This is my 29th year of adventuring into the Rocky Mountains, teaching history, mythology and how to survive off the land. The lure of open country is hypnotic. The landscape is filled with mythologies and mysteries that awaken an awareness that we are genetically linked to a primordial past of hunters and voyagers.
Adventure is intoxicating and its own aphrodisiac. Many things are known and many things are unknown, and in between there are doors. I hope to open those doors and show my students that what they find can help them forget what they were looking for. Adventure is a process of self-discovery. It's not so much about the thing discovered, but about the discovery itself.
Even the gods are spectators to the deeds of adventurers. Adventure in of itself is the search for the divine, the elusive, the unknown. In our search, things of divine nature are revealed to us, which may or may not lead us to our ultimate goal.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out in the spring of 1804 to discover the fabled Passage to India, an all-water route through the interior of North America. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery but yet failed to find their original intent. Instead they discovered the future of a fledgling nation, the land itself and the promises it held.
This year I am taking 11 students to canoe the upper Missouri River in northern Montana. The Missouri is a beast: a long and dangerous, wildly beautiful snake. Its vast parries and distant mountains and seemingly limitless length will test our physical endurance and comprehension at every turn.