My gratitude to H.Garber for the above beautiful images.
Monday, December 21, 2009
'Be well my friends, be well...'
In this time of celebrations, connections, and fun,
During a season that may, like adventures, both invite us and also challenge us,
In the midst of our shared holiday spirits,
As we remember to focus on what is truly important,
Even as so much grasps for our attention,
If the pace gets more than a bit hectic, as when that storm rolled in off of the ocean, or those winds whipped up across that lake,
Pause for your moments, like you did on that elusive summit,
And be well...
Recall your amazing adventure experiences these last twelve months,
Draw upon those many wonderful wild place moments these past four seasons,
Breath them all in again as you share laughter and love with family, friends, and fellows,
And be well my friends, be well Dear Finders,
My gratitude to H.Garber for the above beautiful images.
Posted by Unknown at 9:14 AM
Monday, December 14, 2009
Whispered somethings are always mixed into the gentle sounds of small streams deep within canyon walls... They become part of the music of rain too, both as it falls and then when it strikes about us... Whispered somethings can be sensed just beyond the mists and fog of settled clouds on our solo summit days... They are heard as well when the winds move through old growth trees among the giant coastal forests...
These voices speak so quietly within the waves that caress countless small stones laying patiently upon an open ocean beach... Whispered somethings will always be found among the breezes that pass over shimmering midsummer heat as it moves across ageless desert rock...
We intuitively know they are there... We feel how they call for our return...
We have all heard them... All sensed these so special whispered somethings...
Sounds so soft, voices so quiet, they speak to our very being, say things to each of us in our own unique adventure ways...
They always say just what we need to hear, using a language for our own inner ear.
They help us understand what it means to balanced in mind, body, and spirit while wandering.
There are so many special wild places where they patiently linger, these ancient somethings, that we quietly listen for out there...
My thanks to McCormack for the top image above and to Herwig for the lower image.
Posted by Unknown at 1:21 PM
Monday, December 07, 2009
Adventuring, wandering, seekings...
Setting out towards serendipity.
Looking out there among our most inner terrain.
In the act, within the efforts, are the answers.
The wonderful, the personal, the natural, the subtle, the surreal, the elemental.
The spirit of seeking is the key to what is being sought...
Seekers, seer's, sorcerers, searchers...
What we pursue, we become.
We seek ourselves, yet find so much more...
My appreciation to K. Wardius for the lower image and J. Burchan for the top image above.
Posted by Unknown at 10:09 AM
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
"Eastward the dawn rose, ridge behind ridge into the morning, and vanished out of eyesight... it was no more than a glimmer blending with the hem of the sky, but it spoke to them, out of memory, and old tales, of the high and distant mountains." J. Tolkien
Legends and even older stories tell of the magic of the Dragons Breath... That indirect kind of light, not quite sunrise nor sunset, that reflects back off the mountains from water and ice and other less known particles that drift through the air. Dragons Breath has been said to be the very essence of our own fires too, those from within, that rise from deep in the belly, that we draw upon as we make our wild passions become realities, as we walk with our adventure enthusiasms, as we dream our desires out there... I write this today as I gaze across during this very early hour at a most beautiful mountain embraced by the Breath of a Dragon...
Thank you to G.McCormack for the top image and T.Kennedy for the lower image.
Posted by Unknown at 11:25 AM
Monday, November 30, 2009
Greater than the Bear whose strength is unmatched, the Wolf who understands more than we know. Greater than the Eagle which views all from above, the Rabbit that quietly watches us pass by. Why do we believe we are greater than, when we more truly are of the same family...
They are our Brothers, our Sisters, our Elders...". GrandFather, Mountain Elder
My thanks to J. Sartore for the upper image, and J&J Dutcher for the lower image.
Posted by Unknown at 1:12 PM
Thursday, November 26, 2009
"Magic, as I am using the term, is a sudden opening of the mind to that wonder of experience. It is a sense that there is much more to life than we usually recognize; that we do not have to be confined by the limited views that our family, our society, or our own habitual thoughts impose upon us; that life contains many dimensions, depths, textures, and meanings far beyond our familiar beliefs and concepts." J. Welwood
From within my musings around the flickering campfires out there this last while, to the ponderings by the ancient hearthstones back here, thoughts begin to take shape about how we all sense the wondering importance of the magic of our wanderings...
As in the quotes from these last posts, we read and write such words quietly as we know of the elusiveness of alchemy... We each speak softly of these elements as we have experienced their ephemeral spells... Adventurers seek out our magics among the mountains and valleys, rivers and lakes, coastlines and canyons... We quest through these journeys to embrace the conjuring mysteries and the sorcery within these wild place moments...
