Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Over And Over Again..."


"Over and over again, those with the 'adventure attitude' return to places of previous failure. They do so not only out of sheer persistence, but because they are slowly gathering knowledge that they know will eventually lead to success".  A. Hobson

"Very Hard..."

"It can be very hard, really hard, but still - do what you can, where you are, with what you have. There is always that...".  Anon

"Somewhere You Ask Yourself..."

"Somewhere along the line you ask yourself, 'What am I doing here'. It is then that you must think back and remember that it was the right thing to do at the start. Therefore, the right thing to do is to carry on and finish whatever it is that you've started...".  J. Hughes

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"But, That In Particular..."

There are so very many gifts we are freely, and encouragingly given, from our wanderings out in the wild places. It seems they are truly, joyfully, endless, and enduring. For it feels like every time out, something unique, surprising, inspiring, and personal is provided for each of us.
Yet, in many quieter moments far out beyond, there is that one thing in particular that strikes as any lightning would, and with as much impact and importance too...
This has to do not only with 'what' we actually see, but 'how' we personally perceive our adventure experiences...
What we see upon a mountain is indeed amazing. Yet, how we begin to know and perceive those high places, slowly invites us to open our eyes even wider then - with that really big picture in mind.
What we see in the distance, out upon the open ocean, is quite significant. Yet, how we are able to learn to widely perceive these wonderous things has many farther meanings.
Then, what we view from atop our elusive but now attained summit, can be vistas of such beauty. Yet, the higher level vision we now have up there of so much more is clearly life changing.
At first, canyons appear quiet. Then we sense the stillness. We know they are old, but then we embrace their very elder selves. For what may be only initially glimpsed in those depths, now truly allows us to become a part of that ancient history.
At first, our travels and trails can seem to be about terrain, time, and distance. Then our deepening perceptions and opening awareness evolves into very different horizons. Beyond, into the width and breadth of what is now very much an endless journey of purposeful smiles, awe, and joy.
What wonderful, paradoxical gifts we are given, the farther we wander and see. Then the further that we discover more within than ever first realized. That, as Outward Bound always shares, is truly particular..... DSD

Dedicated to all the Outward Bound Leaders and their wonderful musings.

"If The Traveller Is Fortunate..."

"This journey will take you along a path that is both arduous and exhilarating. It will bring you unexpected heartaches and rewards, and you will never reach a final destination... You will probably end up learning as much about yourself as about the skill you are pursuing... The path is always long and sometimes rocky, and it promises no quick and easy payoffs... The achievement of goals is important. But the real juice of life is to be found not nearly so much in the products of our efforts as in the process of living itself... and if the traveller is fortunate - that is if the path is complex and profound enough - then the destination is two miles further away for every mile he or she travels...". G. Leonard

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


"It took me a long time to undertake a solitary search for the particular meaning of my personal life... Eventually I explored land and seascapes raw enough to shake the foundations of my urban upbringing... Wandering alone along empty beaches, I picked up shells and pebbles. Attending to each one individually allowed instruction by a single stone unique even among a million others...".  S. Kopp

"Nature Is Thrilling..."

"Nature is thrilling - its solitude, its peace. It is spiritual. Nature reminds us of who we are and how we fit into the web of life...".  Bev Doolittle

Bev is an amazing artist as can be seen above and muses all well about our wonderful connections from out in the wild places... DSD

Monday, October 28, 2013


"You sit, triumphant, on a rocky peak and look at the whole world spread out below; and for a while, though still human, you are no longer merely human...". Colin Fletcher

"Elements Of Canyoneering..."

"I can only muse... as I've come to understand the word canyon. Elements of canyoneering come to mean the place, one's knowledge of it, and the experience... More than a simplistic view of a specific activity."  J. Annerino

Sunday, October 27, 2013

"Truly A Gift....."

Each and every time out there is a gift,
Amazingly beautiful gifts within our journeys,
Every journey holds gems hidden within,
Hidden only though at the very first...
From the first time there are always endless wonders,
True wonders discovered as we long and far wander,
Our wandering adventures then become forever longings,
Forever moments from seemingly only simple steps.
Every step then a dearly and cherished memory,
Then all such memories are truly a gift..... DSD

Dedicated this adventure day to all those wonderful wanderers who are 'Adventuring For Another Reason' , and also to Sandy who recently mused, "Thank you as always for sharing such beautiful musings. Am grateful that as yet I can choose my paths to journey on. The people that I volunteer for and support with dementia are not so fortunate. People like me need to remember and live each day as best we can along our chosen paths and some how give back to those...".
I am always grateful when others share their musings here like this, as it inspires me to ponder further about the nature of the gifts we have been given, and sparks the composing of such posts as that one above. Thank you Sandy and all of you others too my Dear Friends...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

"Of Rekindlings..."

