Sunday, April 27, 2014

"Before There Was A Trail..."

Our shared wilderness history is truly an amazing thing.
When we become a little part of such history, that is so much fun too.
Well before, the many who now wander the almost endless series of valleys near here, there really were no established trails out there at all.
Long before, those who also adventure there to climb the mountains which embrace these valleys, there were no distinct paths to follow.
Prior to the newer summit cairns now found up among those high places, and before some impressions in the scree were worn, we all had to truly route find our very own way up there.
Much then, like the lines too on our faces, from enduring sun and wind burned experiences, this favourite area on the map has developed another kind of quiet character.
Sure there is a small trace now of the years and almost countless adventure days passing, from the many adventurers wanderings.
But not an intrusive one at all...
Having been out there for long seasons before there were many real routes or discernible trails, and then finding them now, simply feels fine.
We wanderers are very respectful of this important balance.
So then we can all say, and feel, that before there was any kind of trail, it simply was.
And still is.
For almost every other single meter of wild places among those endless valleys and mountains..... DSD 

"Bewitching Solitude..."

"Poets all over the world have sung their songs about the brooding mystery that lies within woods and forests, and I was attracted to the bewitching solitude of which they are a symbol...".  G. Funakoshi

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"I've Been Saving This One..."

There are so many skill and training strategies we apply, many more approaches we employ, and as many ways we each then play out there - to keep our enthusiasms brightly afire, and our energies full aflame.
That adventure day, I realized this once again, just as my sea kayak was gliding through those last challenging waves. Then gently up onto the sands of this very distant, elusive, tiny coastal island.
"I've been saving this one", was what I reminded myself. Then chuckled out loud about how many different meanings this had, and the even more times I've pondered over this musing.
An elder Mountain Guide and close friend used to talk about doing exactly this. He would often discover a hidden away summit that intensely captured his interests in unique ways. Over what seemed lengthy periods of time, he would gather up details, stories, bits and pieces from others memories about this mountain, which were all now slowly taking shape in his mind.
He would really savour these experiences, then chat endlessly about the possibilities of what was yet to be. All long before he had even set foot near his chosen peak.
It seemed to me that this whole engaging, inspiring process was a truly wonderful adventure within itself.
A little gift for ourselves...
One that reminds us about dreaming, envisioning, intentions, and cherished planning and anticipations.
Such were the ponderings that wandered through my mind as I sat still in those moments, content in my kayak.
Simply being rocked in the present by the slowly ebbing tide.
This one I had been saving. It was a gift to myself for some patience, among other kinds of extra efforts and persistence. It didn't matter about the long preparation and was not really about any extra expectations.
This one was special.
It had been saved to be truly savoured, amidst even more further blending within all of the wild elements so far out there.
Gentle anticipations, deep enjoyment, awe, and wonder.
Such beautiful returns on all of our shared savings, isn't it so my Friends..... DSD

"Our Dreams..."

"Our dreams are like a fire at a campsite. We can go off and do other things, but in coming back to the fire, we return to the center, to the warmth, to the energy...".  Grandfather, Mountain Elder

Friday, April 18, 2014

"Balancing Rocks..."

Being appreciative of almost all things rock and stone, it was only a matter of time years ago before I became one who very much enjoys balancing these elemental bits and pieces.
There is indeed a wide array of techniques and imagination that is applied here.
A very distinct meditative patience to be practiced as well...
What can be so memorable and fun is the slow and gradual placement, representing something we each have envisioned in our mind.
Then the pure enjoyment of that outcome as we then gaze across the high places, and over the shorelines, where such exercises of balance unfolds before us.
This then feels very much like a metaphor for our many other adventures out there as well..... DSD

"There Is Something..."

"There is something about high places; something about lonely, wild places in general, desert, sea, barren ground, great salt lake - but something in particular about high ones...".  R. Schultheis

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"On The Way..."

"We may run, walk, even stumble... But let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see the rainbow on the way...".  G. Gaither

"No Such Thing As Bad Weather..."

"For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; any sky has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously...".  G. Gissing

Monday, April 14, 2014

"A Metaphor In Motion..."

"To say why people climb mountains means to say something about why they do anything at all... Mountaineering is a figurative experience, a metaphor in actual motion...".  G. Suttles

"Never Tired Of Exploring..."

"I never tired of exploring it. Nor did I grow bored with the rugged trails, bushwacks, and scrambles that marked my days, the campfires, canopy of stars, and howling coyotes that soothed my nights...".  J. Annerino

Saturday, April 12, 2014

"I Didn't Know I Had It In Me...He Said..."

