Micro-adventures and Farley Mowat

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept of ‘micro-adventures’, it is a concept I came across while reading the blog of Alastair Humphreys (http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/). I think its a pretty cool idea and very much in line with what we are hoping to accomplish with this blog. Having adventures can be time-consuming and they do make one late for dinner, but if one gets in the practice of treating some of the activities of daily life as adventures or perhaps making time for small trips and other shorter diversions then from these will grow the seeds of other larger adventures.

I try and do my best to run regularly. Lord only knows it doesn’t always happen, but when it does I try and make them exciting trail runs, either through some of Vancouver’s Parks or else to somewhere in the city I haven’t yet been. I also like to read about places I have yet to go, and that’s where Farley Mowat comes in. After getting his new book Eastern Passage for christmas, I’ve been on a Mowat kick. I just can’t get enough of it. I used to read his stuff voraciously when I first learned to read (The Dog that Wouldn’t Be, The Boat that Wouldn’t Float, The Black Joke, Owls in the Family, The Curse of the Viking Grave, Lost in the Barrens) – my parents had me on a strictly Mowat diet for a time. I enjoyed reading Mowat not only for his humour, his sensitivity to natural worlds, First Nations history, and the Canadian landscape but also for his approach to adventures. Farley Mowat makes me feel proud to be Canadian, he makes me excited to live here, thrilled to have such a huge space to explore. When I read his stories, or think about where he has travelled, I realize I could spend whole lifetimes without ever leaving the province, just coming to know where I was living. I am sure even Mr. Mowat would say that was a little close-minded, but you take my point – adventures start at home. I think Farley Mowat would definitely agree with Humphreys’s approach to adventures. They are necessary to human sanity and health, like water or air.

Filling in the logbook during a storm day, Sphinx Bay, Garibaldi Park, February 2011

So if bloggers can assign their readers homework, then here is what we want you to do:

GO OUTSIDE! Have an adventure, do something that you haven’t done but have wanted to do. MOVE! Explore and document – write logbooks and journals, take pictures and revel in the tidings blowing from the mountains and plains, saying “come and play, we are waiting just for you”. And when you are tired and cold, go inside (to a tent, or a house or a barn or a bivy sack) and think about the adventure you had, maybe read one of Mr. Mowat’s stories over a cup of tea, and rejoice.

Happy hunting!

Post-ascent sandwiches, Squamish Bulletheads, September 2010

Happy Hunters in the Bulletheads, Squamish

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