Friday, December 30, 2016

"Nearing Year's End..."

"We shall not cease from exploration and at the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know it for the first time...". T.S. Elliot
That adventure day by the sea, when I could sense the end of the trail approaching, there was that deep emotion of contentment, and yet a gentle tired kind of sadness as well.
I recognize we all experience this occasionally. 
When we each attain a really elusive adventure goal out there, with all of those so special celebratory emotions. Then at times we sense upon completion a touch of those other feelings of, 'Oh, Its over'...
Pretty natural it seems, to truly experience both, when we invest ourselves so intensely and purposefully within our journeys.
So, I did what we wanderers often do and pondered this a bit, while allowing myself to experience all those musings and emotions all at the same time. 
Then much later, as I rested upon a further mountain, after having had that similar summit rush of these sensations, I reminded myself of that very old saying, 'that when one trail seems to end, another path always opens up'.
I reflected too on another old saying that, 'while we may shed a tear about such an experience being over, we can clearly smile as well for having lived those forever moments'.
There are many manifestations of these wise and wild old ponderings.
So, then, if we keep ourselves open to what is always out there on the horizon; if we accept that there is always more within us than ever first realized; if we blend with the truths that there is never an end to the creation of amazing memories, possible connections, and shared wonderful stories - then our trails will forever keep on going so much farther, higher, upward, onward, and inward...
Seeming endings always then become new beginnings and as Muir reminds us as well, "This grand show is eternal... It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapour is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in turn, as the round earth rolls". 
Happy endless end of the year trails to all of you my Friends.....DSD   

Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Of The Music We hear Out there..."

"The end of a melody is not its goal.
But nonetheless, had the melody not reached its end,
it would not have reached its goal either...".
F. Nietzsche

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"Of Endings..."

"There is no real ending.
It's just the place where you stop the story...".
F. Herbert

Friday, December 23, 2016

"My Sincere Gratitude Dear Finders & Happy Holidays To Everyone..."

"It is written even still... that the giver should be thankful; only then is it a sharing... Somebody accepted you through your gift...". Osho
"In becoming a giver... we establish an affinity with all creatures in the world...". Dogen
My sincere gratitude to you all Dear Finders, and Partners In Placing , for your having allowed me to gift you with a small Summit Stone..... DSD     

"Giving Back & Passing Forward..."

I wrote for the last page of the 'Adventure Muse': 
"Passing things like your experience, a 'Summit Stone', or adventure quotes, forward, is a way of giving back and sharing wisdom, strength, and hope. 
If you enjoyed your 'Summit Stone' and the Adventure Muse, then pass something along as a gift to someone else you see on their own journey"...    DSD

"Now I Realize..."

"Gratitude goes beyond the 'mine' and 'thine' and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift.
In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received.
But now I realize, that gratitude can be lived as a discipline.
The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that
 all I am,and have, is given to me as a gift of love.
A gift to be celebrated with joy...".
H.J.M. Nouwen

Saturday, December 17, 2016

"A Giving Truth..."

"No one has ever become poor,
by giving...".    A. Frank

"Of Giving & Gathering..."

"The heart that gives, gathers...". Tao Te Ching  

Friday, December 16, 2016

"Your Own Gift..."

"Start where you are.
Do anything you can do.
And do everything you could do.
Until you find something you must do.
That something is probably your spiritual gift...".
J. George

Thursday, December 15, 2016

"Something Even More Precious..."

"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'...". Anon

"Thank You Dear Finders..."

"For it is in giving that we receive...".    St. Francis Of Assisi

"A Gift... Even In The Darkest Of Times..."

"Life is a gift.
And it is what you make it.
Yet, it does have many twists and turns.
Many lows as well as high moments.
Keep the fire of hope alive.
Even in the darkest of times...".   E. N. Colley

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"Both, And..."

"Life is both a gift and a challenge...".   J. Payleitner

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"A Gift Twice Given..."

"Helping others without any expectation and without gain is just as much a gift to yourself as it is to the person you give it to...".   K. Von D

Monday, December 12, 2016

"Today's Gift..."

"Make today a gift to your future self...".   Anon

Sunday, December 11, 2016

"Life Is A Gift..."

"Life is a gift, so appreciate it.
Love is abundant, so share it.
Enthusiasm is infectious, so spread it.
Kindness is divine, so embody it.
Peace is the only way, so embrace it.
The Earth is your home, so take care of it.
Life is for happiness, so enjoy it...".   D. Mridha

Friday, December 09, 2016

"Just One Thing..."

