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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Adventure. on 02/13/2013 15:03:10 MST Print View

How much do you seek it? What is it? It seems to mean different things to whoever you ask. Even the tamest trail walks can have a tinge of it in them. Storm clouds gathering, wondering what will come, what the dark will bring tonight. Is the wind picking up? For some, simply turning off the cellphone implies an element of it. For others, 4th class Sierra ridges are only hinting at it...

I have a trip planned this weekend. I'm not sure what George Washington has to do with walking in the desert, and regretfully, I probably won't be thinking of our Founding Fathers much. But I'll take it.

I can sneak away for ~36 hours.

There's a canyon I've been wanting to explore, a peak or two I want to climb. Not too fast, not too slow. I want to see things, but also have time to consider them. I've looked at the maps and daydreamed, straining my eyes at contours and tracing ridgelines. My 1:125,000 doesn't give me the detail to see whether or not I can hike through the canyon I want to do.

I was about to jump on the computer, to start looking for pictures, for a trip report, for some hints about whether or not the canyon will go.


Don't look. Don't kill the adventure, not this time. Let this one remain pure.

It's better I don't know. More fun to pretend that mine are the first hands to pull over a small dry desert waterfall, that my eyes are the first to see where the canyon leads from there.

I'll get around sometime on Sunday or Monday to sharing pictures of whatever it is that I do out there.

But I'll make sure not to put any names or locations in the report, lest I spoil the adventure for you.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Adventure. on 02/13/2013 15:29:55 MST Print View

I am living in Michigan at the moment so my adventures are low key, but every so often I get out West and North.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Adventure. on 02/13/2013 15:53:13 MST Print View

I was thinking of this last night watching two young men with blue Walmart pads tied on top of a mixture of old army surplus and big box gear,being dropped off by a pick up truck (Dad?) at sunset into Albuquerque's Sandia wilderness. Lows in the teens, a few inches of snow on the ground, and a Walmart blue pad.

Now that's some adventure.

A couple days off, so saw them testing gear yesterday in a cold wind that cut thru my clothing, but an AM snowshoe today in the Pecos, ggetting used to the cold, and now is 0'beer thirty.... but it's about time to get some overnights done.

Edited by hknewman on 02/13/2013 17:22:39 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Adventure. on 02/13/2013 17:15:32 MST Print View

My idea of an adventure is to explore some remote canyon or creek that you can't find pictures of. Or scan the horizon for a mountain pass to climb over with no knowledge of what lies over it. Trail hiking is fine, but it's not very adventurous.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Looking for Adventure? on 02/13/2013 17:31:59 MST Print View

Trail hiking not very adventurous, you say? You can find adventure just crossing a street. :)

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Looking for Adventure? on 02/13/2013 21:01:49 MST Print View

Edited by spelt on 02/13/2013 21:03:24 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Looking for Adventure? on 02/13/2013 21:08:43 MST Print View

Don't forget to look within as well...

Greg Pehrson
(GregPehrson) - MLife

Locale: playa del caballo blanco
Re:adventure on 02/13/2013 22:21:50 MST Print View

"I have not overcome all my fear--just the 51% that was holding me back."-V.N.
That quote, for me, typifies adventure-mind. Adventure begins in the dreaming, yes, and the planning and preparing, because these things condition your mind and body to go beyond what you previously thought possible, but adventure also lies in the willingness to be truly open to surprises and the unknown, and to embrace it, not judge it, with all your senses. Let your fear remind you to be smart, but not paralyze you.
For over a decade I had a job/work-lifestyle that was full of adventure, more aligned with Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" than "Walden." I constantly witnessed the interaction/ confrontation of two extremes of humanity: bold, compassionate visionaries and cold, greedy exploiters. A lifetime of stories came out of that period. During that time, I went to the woods for quiet wonder and beauty, simple walking and appreciating. Balance, really. Now that my work has shifted a bit I do find myself longing for, and preparing for, adventures in nature which challenge me more.
Hellen Keller, whose amazingly bold and adventurous life after the "Miracle Worker Years" is rarely recounted, said, "Life is either an amazing adventure or nothing at all." It's an important reminder.
Adventure is all around us, in society and in nature, but will we embrace it fully?
Just my midnight 2 cents.
Thanks for posing the question and for your reminders of the adventures that are out there, through trip reports that often read like poetry.

