against a canteen cup, sandwiches. By contrast, the newcomers in the party wore madras shorts, sneakers, and apprehensive faces. They carried pocketbooks,...

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