A thesis demonstrated, a question answered, a lesson proved - out on Outward Bound yet once more.
I have seen it so many times over the years. Now it was shared with me again as a friends young family member pondered over their own elusive adventure experience.
There were remembrances of the trials out on the trails, the pushing of limits towards summits, and the evolving but sure developing of confidences.
Further skills needed to be learned and then truly practiced. Also enduring connections needed to be made with others, and with the many elements out among the wild places.
Yet, what echoed out most especially and significantly was what was then stated by a young adventurer who then quietly said, "I didn't know I had it in me...".
What wonderfully, powerful words these are.
That reflect even more potent meanings for all of us who wander.
Their Outward Bound maxim is that there is always more within us than we ever first realize.
This musing is one that we are quietly invited to endlessly ask deeply of ourselves.
The lesson then proved, is the gift we now have, in the answers we each create, while adventuring far out there.
There was still wonder, surprise, even awe, on the face of this young friend as those words were repeated again. By someone who now senses what they do indeed truly have within themselves. A young person who will now carry these dawning realizations further forward, and ever upward, now throughout their unfolding life.
Just like when I said this myself...
Way back then, so very long ago, and still subtly often do now, time and time again as well.
Such a wonderful lasting echo this is..... DSD

"Adventure Is An Attitude..."

"Adventure isn't just hanging on a rope on the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day-to-day obstacles of life. Facing new challenges, seizing new opportunities, testing our resources against the unknown and, in the process, discovering our own unique potential...".  J. Amatt

Friday, April 11, 2014

"Even So....."

Very dark clouds there were.
Even colder winds.
Elements of weather seemingly to conspire.
In distracting me from my intentions.
Even so, today I decided to go a little farther...
Questionable conditions over such terrain.
Doubts of fitness too, as I feel not quite as prepared.
The angle and slope increases greatly as well.
Still, even so, this day I promised myself to go a bit higher...
Being out solo, can hold so many challenges.
Certain risks are even more apparent.
Personal responsibility becomes very important.
Yet, even so, amidst all of this I then adventured somewhat further...
That balance of risk and reward, adversities and unknowns.
Reaffirming our focus on choice, motivations, and commitment.
A long day it was back then, a much harder summit to attain.
Though, as we each realize, from what we discover within.
Many times on the very journey itself, over such paths.
This all makes the forever moments and memories, even so much more personal and precious..... DSD

Dedicated this adventure day to all those who keep on their paths when Adventuring For Another Reason.


"The Answer Becomes Clear..."

"The only way to understand what motivates a mountaineer is for one to seek out and engage the wilderness, for only in climbing the mountain does the answer become clear...".  Stephen Lyman

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

"The Present..."

"I pack up a rucksack and head off into the hills to pitch my tent, gaze at the sky, feel the wind and rain on my face, the rocks and earth under my feet, and bring my life back to the only thing that exists, the present...".  C. Townsend

"Our Way..."

"Our way is not soft grass. It's a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forwards, towards the sun...".  R. Westheimer

Sunday, April 06, 2014

"Of Little Candles..."

What lasting illuminations these provide us, those little candles we often pack out there...
Most of us usually also take other sources for finding one's way and being able to look ahead while we wander. The power and usefulness of the newer style headlamps is amazing, yet I find I am never without a little enlightening candle as well.
I've even saved many of the stubs from our candle lanterns, as these left over bits of luminary hold more than remaining light within them.
Many years ago on Outward Bound, I was given a tiny candle. Just a half of one in a ditty bag, with some matches too. The light from this helped me to see to things at the end of our very long days. It invited me to watch the flickering and then ponder why we did what we had done through our Outward Bound adventure experiences. Especially why they were purposeful, and how they provided revelations about the fun and laughter amidst all the inherent trials  and challenges.
I still have that special little stub of a candle.
Knowing it is there makes the memories brighter, helps me to envision the light of horizons yet journeyed towards, and to foresee the possibility of even further adventures.
Candles are also comforting. Like a little glimmering fire we carry with us, providing company and also warmth over so many seasons.
Little candles remind us to be mindful as well. They provide us with a means to focus and meditate too upon our wild experiences, if we enjoy such rituals and traditions.
Tiny candles are not just useful objects for us. They help us dispel the shadows, see our way, find our place out there. They show us how to look ahead. Then how to understand and interpret things.
They are an enduring torch. A means for discovery and imagination.
Then, after so many long seasons of wandering, perceiving, and seeing, our little candles become a very special way of recalling so many wonderful forever memories as well..... DSD

"Of Height And Depth..."

"On the mountain, stillness surges up to explore its own height. In the lake, movement stands still to contemplate its own depth...".  Tagore