Go Further…from Beyond the Horizon to Ride to Rio

I told Colin and Julie they likely wouldn’t remember me…I’m not sure if I should start there but it’s as good a place as any.  In life too…we find ourselves here in medius res…start now.

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“If you have a dream, begin it.”, someone said.  I don’t know who, but I know for certain that Colin Angus still had a beard from his two-year self-propelled voyage around our planet and Julie had far more behind her smile than anyone had imagined before she met him in Moscow, and rowed across the Atlantic Ocean…and I know, life has a way of helping everyday people accomplish extraordinary things that conspire to inspire.

By no simple fate Colin wrote in their Angus Adventures blog for the first time in many weeks yesterday, Naomi Devine left on her Ride To Rio trip from Vancouver today, and tonight I found the copy of Beyond the Horizon Colin signed that I said I would give her.  It’s also, of course, no coincidence that over the years  I have become no stranger to meeting adventurers; Royal Robbins, Goran Kropp, Joe Simpson, my friend Denis Fontaine…some who have left us but inspire still in immortal reminders behind our eyes.

They come and go, one time or another, between books, between slide shows and stories, and I,  most usually on crutches between my own little adventures on peaks and pedals and drinking chai teas on cols between the storms, I have touched the hands that have shared some mythic gifts beyond the everyday most people can only imagine between the pages or in PR shots with talk show hosts, hands that have touched the void where the clocks all stop and time gives way to the life invisible.

There, right there, beneath the white, beyond the windward ridge-line where the moment stops your breath and you lie down on the snow beside your partner to escape the driving force, to survive the tempting gusts that will send you to forever in a heartbeat, and in the next, you turn your head…and right there in the shelterless storm you remember you are alive.  There is no clock ticking, no trail head marker, no time out, no beginning, no end, just right here right now…

…and then, you go further.

Post script…

Those moments of conveniencelessness are fleeting in our everyday pre-packed existence while we embrace these impossible accomplishments of everyman on Facebook and Twitter.  Somewhere, someone just like you and me, is doing something extraordinary and we are inspired to risk our lives to follow that dream into forever but right here at home we struggle to pick the water from the tap over the Starbuck’s Venti Latte and we drive in daily rituals past countless local businesses in SUV’s made in Europe and Asia to find cheaper Fruit Loops at Wal-Mart.  We protest the ownership of the oldest existing service company in our oldest existing National Parks and debate the inevitable pipelines that feed oil sands crude to tankers in our protected waters, to be refined in the PRC, to return more cargo container ships to fill big box stores and in turn our homes with plastic nothings while His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama reminds us to, “Free Tibet”, from the so called emerging market.  I’ve said it before, these are the symptoms not the problems.  What can you do?  What more can I do, to make a difference?  I’m guessing a lot more.  Go further…

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