Thursday, October 30, 2014


Everyone needs a bit of adventure in life. Some folks surely get handed more adventure than they really need. But many of us manage to live lives of reasonably secure routine. Somehow connecting to the vast world that is beyond one's control, that is a very valuable way to stimulate awareness and curiosity.

Adventure needn't involve travel. One can try cooking new styles of foods, or learning a new craft or a new language, etc. And of course much travel is very routine, lacking in any dimension of adventure. But adventure travel is surely a classic and effective way to shake oneself out of the daily routine.

Adventure travel needn't involve huge distances or great risk. Alastair Humphreys has proposed microadventures as an approach to adventure that can be challenging without being extreme.

Adventure is really about discovery. Discovery always involves some degree of challenge, as it represents a confrontation with the unknown. Probably every adventure involves learning about oneself as well as learning about the world, though the proportion surely varies with the specific type of adventure.

A goal is an important, even essential, aspect of an adventure. It is a goad that drives one out of one's comfort zone. Finding or creating a goal that is effective, stimulating and motivating without being overwhelming and discouraging: that is certainly a central puzzle of adventuring.

Sometimes a goal just falls into your lap. My friend David handed me a map from the Rondout Valley Growers Association. The map identifies some twenty-odd local farmers and other small businesses. Each business has a supply of its own stickers. By visiting the business, one can receive one of their stickers which one can affix at that business's spot on the map. I love exploring the local area on my bicycle. What could be more natural: ride my bike to collect those stickers!

I have been at the project for several months. Sometimes I will figure out a route that lets me collect several stickers. Other times a few weeks will go by when I barely get out on my bike, never mind the stickers. Some businesses can't find their stickers... sometimes the person on duty doesn't even know about the map and sticker program. I have been bringing along a pen: if I make it to the business on my bike and the stickers are not at hand, I just ask the person there to mark my map somehow with the pen. Good enough for me!

Today I collected three stickers, which leaves me with only two more to go. I rode to the Catskill Native Nursery,

to Kelder's Farm,

and to Flying Change Farm.

With fifty miles of riding, those brief visits were only part of the adventure! Lots of beautiful scenery: Lower Sahler Mill Road,

and Airport Road.

Here's today's route:

1 comment:

  1. The map has a web site!

    The outfit that put it together: