Country or Outdoorsy: What’s the Dif?

Saxifrage aka Rockbreaker

Delicate flower with a tough name

This flower is a Saxifrage. Here is another. And another. And another. These plants have similar names but are different in essential ways. In the same way a county person or an outdoorsy person are types of folks often confused for each other—people often think these words describe the same type of person but they don’t.

A wonderful woman I know is outdoorsy.She kayaks, rafts, hikes, bikes, plays volleyball and goes for long walks.She is constantly playing in the rural landscape and is in the best shape of almost anyone I know. But she is not a country woman.

I am a country woman but not outdoorsy. I love the countyside and I do go for long walks but I can spend whole days curled on a couch with a book and feel satisfied. And, I have lived around ranches and out in the boonies most of my life, I have picked up a few points of view that aren’t common in most of America and aren’t necessarily held by outdoorsy folk.

The simplest way to illustrate this is to give an example. One day my friend took her two beloved dogs on a walk in the desert. When she came back, she described how, as they topped a hill, the dogs had spied a herd of cows grazing. Excited and barking madly, the two happy creatures bounded madly after the cattle. Reluctantly she called them in because, as she explained, she worried the dogs might get cactus spines in their feet.

If you are a country person, there is something you would be thinking about long before you worried about thorns. What is it?

No country person would let their dog chase someone else’s animals. We’ve all been raised on tales of sheep with their throats ripped out, horses hamstrung, and cows with broken legs. We’ve seen baby fawns taken down and torn apart by packs of normally friendly family pups. We don’t want to cause that pain to another animal. We don’t want to financially cripple a hard working farmer whose prize ram is worth more than a new pickup.

She’s not a bad or thoughtless woman. In fact, she’s funny, intelligent, and caring. She just hasn’t lived with the practical consequences of life in rural areas long enough. If she stays around ranches, she’ll learn about dogs. . . (and maybe even about guns.)

 ________________

Speaking of guns, I’m willing to bet that country people are some of the few to be willing to cut this woman some slack. Not that I agree with her but I’m willing to bet she’s neither crazy nor mean just country raised.

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26 comments

  • Kym, that question is so easy that I’m not going to answer and spoil it for you, but I will have a lenghty comment later on this subject. It has a lot to do with why we don’t raise sheep anymore.

  • Kym, that question is so easy that I’m not going to answer and spoil it for you, but I will have a lenghty comment later on this subject. It has a lot to do with why we don’t raise sheep anymore.

  • Oops! I answered the question, then I saw that you had already answered it

  • Oops! I answered the question, then I saw that you had already answered it

  • I know the Hurlbutt’s used to and probably still have a lot of problems with dogs killing and injuring their animals. (I knew you’d know the answer right away, Ernie;>)

    BTW, just after I posted this I saw the article above and updated this post to include her story. What do you think, Ernie?

  • I know the Hurlbutt’s used to and probably still have a lot of problems with dogs killing and injuring their animals. (I knew you’d know the answer right away, Ernie;>)

    BTW, just after I posted this I saw the article above and updated this post to include her story. What do you think, Ernie?

  • Well, this is a tough one, because I know the controversy over guns.

    If that were my grandmother, who knew how to use a gun well, and hunted and killed many animals for food. He would have been perfectly safe as long as he did exactly what she told him to do.

    She had no way of knowing if he was an intruder or someone sizing the place up for a later robbery. The salient point being; it is her property and she has the right to protect herself and her property with a gun. My grandmother always said don’t pack a gun unless you intend to use it. If the man had been unwise enough to confront her, his toes would have been full of bullet holes.

    If it had been a stray dog headed toward her sheep, the dog would have already been dead, with one shot.

  • Well, this is a tough one, because I know the controversy over guns.

    If that were my grandmother, who knew how to use a gun well, and hunted and killed many animals for food. He would have been perfectly safe as long as he did exactly what she told him to do.

    She had no way of knowing if he was an intruder or someone sizing the place up for a later robbery. The salient point being; it is her property and she has the right to protect herself and her property with a gun. My grandmother always said don’t pack a gun unless you intend to use it. If the man had been unwise enough to confront her, his toes would have been full of bullet holes.

    If it had been a stray dog headed toward her sheep, the dog would have already been dead, with one shot.

  • I think she overreacted but… I doubt she is anything but a cranky old lady who got tired of strangers getting too close to her house.

  • I think she overreacted but… I doubt she is anything but a cranky old lady who got tired of strangers getting too close to her house.

  • Would they be beef cattle up on the ridges and high country? Cows tend to be down on the flats. Not being a cowboy, but am from the country, but not outdoorsy, we called them cattle, not cows. Nitpicking, I guess. A country person will pee outside, (regardless of gender) an outdoorsy person would wait to get back to the porta potty at the parking lot.

