Friday, April 29, 2011

"A Special Spring Tide..."

While even so called, I was to learn that such tides occur not just in the spring, but rather when the Earth, Sun, and Moon are in concordance. They are the strongest of tides; the tides of extremes for highs and lows, when the pull, the drawing, of both sun and moon work synergisticly together. The moon was indeed very full as I looked out over those island waters; in a way I had not seen them in some time... The tide tables also shared what could now be viewed out among these quiet points of rock that were growing higher and larger as the minutes passed. The waters were withdrawing, were retreating, were letting go of their grasp upon the land. And as with all true mystery, now things were being shared that were not known before... I was up at that very early hour for just this experience. To listen in the night, to converse with the moon, to watch the waters ebb beyond, to walk upon a shoreline that hardly ever breathes the air, and hopefully to find those treasures that are only shared in those brief, ephemeral, moments such as this... They were indeed there... The pure soft sands, the countless shells and sand dollars, endless polished cobblestones, and tidal life so vibrant and full of energy. I wandered and strolled and walked and mused and stooped and sat... for endless moments, until the waters voice became more insistent to return. Then the first full glow of a distant horizon began to more show itself... Such a special spring tide... Another of those gentle, hidden, beautiful gifts from out there..... DSD

My appreciation to K. Garrett for the top image above, and to C. Johns for the lower image.

Friday, April 22, 2011


I've got to say. when I stand still up here. upon this very high point, and not simply composing these words - but gazing too out upon the sea of summits, the pristine valleys, a distant river, way out far below... I've got to tell you, someone had some real foresight; such distant vision... To think that from way back then, they were aware of the probability that such wild places were so vulnerable; that they predicted those many potential pressures, and saw what could foreshadow and happen out here... I've got to say how amazed and impressed I am at that kind of foresight. In this National Park, as I ponder over a post for our shared Earth Day, I am so reminded of what they were able to foresee... The way they protected these wilds places and the wild ones too, for us all, for generations to come... The care they had for the future was indicative of so much. What gifts they set aside for us to enjoy, what stewardship they established, which was to predestine taking care of it all in this way... Those who saw this, those who did this, those who passed this forward for us; I've got to say - let's also honour them this day..... DSD

My appreciation to J. Chin for the great image above.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"All Spoke The Same Language..."

"In the very earliest of times, when both people and animals lived together on earth, a person could become an animal if he wanted to, and a animal could become a human being. Sometimes there were people, and sometimes animals, and there was no difference. All spoke the same language...". Author Unknown

My gratitude to S. Boulet for the top image above and to B. Bosin for the lower image. DSD

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Cresting That Ridge..."

There can be those certain objectives in our lives of adventure that we dream endlessly about, commit so much to, and plan over so often... There is this one elusive summit, this one special mountain peak, that I have gazed upon every summer in our Western Rockies. I eventually attained that goal of a solo climb upon it and those precious moments up there... My first time up on that mountain was a very unique experience and I longed to return there again. It had become something more than an objective for me.. I knew the route well and was confident in my planning to go solo again. Visualizing the whole climb was a joy - the very early alpine start, being alone upon that trail, just by myself through those long hours of scree... Then I would picture each rock band; their colors, textures, and individual characters. The preparation was such great fun, and the training very challenging, but worth every hour. I would endlessly see in my minds eye the approach, the ascent, descent, and return... There seemed to be, though, one point on the climb in particular that resonated deeply with me. The summit was important; yet it was the cresting of a particular ridge that was even more significant... I knew that when this steep ridgeline was attained, that barring the most severe weather, the summit was almost assured... Having been there before I could feel again that the real difficulty was getting to, and then up upon that distinct ridgeline. The point on that crest was where I had rested before, just as the newly rising sun came around the edge of the mountain itself... My silhouette was projected out and across the sky, then over the valley below - I had never viewed anything so amazing... Returning to such places and experiencing them again is so very special. Such goals, within those ridgelines of our adventure lives, become children of our soul, reflections of our spirit, projections of ourselves... Can you see yourself out yet again Dear Finders, upon your own distant ridgelines, with the beauty of the horizon endlessly shining out there ahead of you.....DSD

Friday, April 08, 2011

"A Percentage Mental....."