Because we know as we sit by the warm hearthstones; we know these whisperings about such beautiful, natural magic...
Are all true.....
My sincere appreciation to G. Wiltsie for the above images.
Posted by Unknown at 11:31 AM
Monday, November 23, 2009
"Magic becomes a kind of habit after we do the difficult, the near impossible, over and over and over again; a habit that operates down in those oldest and deepest levels of the brain and the mind. Where pain and fear can be alchemized into blissful, sublime confidence, and stumblebums wake up to find themselves dancing on the business end of pins." R. Schultheis
Magic... Another of the more elusive elements...
Appreciation to G. Wiltsie for the above images.
Posted by Unknown at 12:42 PM
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
'Today'... I said to myself, 'Today, this is my mountain...' It likely was too in the physical sense as I was scrambling solo, with a very early start, in weather many would not venture out in, upon a very elusive Northern Rockies peak. Yet, I sensed what we all do at times too, within that quiet confidence we all experience, that indeed I felt something beyond the physical in that this day, this mountain was mine...
Not 'mine' in that loud kind of hubris, nor 'mine' as if I could ever own that particular element, but mine in a softer, more surely confident way. If I had an air about me of such positive belief, of such focused energy, in a manner of being so assured - it was only a byproduct like that which we all feel after really thorough preparation, very intense training, repeated reviews of maps & photos, and other details upon details. This was a quiet confidence too as this was a solo day out. None would know I was there, no one would ever see what transpired, no others there to prove something to about this summit. Only those who knew of these plans for safety were aware of these intentions. Such a quiet solo asks for confidence on another level; much as I was taught years ago through Outward Bound experiences. I believe to, that the wild place spirits allow us to embrace the adventure experience more closely at times, if we come to this journey with a certain sense of self blended with a real respect for them...
So, today this was to be my mountain, as I had already decided that notwithstanding all of the preparation, regardless of the end result, of any 'outcome', it was a day to be enjoyed, to have fun, to smile with the wind, to feel strong, to just do my best... Then with these perspectives, I set out surely and confidently, as indeed in those special moments, that day, it was my mountain...
My appreciation to MickRange at Flickr for his images of such mountain days included above:
Posted by Unknown at 1:10 PM
Monday, November 16, 2009
"I love this lake, basin of heavenly tears, tilted from lunar pull, jostling its shore... I love these mountains, stark rock outcroppings, sculpted by the oceans, lifted at some unknown time, isolated in a field of vetch, cleaved by silver falls. A sentinel owl regards me unblinkingly, and beyond alpine forests form a cadence, to a distant moon..." Deng Ming-Dao
Memories of recent adventures... DSD
Appreciation to K.Lehmann for the lower image, and S. Kazlowski for the upper image.
Posted by Unknown at 12:54 PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I recently rediscovered an old passage that told the story of an Elder who planted countless trees during her life. In later years she was still doing so even though most of these trees, she would never see mature, nor would likely ever sit under and enjoy their shade after such efforts...
I was reminded of an adventure experience of our own from ages ago that happened during those impressionable, open eyed, early years we all pass through and often try and hang on to. We met an Elder, back then, who was labouring upon a newer trail bearing towards a valley and mountain range seldom seen. Clearly, the trail would be needed as the possibilities therein for hiking, scrambling, and climbing were many and so intriguing. Ours was likely one of the earliest groups to wander in that remote area, and we were all surprised by our encounter with this trail steward. His age seemed very advanced to ones so young as us, and I smile today when I think I am likely older now than he was back then - but his efforts and strength were drawn from a unique passion, a sense of dedication, a powerful commitment, and were not diminished by any typical chronological measure. Still, that Old Man of the Mountains was working that day upon the beginnings of a potentially very long trail, one that he may never have seen completed, might never have really trekked upon himself, towards a mountain range he would never likely climb among...
I have pondered in that timeless way we all do, over those moments we shared with him during our break that day. Our focus was on the distance, our efforts were to get further out there, and we were not wondering much about what we were standing upon then nor who we were sharing the ground with... Yet I carried that image of him with me throughout our adventures out there the following weeks. There was just something about him... There was a substance to what he was achieving that I had not touched yet, a reflection of commitments and adventures of another kind...
He is surely hiking other paths and climbing higher places of spirit now... That trail he was creating back then is used today by many each season, as they journey towards mountains he never likely climbed... I wonder if they can feel his presence out there as they pass over the ground he prepared and passed forward to us. I sincerely hope so...
Posted by Unknown at 12:50 PM
Monday, November 09, 2009
The higher and farther we go, the more connection, quiet, and solitude we seek.