What if we each did just one thing? What a gift this would be.
What if we each took just one step towards understanding our individual role in supporting the natural world we adventure in.
Decided upon one small effort to maintain and preserve the natural environment.
For one time our energy is expended for something or someone else. 
Or even one moment given for support and encouragement of another seeker within the wild lands.
These represent a different kind of generosity; one that is more about practicing a simpler kind of charity.
I've mused many times regarding how it's not just about each of us, on our own.
Rather, it is more about all of us, and even more so, about our stewardship for these special wild places.
I've pondered how adventures are not just about a focus upon an objective.that it can also be about a gesture, a very different way to expend energy, a reflection of a certain kind of effort.
And then it is only a matter of letting this simple kind of philanthropy ride the wave of its own momentum.
The impacts can be immeasurable...
This is not really about doing 'yet one more thing'.
Often it is only making such efforts part of the adventure experiences we are there for anyway.
We hike and paddle long distances one hour at a time, and are very amazed when we look back and see the distance we have covered and the height we have attained.
We journey for many days and are in wonder as we reflect on the experience and how much terrain and how many emotions we have traveled through.
If I can give back one small thing, then anyone can, and if anyone can, just imagine what could happen with just one thing.....  DSD    

Thursday, December 08, 2016

"Where The Act Is The Reward Itself..."

I find myself here, quietly musing after almost another year of giving back, and of anonymously placing these small 'Summit Stones'.
Always a good moment to remind myself as well that this little endeavor is not about me. 
Rather it is about you, the reader of these musings, and the finder of these gifts. 
Where such a gesture may just be a touchstone to spark adventure musings of your own. 
And if you enjoy these, just maybe you will pass forward a little experience of yours too.
Giving back, with no expectation, where the act is the reward itself, reflects a further essence of what can be discovered within adventure experiences...  DSD  

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

"A Potent & Powerful Pondering..."

 JP MacKinnon wrote: "A life list is, in the end, nothing more than a tool to look back on our lives and consider how we spent our brief moments on Earth. And what if, in those final breaths you realize - I never gave anything back".

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

"By What We Give..."

"We make a living by what we get... We make a life by what we give...". W.S. Churchill

Dedicated this adventure day, within our shared season of giving, to those Partners In Placing who pass forward smiles all along the way... DSD

Monday, December 05, 2016

"A Further Law Of Nature..."

"There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave the most in life - happiness, freedom, and peace of mind - are always attained by giving them to someone else."
P. March

Saturday, December 03, 2016

"Adventuring Amidst Naive Artistry..."

After gathering, preparing, and designing upon stony dimensions for so long. Then painting, coating, and eventually anonymously placing the Summit Stones for many years now, I find myself pondering again about the innocent nature of 'naive art'.
Not only do I see myself as an ordinary adventurer, I also perceive such artistic muses to be available to us all as many adventurers are artists and poets.
Naive artists are seen to be of simple origins.
That resonates well with me because as the National Museum of Naive Art presents: "The vast majority of so-called 'naive artists' are self-taught, and come from humble backgrounds. They often choose to remain anonymous... Their works are the products of instinct, spontaneity and experience, a reflection of very personal sensitivities. They claim no affiliation with any artistic theory or influence. Each one of these artists invents their own means of expression". 
They say further: "Naive Art possesses a characteristic innocence and sincerity of vision. With its bright colors, flattened perspective and sometimes unskilled brushstrokes. But hidden behind this apparent candor resides elaborate technical and optical conventions, conscious stylisation and visual harmony. The simplification found in the genre is more often a means of pushing to the limits the boundaries of figuration and thus creating a more powerful, very direct visual and emotional impact".
ArtHistoryGuide.Com describes Naive Art or 'Outsider Art' as: "Representing memories, dreams, fantasies and scenes from life with an emphasis on color and shapes. 'Naive' is often associated with Folk Art."
The Gallery of International Naive Art also shares some perspectives on these modest artistic efforts in seeing that: "Whatever our association with the term 'naive art', one is struck with the near universal appeal of this exhilarating art form. Perhaps the appeal stems from the celestial, joy-inspiring palette of colors chosen by naive artists to portray their subjects. Maybe it is the genre's simplicity. Or could it be the timeless nature of the subject matter, reminding us of opportunities missed, of wondrous roads less traveled. The naive artist - often self-taught - treats us to a uniquely literal, yet extremely personal and coherent vision of what the world was, is or should be".
A well known Brazilian naive artist, J. Ardies, sees the naive artist themselves as believing: "That the magic of Art may help man to turn to the simpler things of life".
Painting upon these small rocks is only an attempt to express ideas about the elements of nature, of adventure, and of meaning, inspiration & motivation.
This painted stone endeavor is only a simple effort too that hopefully may invite ripples of reflection on giving back within our adventures, and upon passing forward about wild places...".   DSD  

Friday, December 02, 2016

"The Wild Is Where You Find It..."

"The wild is where you find it.
Not in some distant world relegated to a nostalgic past or an idealized future; its presence is not black or white, bad or good, corrupted or innocent... 
We are of that nature, not apart from it.
We survive because of it; not instead of it...".   R. Askins

Thursday, December 01, 2016

"Thank You....."