On Outward Bound we had many long engaging discussions while on the trail, or resting and during meals later in the day. One theme that became central was the strong opinions our Instructors had that, while we could learn as many outdoor skills as possible, and practice them often, that a percent of our performance out there would always be mental... On many later adventures with older mountain guides and wild place mentors, I would spark similar discussion to learn of their views on this. They would all agree, even if the percentages changed a bit, that the key element here, be it about skills, fitness, endurance, or persistence past adversity - was indeed a fundamental percentage mental... But what does this mean, what does this look like, I would often ponder further, and still do to this day... We are all very individual adventurers with such varied upbringings, backgrounds, and perceptions. Our natures can be so unique and our nurturing so different too. This crux of a percentage, can be the catalyst or the downfall, but what are those elements in this essential mental component... Is it the persistence we develop over time, particularly under the supportive watchful eye of a seasoned experienced elder out there. Could it be the time and practice we put in, to sort out our skills and develop earned confidence in them. Maybe its the accumulation of the adventure experiences themselves, where we learn there is so much more within us then we ever first knew... Possibly we may have a stubbornness, a persistence of character, a willingness to push a bit further - are these part of our percentage that takes us higher... Might it be the ways and means we each strengthen our convictions, that personal determination we grow from within. This percentage surely is a part of the inherent power of envisioning within our dreams is it not... Is it the way we each seek to clarify and crystallize why we do what we do out there until these become gems of our percentage. Then too, there is that shared source which is created among friends and companions with those potent fellowships and connections. What about that powerful something else - like when we are adventuring for another reason; when we are out there for things beyond ourselves... Essentially this must be found too in the promises and commitments we make to not let others or ourselves down. Is it the assurance we sense if we prepare well, to find out what we each feel we need to know, often from the discussions with those who have gone before, and then we carry this along with us... What about all those techniques, tricks of you will, that we each develop to enhance our focus, to get us up that next bit, to move us on to taking a few more steps; the little 'psyche' kind of strategies that take us a bit further along the trails... A love of the wild places must be a potent part of this percentage too, from the way we feel at home out there, and in the ways the wilds resonate inside of each of us... Then there is the creation and recollection of the memories themselves that certainly make up a piece of this puzzle. Could those hopeful possibilities of time with the wild ones, those special ones out there whom we all are in awe of - could that also be a clue... Is it simply that we accept that these ways, those paths, are means towards becoming the persons we always wanted to be, out there as adventurers, and when we are back here also, are inherently calling out as a mindful percentage... Might it be that there are things within the trials we decide to face when adventuring, those discomforts, adversities, even painful experiences that actually draws us to them... Imagine that - as could it be we are of that hardy group that choose to make things more difficult and challenging for the fun of it. There is surely, clearly, a significantly important percentage mental within all of these paths comprising our adventure approaches. Just as when water finally boils on our mountain stoves, a simple degree beyond its set point, these small percentages will fire our enthusiasms, motivations, and endurance which will certainly all contribute to our adventure endeavors in the wild places... There are likely as many paths to enhancing these mental percentages within our chosen adventure activities, as there are adventurers out there. Therein is the value again of musing and pondering the wonder of why we do what we do when we wander.....DSD

Saturday, April 02, 2011

"I've No Idea He Said..."

We only met briefly; two trekkers out upon that long trail. Him coming back in, and me just getting going. Him returning with that look of such happiness and weathering; me simply beginning with no dust yet upon me nor a sun or wind burn upon my face.While we were only meet briefly we did talk for some moments. Some great shared time, like that we all have had on our trails, to chat about terrain, directions, conditions, vistas to enjoy, and secret places to discover...But when I asked that other question, we often query about too; that inquiry over timing, what he said intrigued me even more..."I've no idea", he said when I asked how long its' been and how long its' taken. "No idea at all, because I don't really know...", "What day or date it is, or the time of day really either...".All this said with a smile on the face of one who doesn't care, about such definers or parameters, when they long wander out there...He was returning with such a wondrous gift, of perceptions like these. I was just starting to head out, only beginning to sense, to be reminded again of the value of this way of wandering.We only met and shared briefly; but I won't soon forget...DSD