Thursday, April 19, 2018

"Our Adventure Fascinations..."

"The Greeks pondered the causes of things. If you had asked them, 'Why are there mountains' they'd give you four causes. The Material cause is the ground has the potential to become a mountain. The Efficient cause is that mountains are just elevated earth standing up. The Formal cause is the earth raised them up. But the Final cause is where it gets interesting. They'd say the Final cause of mountains is they exist because humans need to look up and dream..."
"I've always been fascinated by the why . You know, the oldest questions in the world...". J. Auld 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

"Right Where We Are At..."

This is true, regardless of wherever on our maps we begin, or whenever we finally set out on those paths. However we start, full of anticipations & excitement, possibly a touch of doubt or anxiousness, maybe even wanting to leave behind some of the distractions from back here, and surely seeking out fun & freedoms out there.
Wherever, whenever, however - the trail always meets us right exactly where we are at.
This is not only a profoundly simple metaphor we mused over back on Outward Bound, nor only some kind of symbolism we have pondered over longer years since. For whatever adventures we choose to embark upon, we each can always be assured of the endlessly hospitable invitations of the wild places. These are our very own quiet accepting callings from far away.
The consistent greetings from the wind are always there. The embracements of both sun and moon forever present. The close connections around our campfires are truly lasting. Then there are the welcoming affections from the waters, the stone itself, and from all the elements then blending together.
The reception we are given, the genuine greetings always made, are the ways wherein the wild places truly make us feel at peace and at home out there.
What initially may only seem like terrain under our boots, becomes depths of emotion and such lasting memories, reflecting the experiences of every unfolding step thereafter.
Oh, the trail does indeed always meet us just exactly where we are at, and forever gladly received do we then forever feel..... DSD

Sunday, April 15, 2018

"Far More Important..."

"That first flash of imagination, those first, simple ideas of the mountains - perfect snow pyramids, glistening with sunlight in rarified air. That is the true form of these mountains; not only their physical manifestations, but their metaphysical truths...
It is the thing not seen, known only by its effects.
Untraceable on maps, but far more important.
Like clouds, like love, like gravity...".   J. Auld

Saturday, April 14, 2018

"Out Beyond..."

Out beyond those so very distant waters.
Higher still on the other side of our mountains.
So deep within those quietly welcoming canyons.
Near to the beginning headwaters of that raging river.
Also upon the far shores of our calming coastal islands.

Out beyond what we believe we know.
Further than all of our prior experiences suggest.
Way beyond what only we have think we have seen.
Farther too than our prior perceptions have taken us.

Out beyond.
Are all of our adventurous life mysteries.
So much elusive beauty.
So many hidden wonders.
There rests many truths we hope to ponder.
Out there awaiting each one of us my Friends.
Simply out beyond..... DSD

In appreciation for Outward Bound.  

Sunday, April 08, 2018


During countless adventure experiences have I mused about the nature of timelessness out within our wanderings.
Under many millions of stars have I then gazed up, dreamed about such journeys that we share in, and envisioned how we each then discover more within than ever first realized, thanks to Outward Bound.
I reflected too upon those hundreds of thousands of storms which have surely polished these kinds of stones which I seek for you my Friends, with that weather's powerful energy, and all those winds, snow, and rain.
About the tens of thousands of individual steps we take out there, where each and every one is a joy, while moving ourselves further among the wild places.
Also in how easily a thousand thoughts have been formed and focused up high, like the plans & preparation I make for an adventure such as on that day. Those ponderings within the excited enthusiasm and anticipations we all have, that take each of us so much further.
I reflect too over a hundred days and nights on other trips gone by, bringing me finally to be at very high place on the map. 
About the many valleys and trails, hikes and climbs over the years, which can now be seen as actual directions eventually leading right where we each are now..
I muse as well about a very dozen mountains, embraced by such beautiful vistas, all where many climbs have taken place - such wonderous times upon those so special peaks.
Then to a single summit, upon a unique high point, where I composed these simple words, while having gathered up some small touchstones for you Dear Finders. 
Then as I descended with the sunset, a million stars will begin to shyly shine far away on the horizon once more. All enlightening the journey to here and now. 
These are the forever moments that unfold within our adventures Dear Friends.
Those truly endless memories that we so enjoy, smiling about them time & time again, and always then sharing them in our stories with one another..... DSD 
Dedicated this adventure season to those who Adventure For Another Reason .

Friday, April 06, 2018

"Stand Out Like Stone..."

