Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"Our Own Mountains To Climb..."

We all have our own mountains to climb and our own 'summits' to achieve. Our quest for these 'summits' is as important as attaining them... The arduousness of our quest is part of how we come to understand our motivation. Creating and recreating our own enthusiasm and motivation is the very essence of adventure experiences. There are many kinds of 'summits' and many 'adventure ways'. When we push our own limits at a level, and in an activity, that is right for each of us, with a focus on safety and especially fun; we journey along paths of freedom, happiness, beauty, and truth. The 'path' could be up a mountain, along a coastline, down a river or canyon, along a trail or ridge line, under the earth, across a lake or ocean, through any wilderness. The 'means' could be by going solo or in a group, with boots, runners, rope, crampons, bike, ski, snowshoe, kayak, canoe, raft, or... Achievement is determined by our own efforts and not just results. How will you arrange the elements in your life? What will your next 'adventure summit' be?   DSD  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

"An Old Friend..."

"As I look for the route, a silhouette descends the skyline. A grey figure, quiet as memory, settles on a large block, pulls his ropes, then notices me... The climber wore an old style of clothing, I think, or was that the effect of dimming clouds...".  J. Auld

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"So Many Years Of 'Mixing In'....."

It is not a well known practice within the ages old lore of painting, yet it is though an especially endearing and timeless tradition among some artists. 
One that I have learned over time to so appreciate. There is such a process of trial and error to it. 
It begins with the selection of just the right paints, and is then blended only with certain other elements. 
But though the results may not be apparent, the hidden meanings of these mediums feel so very profound.
This is the practice, the painters slow artistry and discipline of 'mixing in'. Where select very small amounts of silt or earth, tiny particles of desert or coastal sand, maybe bits of crumbled leaves, possibly ash or charcoal from old campfires, even pure rain or ocean waters, or the strands of some wild ones' fur - among other unique elements, are gathered from chosen wild places, and other power places. 
Then they are very carefully mixed in with these paints. This technique makes the paint come alive; with a brush that takes to this blending, and is then applied so slowly in swirls and layers and coatings.
Within my own naive renditions of mountain ranges, forests, waters, sky's, and fires are often found such mixings. They then become an elemental part of these Summit Stones that I am sure the Finders can sense when they are held closely.....  DSD  

Monday, November 13, 2017

"Of Expressions..."

"Having nothing to offer but broken pebbles, I have nevertheless tried to express myself with sincerity..."
Henjokongo

Friday, November 10, 2017

"We Have Our Tomorrow Because Of What They Gave..."

"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...".  Winston Churchill

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

"On the other side of every fear,
is a freedom...".
Marilyn Ferguson

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

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





"Just Beyond The Surf..."

"Just beyond the surf.
From our vantage on the backs of the waves,
we couldn't see the break.
But we could hear the roar.
As waves dropped onto the beach,
churning sand and rocks in their turbulence...".
Jon Turk

Friday, November 03, 2017

"Wandering Epiphanies..."


Out among the summits that day, I was reminded how adventuring is not just about the endless vistas, nor only about the brilliant sunrises and sunbeams we see out there for example, as wonderfully amazing that they always seem to be. So many times we also sense certain kinds of beginnings, those previously unknown ways and means for seeing, in developing formative perceptions about all of what we experience in so many new ways as well.
This is what was unfolding that hiking day out with close friends, to the headwaters of a great river, near an ancient glacier, and right by the immense waterfall that shares in the stories within all that mountain history. What eventually manifests on such adventures we can never really predict. One of the many reasons we go, as I'm sure we all sense, is the seeking of such inspiration out there - the hope for discovery of new things, different ways to see, and for even more meaningful ways to be.
This is reflects the phenomenon of the epiphany.
That nexus of awareness and effort, energy and adversity, attitude and perspective, connection and projection, all within our past, present, and future. This all allows the elements to blend, and then unfold, in so many kinds of amazing revelations.
Three such epiphanies were gifted to me that hiking day.
First was an energetic youth, whom we saw moving along the trail up ahead. His gait was uneven, almost as if he was unsure. But that was not the case at all, for he was hiking with a prosthetic leg, yet more surely than many we have met out there. His pace, his intention, that smile, and determination, all shared so much about discovery.
Then later, was an elder. A woman out with her family, who surprised us when we were to catch up. Her energy was endless, her enthusiasm contagious. I asked as politely as I could of her son how old she was. "Seventy eight", he said so proudly, "and she's not slowing down at all". There again was that wonderful appearance, of both perception and inspiration, hiking out ahead of us, so gracefully amidst that later time of life and yet in this wild place too.
Finally, most profoundly, at the far portion of our hike, near the base of that very high waterfall, was another of that adventure days epiphanies hiking slowly towards us. I had been gathering up old rocks that would surely later have a bit of paint splashed upon them. Through the mist surrounding me, I looked up to see one of my friends talking with a couple. The gentleman looked about my age, but it was his face that caught my eye. He looked tired in a different way, yet a smile and happy gestures were there as well. When approaching them, as I needed to place the stones I had gathered up in my pack over by my friend, I was then able to listen in a bit to the conversation. "What a wonderful waterfall", they were saying, and "a gorgeous trail we've hiked over", they were sharing about too. I don't know how the topic then came up, but as we do chat about so much with others out on the trail, then this person shared about what this day out there meant to him. His cancer had recently returned. There would be no treatments this time around, he said, while decisions now needed to be made, and hiking this whole trail this day was one of these.
The mist on my face hid the tears in my eyes as I listened quietly to the rest of his story. Then later with a wave and a smile, they carried on and I waved back, then watched them hike on further.
I am sure you all share in the same revelations that came to mind right then my friends.
Three epiphanies appeared, and were gifted us that long adventure day, and we will not ever forget them..... DSD  