Bill Law
(williamlaw) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Adventure. on 02/14/2013 12:13:16 MST Print View

How much do I seek it? A lot. Having walked nearly every trail in this area, I got bored with that and started wandering off the trail looking for new places to go and new things to see. For a while I climbed up and down creek beds in a couple of parks. Then I spent a year or so seeking out a waterfall that piqued my interest because I couldn't find a picture of it on the Internet. Nowadays I'm exploring abandoned logging roads in the redwoods.

What is it? Certainly not a "physical" adventure, for me. I'm too old, infirm, and clumsy for that. The biggest risk I face is poison oak, and perhaps some of the adventure is simply finding a way to go off trail while avoiding it.

My backpacking trips are a little different. Those usually revolve around reaching modest peaks, none involving more than an occasional class 3 scramble. Reaching a summit is probably just an OCD thing. But it also gets me off the trail.

It's all about filling in those blank areas on the map, I guess.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Adventure. on 02/14/2013 17:35:52 MST Print View

Adventure involves at least one and ideally both of these :

1. testing ones limits, body, mind, or both
2. doing something for the first time (I use the word doing rather than experiencing because adventure requires active participation and simply experiencing is not always active).

Used to be that I didn't call it adventure unless my life was on the line, but I've learned better.
Even a project around the house can sometimes meet both of my criteria above.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re:adventure on 02/14/2013 19:54:06 MST Print View

"That quote, for me, typifies adventure-mind. Adventure begins in the dreaming, yes, and the planning and preparing, because these things condition your mind and body to go beyond what you previously thought possible, but adventure also lies in the willingness to be truly open to surprises and the unknown, and to embrace it, not judge it, with all your senses. Let your fear remind you to be smart, but not paralyze you."

Hard to say it better than that, Greg.

"I have not overcome all my fear--just the 51% that was holding me back."-V.N.

Yes. But well to remember that it's the other 49% that keeps you alive, especially when going solo, at least IME

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: adventure on 02/21/2013 12:26:59 MST Print View

Looks like your adventure culminated in success. I really enjoyed the read. I was also interested in the many responses to this thread, though I don't think any of the subsequent responses could capture the spirit of adventure as well as the original post did.

My original post in this thread, a tongue in cheek response to Stephen's post above, apparently tripped the moderator switch. Sorry. To rephrase in a more politically correct way, adventure is where you make it. I can honestly say that my adventures in Michigan are no more tame than those anywhere else I've been (except maybe Alaska). We've got the entire Upper Peninsula for pete's sake, a vastly underpopulated expanse of wilderness, complete with bears, wolves, coyotes, wild boars, and mountain lions. A diversity of waterfalls, rivers, bogs, beaver swamps, rock formations, shoreline, etc. Most of my trip reports over the last 5 years have attempted to showcase the wonders this state has to offer. No real mountains, but a truly unique environment nonetheless.

My approach is similar to Art's. Step 1- pick a place I'd like to explore. New is better, but familiar can work if you accentuate step 2.
Step 2- pick a challenge. Distance, pace, navigation, or other skill (food procurement, doing without key gear like shelter) are all fair game. Anything that takes me, however briefly, out of my comfort zone.

How often- as often as I can get away without compromising my credibility as father, husband, or employee. For me, this generally translates to 4-5 days per month.

Why? Who knows what the future will hold. Maybe I'll live till a ripe old age, surrounded by family. Possibly I'll succumb to a brain tumor or accident in the next 5 years. Regardless of which of these eventualities finds me, I hope that at the end, my kids will be able to say of me that I didn't waste the time I was given, that I let myself really live. And hopefully by example, I will have instilled this value in them as well.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: re: adventure on 02/21/2013 13:37:36 MST Print View

Come on Ike give a man a break, I am still getting used to the flat.

RA Amundsen
Two on 03/03/2013 03:00:10 MST Print View

First, making up a route. When looking at the maps, I find "short-cuts" and places that begs the question of "why can't I go there?". If I leave the trail once or twice to see what's out there, I'm happy - at least until I am in the middle of that boulder field the map doesn't mention as such because it is overgrown :)
Second, all the hiking tasks that are different from everyday life. Seems silly writing it, but I get a kick from boiling water, waking up and looking back at a camp site with no trace. All the little things that gives one a pat on the shoulder and says 'You got that right'.

Guess 'Raiders of the lost ark' on the mp3-player when it rains doesn't count, but hey, it adds a bit of ersatz adventure to a grumpy day. Lacking a stunt-double, I'll stick with my short-cuts and boiling water, thank you.