Sunday, March 25, 2007

Organized Adventure vs. Sponteneous Adventure

"The disorganized, spontaneous search for beauty is the only justifiable and honest way of seeking it," Stiles preaches in his new book, Brave New West, subtitled "Morphing Moab at the Speed of Greed."
"The search for solitude, beauty, and all things remote and mysterious must be random. To be more organized is to risk commodifying beauty itself."

This quote from a new book Brave New West, subtitled "Morphing Moab at the Speed of Greed." by Jim Stiles the publisher of the Canyon County Zephyer caught my eye in an online article in the Salt Lake City Tribune

Stiles is criticizing the organized "adventure" tours by foot, by mountain bike, and by jeep which have taken over Moab, UT. While Stiles is quite extreme I do agree that guiding those beyond what they are capable on their own or with knowlegable friends is not the best way to experience nature or adventure. Just think of the folks dragged up Everest by their guides. They can say they "did it" but did they really? And should they have?

Be it trail running, hiking, or ski touring I much prefer to be well prepared and explore within my capabilities, and at random. I share this knowledge and experience with friends. Over time, experience, be it in a particular area or in terms of skills, takes one further. And the spontaneous discoveries and challenges are all the sweeter.

I visited Moab on a whim this fall and with no more than a bit of advice from the tourist info center I hiked a spectacular canyon with stream running through white sand and bamboo, on my own. I saw the guides and their clients. Sure they may have gotten more "information" about the history, geology, and nature of the canyon but I am sure precious little random discovery.

Friday, March 16, 2007

One of my favorite trail runs-Bradley Palmer State Park Appleton Grass Rides MA

Spectacular 9.3 mile trail run through North Shore MA horse and estate country.

See the Google map here. Click "View Details" to access the map and use features such as elevation profile. The default view is Google Satellite. Make sure to try the topo view in the drop down on the top right of the map.

Everytrail lets you embed pictures into your trips and I am looking forward to trying this feature. Combining GPS mapping, geo located pictures, and story/trip report is a big part of the future of travel/activity storytelling and sharing.

I used a Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS watch to map the run then uploaded to Everytrail. I had the last generation Forerunner 201 and the 205 is vastly improved in usability and most importantly maintaining a satelite signal in heavy tree cover areas such as New England or deep canyons areas such as in Utah . The leaves are not out yet so testing under the full canopy comes next.