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

"Elliot's Echoes..."

"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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"Happy Halloween..."

Happy Halloween My Friends!



Thursday, October 26, 2017

"Your Beautiful Images..."

"A heart of gold is where the rainbow begins.”   Tammy Kubasko

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      

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"Looking For Mystery..."

"Allow mystery, which is to say to yourself, 'There could be more, there could be things we don't understand'..." 
Barry Lopez

Monday, October 23, 2017

"Only Those Eyes..."

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.
Then...
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  

Friday, October 20, 2017

"One Of Our Secrets..."

"Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot.
A mile becomes a long way,
two miles literally considerable,
ten miles whopping, 
fifty miles at the limits of conception.
The world, you realize, is enormous in a way
that only you and a small community of fellow hikers know.
Planetary scale is your little secret...".
Bill Bryson


Thursday, October 19, 2017

"Listening..."

"Listen... 
Listen to the songs of the oceans and mountains, the songs of the forests and the rivers. 
Then listen more closely. 
For you may see that it is you that has been singing...". 
Grandfather, Mountain Elder

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Watch For The Stars..."

"Dwell on the beauty of life.
Watch for the stars.
And see yourself running with them.
Marcus Aurelius


Sunday, October 15, 2017

"Of Seeing..."

"The real voyage of discovery consists not only in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes...".  M. Proust

Friday, October 13, 2017

"Look Up And Dream..."

"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, October 11, 2017

"A Favorite Story..."

Some time back, Kraig at 'The Adventure Blog' posted about: Video: A Story For Tomorrow , I was intrigued, then so very inspired... 
Here was a very powerful video story of two young adventurers and their journey through Chile, from the Atacama Desert in the north, to the mountains of Patagonia in the south. The images are amazing, the music so very engaging, the voice of the narrator so inviting. 
These few quotes resonated and echoed out each time I played this:
"A long, long time ago, there where two people who looked very much like yourselves, and as with you, they were on a journey, a quest if you will, to find what we all seem to be searching for. For reasons they may never know... They entered... A place where time and direction don't exist. Yet they still pressed on... Each day a new door, a new direction, a new way to be... Until time simply faded away. As with all those who have come before you... They only found me - their future, quietly waiting, and I asked them the same two questions I will some day ask you: Is it possible to be happy with this life? And then I will ask as I do to everyone else: Did you enjoy your story?" 
My thanks again to Kraig for this special past post, and our gratitude for this gift from these two young adventurers at Gnarly Bay, who shared about their wonderful wanderings... 
Please visit and enjoy: http://vimeo.com/36519586 ..... DSD  

Sunday, October 08, 2017

"Of Thanksgiving..."

Let's all take a few moments, to simply reflect upon our appreciations, and the gratitude we each have, for having one another in our lives.
A thanksgiving homage for all of you my Friends.

"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 

Thursday, October 05, 2017

"Enduring Silence..."

"Much silence has a mighty noise...". Swahili Proverb
"The quieter you become, the more you can hear...". Ram Dass
There are many voices being raised far out there. 
The one voice we each need to hear. The many voices of the most most vulnerable ones.
Often the quietest one, is that which speaks from within such silence.
Nature and our Mother Earth are a silently powerful, yet vulnerable, entity that also must be heard.
Wild place adventures embrace a silence that must be listened closely for too.
Why is our quiet time of musing in nature of such value?
Pythagoras said, "Learn to be silent. Let your mind listen and absorb".
When we wonder in this way, we come closer to discovering our motives; our own personal why's.
When we ponder such, we begin to then create meaning.
These become the very essence for our motivation - for why we go, and for what we do out in the wild places.
Then in understanding what as Nietzsche wrote, "Our greatest experiences, are our quietest moments".
We will then stand up for, and protect, that which we see as important and at the foundation of our intentions and meanings.
All of this provides us with a sense of true purpose.
And that is much to gain from the silence of a quiet moment of musing out there.
A silence that must be heard..... DSD 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

"Your Spirit Stone..."

From the very moment I saw it, in those minutes right when I gathered it up, that stone had a wonderful story to tell.
It is truly a beautiful rock, one whose form gives you a sense of its' ancient history. No way would it have been right there in that wild place; no way would it have been as shaped and as polished so finely - unless its motions over the millenia, among all those boulders, from within a nearby glacier, had taken it on its' own timeless journey. 
From the very moment I turned it over and over in my hand, I was beginning to envision what this stone's essence would express. You could sense from its' shape, from the lines upon and within it, from the small chips, even the tinier cracks, and especially from the smoothness over most of its' surface- what its' temperament, strength, and vigour was sharing.
Here, in my hand, was truly a spirit stone...
One whose character had endured all the elements had placed upon it. 
A stone's spirit is an essential thing, one I try to look so closely for and understand. Some have travelled so very far. Many have such unique virtue in the way they have survived the forces over so long that have attempted to break them. We adventurer's can identify dearly with these meanings. 
Right from the moment I gathered it up I felt I knew what this stone wanted to reveal. I sensed I knew where it wanted to be later placed. So right from where I found it as well, I gathered up small particles of every other element, to be 'mixed in' within the bright paints to be layered upon it. 
Now, in your hand, you may have this very stone. 
When I gathered it up I hoped you would find it. I hope too you sense the essence there, those wonderful intrinsic components that made it, the virtue reflecting where it has been, the meanings of the elements in the paints, and the symbolism hopefully it also represents from within your own adventures...
Like Ceremony Stones and Scholar Rocks , your Summit Stone has a spirit and a story all of its' own, always calling to your longings..... DSD

Thursday, September 28, 2017

"Shan....."

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


Thanks To PebbleShoe for this echoing image.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

"Of Gratitude & Wonder..."

"Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder...".    G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, September 23, 2017

"Wonder Is A Natural State..."

"Wonder is a natural state.
One that we often lose track of,
if we become numb to life.
Since wonderment is the willingness,
to be surprised by life,
and gratitude springs from wonderment,
to practice gratefulness, 
we need to let life surprise us...".
M.J. Ryan


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"If We Would Be Humble Enough..."

"It is from the small things that the larger events of life are composed.
You may be capable of great things, but life consists of small things.
We must not fall into the trap of waiting so long for the big things, that we let numerous small chances slip right by us.
If we would look at this differently, we would see all the beautiful opportunities swirling at our feet.
If we would humble ourselves enough to bend down, we could scoop up untold treasures into our hands...".   
Deng Ming-Dao

Monday, September 18, 2017

"Of Callings..."

"If you are willing, and if you listen very gently and carefully, you will sense that this mysterious wisdom is ready to lead you, guide you to where you need to be. It is your wilderness calling." G. May

Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Keep Going..."

Just when we don't think we can, we find our means to further go.
Just about that time when our breath seems gone, we then experience that which truly takes it away.
Around that time when the adversities appear overwhelming, we uncover moments of encouragement to keep on.
In those minutes when the storm almost overtakes us, we now turn into it and discover new strengths before unknown.
Many times when our adventure objectives feel to be beyond us, we then learn it is we ourselves who are the elusive ones. 
Then we begin to understand that there is always, always, more within us then we ever before first realized.
So, just when we might have given up, we sense what depths we really, truly, have deep inside.
Then, just when the trials seem to have drained away our commitment, we learn to appreciate what real endurance is all about.
Also, among those endless winds and waves, just when we think we can't, we start to uncover the ways we can.
And, just when we need it most, our partners always show us what real support and companionship truly is.
Then, once again too, just when we think we've experienced all we can out there, our wild place adventures gently remind us yet again, of awe and wonder, and we begin anew..... DSD 

Dedicated this fall too all those who keep going, as they 'Adventure For Another Reason'.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

"Normal Day....."

