Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Adventure at any Age

Photo by Bruce Lipsky
Hortense Morris a 99 year old woman still has that adventuresome spirit.  On her 99th birthday Mrs Morris decided she wanted to go kayaking for the first time in her life.  Her grandson, a kayaking guide, took her out along the Fort George River in Florida.  Not wanting to be lazy she even did some of the paddling herself.  

This only goes to show that you can have adventure at any age or stage of life.  What is more, next year when she turns 100 years old she wants to have a more extreme adventure, skydiving.  George Bush senior, you better watch out.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Tribe Found in South America

When Europeans began to go forth into the wilds of the unknown looking not only for treasures and notoriety but also new and strange peoples. Francisco Pizarro was look for gold, Lewis and Clark were doing a survey of the land the United States Government had purchased, David Livingstone was looking for people to bring the message of Christ to.  All of these explorers, whether motivated by good or evil, made contact with foreign people who spoke in unknown languages and practiced strange customs they could not understand their function.

This week a new tribe was found in the remote Brazilian jungles of South America.  The immediate response of the intellectual elite and government agencies was to lock the people away to allow them to retain their "primitive" and isolated culture.  Some of the reasons may be good, they do not want the people to be taken advantage of, turned into slave labor by the local profiteers.  On a deeper level they also are trying to keep missionaries out because they think that peoples cultures and beliefs are more important than their souls.  Another reason for keeping the outside world out is so that the intelligentsia can study them like a group of lab rats. 

I once read a book called Pitcairn's Island by Charles Nordhoff.  It is a terrifying true story about the crew of the HMS Bounty after their mutiny.  Drunkenness, greed, rape, assassination, and murder all occurred in those first years of their occupation of Pitcairn's Island.  And one more crime also occurred.  The only man to own a Bible taught another European member of the crew to read it but refused to share the histories in its pages with their native Polynesian wives and felt his pupil should do the same.  However, all the other members of the crew except this pupil of the crew passed away in some horrible manner leaving the wives to him.  The crew member married all the women and share the histories and truths of the Bible with them bringing peace to the island.

Here is the point of this story.  Keeping these newly found tribe isolated from the rest of the world does not keep them safe and those who try to keep the words of life from them only bring death both to themselves and the "primitive" tribe.  To seek out these isolated tribes would be a grand adventure almost like Livingston traveling into darkest Africa for the purpose of reaching them for Christ.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cycling Across Kansas

Here is a story right out of the Miami County Republic.  Rob White started biking to loss weight, this is the same reason I pick up a cheap bike and began to explore the local back roads of my home town.  His biking led to swimming and then running which in turn led to doing a triathlon.  I can well imagine that Rob lost the weight he was looking to loose.  This year Rob rode 531 miles across the state of Kansas with up to 800 other riders.  

The event ran from June 5 to June 11, meaning the riders had to average about 75 miles a day.  If you break it down to 8 hours a day that is about 10 miles and hour which is very reachable for those of us average people.  Looking for adventure really just requires a plan with a little bit of commitment to set your plan into motion.  

Here is a philosophy I have about adventure: I can plan every possible detail out but the fact is no matter how much planning I do I will always miss or forget something which only makes the adventure more interesting and possibly exciting.  I do not let the missed details stop me from getting out.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Adventure on the St. Lawrence

I recently found this article on WBEZ 91.5 about a man who, despite all the usage of the St Lawrence River, a discovered and existing space for both wildlife and adventure.  If I may get on my soap box for a moment.  It is extraordinarily interesting that nature almost always finds a way to adapt to what we call man made problems.  Even though we who more or less have dominion over all of creation create problems creation is still set to adapt as it's creator has designed it.  

So back to the adventure of the man kayaking the St. Lawrence River.  Riding downstream sounds enjoyable while observing the local flora and fauna, however, paddling back upstream is not for me.  This unnamed man did both.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Columbia Plateau Trail - Amber Lake - Martin Rd

Recently my friend Waldorf and I began to work on one of the goals I have set for myself this summer as noted in one of my previous blogs this year titled Some Thoughts of this Years Adventures. We pulled out our mountain bikes drove out to Amber Lake and biked from there to West Martin Road, which is about 6 miles shy of Lamont, Washington.  

The ride was very pleasant and the trail has been "improved".  Improved, by way of definition, means the state laid out a layer of fine gravel over the top of the railroad gravel.  Railroad gravel, at least in Eastern Washington, is made of broken up basalt ranging in size from golf ball to baseball.  I only mention this because after West Martin Road the surface of the trail returns to its primitive unimproved self, railroad grade gravel and the riding becomes very very rough, as in not really doable on bike. 

The wildlife along this portion of the trail was at least interesting.  A nice four point buck hooped alongside the trail ahead of us for about a mile before it decided the best way to get away from Waldorf and I was to hide behind a hill.  Also, as the title of my blog indicates the cows were constantly raising their heads out of the grass to watch us as we passed.  In fact, one small herd actually keep pace with us.  We were riding alongside the fence and they ran along beside us.  Another one of those Far Side moments.  For those who do not remember the Far Side it was a very popular comic strip in the newspaper. The Complete Far Side 1980-1994 (2 vol set)  

After riding for about a half mile beyond W Martin Road Waldorf and I decided to hike those portions of the trail which are unimproved.  The next section will be from W Martin Road to Lamont, Washington.

