Thursday, March 31, 2016

"A Farther Why..."

"So if you cannot understand that there is something in us which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go...". G. Mallory
Dedicated this adventure season to all our Friends who understand this 'something within us', and who are Adventuring For Another Reason ..... DSD    

"Of Our Joy..."

"What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy and joy is, after all, the end in life. We do not just live to eat and make money, we eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means, and what life is for...".  G. Mallory  

"A Why Musing..."

"For the stone from the top for geologists, the knowledge of the limits of endurance for the doctors, but above all for the spirit of adventure to keep alive the soul of man...".   G. Mallory  

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"Of Wild Happiness..."

"The greatest happiness for the thinking man is to have fathomed the fathomable, and to quietly revere the unfathomable...".   J. Wolfgang von Goethe


"Sometimes it will be the peaceful feeling of sunset... At other times it will be the chance encounter with a secret place... In such private places we can often find peace. Such stillness can even be precious, as when we notice the deep voice of a stream which we were always too busy to hear before...".  D. Ming-Dao

Sunday, March 27, 2016

"Of Gratitude..."

What would I have done without you...
Now, this is a pondering that I have often so intensely wondered about: what on earth would I have done without all of these adventures...
You glorious mountains and your elusive summits, with those cherished challenges, and endless subtle secrets that you have shared.
You memorable meandering rivers and northern lakes, reflecting all of what you have so generously given back, in proportion to our efforts to learn your ways.
You silently beautiful canyons, and those wondrous desert towers, with your contrasts, connections, and ancient stories about time and harmony.
You vast valleys and deep dark forests, with your slow, deliberate sharing of such natural power and mystery, from so far out there - only to then return me to the place I began, while teaching us all how to also finally then discover such magic back here as well.
It is very hard to imagine, what I would have done without Outward Bound, and the courses they set me upon of so many life directions those long years ago, when really, truly, introducing the wild places to one very young back then.
It is even more difficult to envision what would I have done without all that hard earned knowledge, shared with me by so many - the countless ways and means of navigating both the trails out there, and also those internal ones of our lives too.
What on earth would I have done without all of you elements, over these many decades, in the midst of my own trials of health and life, along with those forever cherished connections you also gave, in our close fellow adventurers as companions and friends.
Gratefulness is a concept we wanderers all deeply sense.
Gratitude is an experience that lingers longer than many others.
Thank you so very much, for what would I have done without you.....DSD  


"Remember, again and again, that the true journey is into the undiscovered land of your own imagination, which you could not have explored any other way than through these adventures, with gratitude in your satchel, and compassion for all you see as your touchstone...".  P. Cousineau  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

"Thank You All & An Enduring Metaphor of Mixing In..."

Thank you all very much my Friends, again 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, March 25, 2016


"He could tell by the way animals walked that they were keeping time
to some kind of music.
Maybe it was the song in their own hearts
that they walked to...".
L.A. Armer

"How Is It..."

"How is it
that animals understand things I do not know,
but it is certain that they do understand.
Perhaps there is a laguage which is not made of words
and everything in the world underdstands it...".
F.H. Burnett

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"Adventure Experience & Education..."

"Education is the ability to experience almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence..."  R. Frost

"Adventure As Endless Education..."

"Education is the most powerful method which you can use to change the world...".
N. Mandela

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"Further Educations..."

"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 .   

"Of Education..."

"The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life...".   Plato

 For  Outward Bound  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

"Of Particular Outward Bound Gifts..."

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.  

"Their First Course..."

"We shall not cease from exploration, and at the end of all exploring, will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time...". T.S. Eliot
On Outward Bound, on these many adventures, over all these long wonderfully full years, we share in learning more regarding what the mountains, the forests, the oceans, and the canyons are all really about...
On Outward Bound, through such adventures, over these endlessly amazing seasons, we then share in the knowledge too about who we are truly becoming as we are out wandering...
For we learn so much about all of what is out there. 
Then we discover as well that there is so much more within than ever first realized.
For as Henry miller wrote too: "Our destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things...".
From gazing back upon where we each started .
Look at where we are now..... DSD 

Dedicated to all those about to undertake their first Outward Bound course this year.  

Saturday, March 19, 2016

"Of Reflections & Meditations..."

