The notion of adventure includes risky undertakings, hazardous journeys with uncertain outcomes. The accounts of European exploration of the polar regions, Lewis and Clark moving up the Missouri River, John Wesley Powell going down the Colorado or surviving the epic American journey with Cabeza de Vaca are saturated with adventure. Today, with fewer blank spots left on the map, true adventure is a more elusive attainment; we are often forced to design our modern adventures, complete with magazine, book and movie deals, vaguely hoping for unexpected turns and slight misfortune. Yet, even vicariously, we still need this adrenaline-fueled hope called adventure, crave it, love it when we emerge at the take-out, a changed person but alive and looking at the world anew.
Accordingly, my own modest adventures have been byproducts of blunders and miscalculations, littered along the wilderness river banks and distant shores of cold seas. Magazine assignments, in the early days, and conservation projects propelled me to explore the dangerous landscapes of bears or tigers, but the adventure mostly happens by fortuitous accident. Even in my stumbling geezer-hood, I need this drug like oxygen.