"I needed something to pare the fat off my soul... to make me grateful again, for being alive. And I knew, deep and safe, beyond mere intellect, that there is nothing like a wilderness journey for rekindling the fires of life...". Colin Fletcher

"Of Dreams..."


"Dreams are not enough... The dream, or vision, must be internalized as a motivating desire. Then a plan must be prepared, executed and constantly modified in the face of a changing world. In this way, the dream goes from the head, to the heart, and out through the hands and feet...".  A. Hobson

"Of Symbols..."

"The symbol for what drives you, for the source that moves you, in many cultures - is fire. Your energy, your power, your enthusiasms, are all fire and flame. Read the coals and discover what you need...".  Grey Wolf

Friday, October 25, 2013

"Further Artistry....."

"In contrast to artists who express what they see in words, music, or pictures, I express it through my actions... Mountains for me would be places that offer opportunities for performance. They would be natural theatres wherein I could express all my skill, craft, and my instincts...".  R. Messner

"Of Rhythm's....."

"There is tremendous value in getting out on the water and falling into the rhythm of paddling along an isolated stretch of shoreline. Testing your physical limits, setting your day according to the ebb and flow of the tides, falling asleep in your tent to the sound of waves breaking on a nearby shoreline...".  G. Rasmussen

Thursday, October 24, 2013


"Magnificent the morning was, a memorable one, more glorious than I'd ever beheld. The seas were laughing in the distance. All the solid mountains were bright as clouds, tinted, drenched, in imperial light. While in the meadow and the lower ground lay all the sweetness of a common dawn".  Woodsworth

"An Inner State..."

"Find the inner state of endurance - the mental and emotional formula that creates it and the psychological portrait that defines it... Real true endurance was more than the sum of its mechanical or psychological parts".  K. Johnson

"Celestial Music..."

"At such times, if there also happened to be a bit of wind, one could hear the rustle of the pines, and feel the deep, impenetrable mystery that lies at the root of all life. To me, the murmur was a kind of celestial music...".  G. Funakoshi

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"By Its Very Nature....."

"Adventure, by its very nature, involves overcoming uncertainty, fear, obstacles, adversity, and the unknown. The adventure attitude, particularly as used in the metaphors of the mountain or the sea.. can be applied to our daily lives".  A. Hobson
Many times, mostly in hindsight, and looking back over the trail, is when I realize how beautiful the unknown was..... DSD

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"The Art Of Creating Endless Adventure Days..."

Many have written musingly about, and even more have whispered gently aloud, that there is surely an art in creating a sense of endless adventure days for ourselves...
We talk too about the challenges and distractions, arising from simply finding the time to get out there.
I've wondered often though, is it only how we get the time for our journeys - or is it also not more truly about the 'way' we are, the 'being' we become, within whatever moments we do have to wander...
Certainly we extend the time we have by going earlier, longer, through things like alpine starts and first light launches. We expand on the days too when we patiently watch the sunsets, sit for long hours by the campfire, and gaze up longingly at the full moon and its companion constellations. We prolong those measured hours so that hopefully they are transformed into memorable enduring moments...
Therein I sense is another elusively subtle way to timely navigate - by finding that which is personally memorable, that which embraces our individual meanings, deep within those seconds of our newly developing awareness and perception of what is significant, and what is not...
These are surely keys to the legends upon this alternative map for our wonderful endless timelessness out there. Such ways of 'being' and not just 'having' an experience, are clearly means to extending the length, breadth, height, and depth of time within any adventure journey.
Then it no longer about minutes, but more so now reflecting an artistry in creating timeless forever moments.
'Time is relative' the wise ones have said, and we adventurers know how to really experience the truth of this..... DSD

"Something More Magical..."

"You will discover as the years pass that hiking becomes a beautiful, warm, round pumpkin, that sits up on a shelf, always ready to be taken down... It wouldn't be the same round and personal pumpkin, of course, if you hadn't grown it yourself... And its always sitting up there on the shelf - that big beautiful pumpkin - just waiting for you to wave the wand and turn it into something more magical...".  Colin Fletcher

A favourite quote, for this time of year, as I gaze out across the memories, and the adventures yet to be... DSD

Friday, October 18, 2013

"Pole,Pole... Slowly, Slowly..."

