Adventure Observations and Other Fine Life Lessons RSS



Brace for change

All the movies I’ve seen with a plane crash scene share a storyline: The plane starts moving in an unpredictable pattern, the faces of passengers go from calm to terrified and eventually the pilot comes over the intercom and says, in a confident (yet terrified) voice, "Brace for impact." Using the metaphor of a plane for Wyoming state government, our governor has called out the essence of that phrase weekly. Soon it will be a common phrase of Wyoming legislators as well. Now, imagine the plane careening toward the ground suddenly deploys a parachute or grows webbed feet for a water landing. These solutions won’t look pretty, but they will certainly help soften the landing. At this point, the best...

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A letter to my 17-year-old self

Tomorrow you will turn 35 years old. I know that sounds old to you, but trust me, you won’t feel that old. In fact, in the last week you have climbed a 5.12c rock climb, ridden your KTM 250 XC on 50 miles of technical single track and taken two friends to the top of Pingora Peak, one of “America’s 50 Classic Alpine Climbing Routes.” You may not know what some of those things mean, but don’t panic about feeling old. To be honest, the theme of this entire letter is, “Don’t worry, it will all work out just fine.” I’m not going to tell you the details of the next 17 years or which choice to make at each...

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Naivety and enthusiasm

The Wind River Mountains consist of 2,800 square miles of rugged alpine terrain. During the decade or so that I worked as an instructor for NOLS, I traveled through and camped in nearly all of those square miles. As a NOLS instructor, the objectives of a 30-day backpacking course are pretty simple: take 12 strangers into the wilderness and bring them out A) alive, B) connected to each other and the environment and C) better leaders. The daily “to-do” list consists of cooking meals, hiking through the mountains and deciding on a place to sleep each night.  Despite the simplicity, the challenging terrain and intimacy of the team highlight the real-time environment and consequences. If you cook a bad meal,...

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The call for civility, but not in my echo chamber

We’ve all heard of the phrase “Not in my backyard” (also known as NIMBY). Most often the examples look something like this: “Do you agree with walking paths in our community?” Yes. “Can we put it next to your property?” No. I don’t want people walking by my backyard. I can’t help but notice this concept applies to the call for civil discourse today. We all want “they” and “them” to work across the aisle and find collaborative solutions, yet we are unwilling to take that risk ourselves. Instead, we walk through each day hearing messages that amplify and reinforce our views. This echo chamber precludes us from cultivating the very thing we want to see in leaders. Here, see if this...

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Why You Are Killing Snowmobiling Without Knowing It; And 7 Ways To Fix It

We all ride sleds for those heavenly moments of deep pow turns and sick lines through the trees. And maybe a little bit for that feeling of drinking a beer at the end of a long day that was filled with challenge, adventure and beauty. Nobody gets involved in snowmobiling to be political or to add stress to their life. And yet, here we are in a world where access is being restricted and snowmobilers are often viewed as the enemy. As someone who has participated in other outdoor activities facing similar challenges, I have some advice for all of us: Don’t be the victim. Be the solution.  Here are seven ways you can make individual decisions that will add...

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