For the most part, this is a collection of a few of my own outdoor adventure stories. Most of these are essentially true, although I make no guarantees. Sure, there are all kinds of adventures and they can happen anywhere and take on a multitude of forms, but the ones included here involve the outdoors in some way.
For whatever it’s worth, for years I’ve been involved in all sorts of adventures at various levels ranging from unwitting participant to adventure company owner. Once I began trying to market my business to the world at large, I discovered that a lot of people first just wanted a simple definition of adventure, and I was never satisfied with what came out of my mouth. Ever since, I’ve been trying to come up with one that’s concise and doesn’t allude to dangerous activities or superhuman endeavors and while I haven’t come up with one yet, I have become completely comfortable with the realization that perhaps I never will. As far as I’m concerned, there just may be more to the idea of adventure than a few short words can describe or explain. I do know that adventure is a work in progress, and I’m satisfied with that.
Through all of my pondering, reflecting, thinking about, recounting, and otherwise trying to figure all of this out out I’ve gained all kinds of what I consider to be interesting insights into the subject. Specifically, I’ve come to realize that there are some common characteristics or threads of importance that reoccur over and over again in all kinds of adventures—including the importance of perspective, the repeated occurrence of the unexpected, the concept of wildness, the role of curiosity and the value of being prepared.
Rather than discuss each of the topics, or “characteristics” in some sort of essay form, on Adventures Told, I’m letting some of my own adventures stories do the talking and discussing. I’ve come to realize that while these various characteristics always have roles in adventures, sometimes the parts they play are supporting and at other times they’re starring. Bear that in mind as you read. I’ve grouped the stories according to certain dominant characteristics, but undoubtedly, all are at work in most every case.
Hopefully, these stories will provide useful insights or inspire you to experience your own adventure. If you’re reading this, more than likely you’re not physically outdoors in an outdoor adventure place at the moment, although hopefully with this, you can kinda be.
I want to be clear about one thing- outdoor adventures are for everyone. These are not stories about outlandish fetes accomplished by cutting edge physical specimens pushing their limits (although some do involve outlandish events). They’re mostly about “gamers”, or people who are just participants, simply acting on their curiosity.
So, take a break from your daily grind. Lean back against a tree, stare into a campfire, follow a road that isn’t on the map, take a breather, see a whole wild world stretch out before you from a mountain top, hear the rain pounding on the tent as you drift off to sleep. Wonder, dream, ponder…….
Be inspired and then go out and inspire others to take a step forward down some unknown trail!
Some Background: To reiterate:
A lot of well known adventurers have offered their own definitions or descriptions of the term, “adventure” in the past. While in many cases, the definitions are concise, I’ve found them to be quite complicated and typically in need of a good bit of discussion and interpretation. South Pole Explorer Roald Amundsen described it as “poor planning”. Early Everest explorer George Mallory answered the question about why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest by saying “because it’s there”. I personally adapted Louie Armstrong’s description of jazz, by saying that if you have to ask what outdoor adventure is, you’ll probably never know.
I knew, all along, that each of the famous descriptions mentioned above was true in its own way. I felt like I understood the concept myself and sometimes felt like I did a good job of explaining it, albeit with a lot of words, although I never felt like I had a good, solid, short, comprehensible definition, that could be shared over and over again.
Then, after years of being out on the trail, sitting around campfires, doing long bike rides, hanging out at the bottom of top rope rock climbs, climbing big and not so big mountains, going to off the beaten track places, and just adventuring in general, I came to a few realizations about the subject. First, I went on adventures with all kinds of people, many of whom seemed to understand (although they typically couldn’t verbalize) the concept, which repeatedly confirmed in my mind that there was indeed a definition. Second, is that a lot of stories get told while in the midst of adventures. And third, that those stories and the adventures they inspire end up doing the best job of explaining just what it is.
Granted, adventures and stories about adventures are not necessarily short and/or concise. In my mind, I’ve come to accept the fact that perhaps there really is no short version to the whole bigger story of just what adventure is.
So, Who am I?
I am David Appleton and was born and raised in Denton, Texas. I fell in love with the enchantment of wild places as a toddler and ultimately went on to work as a professional outdoor guide, leader and adventure company owner for some 30 years. Through the years, I traveled to and led groups into a wide array of places doing all sorts of outdoor sports and activities. From climbing on Huayna Potosi and Sajama in Bolivia, Mt. Hunter in Alaska and Argentina’s Aconcagua; to mapping lost trails and trekking the remote reaches of Copper Canyon; mountain biking Porcupine Rim, Slick Rock and Poison Spider in Moab along with Colorado’s Monarch Crest and more than just a few rocky, obscure trails in the Texas Hill Country; exploring jungles in the Oriente of Ecuador and on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula and to backpacking the Wind River Range, Mexico’s Maderas del Carmen and all over the Colorado Rockies- I was ultimately able to experience an astounding array of some of the world’s greatest adventure destinations. And on top of it all, I got to do it with a wide array of compelling characters.
I ultimately based my business, Outpost Wilderness Adventure (OWA), in the wilds of the Tarryall Mountains of Colorado. Currently, I reside in The Texas Hill Country.
How this works
As mentioned, this is a collection or compilation of adventure stories. Within many of the stories, you’ll find both interesting insights and practical information about adventure locations and specific adventure sports or activities. To that end, there’s a link page (called “Adventure Recommendations”), that contains links to sites I can personally vouch for, which can be accessed from specific stories by clicking on the photographs attached to each story .
And so….. read about, dream of and prepare for– your own Outdoor Adventure