Friday, March 28, 2014

"Poetic Adventurings..."

The substance of our adventures,
And the echoes of a poem,
How very much alike,
They feel so much to be...

The elements of adventures,
And the essence of many poems,
Far away they always take us,
How much then we will see...

A life among adventures,
The feelings within a poem,
Experiences we reach with hope towards,
Understandings that then embrace us too...

Truly they are one and the same,
So wonderfully similar they always are,
The adventuring of shared perceptions,
The poetry of our forever wanderings..... DSD

Dedicated this adventure day to all those 'Artists of Being Alive' who continue to Adventure For Another Reason.  

"All Leading In The Same Direction..."

"There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading in the same direction, so it doesn't matter which path you take. The only one wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone else that their path is wrong...".  Hindu Teaching

"The Idea..."

"The idea is there, locked inside, and all you have to do is remove the excess stone...". Michelangelo

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Adventuring The World Over..."


"A man does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with him and leaving something of himself upon it...". M. Conway

My friend Rick McCharles of Best Hike has been a wonderful Partner In Placing for many years now. It is a challenge to put into words the gratitude I have for sharing this journey with Rick and other such wonderful wanderers. It is also not encompassing enough to use only words to describe his amazing adventures. So for the first time on this blog journal, I have included more than one or two images to introduce a musing.
Above are a series of pictures taken by Rick as he has passed forward many smiles on even more incredible adventures.
Rick had said of these journeys and his sharing that:
January 2008 DSD Post , "You are exactly right about the purpose of besthike. And Rick McCharles.
My enthusiasm for hiking and for this site has not flagged ever. I plan to keep it going ... forever. There are always more trails to explore".

DSD Post "Something Of Ourselves".
Rick says of this little endeavour, "The philosopher blogger at Summit Stones collects special stones while out on the trail. Paints them. And then returns them to the wilderness accompanied by a tiny booklet of poems & prose inspired by the outdoors", and "I’ll be leaving a Summit Stone in a place of natural beauty today. A highlight of my hike".
He also posted thisand this , in support of all our efforts.
Visit Rick at Best Hike, see the amazing adventures he enjoys every year, then certainly stay to enjoy his in depth and engaging trip reports.
I so very much enjoy being able to share the trails with such fellow wild philosophers, and true wanderers, who adventure the world over.
Friends like Rick who pass forward smiles all along the way, within summit cairns, and even right into the hands of those out on their own journeys...
"It is written even still... that the giver should be thankful; only then is it a sharing... Somebody accepted you through your gift...". Osho
Thank you very much my Friends!   DSD 

"Above All..."

"Real mountaineering is... above all, a reason for struggle and self conquest, for spiritual tempering, and enjoyment...". W. Bonnati

"To Stand Upon..."

"Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon...". E.C. Stanton

Sunday, March 23, 2014

"Time To Meet Someone..."

After many long days, and even more challenging moments on my second Outward Bound course, it seemed time for some lingering quiet.
So we further sorted and prepared our gear, took a full evening to talk about all of what had already unfolded, then each shared new insights about what this was all meaning for us...
It had become quite apparent by then, that nothing our Outward Bound Leaders said to us was in any way unimportant. Then, when heading off to our tarps and sleeping bags, one Instructor mentioned that during the next day it would be, "Time to meet someone".
We noted that with real interest.
Funny at times, I still so often muse, about how a seemingly simple comment sparks deep discussion and long ponderings.
We debated about who we were to meet - maybe a new leader who would introduce us to yet another farther kind of amazing adventure experience. Could be the Course or Program Director themselves were planning a meeting with us in the midst of our journey out there. Possibly a new student, but that didn't seem likely at that way point.
The next day on our high mountain objective, while practicing route finding when ascending long scree slopes, that comment and the inherent metaphor within it slowly began to take shape.
From the many lessons being shared up there, we were now being introduced to all the elements themselves, and the essence of then really meeting the mountain itself.
Much later, after a very long adventure day, just before completing an even more enduring descent, we were invited to ponder over one more lasting metaphor.
For it was the meeting and embracing of our selves, that the Outward Bound Leaders were very much referring to.
In those forever moments far out there, it was truly time to meet someone..... DSD

My sincere appreciation for being able to include your wonderful inspiring images with these musings Dear Friends.