"Normal day,
let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you,
love you, bless you,
before you depart.
Let me not pass you by,
in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may,
for it may not always be so.
One day,
I shall dig my nails into the earth,
or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut,
or raise my hands to the sky,
and want,
more than all the world,
your return...".
M. J. Iron

Saturday, September 09, 2017

"An Elemental Nexus..."

The mist and fog we journey through is a special nexus of elements. Where air and moisture mix and blend, to create something so much more. We adventurer's so love the grand vistas out in the wild places, yet when they become gently misted and slowly blurred over, when the fog quietly rolls in with its surreal opaqueness, we seem to enjoy it all the better.
We each remember our own adventures, like drifting far in a sea kayak, then resting while listening for the breaking surf, as the fog rolls over both you and your vessel, blanketing everything in such soothing calm and yet building anticipations.
We recall as well, the settling thick mists and very dense fog among deep low forested valleys, where the shifting of these elements eventually hides everything - except the rock of that singularly elusive mountain we are climbing upon in those exact moments.
Finally, then standing upon your own 'island peak', set out higher than the misted sea of summits encompassing it and you. This is a truly unique adventure experience...
We remember too, the distinct stillness of those foggy northern lakes, and then the quieting of everything else, including our own heartbeat and minds, so that in the midst of such diminished views everything becomes so clear.
Simply air and moisture, then just the right temperature, all blending, melding, and mixing into a sentient element that embraces us, and then always whispers to each of us too as we wander far out there..... DSD 

Thursday, September 07, 2017

"Our Shared Tian..."

The cairns and registers we find upon mountain summits tell so many stories...
What we often discover there can be fun, historical, enlightening, and at times a real mystery of words and meaning up above those thousands of feet and more. I so enjoy pondering who wrote these things and what experiences may have prompted such musings. At times they have sent me off on other journeys too of looking to find the meanings of these notations. 

Here is what I've found out about two words written large, upon a single page, within the register of a favorite summit climbed again that past season.
They simply said: "Our Tian".
Now the oldest 'Tian' literature I discovered were references to certain kinds of 'Elders'. There was also a very interesting 'Treasure of Tian', which was said to be mysteriously hidden, yet somehow still available for us all. 
In my search for its possible earliest meanings I found that Tian seemed firstly to represent a 'summit' or 'mountaintop', but also interestingly refers to the top of our head and that which emanates from there. 
Depending upon which tome you muse over, Tian further reflects meanings of the weather & climate, sunrise & sunset, all of nature and the elements within, and what seems to be called the 'seven seasons'. Most intriguing for me are the Tians as stories of mystery, of the heavens and sky's, of that which is beyond human will, and of the celestial energy and spirit worlds both out there and within. These two words writ large were beginning to really engage my attention.
Tian is written about to also be an elemental but indescribable thing, the natural character of a being, something that reflects instinct too. It looks to originally be a Taoist or Confucianist reference. It is one of the oldest Chinese symbols that represents the cosmos, the heavens above us, and those hidden within us.
What a most interesting ancient phrase. What an intriguing high place to have found it.
I have returned many times to that same silent summit, and hopefully now too, I have come back with more of an understanding of what our fellow climber may have meant by writing "Our Tian"...    DSD  

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

"Ikigai..."

Ikigai: 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, September 04, 2017

"Right Before Us..."

“In the midst of our worried searching we recklessly abandon the treasures that life has bestowed upon us in the mad hunt for that which we wish to bestow upon ourselves.” 
Craig Lounsbrough


Sunday, September 03, 2017

"Nature's Simple Treasures..."


“Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me: 
If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures, 
life and living need not be so hard.”  
R. Mendoza

Friday, September 01, 2017

"Shu....."

A brief small note, a very old word.
Of an even older ancient language.
Two present versions of this quiet saying.
Among other even more subtle hidden meanings as well.

Shu... Means that of an art.
Art of efforts, and of purpose.
Art of dedication, and for determination too.
Especially an art, very much beyond.
That which we may first think is understood.

Shu... Also refers to those magics.
The magics of mystery and of wonder.
Magic from out there, and within our hearts as well.
Magic of what happens and those embracing results.
Yet more importantly, of the journey of becoming.

Shu of our enduring efforts.
Shu for our adventurous purposes.
Shu of heading even farther out there.
The Shu then of discovering within.
Such elemental Shu artists we all truly are.
Adventurers and magicians of yet another wonderous kind..... DSD  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"Imagine..."

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