There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold; …
So begins The Cremation of Sam McGee, the famous poem by Robert Service. I’ve heard these lines, and all the others time and again over the years, but I can’t believe it’s taken this long to hear them spoken (incorrectly, I might add) by Johnny Cash. The reading appears on the 2006 album Personal Fire and it can be heard at NPR.
Wet, heat, cold, hunger, thirst, difficult travel, insects, hard beds, aching muscles—all these at one time or another will be your portion. If you are of the class that cannot have a good time unless everything is right with it, stay out of the woods. One thing at least will always be wrong. When you have gained the faculty of ignoring the disagreeable thing and concentrating your powers on the compensations, then you will have become a true woodsman and to your desires the forest will always be calling.
—Stewart Edward White, The Forest