"Life is mostly froth and bubble.
Two things stand out like stone.
Kindness in another's troubles.
Courage in your own..."  
A. Lindsay

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

"Adventure As A Poem..."

“Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul...".  W. Maugham
"A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind...".  E. Lonesco

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 will we 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.      

Monday, April 02, 2018

"The Compass Rose..."

The Compass Rose is often described as an ancient navigational symbol; a figure of direction; and a mandala for Adventurers.
It can be seen in so many forms, like on my Outward Bound pins which I am gazing upon at this moment. Countless references can be found in readings and stories that reflect on the historical values of its use; and in the meanings and analogies for compasses.
The Compass Roses' age old perspectives re-minds me to see adventure experiences through 'long term eyes'.
There are powerful metaphors and depth of meaning in well applying concepts of navigation and direction within our outdoor lives, and not just in the most practical sense of finding our way.
This image of a Rose within the Compass holds mystery too in allowing us to set an unknown but intentional course over lands and waters previously only dreamed about, and do we not all simply love that.
We have owned many compasses over the years, and still have them all.
I enjoy discovering the Rose as the key placed upon antique maps, which displays the skill of the artist, and have often been put there for luck, especially when the world was uncharted as it is now.
I've often painted elements of the Compass Rose on these small Summit Stones under mountains and oceans, to capture a sense of their essence.
If only a hidden one.
Some of the very first Summit Stones were only the painted face of a Compass. Now many have North, South, East, and West woven into the lines of paint on mountains.
I remember... Finding a Compass Rose carved into a large piece of driftwood just off Quadra Island.
I recall... a passage from a book in my youth, whose Author wrote:
"Under the rock was the rose of a compass that was not supposed to be there, carved as clearly into the stone as if etched that very day. If done by the hand of a mason or the elements I could not tell".
We each truly love the sense of mystery that accompanies the Compass Rose.
I believe that while Maps carry promises...
Compasses show us one way to fulfill these... DSD

Sunday, April 01, 2018

"Look At Where We Are Now..."

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 those many adventures, and over all these long wonderfully full years, we all have shared 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 also share in the knowledge too about who we are truly becoming as we are out wandering.
For as we learn so much about all of what is out there,
then we discover as well that there is so much more within each of us 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 musings while gazing back upon where we each started .
Look at where we are now..... DSD 

Friday, March 30, 2018

"What Matters..."

"Some places in this world are very hard to climb.
Sometimes people ask animals to help them with this.
Each person can only ride one.
And each animal likely has a different name.
The riders go up the trail in different orders.
They often discuss their various opinions about their experiences.
They may even have conflicting opinions.
At the summit the travelers all stand in the same place.
Each of them has the same chance to view the same vistas.
The animals are then put to rest and graze.
We all travel such paths.
The animals are like the various doctrines that each of us embraces.
What does it matter which doctrine we embrace as long as it leads to the same quiet summit...".
D. Ming-Dao

Monday, March 26, 2018

"Outward Bound Echoes..."

"Attitude is one of those words that gets thrown around like it means something. It does, but not what most people think. It's not about how you look, dress, move, talk, or anything else you can work out with your bedroom mirror. Attitude is if you see somebody struggling, do you help... It's walking a moonlit forest like you belong there. It's going up against real obstacles and getting knocked around. Once. Twice. A zillion times. Then getting up. That's it. Just getting up over and over until one day, you're up all the way. And it can be anything. Sailing. Sea kayaking. Canoeing. Rock climbing. Whatever...". Outward Bound
Oh, how I've mused over the years, about these kinds of words. 
As a teenager I discovered Outward Bound but was not able to attend until later. I dreamt longingly of what I would experience there and was not disappointed. My first experience set the course for many adventures to follow. This was also not to be my only Outward Bound course either. 
I was mentored about attitude and adventure. 
I learned that what we often believe is only 'out there' we actually can create 'within' as well. And there was indeed 'more within me' than I had ever thought. 
My first solo was with them and these too have continued to be enduring, powerful experiences. 
Outward Bound is an experiential adventure metaphor in motion, and has been the first such exposure that many great adventurers found for themselves in their youth. 
Kurt Hahn and the Outward Bound Schools have such an attitude of service and have given so much to both individuals and their communities. 
I am proud of my OB memories and pins, and grateful for the instructors and their guidance. 
It was during these experiences that I first started thinking that if I can do these things, so many others can too, and if so many of us can then...  DSD  

Friday, March 23, 2018

"Of Difficulties..."

