For the most part, this is a collection of some of my outdoor adventure stories. Some, however, belong to others and are included because they help tell the bigger story of just what adventure is. Most of these are mostly 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 and involve me or people I know.
After years of being involved in, organizing and/or guiding a variety of outdoor adventure trips, I came to recognize that there was one constant in the whole process. That ever-present thing being that a lot of stories get told whenever people get together in the wild outdoors.
The goal of this is to attempt to tell the long version about what adventure is and in doing so, give others some practical information and a little nudge, in hopes that they’ll get out and experience something in the wild outdoors that they might not have, otherwise.
So, hopefully this provides insights into that adventure place, wherever it might be. If you’re reading this, more than likely you’re not physically outdoors in one of those places at the moment, although with this, you can kinda be. 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: I think I know what adventure is, although for years I’ve struggled with actually being able to come up with a concise definition of it. Having been involved in my own adventures in the past as a participant, guide and outdoor adventure company owner, both a desire and the need to do it has been of particular importance.
A lot of well known adventurers have offered their own definitions or descriptions of the term 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 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.
I ultimately based my business, Outpost Wilderness Adventure (OWA), in the Tarryall Mountains of Colorado. In 2004, I was named a Wilderness Hero by the Campaign for America’s Wilderness and recognized at the 40th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act in Washington, D.C.
I currently 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 photograph at the end of each story .
And so….. read about, dream of and prepare for– your own Outdoor Adventure