silhouette of man on mountain top at sunset telling stories to the world

Stories that Celebrate the Common Man… in all his Hesitant, Exhausted Glory

Tired of hearing stories about somebody who bungee-jumped naked off the summit of Everest while juggling chainsaws with one hand and milking the venom from a king cobra with the other? Well, you know what I mean. With so many people raising the bar of adventure to astronomical heights, it’s getting a lot harder to make your mark in this world. So as a middle-aged guy who refuses to give up and play dead, I have to ask: How’s the ordinary person supposed to find glory in a world that rewards only the young pumped-up adrenaline junkie?

Well, here’s something to consider. With aching knees, a nervous stomach, and a backpack of self-doubt, a lot of us climb the smaller mountains that you never hear about. And if the name of the game is pushing yourself beyond your known limits, these “minor league” exploits are just as worthy of fame and glory– especially if you’re gutsy enough to own up to your fears and shortcomings. So if you like a little more humility, and a little less testosterone in your adventure stories, then read on…

Combining vulnerability with melodrama and humor, this collection of personal travel stories chronicles my often-stumbling efforts to delve into the world of adventure. 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.

Yet I’ve set no records; I’ve achieved no “firsts.” There’s nothing here that hasn’t been done by thousands of people before me. So what if I’m not Superman? Neither are most people. Wouldn’t you rather read about somebody you can relate to for a change? So take that, you bungee-bound Everest snake wranglers! Here come some normal-sized adventure stories for the rest of us.

 

 

young woman playing with howler monkey in BelizeBelize Adventure: On the Trail of Monkey Girl

Uncovering the Other Half of a Life in the Jungles of Central America

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.

 

Climbing a Misty Jungle MountainClimbing Guatemala’s Volcan de Zunil

A Last-Minute Ascent of an Unknown Peak with a Non-English Speaking Guide

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.

 

Compass to keep from getting lostLost Alone on Lassen

A Little Bit of Knowledge Can be Dangerous

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.

 

Concerned Cartoon Man SkydivingSkydiving for the First Time

How I Jumped Out of the Very First Plane I Ever Got Into

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.


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