We don't wonder why...
We simply are grateful for, and accept, and enjoy.
The higher and farther we go...
With appreciation to H. Garber for the above images.
Posted by Unknown at 1:05 PM
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
"No climber, active or inactive, young or old, can help but look back to one of their earlier climbs with a sense that they had touched something beautiful and elusive, and found movement upon rock and ice as creation... In these remembrances most climbers find necessary definition for the rest of their lives." J. Waterman
One of my most favorite quotes... DSD
With gratitude to Gerry Kollmuss for the above beautiful images:
Posted by Unknown at 12:51 PM
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
One of the great things about wandering the wild places, and then sharing our musings about these priceless journeys, is the opportunity to develop kindred spirits - to enjoy the many friendships we have been given from our adventures... Stewart Green is a fellow adventurer, climber, and philosopher; one who connects with us not while only out climbing but through his writing and photography as well. His many musings and images about the wonders of the high places inspire us while also focusing upon the priorities of safety and fun. Being a Guide and a guide book Author seems to be a wonderfully important part of his life and is something that comes through in all of his efforts. We have shared many comments on each of our sites and I so enjoy his series at About.com - Climbing posts.
Stewart's bio notes that he is a native Coloradoan who is lucky enough to live at the foot of Pikes Peak. He is an accomplished Freelance photographer and writer who searches the world for memorable experiences and images to ponder and write about.
Stewart says with enthusiasm that "climbing and a love of high places and the wild places are my passions", and encourages us to join him. He also challenges us to discover the magic out there and to "make your life a grand adventure". I also appreciate his many efforts in giving back to fellow climbers who need a belay in their lives.
Isn't that all we can hope for in a kindred spirit and a fellow adventurer... So let's do our best, my friends, to accept his invitation...
Visit Stewart at: http://climbing.about.com/b/
Posted by Unknown at 12:41 PM
Thursday, October 29, 2009
It is not what some may first think about that which haunts lots of us during the long, sometimes too quiet hours... For many adventurers it is not the darkness and depth of the night that makes us shiver; nor the risks inherent within all adventures which catches our breath at times. Not even the moments of trial and anxieties, and those real tests to one's determination and endurance that shake us on occasion. Fears about the unknown aren't foreboding to such explorers as we. Worries of keeping up or about competition simply are not there anymore for us elders either. The wild places are too welcoming for such wraiths to severely bother those who wander endlessly out there.
What really haunts many of us in those exposed contemplative moments; what truly may keep us up at night sometimes, are not so much these ghostly worries, but more so those ponderings and wonderings of what could have been...
We all have them. Those wishes for what might have been, for what we did not do... Maybe sadness or deep disappointment for dreams not put in motion; and even at times possibly for the loss of the desire to go...
What may in reality haunt many adventurers in those long, quite hours are more the shades of lost moments, unused opportunities, when we may have been distracted by something other than what could have been truly meaningful moments out among the wild places. These are the spirits that may really haunt us if we do not exercise them.....
Posted by Unknown at 10:12 AM
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
"The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical." A. Einstein
I have always loved such quotes and this one, by one of the most prominent thinkers - Einstein, is a cherished favorite. He was a hiker too you know... These are profound words from one who studied matters of the most scientific and physical in his early years. They are an acknowledgement too from one who came to also know the importance of other elements not written about on charts nor able to be seen under the microscope. Einstein was later to develop an awareness into the importance of many things we are not able to touch and yet we truly know of their existence. In his last years, after his many walks most often taken among forested wild places, he would say that he has matured from a scientist to a mystic - and that the sometimes inexpressible wonders of nature allowed such to be for him...
I do so love such musings as this.....
Posted by Unknown at 1:33 PM
Monday, October 26, 2009
Today, while looking over many posts, pictures, and email from you my Friends, I am enjoying just remembering... You have all gone so high and so far in your wonderful adventures, your amazing journeys, and when I look back upon these last seasons of my own wanderings and musings, and over the connections made with you this year - I find myself feeling especially grateful... Because on very selective occasions I have quietly inquired of another fellow adventurer if they might enjoy sharing in, partnering if you will, in this endeavor of giving back and passing forward. In the early days I would journey on my own to gather up, later paint, and much later then appropriately place, these small cobblestone gifts. In the last few years; mostly after beginning this blog, others have been gracious in becoming partners in these placings, companions in this karma... I am so very, very grateful for this...
