a land of adventure


Harrigan Lake, winter

When I was young, we often went on hikes together as a family. My dad has a collection of topographical maps of this area, scratched with pencil lines marking the trails he has found and followed. Many of these trails are unmarked; following them was always an adventure.

I remember one hike, in winter. We were walking beside a frozen lake, skirting the edge of the woods, and we could not see the path; only the trackless snow lay ahead. I was feeling cold, and I wanted to go home. Then my dad told us a story about Robert Scott’s expeditions to the Antarctic, and the challenges he faced in exploring its permanently frozen landscape.

Somehow, hearing that story made all the difference. As I imagined being in the Antarctic, I began to feel like an explorer, and I started paying more attention to my surroundings. And I decided that, if this was an adventure, I could put up with a little cold and inconvenience.

One of these days I might make it to the Antarctic to see it for myself. In the meantime, I can have one adventure after another, right here.

Photo taken on January 5, 2008

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8 thoughts on “a land of adventure

  1. I used to love exploring unknown trails on horseback – if it was wide enough for us to go through we went through it. Ended up lost more than a few times…but with enough water and fruit in the saddle bags we never worried.

    I’d love to be that carefee and able to venture out again.

    • I certainly don’t explore as much as I used to either, Shelley. I have to say I’m disappointed in myself, because I do have time right now, but I’m not spending very much of it outdoors. I’m trying to get my fitness and energy level back up again so I can do some more exploring.

      Exploring on horseback sounds like fun. I’ve gone on day hikes carrying a knapsack, but horse could carry so much more. I wonder if we could get saddlebags for the corgis… that would be an adventure!

  2. Those are wonderful, precious memories you have Gillian! That must be so much fun to have and look back upon. Treasure it. I was never much of an explorer. I wish, though.

    LOL @ the comment about the corgies. I can see it for my inner vision..

    • You’re right, Rebekah, I’m now beginning to realize just how precious these memories are to me because I’m working on my dad’s memoirs and reading about the many adventures he had as a young man. It kinda makes me wish that I could be more of an athlete and less of an armchair adventurer!

      Yes, about the corgis. They would be very small saddlebags, though, otherwise they’d be dragging on the ground. We would need more corgis… maybe they could be sled dog corgis instead?!

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