"The merit of so many things,
lies in their difficulty...".
Alexandre Dumas

Thursday, March 22, 2018

"Discovering For Ourselves..."

"We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves... After a journey through the wilderness which no one can make for us...".  
M. Proust

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


At the entry to a valley I have wandered in over the years is a wooded area full of life and noise and wonder. 
It was here I first met Raven. 
Such a large bird of glistening black with so irritating a voice. 
Having returned there so many times, this Raven and I seemed to develop a connection of sorts, that went from simple awareness to something very much more.
Every time I went back was usually for a different reason, some to just walk, many to hike further, even more as the approach to a mountain then chosen to climb. 
Raven always seemed to be there, watching and waiting. 
In the early years, Raven stayed up in the trees, and let me know I was not likely welcome with that loud call, the fluffing up, and the spreading of wings. During later times though it appeared we were becoming a bit more used to each other and I would even call back on occasion in fun. To my surprise, Raven would then pause and give me the most inquisitive look as if I had said something of some meaning.
Those last years Raven actually came closer when I called back, flying over, landing near, hopping back and forth, all the while keeping those clear, sharp, curious eyes upon me. I am not sure when exactly our conversations started, but I think they began when I was returning from an unsuccessful summit attempt one year. I was upset by my route finding and less than optimal fitness that season. Raven probably heard me mumbling to myself as I neared and cawed out more loudly than ever before, "I know, I know", I said out loud in reply, and then took Raven's response to me as one of laughter over my overreactions and a reminder not to take such things so seriously. After then landing closely nearby, I looked over at Raven and that bird simply sat there, calmly and more quietly than I ever remembered, and just stared at me for the longest time. 
I couldn't help but just laugh out loud. 
Over the seasons Raven and I continued to converse about many things. Our chats became more personal as we allowed each other to get physically closer and I believe trustingly, more emotionally closer too. That loud brash voice so bothersome in its call, and yet so comforting in its messages. 
Our talks went on for over a decade and in that time I think we began to know the other better. 
We were more able to understand each of our worlds, and very much enjoyed a connection out there.
On each visit, Raven would hop about, clacking that dark bill, kind of whistle occasionally, peck at my pack, and remind me with a shrill screech that I wasn't paying attention to the moment. "I know, I know...", I would say yet again and again; and then laugh in response along with Raven's intelligent stares at me.
Raven always reminded me to remember the truly important things, always chided me when I was distracted, never allowed me to just wander past without pausing in those moments to say hello, and to share how each of our adventures were going.
Raven wasn't there that last season. 
I knew immediately something was amiss. 
It was too quiet and the silence lacked the welcome I had known there so many times before. 
I did later find two beautiful, long black feathers laying out there. Raven's last gift to me I am sure.
I like to think Raven's voice can still be heard out there though, all his kin seem to have taken up the call. 
To simply remind us to laugh and wonder, and to bring our attention back to those special moments that we mark our lives by.
I do miss you old friend. 
Your voice irritating and so very beloved. You were such a friendly cherished bother...   DSD

Thursday, March 15, 2018

"Having, Doing, Being..."

“Lives based on only having are less free than lives also based on either doing or on being.”   
William James

Monday, March 12, 2018

"Moving & Stretching..."

“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Saturday, March 10, 2018

"The Quietest Voices Calling..."

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."  Immanuel Kant
There are very few of us adventurers who have not had desires and dreams about, and then actual experiences in sharing the wild places with, our family of wild ones out there.
Our experiences become so very special when this happens, when we see them, especially when we share a moment among them, and so we hope though while elusive that this will happen again and again for us.
Most of us cherish these moments almost as none other, they are so unique, so touching. Then we also often want to reflect upon our own lives through totems and symbols of what these special creatures of the earth represent to each of us.
I have forever longed for such connection with the wild ones, the quiet ones, and have been so grateful when it occurs. We admire their courage, their tenacity & endurance, their strength, their energy, the very spirit with which they live their lives out there. Without asking for anything in return they share with us their wisdom, and the mystery & memories of ageless wonders.
Yet we also know, as ones who wander out there, the risks they too face. We have seen the realities and the impacts of changes and clashes of territory, species, and cultures. We feel it deeply when their hurt voices are raised.
The truth of it is, even with their wild ways and powers we may envy, that they are really the most vulnerable ones, these quiet ones who call to us...
Within their callings they point us towards ways of fulfilling our own longings.
We adventure as we can, they must venture always.
We wander wild places to enhance our lives, they journey wild places because it is their lives.
We are an integral part within both of each others history and future.
They are our most precious ones. They are an essential part of our family, can be our teachers, our guides, our healers. They are the most vulnerable ones. They need us, yet we need them just as much, do we not my friends...
What would the wild places be without our family of wild ones?
We often hear their voices when they call in the dark, when dawn begins, and they can be heard too as we stop and listen and still ourselves when we wander out there.
They are the quietest voices, strong but often scared voices, they call as much to us as they do to each other to listen, to hear, to know, to feel...
Strong as they are they are vulnerable too. We know of such vulnerabilities, as we have touched it through our human frailties and with the risks we experience as we adventure. We are as vulnerable as well for in losing these quiet ones, in not hearing their voices, in not taking those paths that might mean some extra efforts on our part - will most certainly result in the loss of experiences shared with them and horizons only dreamed of.
We can do this, we who wander and adventure. We have strengths that can be theirs, and these quiet ones will then in turn share their wisdom with us, which may a saving grace for all.
Please listen with me for a while as the quietest voices are calling.
They are calling for us.
They are quiet voices reaching out to each of us.
Let us each respond, in our own way, even in some small way, and then go out there again, to see them, to embrace them, because we really are on one and the same path..... DSD    

