It’s lonely being an adventurer. The remote places of the world don’t speak homo sapiens, at least not verbally, and if you think they are, chances are that you’ve been out in the wild too long. It’s tough being an adventurer. Bad weather leads to close quarters at times, which leads to murderous tent fever between even the best of friends. It’s dangerous being an adventurer; the world barely knows that you stand upon it; and the stars can’t see you from that far away, so when disaster strikes, you’re on your own. It’s beautifully complicated being an adventurer, because it’s hard to articulate that heart stopping serendipity that permeates every aspect of your soul when you see aspects of the unknown in far-off spots; but fortunately, there’s glossy 4 x 6 prints, and stories that last beyond the arc of a lifetime, if you’re lucky.
It’s interesting being an adventurer, because everyone inherently wants to explore this planet in their own way; and if you’re personable, eventually you persuade one person to come along with you; and another; and then another; and then, before you know it, you’re surrounded by the very people you wanted to avoid, but if you’ve done a good job, you realize that you don’t mind at all. I’ve led expeditions; I’ve rescued expeditions; I’ve gone on solo expeditions, and most famously, I punched someone on an expedition after he nearly dragged my team down a crevasse. After all of this, I can fairly say that I wouldn’t want to have any other group of adventurers with me than my current hiking group, the DC.
What does the “DC” stand for? Dorky crickets. Danger curtains. Double coco. Dodo chase. District chipper. Dastardly calm. Daffodil covenant. Dancing couches. It stands for anything you want it to be, because it’s really about the people. Literally, it stands for “DEATH CLUB” because one year, I took some people to Death Valley. The week after my trip, a friend of mine was talking to me, and when she heard about it, she said, “What’ve you got going there, some sort of death club?” before laughing. Later on, when I was asked to led hikes, there was no doubt in my mind what I would call the group.
Enough about names. What makes the group exceptional are the people. The group’s got people who went up Whitney in legendary fashion. It’s people who are willing to put up with rain, wind, triple digit temperatures, mountains, desert, beach, forest, snow, ice, sun, and hiking in the dark. It’s people scaring people with noises of mythical creatures. It’s people solving puzzles; debating the state budget without understanding it; noting that dirt is brown; laughing; and occasionally saving the planet when asked to do so. The DC is people who read my crazy e-mails and laugh at them, and it’s people who Photoshop pictures of group trips. Most of all, the DC is people finding adventure everywhere, because they know that adventure is lurking beyond every corner of life. It’s a group of people that I feel privileged to take out into the wild each month. So, this is for you guys – thanks for coming along and making each experience I plan that much better by your presence there. It’s probably also worth mentioning that we were out yesterday, enjoying the day – maybe next month, if you’re a hiker or bystander, you’ll see us out there, because when it comes down to it, there’s really no mistaking us. See you on or off the trail!