Tag Archives: Philosophy

Ambassadors of Action

 One of my high school teachers once asked, “Without speech, would there still be thought?”  At the time this stoner-esque consideration was profound enough to leave me not only speechless, but thoughtless as well.  I tried to imagine a thought without words and could only vaguely conceive of emotional inspirations that well up deep within us.  Music has a piece of this power, to convey thought and emotion without words, but in a way it borrows so much from speech and sound.

People seem to do a lot of talking, and a lot of thinking.  Unfortunately, they don’t always go hand in hand and at times we seem to say things without thinking about them, and conversely to think of things without talking about them.  Most of the time, this is all fine and well, after all if you’re not hurting someone or something with your pointless drivel then who cares, but words and thoughts have a way of turning into actions, and together these can have a serious impact.

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Lessons Learned

We each want to progress, to learn and improve.  Each generation is not only lucky enough to build upon the efforts of those before us, but we too act, practice and refine our thoughts, our crafts, and our lives to be more in line with an evolving world view.  As climbers and adventurers we strike off, in an effort to learn more about life by experiencing it in extremes.  As we scratch the surface, the experiences call us back again and again, and soon we become more proficient and comfortable with the logistics, trouble, and physical hardship that often go along with these trips.  We learn from friends and relatives, books and movies, and of course our own personal adventures.  Certain disciplines call us, whether it be bouldering or alpine climbing, creek-boating or surfing, as the specialists we are we devour this lifestyle completely, striving to understand every angle and aspect of it’s execution.  Along the way we come to understand more about ourselves and the world, and subsequently the relationship between each.

This concept of bicycle-powered adventure is not new, and there are seemingly more and more resources appearing every day on it’s subject.  While I do not claim much experience from my limited adventures, from the meager amount I’ve learned along the way, I do wish to add my voice to the chorus of encouragement.  Truth is this is all still so new to me, and although we’ve been living the bicycle-life for about two and a half years, I constantly find myself exploring new aspects that keep it fresh, challenging, and exciting.  This was the first trip I’ve ever done that involved skis, only the second that involved snow, and the first that involved multiple stages of shipping gear.  In an effort to clear away some of the confusion, and help with the logistics of your own ride, I wanted to share as much of this knowledge as I can, in hopes that you’ll be able to take it one step farther, while doing it easier.  While in no way comprehensive, chronological, or even ordered, what’s below is one part trip report, one part advice, and three parts rambling rhetoric, enjoy.

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Front Door Expeditions

It’s amazing how much planning and preparation can go into an idea you’re not even sure will succeed.  Starting an expedition from your front door, you never really know how far you’ll make it.  To sputter to a stop, achieving failure before you even make it out of the neighborhood is always a possibility, and a constant fear. This trip has been in the works for some time: evolving, growing, changing.  First we were riding west, then south, now north, every idea and adventure has been thought through, and what we’re left with is what we’ve got.  Hatched in the mind of Alta, the possibilities and prospects of this trip seemed endless, climbing, skiing, desert, mountains, anything is possible.  Now we’ve made it out into the world, out of one reality and into another.  Ever so slowly we will separate ourselves from this reality, from friends, family and the rest of society.  It’s taken a week but we’ve made it this far, to a friends house in Ogden ready to start our ride.  Last minute errands for gear, a food drop, and other non essentials and we managed to schlep our junk show onto the train and catch a ride out of SLC.  I’m not above this level of help.  This is not a trip, an adventure, a vacation or a sufferfest, it is my life and it will be all of those things.  Getting JB on this trip will be rewarding but separating him and myself from our previous reality at Alta will be challenging.  We’ve got over 25 days to get to Boise and enough gear to have some fun along the way.  City of Rocks is our first destination that I’m hoping will take two to three days.  The impressive Sawtooth mountains await along with another 200+ mile ride to Stanley.  Wilderness and solitude call as we stand on the edge of the Utah valley. We’re finally hitting the road today and I just wanted to pass it along here, keep in touch if you can, your words of stoke and encouragement mean a lot to us.  FACETAGRAM will be in full effect @natureofmotion.  It’s amazing how much planning and preparation can go into an idea you’re not even sure will succeed.  Starting an expedition from your front door, you never really know how far you’ll make it.  To sputter to a stop, achieving failure before you even make it out of the neighborhood is always a possibility, and a constant fear. This trip has been in the works for some time: evolving, growing, changing.  First we were riding west, then south, now north, every idea and adventure has been thought through, and what we’re left with is what we’ve got.  Hatched in the mind of Alta, the possibilities and prospects of this trip seemed endless, climbing, skiing, desert, mountains, anything is possible.  Now we’ve made it out into the world, out of one reality and into another.  Ever so slowly we will separate ourselves from this reality, from friends, family and the rest of society.  It’s taken a week but we’ve made it this far, to a friends house in Ogden ready to start our ride.  Last minute errands for gear, a food drop, and other non essentials and we managed to schlep our junk show onto the train and catch a ride out of SLC.  I’m not above this level of help.  This is not a trip, an adventure, a vacation or a sufferfest, it is my life and it will be all of those things.  Getting JB on this trip will be rewarding but separating him and myself from our previous reality at Alta will be challenging.  We’ve got over 25 days to get to Boise and enough gear to have some fun along the way.  City of Rocks is our first destination that I’m hoping will take two to three days.  The impressive Sawtooth mountains await along with another 200+ mile ride to Stanley.  Wilderness and solitude call as we stand on the edge of the Utah valley. We’re finally hitting the road today and I just wanted to pass it along here, keep in touch if you can, your words of stoke and encouragement mean a lot to us.  FACETAGRAM is in full effect @natureofmotion, I’ll be throwing pictures up there when we can.  See y’all on the other side. I’ll be throwing pictures up there when we can.  See y’all on the other side.