Thursday, March 08, 2018

"Adventure Tools..."

“Accept yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, your truths, and know what tools you have to fulfill your purpose.”  
Steve Maraboli
“We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.”   Marshall McLuhan
“Problems are not roadblocks, but exercise tools.”  
Debasish Mridha
“Your words, your thoughts, your imagination: powerful tools. 
Remember that and use them wisely.”  
Donald Hicks
“Don’t be afraid to really use your imagination. Let it run wild. It’s one of the most powerful tools you’ve got.” 
Laird Hamilton

Tuesday, March 06, 2018


The search for our life of purpose; our Reason D'etre. 
What makes our living worthwhile; the meanings within our adventurous journeys.
The 'why we do what we do' when we wander the wild places...

Monday, March 05, 2018

"Your Wonderful Images..."

Thank you once more my Friends for allowing your so wonderful inspiring images to be shared here!
My intention with including such images & pictures of beauty and awe, is in support of all the links on my blog under 'Giving Back & Passing Forward'. 
There will never be anything commercial about these musings. 
I have always acknowledged that the vast majority of the images shared here were not created by me, as I am not talented in that way. Many have been sent to me or have been suggestions provided by fellow adventurers, so I am unable many times to give specific acknowledgements unfortunately. In my enthusiasm about your artistry I can also be forgetful when saving them, to record their origin at that time.
If I can make amends for this it will always occur as best I can right when such images are posted. 
I promise that I will also certainly acknowledge others work if you let me know as well, and then I will immediately attribute creative efforts where they clearly belong. 
It is with deep appreciation that your sharing images in this way is felt in support of those who are Adventuring For Another Reason . My whole adventure blog speaks to these initiatives.
You have such amazing pictures, and resonating metaphors within them, reflecting these links who give back and pass forward with their ongoing enduring efforts. 
Please forgive my grey haired forgetfulness in not always following proper internet protocol when it comes to such things. I am a late bloomer in the blogging and social media worlds.
Please also accept my sincere gratitude for your sharing and understanding in allowing for such support of the links here.
Thank you all so very, very much!      DSD      

Sunday, March 04, 2018


"A wise woman who was travelling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. 
The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. 
She did so without hesitation. 
The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. 
But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. 
'I've been thinking', he said, 'I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. 
Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone'...". 

Friday, March 02, 2018


Do we not all carry and display a type of map upon our faces? 
Are the lines, the contours, the images not unlike the symbols we find on the maps we use out there?
Our adventure experiences and the challenges & successes, trials & lessons, enjoyment & wonder of it all would seem to create many types of impressions upon one's face. When looking at each other during our journeys, we can see where we have been, can envision where we will now be going, almost as clearly as when we spread our maps out upon the ground. The title of a 'map' for any day of wandering may be of a hiker, a climber, then a kayaker, later a canyoneer, or river rafter, among so many other wondrous adventure pursuits. 
The legend of these maps - their keys, helps us to understand what is actually being represented there. We read it closely to envision what is being told to us.
Again as we do when reading each others faces as we weather the elements, as we make our way among the wilds, when we look into that mirrored reflection upon those mountain lakes.
Maps need a compass too for knowing how to orient oneself to it, for clearly establishing north, and then understanding which way to turn and carry on. 
We enjoy mentally picturing such distances and heights, size and scales, depths and elements, both personal and of the wild places.
The maps upon our faces were not purchased though, but earned.
They are as valuable as any ancient mariners chart, and have been sculpted not by ink, but by the elements themselves and through our efforts.
I so enjoy learning to read, to understand, to envision and embrace, the many challenges and discoveries that the maps on our faces and in our lives present for us...   DSD

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


“We ought not to ask why the human mind troubles to fathom the secrets of the universe. 
The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the skies so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.” 
Johannes Kepler

Sunday, February 25, 2018

"This Vitamin 'I'..."