Friday, March 21, 2014

"With Each And Every..."


With each step, an unknown gained.
For every meter, we ascend past limits.
Another mile, allows us to transcend.
Each contour line crossed, we become more aware.
Crossing those rock bands, expands our experience.
At altitude, we always feel so clearly.
With every increment, we begin to see much further.
Every stone we touch, takes us onward and upward.
What we then traverse, we also deeply understand.
Upon that summit, we embrace new possible perceptions.
During those quiet moments, so much more within is always known.
From those heights then, we now journey ever farther forward.
Among our shared forever moments, endless lasting memories now created.
Simply, truly, with each and every step..... DSD

Thank you Phil.....

"Passing Things Forward..."

Passing things like your experience, a 'Summit Stone', or experiential quotes - forward, is a way of giving back and sharing wisdom, strength, and hope. If you've enjoyed a Summit Stone or an Adventure Muse, then pass something along to someone else you see out upon their own adventure...  DSD

"Of Hopes And Dreams..."

"No vision and you perish. No ideals and your lost. Your heart must ever cherish some faith at any cost. Some hope, some dream to cling to. Some rainbow in the sky. Some melody to sing to. Some service that is high...".  H.D. Autermont

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


"Regardless of the outcome, your enjoyment of a process in a non-forceful manner, will actually create what you are really in search of anyway - bottom line joy, happiness, and peace...".  Huang & Lynch

"Of Cathedrals..."

"A pile of rocks ceases to be rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind...".  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"To Name A Mountain For A Day..."

It was on another unnamed scramble route, to a minor yet significant, but also unnamed peak. I had found myself drawn to it. Called upon it to climb. Even though such high particular places have no names, no profound histories, sometimes even few or no notes any any given maps.
A solo day it was back then, upon new rock, just moving slowly but surely towards a distant height of land.
This 'unnamed' one had me pondering over the traditions and practices of actually naming mountains. Also for how and what we end up calling the rivers and canyons. There is great variation in countries and cultures as to how this takes places. 
Interestingly, one small group of peoples of a northern clime, do not 'name' such points as they believe each human and other wild creatures who may journey there - need to discover its' identity for themselves...
This is a quest for discovery of another kind. A knowing which develops within, a vision, a whisper instead of a statement.
This was to be my intention that day as well. To this grid point not even numbered, nor labelled seemingly by anyone before.
It was not an easy day with all the traverses, backing down, and getting turned about. But it was a day of splendour upon scree and stone, among gentle winds and clouds.
When I finally asked the right questions to enter that realm, the summit then stood before me. Proudly as its own full self. This quiet peak granted me a stay on the summit longer than most I've had. Until the latest hour when the dark of the horizon joined with the last blue sky of the day and the stars began to show their shy faces.
To climb a summit on our own, in this way, is to really be able to begin to know its character for some moments...
It was not so much just named for me now as I was learning what its meaning might be.
'Meridian' was the word whispered to me.
A place name given for those who lead full lives of splendour.
A place where the sun and the stars are joined upon the highest point around.
A place where secrets of the celestials and the elementals may be shared.
'Meridian', I thought as I slowly began my way back. Only to myself though, as saying it aloud back then, may have have meant I was not ready yet to grasp, then muse, and write about what had truly unfolded before me. Just like we always seem to feel when we earn our way out among our adventures at times out there my Friends.
Thank you my 'Meridian'..... DSD 

"Of Trial..."

"There is nothing in life that does not involve trial. There is nothing worthwhile that doesn't have a cost. There is nothing great that does not require a series of small acts... Rice suffers when it is milled. Jade must suffer when it is polished. But what emerges is something special...".  Deng Ming-Dao

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Intuitive Understanding..."