"Meditation is the soul's perspective glass...".  O. Feltham   

"Hiking Meditations..."

"There are times when simple hiking is literally the best activity. When one walks in the woods or climbs mountains, there is a wonderful unity of body, mind, and spirit. Hiking strengthens the legs, increases stamina, invigorates the blood, and soothes the mind... One is freed to observe nature's lessons... Erosion. Gnarled roots...The high spiral of hawks. Just budding bare branches. Gray rock, cracked, shattered, and worn. A fallen tree. A lone cloud. The laughter of plum branches. Even a little circle of rocks beside the trail - who put them there, or did any hand arrange them, and no matter which, what are the secrets of that circle? There are a thousand meanings in every view...".   D. Ming-Dao

"Farther Meditations..."

Subtle sounds within what we all sense.
Sense within many of nature's tones.
Tones within movement and long meditations.
Such meditations among our wonderous mountains.
Mountains of contemplation, connection, and spirit.
All within just the next step..... DSD 

Dedicated this season to all those amazing adventurers who are out there 'Adventuring For Another Reason...'.   

Friday, March 18, 2016

"Li Po's Meditation..."

"Flocks of birds have flown high and away.
A solitary drift of cloud, too, has gone wandering on.
And I stand alone with this mountain peak, towering beyond.
We never grow tired of each other, the mountain and I...".  Li Po  

"Masson's Meditation..."

"Some who have observed bears in the wild speak of them sitting on their haunches at sunset, gazing at it, seemingly lost in meditation." J. Masson

I have always so loved this quote.
It reflects upon so much yet to be understood and the words resonate with such wonderful meanings...
That the Great Furred four legged Ones also share in the beauty and moments when meditating and appreciating a quiet, wonderful sunset, is a metaphor for all we need to know at times..... DSD   

Thursday, March 17, 2016

"All A gift..."

"Take nothing for granted.
Not one blessed, cool mountain day, or one hellish desert day, or one sweaty, stinking hiking companion.
It is all a gift...".  C. Ross

"A Deeper Sense..."

"When you are there, whether it's for the afternoon or for the evening, you are a climber.
That's your purpose.
And it all seems to make sense when you are doing it.
It seems to make sense of the rest of your life because it's summed up.
That's the area where climbing can become an art, because it allows for individual expression.
Mountaineering creates an interest in a deeper sense...".  T.I.M. Lewis

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

"Of Learning..."

"He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying...".  F. Nietsche 

"Our Shared Winding Stairs..."

"All rising to great places is by a winding stair...".  F. Bacon

Sunday, March 13, 2016


"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   

"An Outward Bound Dedication..."

To ponder is one thing. to muse another. 
Reflection is wonderful, and dreaming is a gift. 
We have such abilities to envision all that we so want to wander among and through. Our minds create the possibilities, and then it is time to climb further... 
"Put some boots on your dreams", our Outward Bound Instructor said. 
Then we were to learn of the wild places beyond contemplation; of the terrain of taking actions. These were steps on trails of another kind, towards horizons of dreams now made very real. 
'Boots on our dreams' - a so potent shared metaphor, said so long ago to us, long pondered over many more seasons, and now passed forward once more to all of you Dear Friends..... DSD 

Dedicated this adventure day to all our wonderful Outward Bound Schools.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Blue Mountain Spirit..."

"Big blue mountain spirit,
Away in the home made of blue clouds,
I am grateful for that way of goodness there,
That sets my heart free...".
Aboriginal Saying 

"Our Shared Mountain Spirit..."

"Shan: Mountain. The ancients believed that there was something called the mountain spirit...". Deng Ming-Dao  

Friday, March 11, 2016

"More Than ever..."

"Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only Nation to Nation, and human to human, but human to all other forms of life...".  The Dalai Lama

Thursday, March 10, 2016

"Farther Friends..."

"A friend is, as it were, a second self...".  M.T. Cicero

Thank you for sharing these images my Friends.

"Further Friends..."

"The best mirror is an old friend...".  G. Herbert

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

"Of The Sea..."

"There is no place in my adventure lexicon for cynicism, criticism, and doubt.
Instead, I've learned to listen, accept, and record...
You will understand the sea when you get there.
It will speak to you...
After blasting through the surf, I bobbed on the residual storm swell and settled into the silent, mantric repetition of paddling...".  J. Turk

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

"Of Perspectives..."