The reality is that while I do my best, there are so many more skilled adventurers around than myself, so many elusive high and wild places I will never likely see, nor set foot upon, so that inviting a fellow along on occasion has then created a wonderful experience for this shared path... I believe we become good friends within such endeavors and in doing so I have also been allowed to share in your experiences, to follow along on your adventure summits, the canyons, towers and treks and trails upon water & land. As we get older I've found such connections become especially important... So I will always do my very best to ensure that this will never be about getting in the way of another adventurers' interpretation of their experience. I promise too it will never have anything to do with assuming credit for a summit or another adventure goal attained - not by me, but by a fellow partner. Simple things; but important things...
This endeavor is only about offerings, sharing elemental enthusiasms, and hopefully encouraging much personal musing as we each discover individual meanings for our own wanderings...
My sincere appreciation, and enduring gratitude, to each of you, my Friends, for participating as partners in this journey.....
In Memory of: http://summitstonesadventuremusings.blogspot.com/2008/01/there-is-place-we-go-in-mountains.html
Posted by Unknown at 1:47 PM
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
"I'd fallen under its spell in part because of what it was, but also because of what I wanted it to represent." K. Johnson
Our wild places cast many spells upon each of us... We are charmed by deep canyons, so attracted to the fast flowing rivers, always fascinated by the high majestic mountains, often amazed and surprised by the deserts, and forever spellbound by the winds and waves among islands embraced by oceans and lakes... Such incantations touch each of us on the deepest levels of our awareness and spirit as to hold us so closely forever... When we later call these to mind we learn for ourselves again and again what symbolism and meaning adventure journeys represent for each of us. They portray, they affirm, they embody, motivate, and truly manifest our hopes, dreams, and desires for what we want to experience out there - and for who we want to be as adventurers... Such are wild place bewitchments of the very best kind...
Posted by Unknown at 1:52 PM
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
"Unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine, gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr." Lu Yu
I awoke this morning to a deep misty day. Fitting I thought and smiled as we come nearer Halloween...
Posted by Unknown at 11:49 AM
Monday, October 19, 2009
It was a special stone among many unique cobblestones... Discovered and gathered from one of the most remote islands I had ever paddled to. It had weathered the eons through storms and tides, wind and rains, and was polished so perfectly from dancing forever among others of its kind out there. It now held a coastal image upon it, one that reflected night and day, rocks and mountains, beaches and forests, and a rainbow of more colors than is usually seen. It was coated to protect it and now rested within its 'Adventure Muse' waiting quietly for the anticipated journey we were both on. I had selected this wild place objective for reasons of fun, for solitude, to challenge skills recently learned, and to place this small gift in an appropriate established cairn.
The challenges were more than expected, both of difficulty and time - but now here I was, finally resting beside the cairn; slowly and respectfully opening the register... I so enjoy sharing in others' past journal notes enclosed there, and the small gifts they often too may have left.
But when it was the moment to place this Summit Stone, I decided to view it one more time before wishing it well on its way. To my total surprise what was now in the 'Muse' was not one, but amazingly two, distinct and perfectly separated pieces of stone.
This painted cobble had split itself along a seam that ran throughout the rock. There were no loose shards and the pieces fit just right when placed back together. The coating had also protected all of the painted images there. How and when and why this had happened I enjoy pondering ever even today. Yet I still placed it up there because it seemed the fitting the to do. The rainbow on it ended at the inner open edge now, as if there must be something golden hidden inside of it. If you looked very closely at what was now revealed, there was indeed heartfelt treasure to be found...
I have since painted many split scenes, like the one above, upon Summit Stones, as I recall that wonderful experience, and how another simple cobblestone shared its' inner beauty with me while inspiring me in yet more ways... I so hope the 'Finder' who next made the journey to this forgotten and hardly ever visited high place enjoyed its' uniqueness too.....
Posted by Unknown at 2:07 PM
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
There are so many adventure experiences that may be enjoyed by each of us, so very many terrific interests for being out there... So many motives for such efforts and for taking on these challenges, enduring the trials, pushing through the limitations... They are such personal, individual grounds for going we each hold to, yet on occasion, at very special times, we can move among the wild places for another reason...
Something else becomes the fire in our belly for being out there. Something very special transforms both our purpose and our very being. This evolves from a different kind of motivation, from a whole new level of intention; for why we do what we do in our chosen adventures. There is a unique energy within such reasons. There is also a special kind of commitment towards then fulfilling such an adventure objective. What has now influenced us to go, what then induces us to keep going, is seen to have a very different genesis. We have now chosen and committed to another kind of adventure - an adventure of cause, of purpose, one that we see as so deserving of support. Be it as a soloist, or within the symphonies of a group, we set out on a trail of inspiration, resolution, determination & dedication, that has its' own unique nature within it. We are adventuring for another reason, often for another person, who may not be able to wander the wild places as we might. While they may not be with us, they are causal, truly instrumental, as to why we are out there...
