Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Sense of Adventure

I don’t do trips for the adventure, rather the romance. Adventure suggests not enough forethought to keep you from them. Romance, however, engages one’s mind, heart and the landscape. - Alexandra Conover

I must admit when I read the above quote from "The Snow Walkers Companion" I was a little taken a aback and not more than a little ready to disagree. Upon a little more reflection I think my ire cooled when I realized that my dander wasn't up over Mrs. Conover's observation but rather the article had started by extensive quoting of Stephannson of "The Friendly Arctic" fame. His reputation as an explorer was only exceeded by his reputation as a shameless marketeer and scoundrel (the latter is up for debate I realize). So my ire was up from Stephanson's treatement of Ada Blackjack and her ill-fated companions but I'll digress. If the reader is interested in early Arctic exploration and the characters surrounding it I heartily suggest the volume "Ada Blackjack" which details the entire affair rather thoroughly.

The subject of adventure is of keen interest to me and by Mrs. Conover's definition I've never had one. I've been in some jams and a few instances of excitement but I'll admit the most serious consequence was likely inconvience or lack of attaining some goal. I've often been fascinated by this entire notion of "Wilderness Survival"- a subject that intrigued me from my earliest exposure as a Boy Scout some 25 years ago and I've been an avid reader and practitioner of wilderness skills ever since.

I've often been perplexed at the entire notion that we are at war with the wilderness and I believe we are certainly not. That is not to say that exposure to wilderness won't kill you- the unprepared, the foolish or the unlucky prove that statement false nearly daily. I don't believe that most of us go into the woods looking to intentionally flirt with disaster in order to say we've had a good time although we realize that disaster is certainly possible. I think we go out there because at some level we enjoy it or as Mrs. Conover states- "for the romance of it."

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