What images does the word "Adventure" conjure up in your mind? Is it a Hollywood-inspired trip down the Amazon, an African Safari, climbing Mount Rainier? Or, does the word leave you with a sense of sadness, thinking that those days are behind you - thinking that only millennial Instagrammers are capable of true adventure these days? I have experienced a lot of adventure in my days, climbing and hiking all over Yellowstone and the Tetons, moving to Alabama for college, and hunting, fishing or camping in some of North America's most beautiful settings. When I really think back about it though, adventure has been more about relationships and mindset. You don't have to go on some wild expensive trip to adventure! As I start out the next 50 years of my life I am realizing my adventures were all about the experiences I shared with my friends and the thirst we had for trying something new. Sure, the mountains and lakes around Yellowstone or going to an Alabama / LSU game in Baton Rouge are amazing, but it was the friends and the spirit of discovery that I hold onto. College road trip to New Orleans - College Football National Championship game 1993Alabama pounded Miami!!
Top of the Middle Teton 1986
I continue to experience some amazing places but have learned that discovery can happen within minutes of where you are sitting right now - hidden gems in your own backyard. Within a 90 minute drive of my home in Bozeman are dozens of small museums and antique shops. Yes, I said antique shops!! My wife and I discovered recently that we love browsing through these hotbeds of local history. We took a trip to Mount Rushmore a few weeks ago and stopped at every antique shop we could find. Adventure doesn't have to be about exotic places, nature or high dollar trips. Adventure is doing whatever it is that fills your tank, makes your blood flow, stimulates your inner self and reveals the authenticity of who you are as a person.
Alaskan King Salmon caught near Juneau, AK - June 1993
What makes you burn deep down inside? Forget about age, what you think you're capable of, or even your economic status. Whether your adventure is a train ride through the European Alps or a quiet afternoon visiting the Pioneer Museum in downtown Bozeman, just get out there. Decide to go learn something you didn't know when you woke up this morning. Go meet your new neighbor and listen to their story. Keep your earbuds in your hands and introduce yourself to that weird person sitting next to you on the airplane. Invite an old friend you haven't seen in awhile for a few laughs at that coffee shop all of the young folks hang out at. The opportunity for adventure is endless if you seek it out.
My beautiful wife an I at the trailhead - June 2018
Adventure is simply having the curious mindset of discovery and occasionally stepping outside of your comfort zone. Build it into your everyday life. You'll have some fun stories to tell. ADVENTURE ON!!
I have never considered myself a creative person. I am a numbers guy - analytical, and somewhat of a linear thinker. My grandfather was an accomplished amateur photographer, and a self taught (and licensed) engineer who could speak four languages. My mom, also an accomplished amateur photographer, was a CPA and County Auditor in the local government. Photography has always come naturally. I have been told I have a good eye - I'll leave that up to you to decide. I love photography, but there is another form of expression that I have also learned to love over my lifetime, and that is writing.
I just completed Ansel Adams Autobiography and I was struck by his amazing ability to write - how his writing complemented his photography. His writing was not a description of his images, nor were his images a description of his prose. He wrote what was in his heart, influenced by the beauty of the natural world around him.
My hope is that this blog in some way imitates that form of expression, working in unison to illuminate the world that I see around me and love so much. I hope you enjoy.