Their needs become our inspiration; their wants become our objective...
We have committed to paying a different price and our efforts, and our following through, are reward enough themselves. We are out there for anther purpose... Climbing, scrambling, hiking, paddling, trekking, biking, running; now for an ideal - for another very special reason...
What might those reasons be for you Dear Friends.......
***Please see all the wonderful sites linked to here for many amazing opportunities to 'Adventure For Another Reason'...***
Posted by Unknown at 2:12 PM
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
"From my deepest and oldest memories, I was always fascinated with the mountains. They had a magical quality about them and climbing was a part of that... In climbing, you can have a very intense, sometimes spiritual, highly emotional adventure and you can turn around and have another one. That kind of thing keeps a lot of people doing it." W. Read
Time to head back to the high places.....
My appreciation to Andrew Nugara for his inspiring images above: http://members.shaw.ca/anugara/index.htm
Posted by Unknown at 1:44 PM
Monday, October 05, 2009
"If you are willing, and if you listen very gently and carefully, you will sense that this mysteriousness is ready to lead you, guide you to where you need to be... It is your wilderness calling...". G. May
Somewhere, something, is calling to you my Friends...
Whatever your wild places may be for you,
Where ever your wilderness may exist,
However you seek your adventure experiences out there,
Somewhere, something, is calling especially for you...
Such callings seek out our own answerings - and those answers, we know, are very personal, very individual, very special for each of us. You will be the only one to hear it calling in that way...
Our responses to these quiet callings often reflect freedom, fun, companionship, and challenge. Then our wild place adventures become the means for us to become the person we want to be - out there and then back here as well.
Somewhere, something, is calling to you.....
My appreciation to J&M Monkman for the above images.
Posted by Unknown at 1:56 PM
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
About halfway through these many decades of wanderings, we were to share in an adventure experience that was so different... A distinct contrast to our meanderings to that point of the compass... It was not so much a pursuing of a challenging adventure goal, but more like an allowing of a wild experience to unfold. There were no heights, no distances, depths, or times to be met - but more so of just an awareness to be gathered in; not really a 'trying' but instead more of a calming. All of this was to result in a slowing down of the whole day out with some gentle beings, even what felt like a slowing of time itself... Often the challenges of adventuring can be in the extensive preparation, continual skill development, and pushing ones' fitness levels, which are quite necessary for safety and enjoyment out there. Yet in this experience our greatest hurdle was in ensuring we got linked up with the best guide we could find. We were out of our element and partnering with an experienced adventure leader would provide us the guidance we needed for interacting, and also interpreting the moments with these so peaceful giants.
Our moments that day were to be shared among the Manatees... To simply lose ourselves within their element. Manatees are 'known', but not fully understood it seems. They have such a majesty in their bearing, with their soft movements and slow measured motion through the waters. These graceful beauties hide themselves away as they graze in shallow and marshy areas. They are often over a thousand pounds in size, yet move through their element with ease, like a dancer might. We heard many sounds while slowly swimming with them as they conversed in a language all of their own. How we wished we could speak even a bit of it...
They seem to also use touch for communication, much like other intelligent species, and Manatees have unique ways of expressing things both with their faces and through their movements.
They live many years and have demonstrated the capacity for long memories, intuitiveness, and learning. No wonder they have been referred to throughout history as the 'wise ones'... I love their small but intense, knowing eyes... Yet I am so sad about the scars of interaction with us they have most often suffered through contact with propellers. We were to experience the ways in which Manatees are so very curious as they checked us out, looking over at us with what I sure were shy smiles; even bumping up against us, maybe hoping for a little scratching.
I cannot help but wonder and believe that there is so much more to be learned from softer adventures of this kind, with such graceful and gentle creatures... and also to ponder over all of that which their being here helps us understand...
I suspect there is a wisdom within the Manatee not fully understood yet. These beautiful beings are linked through folklore to water elementals of legend such as mermaids. They are a sacred animal in some areas of the world too; believed to have once walked as fellow humans - all of which now having shared moments with them I now accept to be true.....
Please visit: http://www.savethemanatee.org/
Posted by Unknown at 2:00 PM
Monday, September 28, 2009
You will see all that can be seen,
You will know all that can be known,
You will be all that you can become.
There... Upon the still water...
Your reflection awaits..."
Grandfather, Mountain Elder
My thanks to D. Kirkland for the upper image and R. Gehman for the lower image.
Posted by Unknown at 9:24 AM