(Another) Case for Place

Winters, for me, have always been a practice in hibernation.  Not in the most literal sense, and I haven’t always seen things this way, but as my time here continues to unfold and my views and values continue to evolve, it’s easy to see how the seasons affect many changes in my life.  My food, sleep, work, my mobility, my drive, and so much more, all are grounded and shaped by the colder months, where and how I spend them.  This year marks the ninth winter season I’ve come to Alta, Utah.  Each of these seasons has seen progression, regression, evolution and expansion.  I’ve loved, learned, limped, and continued to move forward.  While I’ve never had a vehicle with me for any of my winters here, it’s only been since 2008 that I haven’t owned a car year round, and only in the last two years that I’ve truly embraced the bike.  This season makes the second winter of Nature of Motion, and it’s interesting to see the hint of a pattern here.  Winter is truly a time for introversion, a time for reflection and renewal.  As I look back, look forward, and look inward, I continue to notice new things, re-connect with the familiar, and find my creative spark to progress.  It’s easy to look to the side of the screen and see the pattern, the abundance of posts and activity in the summer months, and the scarcity in the winter.  Granted, there’s been a lot more than just my change in transportation in these last few years, but I think that reflects a lot of what goes on behind the scenes.  Recently, I’ve been thinking and journaling a lot about this topic, this sort of seasonality and localism that plays on my life each winter.  March is usually when I start to wake up and dig myself out from the haze of the winter, it’s also the month of my birth, so it’s a pretty appropriate time to be reflecting inward on my progress and position.  A little over a year ago I wrote a piece on this subject entitled A Case for Place. Here now with a year gone by and I find myself in the same place, thinking along the same lines.  But what do I have to add?  What have I learned or how have a grown?  I find it helpful to look back first, to gain some of this perspective of time and place, so before I spewed out all the nonsense below I took a minute to read the original piece, if you’ve got a minute, and think it’d help you too, check it out here. Enjoy.

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A Call To Climbers

Here I sit, hand bandaged in gauze and cotton, temporarily sidelined and forcibly inactive.  The slightest miscalculation and most seemingly insignificant accident and I’m left with a torn ligament in my thumb, and it’s resulting surgical repair.  After another summer of movement and adventure, I anticipated returning to a relatively sedentary winter existence, one with an abundance of reflection and introspective time, but this is hardly what I expected.  A sense of déjà-vu pervades as I re-live Liz’s recent injury and remind myself that life is full of surprises, their being good or bad depends entirely on perspective, which in turn itself relies upon your grasp of reality, your worldview and your version of sanity.  So as I recline with the subdued awareness I will not be climbing for months, that my work and play in the mountains will be limited equally, I cannot help but feel excitement and optimism for the future, and know I might be a little insane for doing so.

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Just a Reminder…

This is a blog.  Simple.  A quick deconstruction of the word reveals its true meaning, a web log.  A diary.  A journal.  But more then that, the format and purpose of today’s blogs is to share.  I’m writing for you, even more than for myself.  Writing and photographing for me has become a way of expressing my worldview, sharing my thoughts, feelings, insights, and adventures.  The format and structure of this site and those like it allow for the sharing of ideas and following of readership.  You can comment, subscribe, or share it with your own friends and families.

This is a journal, and I usually treat it as so, my entries flowing mostly from a stream of consciousness that receive little or no editing.  But this is a journal of purpose, and while I often get lost in the web world of climbing, the hopes and dreams of a kid who loves mountains, I’d like to take this moment to remind myself, and you, why I created this space, why I’m still here writing, and the direction I hope to be going. Continue reading

Mountains, Mobility, and The Nature of Motion

Who remembers their first time riding a bike?  Although most of my childhood memories exist as snapshots and short films in my mind, I can pretty well recall my first experiences of two wheeled ecstasy.  While my trike and training wheel days might be lost in the haze, that first time I managed to balance and pedal my way across the front lawn has stuck with me to this day.  The sheer delight of those few moments being pushed between my mother and father, and eventually learning to roam around under my own body’s power are powerful memories that I’ll be hard pressed to forget.

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