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    

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"This Mysterious Life..."

"More and more,
this mysterious life comes together.
It may takes years to reveal the whole.
That's all right.
I'm prepared to go the distance.
Then with each step upon the path.
Certainty rings from peak to peak...".    D. Ming-Dao

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Messner's Own Questions & Answers..."

"The state of being active within life activates the fundamental questions of life...
But when I am up on a mountain, I rarely question what I am doing or why I am there. The climbing, the concentration, the struggle... those are the answers - because those are the basic purposes of life. In effect, I become my own answer." R. Messner

The nature of musing on such questions and answers seems to be a theme we all share as mountaineers... 

Monday, November 28, 2016

"A Further Compass..."

"Most Times,
the worst of situations,
can become a compass,
to the best of situations...". 
I. Izuakor

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Questions Only Moments Upon A Mountain Will Answer..."

That adventure day, I went back yet once more, as it seemed to echo out that there were questions only a mountain could answer.
It felt then that I simply had to return. 
I very much chose to go back, on a long solo climb, to a summit so very challenging for me. 
It had become clear that there were more things to ponder over. Other inquiries lingering in my mind. Some elusive musings yet to be grasped.
Much is called into question during our time away amidst such high place quests, and always within the far off wild places themselves. These are evidently real objectives for each of us, that most times also hold hidden gifts for both our wandering bodies and minds as well. 
We adventurers cross over so much terrain. Not just out there, but also with regards to the many truths we all ask about. Then we gaze towards the depths of understandings we each hope to eventually know.
We insight seeking creatures are both physical and spirited beings.
That is how we are made it seems.
So, on such adventure days of searching out, amidst our enduring curiosities and wild studies, when wanting to elicit a creative solution of some kind - it is time to return.
As there are some questions only moments upon a mountain will answer.
We all share in such wonderfully powerful, perpetual, wanderings towards our distant insights don't we my friends.....     DSD 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

"Love The Questions Themselves..."

"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
Try to love the questions themselves.
Do not now look for all the answers.
They cannot be given to you because you could not live them.
It is instead a question of experiencing everything.
At present we need only to live the question.
Perhaps, we will gradually, without even noticing it, find ourselves experiencing the answer, some distant day...".    R.M. Rilke

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"Yet To Ask..."

"The wilderness. 
Holds answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask...".   N. Newhall

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"Of Questions..."

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most.
They teach us how to think.
If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact.
But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers...".   P. Rothfuss 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

"Let Us Pause..."

"A mountaineer is one who seeks the freedom of the hills, full wilderness citizenship, with all its privileges and rewards, its responsibilities and demands." 
The Mountaineers

The freedom of the hills we all love and know,
Echoes with many brave voices now long gone,
So let us pause wherever we are on our shared trails,
To listen quietly in remembrance.......    

"When You Go Home..."

"When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow, we gave all of our today...". John Maxwell

Tuesday, November 08, 2016


"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it has no release from those things, knows of the livid loneliness of fear, of unknown mountain heights - needs courage to grant it the joys to hear the sound of winds and wings up there...".  A. Earhart  


"Through woods and mountain passes.
The winds, like anthems, roll...". Longfellow 

"Of Freedom..."

"All we have of freedom, all we use or know.
This our fathers bought for us.
Long and long ago...". Rudyard Kipling   

"Freedom Is Not Free..."

"Politics can be messy.
Democracy may have its flaws.
Freedom is not free.
Many have paid for this with their lives.
Yet it is better for all than what has been before...".  W. Churchill

"You Need Courage..."

"Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there will always be someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to the end, requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them...".  R.W. Emerson 

Monday, November 07, 2016

"Returning To A Peacefulness...

"Over all the mountaintops is peace...
In all treetops you perceive,
scarcely a breath.
The little birds in the forest are silent.
Wait then, soon you, too,
Will have peace...".  
J. Von Goethe

So very many poets and philosophers, were first climbers and adventurers.
We sense why, don't we my Friends.
Dedicated this adventure day to all those who are enduringly Adventuring For Another Reason ..... DSD 

Sunday, November 06, 2016

"There Is A Field..."

"Out beyond, ideas of wrongdoing and right doing...
There is a field.
I'll meet you there..".    Rumi

Saturday, November 05, 2016

"Deeper Within Our Moments..."

"Deeper Within Our Moments..."

