by Mark Jobman
Standing on top of a summit in Nepal, kayaking down the Gold River in Canada, climbing one of the hundreds of lines on Devils Tower, or just planning a weekend get away in your own back yard; a big part of the adventure is the planning process. The logistics of making sure you have the perfect route planned, the proper gear, the bivy locations, and the most important — someone along to help make the trip memorable. After all it’s not about the destination it’s about the shared experiences.
For most of us, we are wanna be dirt-baggers, weekend warriors, and evening indoor craggers. We have families, and careers that drive our Monday through Fridays. Thus the planning process becomes even more important to us. It helps us maintain our dreams of the mountains, steep trad lines, and quick waters. The fun is spending countless hours over maps, reading through guidebooks, emailing friends, and dreaming of the epics to come. It seems to make the adventure begin sooner and last longer.
Yes, I will be the first to admit that some of the best adventures are those that we can place up on the “lets just wing it” shelf. These adventures pose epics that create engraved memories and some remarkable campfire stories. Planning alone can’t take the epics out of adventure. Even on the most planned adventure something has to go wrong once a day. We just have to deal with it and move on to enjoy the moment.
This next week I head out to the Pacific Northwest to climb Mt. Rainier with a few buddies. A trip that we have been planning now for the past 6 months. It all started with a quick email, or phone call… “Hey you in?” From that point forward the adventure begins, dreams form and the excitement builds.
The Type “A” Personality kicks in when I am at home. Planning out as much of the trip as I can get my fingers into. Emails are sent out with gear lists and logistic needs. I find myself spending every minute of the lunch hour checking out Google Earth, reading trip reports, and thumbing through the AAC Library for research books. My evenings are occupied gazing over maps, making notes and plugging in marks on to the GPS. All adding to my adventure before the adventure.
Finally, a week out, the anticipation builds. At this point I always think of the Disney World Commercial where the Mother tells the little boy to go to sleep, and he responds to her, with dreams of the Happy Disney World Fantasies in his head, “We’re too excited to sleep!!”.
I find that I am not much different, dreaming of my own “Disney World”. Three days before departure gear starts to flood on to the floor of the office and we end up tip toeing across the room. It stays this way until the last minute before leaving, with one double check of the room, the adventure begins.
So, I ask you. You may have not thought of it before, but when does your adventure truly begin? When do those dreams begin to occupy your every thought and when are you “Too excited to sleep!”
Get outside, plan an adventure and enjoy being outside. Make the planning, a family adventure.