Making Exploration Personal

Hello everybody, Christopher Russell here again.

Yesterday after a big Thanksgiving meal, I started thinking about exploration. I’ve been rereading “In northern mists” by Fridtjof Nansen lately. The book is a history of Arctic exploration, but Nansen spends a lot of time talking about the inherent human urge to wander throughout history and prehistory. The opening lines of the book strike me each time I read them.

In the beginning the world appeared to mankind like a fairy tale; everything that lay beyond the circle of familiar experience was a shifting cloudland of the fancy, a playground for all the fabled beings of mythology

In our modern world, even the far reaches of the world seem vaugely familiar. We’ve read about them, or seen documentaries that allow us a to visualize them in some respect. Through this we may think that exploration is a thing of the past.

Well I’m here to say “to hell with that”.

The advantage for the modern day canoeist or hiker of having all the maps filled in is a big one. The only thing or person you’re comparing your exploration to is yourself and your experiences. So what if hundreds of other people have paddled along a particular stretch of river? You haven’t, and if that paticular stretch is the “cloudland of fancy” to your preexisting experience then get out there and do it.

For example, I’ve spent a lot of time on Assateague island in eastern Maryland. It’s a beautiful place, with wild ponies, horseshoe crabs dragging themselves on and off the beach, and all manner of other wildlife. Having said that, you know what I’ve never done? Paddled around assateauge and it’s sister islands. So next year I’m planning on getting out to an island I know fairly well, and seeing new aspects of it.

So I’m curious about everyone else’s stories. What places have you been that made you feel like you’d stretched out your “circle of familiar”?

General

Comments on this entry are closed.

 


 

Our Sites
· JMB Field School – Long-Term Immersion: Semester & Expedition Programs
· JMB Trips – Classic Wilderness Guiding By Canoe & Snowshoe
· JMB Folk School – Short Courses, Crafts & Lodge-Based Programs
· School Of The Forest – Teen & Youth Programs
· JM Outfitters – The World’s Smallest Outfitter
· JMB Master Calendar – Complete List Of Scheduled Programs

Typos, Etc.
Note: Anything that appears to be an error in spelling or grammar is actually the author’s clever use of the vernacular, and as such is not an error, but rather a carefully placed literary device that demonstrates his writing prowess.

RSS
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
Google+
http://blog.jackmtn.com/making-exploration-personal
YouTube
YouTube
Instagram

Our Email List
Join our email list; it’s the best way to keep up with what we’re up to. We promise to never fill your inbox with junk and we never share or sell your information. We value your time and privacy. We won’t abuse either of them. More Info.


Featured In:
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Media Appearances Image

Life Member – MPGA
mpga graphic
Life Member – MWGO
mwgo graphic