Gazing back upon their pictures, reading again their hiking journal, here are the 2013 Ascent For Alzheimer's Team who dedicated themselves to 'Adventuring For Another Reason' with all their efforts and endurance.
As I ponder their wonderful journey, some musings echo out gently for them:

"Pole, pole... Slowly, slowly..."
Our eyes slowly open,
A thought soon discovered,
Such energy and inspiration, we now begin to feel...
We then start to sense,
Now that we are actually out there,
All of what is to eventually and wonderfully unfold...
Many hours of such planning,
Longer days for more preparation,
Endless possible moments excitedly yet to be...
Our adventure intentions are clear,
For such commitments we do make,
As elementally enduring as any other...
These dreams became distinct longings,
Longings transform into heard callings,
Such realities now they both are...
With open eyes looking upon horizons,
Through new ways of seeing and gazing,
Then from deep inside our very being we now know...
Finally these legs also begin slowly moving,
A climbing staff we find in our hands,
Then those depths within our minds wander as well,
For an endless spirit journey we are now clearly upon.....

Congratulations 2013 Team!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"From My Deepest And Oldest Memories..."

"From my deepest and oldest memories, I was always fascinated with mountains. They had a magical quality about them and climbing was 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 going back...".   W. Read

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"When I Close My eyes, I Am Climbing That Mountain All Over Again....."

"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

This quote echoed out so clearly to me the very first time I read it. It still resonates vividly time and time again. In those moments, often before sleep, or when I can't rest due to health concerns, then, when I close my eyes - I'm climbing that elusive mountain all over again...
It was a peak like no other for me. A truly, distinctly, challenging technical climb. This mountain has its' own history, and even the first adventurer's who initially climbed it, said others might doubt their completion of its ascent, such was its mystery, difficulty, and presence...
The rock is a wonder.
The height an amazing splendour.
The route is a puzzle.
The solution an emblazoned memory.
Vertical does not really describe it. For you meander and traverse endless cliffs and rock bands up there in so many delightful ways.
With early alpenglow it appears very imposing. Then, if you endure and move close enough to touch it, you are embraced, then welcomed by its' whispers...
The impact upon my perceptions still linger to this day, even though countless seasons have now slowly passed. As I learned on Outward Bound so very long ago, there is always more within to be found out there than ever first realized...
For now, when I close my eyes, I can envision every single forever moment, and even those longer precious hours. I still clearly see that unfolding adventure, from all of the anticipations, then finally to our humbled celebrations.
That mountain may not have changed much over the millenia, yet that summit and its' vivid memories have invited many changes within me.
Now, when I close my eyes, I'm climbing that beautiful mountain all over again.
What a wonderful gift that is..... DSD

My sincere appreciation to Barry Taylor of Hiking With Barry for sharing the image above with all of its' inherent meanings.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Of Expression..."

"Adventuring is a means to express one's inner self.....".   Anon

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

"Of Nourishing..."

"Collect experiences, not things, for that is what will truly nourish you".  Grey Wolf

Sunday, October 06, 2013

"You Are Such A Stone..."

"The most beautiful stones...
Have been tossed by the wind,
And washed by the waves,
And polished to brilliance,
By life's strongest storms...".    Anon

Every so often, I am gifted with an inspiring comment here, or sent an engaging email from a Finder of one of these little touchstones. Recently, RL & LR, shared their story with me about finding their Summit Stone and some wonderful smiles along with it. They also asked me about the stone itself, what journey it had been on, and why I painted it the way I did.
Well, RL & LR, I do recall the Stone you now have in your hand. It was placed with that summit register two years ago by me in early August. It has endured many storms up there, high winds, and the passing of long seasons. But the is not where its' journey started - for it was gathered up on a very distant coastal island, then within the paints you feel upon it are 'mixed in' some very special elements.
I chose that stone, the Naive Art for it, and the mountain to pass it forward upon, because it is a very old piece of rock. Your mountain also reflects many meditative viewpoints about alpenglow among solitude within the vistas up there. That, and the fact that it is not visited very often...
It is very fitting that you both found this particular Summit Stone, especially with what you shared about your own trails and trials. For much like what is echoed out above by one of my favourite quotes about the 'Most Beautiful Stones', you each are such reflections of such a stone yourselves..... DSD   

"Of Importance..."

"Adventures are not a matter of life and death - they are more important than that...".  Anonymous

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

By Stewart Green

Stewart Green of Climbing recently commented on FB about his experiences with sharing the smiles while giving back and passing forward.
"DSD has been sending me padded envelopes from somewhere in remote Canada filled with colorful and magical Summit Stones for the past few years. I always carry one with me to the remote summits that I reach on lonely Colorado peaks and sun-raked desert towers. If you have the pleasure of finding one of the Summit Stones, I'm sure that its beauty and power as a talisman of the wild will stay with DSD's story about mixing in special elements to further the mystery and magic of these simple artistic stones..."
This is the Mixing In that Stewart refers to.
Thank you so very much for sharing in this little endeavour my Friend!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

"Of Meaning..."

"Meaning is relative - your choices, where you journey, what mountains you climb, what rivers you paddle, the day you do so, the weather, your energy, solo or with partners - all relative elements that contribute to different meanings. Who is to say which is more meaningful, which has more value?"  Grey Wolf