  • Would they be beef cattle up on the ridges and high country? Cows tend to be down on the flats. Not being a cowboy, but am from the country, but not outdoorsy, we called them cattle, not cows. Nitpicking, I guess. A country person will pee outside, (regardless of gender) an outdoorsy person would wait to get back to the porta potty at the parking lot.

  • I love that last reply there- I have to agree, having been a country person myself, and ready to pee outside whenever the need arises. Of course, now that I live in the “city,” I have to be a bit more modest. Funny tho- my boys haven’t lived in the country, but they pee anywhere still. I keep trying to explain to my 10 and 6 year old that perhaps our kind old neighbors in their 80’s don’t want to watch them drop their drawers in the front yard.

  • I love that last reply there- I have to agree, having been a country person myself, and ready to pee outside whenever the need arises. Of course, now that I live in the “city,” I have to be a bit more modest. Funny tho- my boys haven’t lived in the country, but they pee anywhere still. I keep trying to explain to my 10 and 6 year old that perhaps our kind old neighbors in their 80’s don’t want to watch them drop their drawers in the front yard.

  • Ekovox, I wasn’t there and she said ‘cows’ so I kept her terminology. And you are absolutely right about the peeing thing!

    Lynn, my boys had to be restrained from peeing against wall of the Bookstore in Redway in the Post Office parking lot. Once they were particularly outraged when I said no and another hill lady directed her kid to pee there.

  • Ekovox, I wasn’t there and she said ‘cows’ so I kept her terminology. And you are absolutely right about the peeing thing!

    Lynn, my boys had to be restrained from peeing against wall of the Bookstore in Redway in the Post Office parking lot. Once they were particularly outraged when I said no and another hill lady directed her kid to pee there.

  • Well, for me if I see a beautiful stretch of river, I immediately wish I had my fishing rod, not a kayak. I guess that makes me country rather than outdoorsy? As kids we used to run all around the woods and I guess if we were outdoorsy, we’d have called it hiking.

    When I left Miranda to go to school at U.C. Davis, my friends there, mostly from the Bay Area, often asked me what it was like growing up in such a small place. My response always was “I don’t know. I’ve got nothing to compare it against.”

  • Well, for me if I see a beautiful stretch of river, I immediately wish I had my fishing rod, not a kayak. I guess that makes me country rather than outdoorsy? As kids we used to run all around the woods and I guess if we were outdoorsy, we’d have called it hiking.

    When I left Miranda to go to school at U.C. Davis, my friends there, mostly from the Bay Area, often asked me what it was like growing up in such a small place. My response always was “I don’t know. I’ve got nothing to compare it against.”

  • Often, though not always outdoorsy people have expensive toys. Country people do too sometimes (quads, guns, tractors) but most of those ‘toys’ help put food on the table in some way while the outdoorsy peoples toys are for joy (I’m not knocking it, I’m just noting it).

  • Often, though not always outdoorsy people have expensive toys. Country people do too sometimes (quads, guns, tractors) but most of those ‘toys’ help put food on the table in some way while the outdoorsy peoples toys are for joy (I’m not knocking it, I’m just noting it).

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  • the dark humor lords had their way with me one late weekday night in redway…returning from the bay area i stopped at the redway post office to check my mail. it was rainy, only two cars were in the murrish lot, so i “hid” in front of my truck and started to micturate. sure enough a car pulls into the lot and has to park right beside me causing me to send the panic signal to shut down the “peecock” valve. as with the older model valves, there is a lag time to get it open or shut sometimes, and well…. it was a towel on the seat ride home for me. and i have never tried to pee in that lot ever again.
    if peeing outside wherever you want is a determinant of country or outdoorsy, boy does beer bring out the country (and other stuff) in folks!

  • the dark humor lords had their way with me one late weekday night in redway…returning from the bay area i stopped at the redway post office to check my mail. it was rainy, only two cars were in the murrish lot, so i “hid” in front of my truck and started to micturate. sure enough a car pulls into the lot and has to park right beside me causing me to send the panic signal to shut down the “peecock” valve. as with the older model valves, there is a lag time to get it open or shut sometimes, and well…. it was a towel on the seat ride home for me. and i have never tried to pee in that lot ever again.
    if peeing outside wherever you want is a determinant of country or outdoorsy, boy does beer bring out the country (and other stuff) in folks!

  • Olmanriver, I’ve been known to have a drip or two when unexpected company dropped by while my drawers were dropped so your story tickled me. In fact, I’m still grinning.

  • Olmanriver, I’ve been known to have a drip or two when unexpected company dropped by while my drawers were dropped so your story tickled me. In fact, I’m still grinning.

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