Friday, November 30, 2012

"Elemental Fog & Mist....."

The mist and fog we journey through is a special nexus of elements. Where air and moisture mix and blend, to create something so much more. We adventurer's so love the grand vistas out in the wild places, yet when they become gently misted and slowly blurred over, when the fog quietly rolls in with its surreal opaqueness, we seem to enjoy it all the better.
We each remember our own adventures, like drifting far in a sea kayak, then resting while listening for the breaking surf, as the fog rolls over both you and your vessel, blanketing everything in such soothing calm and yet building anticipations...
We recall as well, the settling thick mists and very dense fog among deep low forested valleys, where the shifting of these elements eventually hides everything - except the rock of that singularly elusive mountain we are climbing upon in those exact moments...
Finally, then standing upon your own 'island peak', set out higher than the misted sea of summits encompassing it and you. This is a truly unique adventure experience...
We remember too, the distinct stillness of those foggy northern lakes, and then the quieting of everything else, including our own heartbeat and minds, so that in the midst of such diminished views everything becomes so clear...
Simply air and moisture, then just the right temperature, all blending, melding, and mixing into a sentient element that embraces us, and then always whispers to each of us too as we wander far out there..... DSD

Our appreciation my Friends for sharing your images above.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"In The Clip Of A Carabiner..."

There are certain sounds out there that so clearly resonate with each of us. Certain things we so enjoy to hear, some we especially listen for, others we then sense as well. Like as with the sound of a friends voice and the encouragement that is always subtly there. Many others are both unique and also very special - as with the wind itself, powerful thunder, the welcoming crackle of a campfire, the crunch of a snowshoe upon a new crust, the swish of a paddle, endless movement of waves, the creak of our pack, among countless other soundings among our wild adventures.
Many seem simple, yet can carry such profound meanings of challenges, close familiarity, and symbolism of potential and promise.
In the clip of a carabiner for example, I have heard, learned, been inspired, and remember now so much...
There has been the excitement and assurance of trust & expectations. The intense feelings of anticipation within such sensations just before a climb. Within the clip of a carabiner are both beginnings and endings, among smiles and loud voices calling out to each other in excitement and then completion.
Long after an Outward Bound Instructor first clipped me in before top roping on a first rock face, to now clipping myself and others into such wonderfully joined adventures, the memories continue to unfold... Journeys meaning so much, all reflected in a seemingly simple sound. A noise like no other for those of us who climb, kayak, or cave.
Even after these long decades, I do so love that very unique sound, of the clip of a carabiner. It inspires me still. It reminds me of what is waiting out there for all of us. That simply powerfully resonating sound within the clip of a carabiner..... DSD

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Recently, Jeff Clark of the wonderful hiking adventure site Meanderthals commented on my post "The Metaphor Within 'Mixing In'..." , and said musingly, "D, "mixing in" is one of my favorite things about the summit stones. The mystery enables the mind to wander just as our feet do. With each little rub on a stone, there is wonder; wonder about that little tiny bump, wonder about its derivation, wonder about its history. I have found myself more than once sitting on a craggy summit, rolling a summit stone in my hand, and simply saying, "hmmm."
I am very grateful for Jeff's insights and intuition about this endeavour and the meanings within it. His comment about the 'mystery' in particular echo with the 'why' behind it all... For that is exactly what I always hope for, that 'Hmmm...' moment. Where it just might spark someone to ponder why someone does this kind of thing, why they might be inspired to pass a little rock forward so. Then maybe, just maybe, another fellow wanderer might then give back something in their own way, on a journey of their own making.
As I first learned on Outward Bound so many years ago, there is always 'more within' than we ever first realize.
Maybe, within such a 'Hmmm...' moment, a fellow adventurer will discover this...

My gratitude to Jeff for passing forward some smiles, and for both his image of his Summit Stones and the comment above.

Friday, November 23, 2012

"There Is Truly More Within....."