"An intuitive understanding of our oneness with the life of the earth and the forces of nature, with the rocks and rivers, mountains and deserts, with the other animals and plants... Must be the starting point...".  C. Townsend

"Forever Present..."

May the spirit and meaning you create for yourself on your adventures be forever present... DSD

Sunday, March 09, 2014

"Loving Last Light....."


Each moment of any day out there, within all the elements we join with, certainly has its own special nature. There is something just a little extra special though, about the very last light of our adventure days...
Right within those waning minutes, just after a full sunset, amidst that brief time of golden hues and glimmer, simply before an evolving darkness - are moments of lingering last light which all of us so enjoy.
On different terrains this enlightening show plays out in many unique ways.
I remember, sitting in my sea kayak off a small coastal isle, as that long days last light set the ocean afire and the horizon ablaze as well.
There were those shadows very deep in a canyon that shifted and changed form. Then followed us too, when the last light chased our group along as we hadn't brought our headlamps.
Then in deeper forests of our northern woods and lakes, the calm of last light blended with the crackle of our fire, as time and schedules slowly lost their meanings.
Last light may be ephemeral, but the memories are not.
There is a uniqe softness to it. A stillness that is wonderfully settling as well.
Many think that this is the time in which spirits begin to wander. That makes sense to us adventurers because the moments slow even more and we become aware of so much else.
All becomes calm. Often the winged ones, any four legged ones, and we two legged beings slowly quiet ourselves down.
We gaze upon a lit mountain summit in awe and wonder, while pondering so deeply, before resting our tired sore selves, after a day out among the wild places, sensing that closure on our adventures.
There is a distinct specialness in the loving we all share for last light..... DSD 

"Your Adventure Muse..."

"The adventure of a mystery... Your adventure muse has her ways, she hides from you, comes to you in the middle of the night, at midday, at dawn... An elusive gift that can appear anytime...".  M. Hart

Saturday, March 08, 2014

"A Shift In Time..."


I remember, how the many aspects of time were not something I initially thought would be a part of my Outward Bound courses.
But it quietly became so...
We took the time needed to develop both trust and the adventure skills important for out there.
We allowed time to suggest what we would need to do in the next steps, and if we might achieve certain objectives in a 'clockwise' kind of way.
Our time pieces were given over too during certain hours and days, as we would discover they were only distractions to the moments we were truly hoping to experience.
The rising and setting sun, the tempo of our pace, the duration and unfolding of a hike, climb, or solo - all evolved in their own good time.
The transition from exercise to experience, from periods of activity to stillness and contemplation, were all occasions and eternities when measuring the passing minutes.
Being out there at times was like being in a time warp. A different kind of elemental chronometry, a Zeitgeist of adventuring, where the timekeeper becomes something else, so much more than ever expected.
I remember, what was most timely though, in those gentle present seconds, was a subtle shift in time, a transition of awareness, where our perceptions were quietly shaken up, so changed in form, as to never go back to their old positions.
In retrospect we didn't see this change of form developing immediately, but like all ancient elder things of synchronicity and serendipity, we would never want to back to our past views.
This was the potently subtle shift in time from our original thoughts and feelings of 'how long it is taking us', and 'when will we be done' - to 'we hoped for more time out there'.
What a shift in time that was.
What a powerfully, freeing, timely presence within our new perspectives we had all been gifted with..... DSD 

"Of Rocks And Time..."

"The river... runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are words...".  N. Maclean

Friday, March 07, 2014

"A Calling..."

It was such perfect timing, was this truly amazing calling...
A haunting, yet inviting summons it seemed.
The distant howl of a lone wolf calling out during my very early alpine start back then. One lone caller, giving voice to that adventure day and for another solo wanderer...
You could only make it out for some lingering moments. Yet that call gave meaning to many deep longings.
The language of that caller, was in my mind envisioned as an Elder Grey Wolf , and truly inspirational, potently significant, and very moving.
Such a beautiful cry speaks to so much - expression, symbolism, motivation, metaphor, and enduring meanings.
What is called to mind, then called into being, reflects upon reasons for why we do anything of what we do when we wander the wild places.
What is called forth within those intonations also speaks to our intentions for who we want to be on our wilderness journeys.
It was a calling that roused so many purposeful aspirations.
A voiceful memory never to be forgotten.
Then, when looking out upon that sea of summits, and those deep endless valleys, we each too will always find such song deep within ourselves..... DSD 

"True Poets..."