Back in those initial moments,
During all of that intensive preparation.
We each dreamed of eventually being on our way,
Towards a longed for journey of adventure - and then we began...
Up there in those unfolding moments,
Upon that long winding ridgeline,
Over rock we were not sure of,
We felt there would be so much energy and excitement - and there clearly was...
Amidst those very challenging moments,
Throughout the route, and then the crux of this chosen mountain.
We thought there would be those engaging sensations of such focus and concentration - and there certainly were...
Then deep within those forever moments,
Finally upon our so elusive summit.
Within that calmness of winds, clouds, and perceptions,
We hoped for those gentle emotions of contentment and connection - and now there always will be..... DSD 

Dedicated this quiet thanksgiving, as we reflect upon that which we appreciate , that which we are grateful for, and as we muse over the many meanings of our wonderful journeys. 
For the WWF , WSPA , IFAW , and Vital Ground .
For all of you too who are still underway 'Adventuring For Another Reason'. 
It is a privilege to share in your journeys .
It is an honour to know you all my Friends.......   DSD  

Friday, November 04, 2016

"There Is No Other Moment..."

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this...".   H. D. Thoreau

Thursday, November 03, 2016

"Moments, Only Moments..."

"To hear never heard sounds, to see never seen colors and shapes, to try to understand the imperceptible...
To hear another soul and to whisper to another soul.
To be a lantern in the darkness. Or an umbrella on a stormy day.
To feel as much as to know.
To be the eyes of an eagle. The slope of a mountain.
To be a wave understanding the influence of the moon.
To be a tree and read the memory of the leaves.
T0 be a moment saved without planning...".    D. Stojanovic

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

"Carried By The Wind..."

I go about.
Pitying myself.
While I am carried by the wind.
across the sky...".   F. Densmore

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

"Touch Of A Stone..."

"The truth is not in the touch of a stone, but in what the stone tells you...".   R. Denfeld

Monday, October 31, 2016


It is not what some may first think about that which haunts lots of us during the long, sometimes too quiet hours... For many adventurers it is not the darkness and depth of the night that makes us shiver; nor the risks inherent within all adventures which catches our breath at times. Not even the moments of trial and anxieties, and those real tests to one's determination and endurance that shake us on occasion. Fears about the unknown aren't foreboding to such explorers as we. Worries of keeping up or about competition simply are not there anymore for us elders either. The wild places are too welcoming for such wraiths to severely bother those who wander endlessly out there.
What really haunts many of us in those exposed contemplative moments; what truly may keep us up at night sometimes, are not so much these ghostly worries, but more so those ponderings and wonderings of what could have been...
We all have them. 
Those wishes for what might have been, for what we did not do.
Maybe sadness or deep disappointment for dreams not put in motion; and even at times possibly for the loss of the desire to go.
What may in reality haunt many adventurers in those long, quite hours are more the shades of lost moments, unused opportunities, when we may have been distracted by something other than what could have been truly meaningful moments out among the wild places. 
These are the spirits that may really haunt us if we do not exercise them.....  DSD  

Sunday, October 30, 2016

"There Is A Time Of Day..."

There is a time of day, hours before first light, when adventurers - climbers in particular; rise to set out upon the earliest alpine start.
These are hours of the deepest darkness; where the intense mystery and the quiet may close in upon you in either comfort or anxiousness.
On my solo scramble that particular very early day, I was following the old saying of adding time to your day by being earlier up; rather than hoping for extra hours at the end when energy and weather are more unpredictable.
I was moving on the trail before three am, amidst that crispness and cold air the mountains are known for.
It was so very pitch black; such an intense quiet, only the crunch of my boots and uphill nature of my breathing was apparent.
What I saw I was not sure; not sure at all.
A sense of something, a glimmer of not one but two small points of light.
Just two small points of light - and then they blinked; closed for a short second and then turned and looked more directly, very intently, upon me.
I was no longer alone on that trail, maybe never was, but whatever was now sharing the path, of it all I could see were its eyes.
Only its eyes...
Eyes with a light behind them; reflecting an intelligence of another kind; wisdom of another nature. I do swear they shifted color ever so slightly as they watched me watching them.
After a few moments of quiet stillness my fears and anxieties diminished, were no longer as intense, and were replaced more now by curiosity and a feeling of kinship.
It was a moment of reminder; of looking back to our ancient selves and where we have all come from.
I was reminded too that our four legged fellow companions are always out there, we most often simply do not see them as they view us.
In a playful way as I have often done with my own furred companions, I made myself blink in a long, slow manner, as this is what many animals do when first meeting each other, deciding neither is a threat, and are then prepared to begin to trust.
And these two bight eyes blinked back just as slowly...
It was a connection; an understanding of sorts that I sense may have passed between us then. I moved further along the trail to see what would happen next, feeling clumsy in my movements and the noise I made.
This creature moved along with me, yet only the eyes could I see, and it moved in total and absolute silence.
We continued to share what I believe were a few more moments where each of us was wondering about the other. And then with a wisp of what may have been grey.
It was gone...
Many say or write that the eyes tell all.
When I looked into those eyes I saw our wild past. It affirmed for me yet again that we are not so far from our other family out in the wild places as we may think.
I will never forget those eyes..... DSD