Each and every step will surely have its meanings.
All of our adventures, trails, and routes, eventually themselves become clear paths.
Such wild place experiences are as much about moments, as they are about objectives.
These long journeys, our forever navigation's, and distant wanderings, are more really about memories.
For then, as we will always discover too, there is truly more within than we ever, ever, first realize..... DSD

Dedicated to all our fellow Alumni who so enjoyed their Outward Bound courses these past seasons.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Ours & Kolby's Adventurous Mapping Endeavours..."

Today I am thinking of Kolby who shared this wonderful quote with us all:
“Give me a map to look at, and I am content. Give me a map of country I know, and I am comforted: I live my travels over again, step by step, I recall the journeys I have made; half-forgotten incidents spring vividly to mind, and again I can suffer and rejoice at experiences which are once more made very real. Old maps are old friends, understood only by the man with whom they have travelled the miles. Nobody could read my maps as I do. Lend a book to a friend and he can enjoy it and miss nothing of its story: lend him a map, and he cannot even begin to read the tale it has to tell. For maps are personal things which books are not. The appeal of an old map is to the memory; an old map spread across my knees closes my eyes. The older, the more tattered it is, the greater my affection for it. I recall our adventures together in storm and sunshine; an occasion, perhaps, when it slipped from my pocket and I searched my tracks anxiously, as for a lost companion, until it was found; an occasion, perhaps, when the mist was thick and instinct and the map urged different ways, and I followed the map and came to a safe ground again. Ah yes, maps are grand companions.”
AW Wainwright
Now Kolby has before him an opportunity for a grand adventure and the really fun part of this is that we can support him on his way.
Please have a look my Friends, as we all do so love our maps. Understanding topography develops as integral for our skills out there, while cartography then becomes a part of our person while wandering. We journey so very far to survey and experience as much as we can. Kolby takes us with him when he goes too...
We travel on such varied terrain, initially unknown, then it becomes as well understood & familiar as the other elements themselves.The further we go, the longer we adventure among the wild places, the more we realize - the many, many, kinds of maps we both use and also compose and draw ourselves upon... Just like Kolby does in his artistry.
We realize that what is represented by these individual impressions are as important to our navigations as any other part of a map might be. These are the images of us exploring, the symbols of our new perceptions, the outlines from our actions, then the representations of our memories. Even when we find limitations, we know what to do; for as with that point on the edge of any map, we know to push further, as other territory is always a possibility...
These then become all our our very personal maps, that we ourselves have created.
As adventurers, we do so love our maps, the ancient ones, the new crisp ones, and especially the descriptive very important personal ones.
This is what is unfolding for our friend Kolby, so let's all support him in pointing the way..... DSD

"The Metaphor Within 'Mixing In'....."

Thank you all very much my Friends, for this seasons comments and many email, about how you have enjoyed the Mystery & Magic of what has been subtly Mixed In upon each and every one of your Summit Stones. They truly then are touchstones, for as many of you have said, it has added a little character, a bit of mystery, even sparked a few musings, for all of what & why we each do what we do out among the wild places...
Such mystery becomes personal magic then as this has always been about passing forward smiles. Then if this endeavour, and the placing of these touchstones, invites a bit of awareness too, then it's all good.
I need to say as well, that it was my adventure experiences on Outward Bound courses where we first learned the subtle, yet potent metaphor reflecting, "There is more within than we ever first realize"... My naive style of art and especially the mixing in of so many elements, is a reflection of this powerful symbolic Outward Bound metaphor.
Such 'mixing in' is also an ancient style of artistry, much older than even Scholars Rocks .
Another kind of legacy that we each pass forward to one another, as well all make our way on the paths out there..... DSD

Friday, November 16, 2012

"Passing Forward Echoes....."

Having mused these many years here, there are times when I've included phrases a number of occasions over. One in particular many of you have commented about echoes with the words, and the metaphors reflecting: "Further, farther, onward, upward, and inward as well".
I describe such phrases as echoes, as they are not really mine, but potent words, within powerful memories from out on Outward Bound courses. Every time, each moment, one of our Leaders shared such an encouragement, it resonated and resounded greatly with all of us. They often only used a few simple words, then began inviting and allowing for us to find our own meanings for them amidst our experiences out there.
"A little longer", they would say, "A bit further", they said, and then too, "A touch farther", "Onwards", and "Upwards".
Then so quietly, "Inwards" too, they would gently invite us to gaze...
The passing forward of such echoes, are gifts given many, many, times over..... DSD

Monday, November 12, 2012

"What The Mountains See In You..."

