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WELCOME ADVENTURE FANS!
IF YOU’RE HUNGRY for adventure stories with a little less testosterone and a little more humility, then you’ve come to the right place. I Didn’t Climb Everest is where you’ll find a variety of autobiographical adventure stories from around the world that will make you laugh, cry, cringe and smile. But there’s no macho chest thumping here. I cover both sides: the failures as well as the successes ; fears and doubts; getting lost and getting sick; lessons learned and occasional cluelessness. In other words, stories we can all relate to.
Combining vulnerability with melodrama and humor, this collection of personal travel stories chronicles my often-stumbling efforts to delve into the world of adventure. These aren’t traditional travelogue pieces. Visiting five continents over a span of twenty years, I’ve gotten lost alone in the snowy back-country, clung desperately to an overturned canoe in a turbulent river, and puked my way into Alaska. I’ve also cried with my brothers on mountain summits, fallen into lust with inappropriate travel companions, been locked out of the Amazonian jungle, and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.
WHO AM I? Just a quiet middle-aged guy from the San Francisco Bay Area whose life took a unexpected turn after the death of his brother. As a result I started doing some cool stuff for the first time in my life and felt compelled to write about my experiences, both good and bad. I created this website to share those personal stories with as many people as I could.
WHO ARE YOU? Someone who loves to read personal nonfiction. Someone who’s ready for something other than the boastful exploits of pumped-up adrenaline junkies. Someone who values honesty over bravado, and introspection over competitiveness.
INTERESTED? Check out the Table of Contents below for links to my latest offerings. If you like what you see, feel free to share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, then join my website to get email notifications about upcoming stories as well as access to my members-only Bonus Stories. I’ll be publishing something new every few months. Your comments are appreciated. Welcome aboard and thanks for joining me on this adventure!
A Dream Thirty Years Deferred (13 pages)
After conquering procrastination and setting aside 3 decades of built-up expectations, I head out on a 2-week African wildlife safari full of dueling hippos, charging elephants, naughty monkeys, and a wealth of emotional experiences that helped launch my travel writing career.
A Melodramatic Descent into Misery amid the Hills of Berkeley
Grossly underestimating a “moderate 2-hour” trail ride, I gradually sink into despair after a number of things go wrong. Rain… hail… mud… malfunction… cursing… and then the sun went down. I knew I’d get out of it eventually, but I didn’t know how or when. Sure, it’s easy to laugh about it now.
Of Uncertain Outcome (15 pages)
Ever find yourself tied to a rope with someone you just met the day before… someone you didn’t exactly trust? They say when people die on Oregon’s Mount Hood, they perish 5 or 6 at a time– all on the same rope. I’d never do this again, but it remains one of the greatest mountaineering experiences of my life.
A Night Alone in the Woods (6 pages)
Imagine you’re the only person camping on the slopes of Mount Shasta. Then the little noises begin. First, it’s just the wind on the tent flaps. But little by little, the spirits of the night come out to play… with your imagination. Welcome to this light-hearted adventure of bogey men and Bigfoot in the far north woods of California.
Discovering the Loss of Self in an Ancient World (28 pages)
During a trip to the Himalaya to climb one last mountain, the author find himself on a different path when he comes across a fellow trekker in need of help. Elephants, yaks, holy men and prayer flags: none have the same impact as the simple acts of compassion and sacrifice on the dusty trails of Nepal.
My Brother and I Discover a New Bond on Our Quest for the Top
Taking my brother back to Shasta for a second chance at the summit revealed personal insights that were just as rewarding as the difficult journey to the summit and back. After that wind-ravaged day in 1996, we’d never look at that mountain or ourselves the same way again.
Uncovering the Other Half of a Life in the Jungles of Central America (28 pages)
My wife takes me to visit the jungle outpost where she lived for seven years studying howler monkeys, rehabilitating two orphaned howlers and teaching the local people about conservation and self-reliance before showing me the many people and places throughout Belize that had literally changed her life.
A Last-Minute Ascent of an Unknown Peak with a Non-English Speaking Guide (11 pages)
It’s tough enough climbing a mountain without being in a hurry. But when the last bus for town isn’t going to wait for you, you open the throttle and follow the man in the cowboy hat on a sweat-soaked jungle mountain marathon.
A Little Bit of Knowledge Can be Dangerous (11 pages)
Ever get into something you almost couldn’t get out of? Many years ago I took off alone up a 10,000 foot peak that I’d climbed several times before. But this time I was in over my head, and didn’t realize it until it was too late.
How I Jumped Out of the Very First Plane I Ever Got Into (10 pages)
Trying to jump-start my stalled life, I sign on for parachute training and plunge into the unknown with both feet. But like all good adventures, things don’t exactly go as planned. Don’t worry—I lived through it.