Friday, June 29, 2012

"Mountain Friends..."

"Mountains are like great friends. They are always there when you need them".
Barry T.
Just recently my friend, fellow wanderer and blogger Barry, from "Hiking With Barry - Wilderness Adventure" wrote a very thoughtful post on our shared interest of 'Giving Back' to care for the wild places. He also writes about the many adventurers who do so by 'Adventuring For Another Reason' and thus they create opportunities for connections among nature and for personal growth...
We all then have such a meaningful relationship with nature, as Barry writes, and through our combined efforts and shared contributions, so very much may be accomplished to give back & pass forward with regards to our wild places...
I am so very grateful to have "Partners In Placing" these little Summit Stones, like Barry, Rick , Kraig , Jeff , Kevin , and other wonderful friends who share in the karma, the smiles, hopefully raising a bit of awareness as we wander out there, and who post in support of the amazing and dedicated efforts of the many links on my own site.
My sincere appreciation for your thoughts, and please enjoy Barry's musings and the many inspiring images there like the one above..... DSD

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Sleeping Celestially..."

As much as I am prepared by carrying a tent, bivi sac, or tarp for out there, I rather very much appreciate simply sleeping under the stars. There seems to be another level of joy in falling asleep, then waking up, and having the first image before us be our stars above, maybe with the mountains against a night sky, or the glimmer and iridescent color of first light. When up on a mountain itself in a bivi, or out on the shoreline of a coastal island, with just a trap layed over us, it is wonderful to awake in the middle of the night, slowly open ones' eyes, and gaze longingly at the celestial elements above us...
Things of the sky, especially in the night, seem to have a divine nature to them, an angelic symmetry and beauty in their placement, movement, and elegance.
Stars themselves call for us, as their light and wanderings have a frequency to them that we have yet to fully understand. Their flickering images always seem to surely be gesturing for us to reach higher and farther...
I first was invited to experience this way of sleeping celestially long ago on Outward Bound, and am so very glad that this happened. Now I undertake to do so and appreciate this often as possible, and when I awake in those deep darker hours I gaze up, smile to myself, and remember as Deng Ming-Dao wrote: "In the night sky, the stars always make us wonder. As children and as adults, we never tire of looking at that sparkle. Story tellers of old attributed meaning to the constellations. Strategists foretold the future by their movements. Sailors on the sea navigated by them. For centuries, the stars have inspired wonder and direction...".
Just reflecting once more this adventure day upon our recent time of quietly sleeping celestially out on a wild place journey..... DSD 
My thanks Friends for sharing your images above with us.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"Our Adventurer's Art Of Slowing Time..."

"When one finally arrives at the point where schedules are forgotten, and becomes immersed in ancient rhythms, one begins to live...".  S. Olson
It seems I often ponder and compose a bit here about the nature of time. Likely the older knees and greyer hair prompts this. Yet it seems as adventurer's, we are endlessly, inherently, finding ourselves deeply engaged within the gentle art of the slowing of time out there...
There are the easy soft rhythms of paddling a sea kayak far out upon the open ocean. Then the ancient feelings we begin to sense among those so distant coastal islands. The old growth of forests surrounds and embraces us and we learn of the elder wisdom they are always willing to share. There is the appreciable flowing of the moments among the pacing of a very long hiking trek. The trail always meets us where we are at, then invites us to remember each and every step all along the way. Canyons too, invite us to pause and stand still as they always have...
We then observe the sun forever rising and setting, watch the continual phasings of the moon, then how each season blends one into the other, and thus the ticking of clocks may no longer seem to matter.
Upon summits in particular, do we always want to linger...
We also focus intently as we apply our adventure skills. Then the hours become minutes, the minutes change into moments, and every moment transforms into an eternity. We may meditate upon a mountain, hike along a coastal shoreline with no watch, observe the winds and endless waves, and enjoy the easy blossoming of alpine flowers. Nature herself teaches us to be artists in these ways, and shares creative messages and lessons about allowing, flowing, appreciating, and unfoldings...
When we embrace such artful ways of being, then another kind of music becomes apparent, other rhythms arise from within, and the meanings we give to our history and to time takes on very different shapes and forms. What we do, and who we become, out among the wild places all takes place in such timely ways. The adventurer's art of the slowing of time, is likely one of the most precious things gifted to us by our adventure experiences..... DSD

Saturday, June 09, 2012

"Those Who Have A Why....."