On Outward Bound the exercises were always gentle challenges, far journeys within moments of experiences, with many levels of metaphors and meanings to be found.
One exercise experience we were invited to long ponder, and then write about in our journals as well, began as it often did, as a seemingly simple question...
We had finally descended after a challenging day up high, over such bare rock, among strong winds, darkening clouds, and the many unknowns novices perceive from out there.
Maybe it was our later discussion about those very unknowns that sparked this exercise. For all our Outward Bound Instructor then said, when later we were all resting, sorting gear, and recovering was, "I wonder, if you all see in one another, and if you each see in yourselves, what the mountain saw in every single one of you today...".
I have always very much loved, and been so drawn to, such engaging metaphors and mystery. To think that the mountain itself was paying as close attention to us, as we were to it, intrigued us greatly. To ponder that this very high wild place, that peak of stone, could be a sentient kind of thing, which was watching us very closely that adventure day was a wonderously inviting concept.
Yet, maybe, just maybe, that Outward Bound Leader knew more than what was only being said. Because I have come to believe and accept, that there is a subtle truth, more reality than we just see, to this engaging musing. The mountains do indeed often sense, they also seem to know, that we truly do have so very much more within us than we may ever have first expected.
So, my Dear Friends, in those moments, what might you think your next elusive summit will observe, and then surely draw forth from you as well, that you may initially not known by yourself..... DSD

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Of Remembrance And Freedom......."

"A mountaineer is one who seeks the freedom of the hills, full wilderness citizenship, with all its privileges and rewards, its responsibilities and demands." 
The Mountaineers
The freedom of the hills we all love and know,
Echoes with many brave voices now long gone,
So let us pause wherever we are on our shared trails,
To listen quietly in remembrance.......

Friday, November 09, 2012

"Our Adventuring Vision..."

"We climb upon our vision of ourselves...".   O. Marden
To dream, to envision, then to wander.
Has there ever been as many opportunities for adventure..... DSD

Sunday, November 04, 2012


During countless adventure experiences have I mused about the nature of timelessness out within our wanderings...
Under many millions of stars have I then gazed up, dreamed about such journeys that we share in, and envisioned how we each then discover more within than ever first realized, thanks to Outward Bound.
Then this last season I reflected too upon...
Those hundreds of thousands of storms which have surely polished these kinds of stones which I seek for you my Friends, with that weather's powerful energy, and all those winds, snow, and rain.
About the tens of thousands of individual steps we take out there, where each and every one is a joy, while moving ourselves further among the wild places.
Also in how easily a thousand thoughts have been formed and focused up high, like the plans & preparation I make for an adventure such as on that day. Those ponderings within the excited enthusiasm and anticipations we all have, that take each of us so much further.
I reflect too over a hundred days and nights on other trips gone by, bringing me finally to be at this very high place on the map. About the many valleys and trails, hikes and climbs over the years, which can now be seen as actual directions eventually leading right there.
I muse as well on a dozen mountains here, embraced by such beautiful vistas, all where many climbs have taken place - such wonderous times upon those so special peaks.
Then to this, a single summit, upon this unique high point, now composing a few simple words, while having gathered up some small touchstones for you Dear Finders. Then as I descend with the sunset, a million stars will begin to shyly shine far away on the horizon once more. All enlightening this journey to here and now. These are the forever moments that unfold within our adventures Dear Friends.
Those truly endless memories that we so enjoy, smiling about them time & time again, and always then sharing them in our stories with one another..... DSD
Dedicated this adventure season to those who Adventure For Another Reason whom I think about every time out there.
My appreciation for sharing your timeless images as well my Friends.

Friday, November 02, 2012

"To Sleep, To Dream..."

"As you sit on the hillside,
Or lie prone under the trees of the forest,
Or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream,
The great door,
That does not look like a door,
S. Graham
To sleep, to dream, to wander, then to muse...
What wonderful perspectives are gifted to us then... DSD