On my walk home under pristinely starry skies and through a welcoming cluster of snow-covered spruce trees, I started thinking about the passion that fuels our adventure in the first place, the in-the-moment experiences that keep the flame alive, the thoughts and emotions that we take with us at the conclusion of an adventure, and the itch to venture forth, yet again, that develops soon thereafter. For me, the constant in this wild and wonderful constellation is an urgent sense of connectedness to and appreciation for the natural world. The knowledge that mountains, rivers, valleys, fjords, glaciers, and even beaches await my light and respectful footprints whets my appetite for more...every single day.
Going glacial in southeastern Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Photo: AK, 08/2007.
to go glacial: to go at a glacial pace; to move/perform at a painstakingly slow pace.
to go glacial a' la Annie Kramer: to "recede" (pun very much intended) for awhile, but to reach far and wide all the same. In the literal sense, glaciers span areas of great width and depth. And more significantly, glacial dynamics--like rapid melting due to human-induced climate change--impact the livelihoods of downstream communities and cultures in profound ways. Over the past year, from my high-altitude perch in Little Cottonwood Canyon in Utah's stunning Wasatch, I have sought to move my family, friends, and new readers with stories and reflections about snow, rock, and open space, and about the powerful interface between man and nature.
to recede: "to go or move back further away from a previous position"
to recede a' la Annie Kramer: seeking "optimal experience" by carefully crafting our "mode of existence"
Mode of existence: not simply how we live because we live that way inexorably, but because we've allowed ourselves the time, respect, and consideration to determine how we wish to live in the interest of "optimal experience."
Optimal experience: the notion of being in the right place at the right time, of finding joy in the simplest of thoughts or interactions, of feeling as though life is being lived for the "right" reasons. Of course, this is all subjective.
Going glacial in the Nepal Khumbu. Photo: SK, 11/2010.