"People who seek adventure are true poets of living...".  Anon

It Began To Sing..."

"Then, when, I held the stone in my hand, it began to sing...".  Anon

"Waiting To Be Discovered..."

"I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, now and then finding a smooth pebble or a pretty shell, whilst a great ocean of truth also lay waiting soon to be discovered before me...".  Isaac Newton

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

"To Venture..."

"To venture into the wilds storied reaches - there was no more magical and mysterious place...".  J. Annerino

"Somewhat Intangible..."

"The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught. A segment of the rainbow which I have clutched...".  Thoreau

"Another Step..."

"Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time...".  O. Mandino

Sunday, March 02, 2014

"To Go On Forever..."

My relationship with mountain scree these long decades has been a mixed one.
Many times out on those seemingly endless slopes of loose rock have not always been my favourite experience up there, even on the best days. But, interestingly and tellingly, upon one particular mountain scramble last season, I found myself wanting it to go on forever...
We all know the adventure of flowing with the elements out there, don't we my friends. That kinship with the stone, the connections to the trail, the bonds even out among waves and deep waters. Notwithstanding their natural challenges, we also realize that there can be so much more within any trials themselves.
If we stay the course.
Then learn to eventually embrace, and then paradoxically even hope for, more of these worthwhile adventurous adversities.
Loose, shifting, endless scree was for me a very good example of an essential part for such an unfolding wild place experience. It can wear us out physically and wear down our intentions too. It never seems to end, and no matter our motives, those infinite slopes of difficulty seem continuous and eternal.
Still, when we blend instead of fight, when we step lightly and not with frustration, when we accept it all for exactly what it is, then even a rocky friendship of sorts can develop.
We are now more willing to keep a persistent pace. We begin to feel the rhythm and the tempo. We allow ourselves to slowly focus yet detach. Let go of time and any schedule. Then our breathing, heart rate, and motivation too, settle deeply into relaxed efforts.
So fulfilling all the uphill moments then become...
To know such a sense of connection and enjoyment, in the midst of what was before so very trying - is a wonderful adventure within itself.
Then we begin to look even farther forward, further upward, and feel the longing for such difficult yet worthwhile adventure experiences.
Now hoping they will go on forever..... DSD 

Dedicated to all those who keep on going while Adventuring For Another Reason. 

Saturday, March 01, 2014

"We'll Find It There..."

It all seems so far away at times.
The unknown and doubts a bit pressing too.
Yet if we endure and keep our pace.
Truly, we'll surely find it then...

We're usually so very tired out there.
Out of breath and quite sore as well.
Often trembling within our legs and arms.
When long trekking, climbing, and pushing on...

Still, when we go so much farther.
Then we sense it will be right there.
Even as our hearts keep pounding.
And our summits seem to be distant shadows...

These are our truths proven time again.
The surprising evidence simply cannot be ignored.
For finding it always we eventually do.
As we endure and journey even further on...

Exactly when it is discovered we may not know.
But in those moments its meanings are really clear.
Amidst the forever trials of our endless wanderings.
We now are on trails that have become our path...

For right then we have affirmed why we have gone.
Amidst those moments we know why we are there.
Having truly uncovered again so much more within.
We wonderfully smile right then and keep carrying on..... DSD

For all the smiles and echoes from Paradox Sports .

"You Will Find More..."

"You will find more in these mountains than climbing...".  Grey Wolf
For Paradox Sports .

"Only Through Kindness..."

"It is only through kindness that any true lessons can be taught... They are all my education, they are all my good teaching, they are my truth...".  P.F. Meekin
Dedicated to the wonderful adventurers at Paradox Sports .