Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Then Out Of Your Pack Comes - Character..."

Trails can be trials, altitude inherently holds adversity, paddling comes with winds and waves, climbing always has its challenges...
We train, we prepare, and we carry all we think that we need in our backpacks: The essentials, the rough weather clothes, that extra piece of gear that just may be required.
Then a much bigger storm hits, then our internal resources are tested further too, and just when we often least may expect to see and feel it within ourselves, out of our pack then comes - character...
You with the adventure personality know what I mean. You wanderers have felt that collective quality of latent tenacity. That distinctive something that is both seemingly insubstantial, and yet very truly substantial at the same time.
Like those extra layers of fleece, or that additional piece of gear, your character, your nature, is always there waiting to be utilized, practiced with, and applied.
When those real storms hit, then out of your pack it comes forth. More than only a tendency to carry on. Rather it is your own intrinsic unique style of going even that much further. Because we each individually choose to go farther.
Then we will enjoy it even more as we embrace our adventure challenges in this distinctive way.
Character is a deeper element of endurance and commitment. Not often recognized, but do we ever know it when we see and feel it.
Like a polished piece of old worn reliable gear, it is always, always, there waiting for us, and the more use it has, the better it becomes..... DSD

For Barbara...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"How Is It....."

It doesn't seem to matter how many mountains have now been climbed.
There are still countless wonderful mysteries to ponder up on such a peak as this.
How is it...
How is it, that a place where there is little living up so high, can be so full of these potent moments for our lives.
How is it, that a barren place like this, can provide these peaks of feelings & emotions for us all.
How is it, I wonder still, that in the midst of those brief moments, so many lasting eternities of experience & memories may be found.
How is it...
How is it, that such intense companionship and fellowship, may be attained among places known for silence and solitude.
How is it, I ask too, that this mysterious mixing in of the elements out there, then brings out those elusive elements we all have within us - and then blends them into such personal transformations.
As I lay up here writing this by headlamp, gazing up from bivi sack & sleeping bag, upon countless constellations above, I continue with such musings, knowing that now falling asleep with these wonderful ponderings on my mind - is simply enough..... DSD

Dedicated this day to those who are 'Adventuring For Another Reason' this wonderful season.
Thank you my Friends for sharing your amazing images above.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Of Adventures And Kinhining..."

To Kinhin - To go straight.
An Eastern concept, reflecting being on a course of philosophy and meditation.
To be within our Kinhin is to be immersed in a meditative meditation while moving; often as a walking meditative state. Other motion can be embraced though as well.
The Kinhin process is linked to our breathing, part of each step, yet found between our steps too... The Kinhin experience is an awareness of body, joined in movement. The gentle focus upon position of our head, shoulders, hands, the transfer of weight, our balance & center, all step by measured step...
This is contemplative motion.
A single step, then another, each step, by step, within a further step...
Our mind, core, legs, feet, and then the earth, all joined, blending, while looking down, yet ahead as well. Feeling like yet another kind of ephemeral trail dancing.
Being within Kinhin requires only a gentle focus of sorts at first. But the goaless goal is simply to do it, be it, without over thinking, thus creating the eventual meditative movement within each moment.
If our mind wanders, or the vistas attract us, or a conversation engages us, then we eventually just return to the meditations, the movement, the motion...
We adventurers are usually quite mindful about all the kinds of terrain within our perceptions out there, as it is important often for safety, and also fun to do so.
Yet the Kinhin quieting is another level to our awareness out within the wild places. As we hike, drift in our kayak, in the midst of our climbing, all blending elemental rhythms of self, earth, air, waters, and the energy all about and within us... DSD

Friday, March 15, 2013

"Of Serenity..."

"Serenity does not cancel hope or adventure, work, or love... It flows through the landscape... quiet and strong, clear and gentle. Refreshing all we do or dream...".
Patrick Brown
Serenity, contentment, peace... What gifts we discover as we far adventure... DSD

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"You May Surprise Yourself..."

Way back when, in the midst of a beginner's uncertainty, among some of those natural initial doubts, our Outward Bound Instructor quietly said: "You may surprise yourself...".
In later years, on a technical route I was sure was way beyond my skill set, an older Mountain Guide mentor rightly said too: "You're going to surprise yourself...".
Well, after so many long years, and even longer adventure seasons, I have come to accept the meaningful wisdom and distinct truth in those quietly supportive & encouraging comments.
We never really know, if we don't go. We never truly see, if we don't push past. We never really realize, if we don't test it all out.
As adventurers we seek the unexpected, have trekked for the unknown, and are excited by the unusual. As wanderers we have also sought out the surreal, quested for the mysteries, looking to be captured by the many endless wonders out there.
So why does it surprise us when we find as many similarly elusive elements within - deep inside our hearts, minds, and spirit...
Contrary to what we first assume, a significant 180 degrees to our expectations, we just may surprise ourselves time and again as we adventure further and higher, as we wander farther and then discover there was always more within than we ever first realized...
What gifts that Outward Bound Instructor and that older Mountain guide passed forward to me, that I still find myself remembering again today. I will very likely surprise myself yet once more. As you will surely do as well Dear Friends, out upon your very next journey..... DSD

Saturday, March 09, 2013

"Always Gazing Into Canyons..."

"It was in the sublime depths of this stony domain that ancient canyon dwellers, explorers, surveyors, and river runners helped define the modern concept of canyoneering. And it was from this canyon realm that I gleaned lessons and perspectives...".  J. Annerino

Gazing, always gazing, forward towards further, forever moments, out among those endless canyons... DSD

Sunday, March 03, 2013

"Forsaking Soreness..."

There are always subtle choices to be made when adventuring out there... In the ways and means we each choose for our own paths. Especially knowing all the while we will need to forsake soreness.
We press past our perceived physical limitations so many times.
When mountaineering, hiking, and paddling, we deny the discomforts and refuse to give in to whatever pain is often present.
Being tired and sore is a price of admission we have each committed to pay, as we break away from whatever soreness used to mean to us. When preparing and training, we already know that it not just about pain & gain, but respectfully, purposefully, guiding ourselves past those prior points of reference.
As many have mused before, and as I have always held closely to, we would rather be worn out than not have gone, and soreness simply tells us we are chipping away at the rust of it all...
While forsaking such soreness, we do not withdraw our enthusiasm, nor renounce our intentions - we simply refuse to allow such fatigue and physical discomfort to make us abandon our chosen adventure objectives. We will not desert our goals for wandering out there.
We have broken away from more commonly held notions, because we know in our hearts that the toll & price of the pain of regret is much higher than the costs of our efforts. For if we relinquish what is truly important to us, if we give up on what is distinctly meaningful for each of us - then we have forsaken so much more than soreness..... DSD
Dedicated to all those who keep going, putting one foot in front of the other...

Saturday, March 02, 2013


"Hiking is a conversation with the earth... Heading out doors eventually leads you within...".  Kathy & Craig Copeland