"He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how...".  Nietzsche
"Such happiness as life is capable of comes from the full participation of all our powers in the endeavour to wrest from each changing situation and experience its own full and unique meaning....". John Dewey
"Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked...". Viktor Frankl
These words were certainly posed for us all to ponder, especially Nietzsche's above. Interestingly, he was an accomplished mountaineer of his time, and this quote of his is one of my very favorites. After some shared thoughts from Craig and also recently from Kevin , I have been musing about how there is so much within the subtle significance, the often hidden meanings , for why we do what we do out in the wild places. I've written today's post as specific affirmation for all the links under my "Giving Back & Passing Forward" section. All of the quotes here speak to their amazing and moving efforts these dedicated Adventurers put forth in the important support of so many others and their own trials and challenges...
When we rest and pause for reflection upon what is meant by our adventuring, we discover many impelling reasons. For what purpose do we wander - is it for the freedom, the joy, and the fun of it all... We ponder too what grounds make up our intentions for our adventures; as it could also involve the deep confidence and competencies developed, and the fulfilling skills we eventually so practice and polish... All so very true. Then there is the pursuit of our dreams and visions, which are truly meaningful to us as premises too, are they not Dear Friends...
We often pledge ourselves for other reasons as well, involving motivations not only of our own, but mindful of dedication and devotion for a cause , an entrusting through our adventure efforts in support of others who have their personal challenges of health and life. Such a weighty 'why' can provide powerful motivations unknown to us before; such momentous justification creates motives that take us so much further, very much farther, and truly more inward...
Every single one of these individual explanations speak to the depth of the 'why's' behind our commitment, our endurance, our resoluteness, even when amidst the challenges, trials, and inevitable storms out there and within. What is of real consequence then, reflecting the why's of our adventure lives, not only represents our chosen adventure objectives like a mountain summit - but more accurately reflect the personal and potent meanings these have for each of us...
So, here I now share a small compendium, a special collection, of further Viktor Frankl favorite quotes that echo such important meanings - for the 'why's' behind and beyond all of what we do out there:
"Man's search for meaning is a primary force in his life... I think the meaning of existence is not invented by ourselves, but rather detected....".
"There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions, as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one's life..."
"Suffering ceases to be suffering in some way at the moment it finds a meaning..."
"The meaning in life always changes, but it never ceases to be...".
I hope you have enjoyed this musing today about meaning and reflections among these insightful quotes, as a dedication this adventure season for the wonderful efforts, and the important meaningful work, each of those in my "Giving Back & Passing Forward" link section performs in 'Adventuring for Another Reason' ..... DSD 

Thank you Kevin and my appreciation for sparking today's musings from your comments on meaning. Thank you so much for your humbling Post as well...

Friday, June 08, 2012


"Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human..."
Viktor Frankl
This, my Friends, is what we as adventurers do each and every step on our journeys...

Sunday, June 03, 2012

"As I Move Slowly Towards It..."

Here, by a gentle stream, these compositions come to mind... That next distant blue mountain awaits, so quietly out there, but at this point of the map, I am not able to yet see it. This is not one of those mountains that can be viewed from a highway or any nearby trail. It keeps itself secluded away, hidden far down a series of maze like long valleys.
It first spoke its name to me many, many, years ago. ..
Over the seasons it also whispered a few more secrets, so that they have held my inspiration for such a time now too. Long have I listened, while the few who have adventured there then shared their stories, with hushed voices out of respect for this elusive mountain.
There seems only to be a few images of it around, most showing the almost ever present storm clouds that veil the grand heights and stark ridges up high. It is a mysterious place, where many epiphanies certainly await for those who dare to find within what they need to adventure with out there...
It is a wild place where the rock itself echoes with our longings, where dreams become real adventures, and these self-changing experiences then alchemize into such precious life long memories.
Now having worked so hard, as we all do, to polish the skills these mountains always ask of us, I so hope to embrace that experience, as I move slowly, so slowly towards it..... DSD 

My sincere appreciation Friends for sharing the above images of your own elusive high places.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

"Why Hiking Makes People Better..."

"Who first gives the new possibilities their meaning, their direction... he awakens them." Robert Music
Every so often I stumble upon an especially insightful piece of writing that I feel resonates greatly for many of us. Kathy & Craig Copeland of HikingCamping.Com are two fellow wanderers who share many ideas about how and why we do what we do when hiking out in the wild places that I have followed along with for years.
Their Guidebooks are particularly unique in how they each blend very detailed trail and terrain information, with an awareness of quality within these hiking experiences, and also what meanings such adventures gift to us. They write: "Guidebooks, like the wild lands they describe, should stir you...".
Recently they posted an article on why 'Hiking Makes People Better' . I've re-read this quite a number of times and on every occasion have found myself smiling, remembering, then pondering, and very much enjoying the reflections their musings have inspired. I wanted to post this before I head out today so you could all have a wonderful visit with Craig & Kathy , as they share such thoughts as: "Heading outdoors eventually leads within..." .
Enjoy your time with them my Friends..... DSD

Friday, June 01, 2012

"Of New Ways....."

"Our destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things..." H. Miller
This adventure day, I cross a line of sorts, am at a branch of the trail, finding myself reminded once more of this wonderful quote, and what meanings it reflects..... DSD