"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   

"Of Ripples..."

"I feel as though I found meaning while walking in the woods... A pebble thrown into a pond creates ripples of water which sends ripples into the air and so on and so forth... This rippling effect followed me back into society and strengthened my beliefs in the interconnectedness of all things. It boosted my beliefs that people must be good to each other, as the ripples aren't just in the water, but in the conversations and actions we have with each other...".  S. Haraldson  

Sunday, March 06, 2016

"Endless Blue Mountains..."

Amidst winters deep embrace upon the wilds.
Endless mist and mystery among the valleys.
A windy breath so very cold.
Sun too though upon frozen waters.
With crystal jewels all a shining.
Clear sky reflections, endless blue mountains.
Crisp sounds to ponder,
Now time to wander.....  DSD  

"Dwelling In The Blue Mountains..."

"You ask me why I dwell in the blue mountains.
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown.
I have a world apart that is not among men...".
Li Bai

Saturday, March 05, 2016

"As This Season Unfolds Abbey's Blessing First Heard On Outward Bound..."

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing views.
May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poet's towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you - beyond that next turning of the canyon walls...".  E. Abbey

My sincere appreciation for sharing your image with us.  

Friday, March 04, 2016

"For Fur, Feathers, And Fins Friday's: Our Adventure Animus..."

Everyone seems to agree it is fundamental.
Many have seen its impact.
Most have felt it presence.
While all know the truth of its origins.
Yet we all tend to describe and express our own 'Adventure Animus' in such unique and different ways.
Our 'Animus' is that spirit that animates our inner self.
That which moves each of us. That endless source of personal energy and drive, passion and pride, motive and enthusiasm, our courage and initiative.
Some say the substance of our Adventure Animus is drawn from the mind, the rational, the sensible - our intention and will.
Others feel that the essence of Animus to adventure out there is more about instinct and inner impulse, from our true primal self, even our archetype.
All would likely agree though, that the Animus is indeed the storm that moves us, and those winds we ride upon, the very way we breath life in, and that essential spirit we seek for discovering why we do what we do out in the wild places.
When you sense yours, Dear Finder, your own vital Adventure Animus, where will you next wander.....   DSD  

Thursday, March 03, 2016

"Of Eternity And Stones..."

"The Stone grows old.
Eternity is for stones.
But I shall go down from this airy space.
This swift white peace.
This singing exultation.
And time will close about me.
My soul stir to the rhythm.
Of the the daily round.
Yet, having known.
Life will not then press so close.
Always will I feel time ravel thin around me.
For once I stood.
In the white windy presence of eternity...".  E. Tietjens

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

"Look Up. Look Way Up..."

Such a subtle transformation it was...
One of the processes of alchemy that Outward Bound Instructors are so well known for, as they lead wondering wanderers out there for their first time.
It was at the beginning of our course, with those heavy packs, the unknowns before us, some with new boots, others with doubts and fears, all inexperienced adventurers.
All of us were heads down it seemed, when hiking, when climbing, even as it felt at times when we were resting too.
If we looked up at all we would catch that inspiring glimpse of one of our leaders, head up, relaxed and contemplative. Mostly of us, but also of their surroundings, and even of something maybe not really seen, likely more elusive for those of us so new to these highlands.
As we so journeyed, we were coached and encouraged to keep our heads up. Initially because we would likely breath better, Later it was more about awareness... Of the wild places we were moving among, and the unfolding experiences we were going through.
As the long days became deep nights, and the nights evolved back to enduring days, then further to expansive hours, and more finally slowed to moments - one by one we individually found ourselves more heads up.
We began recognizing this in each other, and also saw the ongoing smiles this sparked within each of us.
The packs were still heavy. The terrain just as challenging. The footing as tricky at times. But we were no longer existing just with heads down.
These wild place perspectives had changed us as we had evolved farther while journeying through them.
From heads down. To heads up.
From enduring to enjoying.
From doubts to confidence. 
From looking to knowing.
From unknowns to welcoming embracements.
From just tired meandering to blissful wandering.
All with our heads up, way up, held high, with great big full wonderful smiles to be found upon everyone's faces.
Heads up my friends..... DSD    

For Outward Bound  

"Of Wandering and Wondering..."

"People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering". St. Augustine