Next Section

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hike the Highest in the Urals

Four Polish students climbed or more accurately hiked to the highest mountain in the Urals', Mount Narodnaya. They have a wonderful set of photos of their winter ascent of the mount which can be viewed on their blog Cold United.

A little bit about Mount Narodnaya.  The name translates to, "The Peoples Mountain" and in Communist Russia that only makes sense.  It is 6214 feet high and is located in the northern region of the Ural Mountains.  The Ural Mountains are the dividing line between Western and Eastern Russia just as the Rockies Mountains separate the Western and Eastern United States. 

If the region is safe this looks to be a nice hike in a very beautiful region of the globe.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hiking the Natural Way

Okay, this story falls under the Chuckle and Snort category.

Leave it to the Germans to take hiking and make it an activity without clothing.  Anyone who has spent time carrying a pack longs to lighten the load.  The Germans with there engineering genius have decided to skip the genius and just remove the weight of the clothing. 

Apparently naked hiking is more popular among the men then it is the women.  The trail is approximately 200 miles southwest of Berlin and there are signs warning all visitors to the area about the extra bear, err, bare types along the forest path.  The whole concept brings a new meaning to getting back to nature. 

This also brings up another question, how much extra suntan lotion and bug spray would be required to prevent mosquito and tick bites.  Without clothing these particular trail hazards have more access to those secret places.  This trail will go on the must miss.  Besides the first man an woman, Adam or Eve, were covered up because of their sin why should we break with that tradition.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kayaking South Dakota

I just found a wonderful blog about a man who is recording all the lakes he is kayaking in South Dakota.  This is what I am always looking for is people who are looking for Adventure in the place they live.  Jay Heath lives in a state where the major water ways do not include large lakes or oceans, South Dakota.  His blog is called Kayaking the Lakes of South Dakota.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hiking in Thuringia

I always seem to have more dreams than time or money.  Hiking the Rennsteig trail in Germany sounds like an interesting adventure.  According to The Local, Germany's News in English, the Rennsteig runs through the Thuringia hills past historic castles along an old Medieval Trade route.  The Rennsteig is the oldest known trail in Germany extending 170km or 105 miles. 

Being in Europe there is always a beer hall or hotel close to the trail with fairly easy access.  The Local also mentions how simple it would be to take a pack with a few changes of clothes and still stay at what I would call luxury accommodations, a hotel, and eat something more substantial than trail food.  

This five or six day hike will go on my dream list, meaning, I will probably never get to it due to the afore mentioned time and money.  But if you have time plan a trip to Thuringia for a trip along the Rennsteig trail.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Naked Rowing

Here is a story that caught my attention today in the news.  An Irishman, Keith Whelan, is rowing from Australia to Mauritius naked.  Keith wanted to be the youngest Irishman to complete this trip but while out at sea he ran into a rather riotous storm which caused him to bang his head on a bolt inside his sleeping compartment.  The injury required a Japanese Cargo ship to reroute and rescue him.

But I know that is not why you are reading this story, you want to know about the naked part.  Keith is rowing naked because he thinks that while at sea his clothes will accumulate salt and cause some serious chaffing.  So my question is which would be worse the chaffing or the sunburn?  I leave the answer up to you.

If you would like to read about more details you can read The Austrailian.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Cascade Challenge

Greg Stafford, Will Fain, Cole Iverson, and Rex Shepard have set their sights on something they call the Cascade Challenge, a 1000 mile Multi-event trip; biking, skiing, and climbing over 14 mountains in the Cascade range. 

The four young men are currently getting all of the logistics together, how to transport all of their support gear, what equipment they will be using along the way, how their bike are set up, etc... It is actually amazing how much is required in pre-event planning, layout out of routes, setting time schedules, getting the necessary gear and making sure you have some reasonable means for transporting your gear, and last but definitely not least, training for all of these events.

This sounds like a very exciting adventure and I would love to be joining these fearless four, I wish them clear skies and trouble free riding.

To read more about their trip visit the First Ascent blog.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Kayaking the Missouri River

I found a blog by a man who plans on kayaking the Missouri River from Montana to the confluence of the Missouri and the Mississippi in the state of Missouri.  Denis Dwyer will be heading out from Clark Lake, Montana sometime in May, which was last month, and finish in July.  This honestly sounds like a lot of fun floating down the same river Lewis and Clark followed on their way to the Pacific Coast.  The only thing that might make it more interesting is reading the Journal that Lewis and Clark kept as they travel west.  You can follow Denis on his blog, Kayaking the Missouri River, when he gets an opportunity to put up photo's and thoughts.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kayaking around Ireland

Jasper Winn set out to solo paddle around Ireland.  It took him about 3 months to do so.  Jasper did not set out to set a speed record only to explore the islands and the Pubs.   

Jasper is an Irishman who has lived in various places about the island including Dublin and you can read a more extensive account of his adventures Dailymail website, an Irish online newspaper.  

A little background on Ireland.  It is an old country populated by Celtic tribes.  They were fierce warriors both men and women and notorious raiders before the time of St Patrick.  In fact St Patrick was capture in a raid and made a slave.  He escaped back to Britain but felt that God was calling him back to Ireland to reach the unsaved.  If you would like to learn more about the time of St Patrick I recommend the book How the Irish Saved Civilization, by Thomas Cahill.