The Ancient Ones forever mused over the wonders within being in-spired: To breath in that which would keep us going.
As Adventurers, we know about the importance of many kinds of sustenance, be it food, water, sunshine, even friends. Sustenance for the ephemeral kinds of endurance we need out there, would seem to be as much an essential element as any other; this 'inspiration' - this Vitamin 'I'.
What a critical substance for our wanderings, for discovering the meanings within the why we do what we do out there.
I believe it is something we would seem to need daily. Do we not desire, even crave this on so many levels? Seeking inspiration in itself can become a wanderers dream, a pilgrimage of endless purpose.
There are so many avenues for inspiration. It is so very abundant. A few sources that fellow adventurers and I have evoked include: Simply getting out there, for the wild places themselves offer endless gifts that inspire, even take our breath away; within dreaming & vision questing; from others wonderful stories & experiences; images & memories; readings & quotations; and especially within those potent unexpected moments of serendipity & mystery we will most surely find ourselves in.
Such inspiration is truly a fundamental energy within motivation for setting out upon any path, an energy needed to understand all challenges, and an energy essential when wandering towards any chosen horizon.
What fuels; that which drives our enthusiasms is drawn from this well with no bottom.
Inspiration is an elemental energy that is indeed priceless, ageless, timeless, and boundless - and yet available to every one of us.....  DSD 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

"A Narrow Ribbon..."

“Going to the beach means walking in fresh air, listening to the sound of waves, feeling the grit of sand beneath our feet. 
The narrow ribbon between land and ocean is a perfect place to understand the mind of wisdom”.  
Deng Ming-Dao

Monday, February 19, 2018


“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, 
but what they become by it.”   
John Buskin

Saturday, February 17, 2018

"What Emerges..."

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. 
Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”  Helen Keller
“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, February 14, 2018

"A Little Loving This Day..."

"I love this lake, basin of heavenly tears, tilted from lunar pull, jostling its shore... I love these mountains, stark rock outcroppings, sculpted by the oceans, lifted at some unknown time, isolated in a field of vetch, cleaved by silver falls. A sentinel owl regards me unblinkingly, and beyond alpine forests form a cadence, to a distant moon..."   Deng Ming-Dao  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"At A Distance..."

"To understand one's world, one must sometimes turn away from it! To serve better, one must briefly hold it at a distance. Where can the necessary solitude be found, the long breathing space in which mind gathers its strength and takes stock of its courage."  
Albert Camus

Friday, February 09, 2018

"Just Because..."

"An adventurous traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving."
Lao Tzu

Saturday, February 03, 2018

"We Each Can Do Something..."

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." 
John Wooden

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


It was one of my most difficult solo climbs. The kind of experience out upon a mountain where we remember every detail, pretty much all the moments of our whole high place adventure. This stone has rested here at home for so long now, from that summit to our den, then in that old leather box with so many others. Years of seasons have passed along the way. So many times I have held it in my hand to recall again the challenges endured on that climb. I chose this cherished stone from that summit for a variety of reasons. It was first gathered up because I recognized it as very, very old rock. It was uniquely carved by the elements into a mountain shape of its own, there are also cracks, striations, and whorls upon it that reflect those of the ancient Scholars Rocks . It has now become a perfect medium as well to splash a bit of paint upon it, and to Mix In many special elements with that paint as well.
It seems only fitting now to return this wild touchstone back to its own summit home, as I have long intended to climb there once more...
Back then I had built up a small cairn as there was none there at the time so long ago, and I am hoping to see it too once again. Other than bits of new color on one side, this stone appears the same in most ways after so long, even though I have certainly weathered much more. So while these old legs can still make it up there, it is time to go back.
Like old good close friends, who have shared many long trails and unfolding climbs, and now have to part ways, I will miss this little stone, but it is time to now return it back home..... DSD  
My appreciation for your own images of your returning experiences my Friends.

Friday, January 26, 2018


"We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves.
After a journey through the wilderness which no one can make for us...".  
M. Proust