My old friend Keith stopped into the blog a few days ago and commented on one of the posts. By doing so he reminded me I haven’t said much about a subject dear to my heart: Outrageous adventure.
When Keith and I were searching together we were both in our early 50s, both involved in careers, both plenty old enough to know we weren’t going to find that lost gold mine, though I, particularly figured we would. [I still held by the statement from my neophyte search early in the 1980s, “If I can’t find that mine I’m not half the man I think I am.”]
Keith and I plotted, planned and trekked into more canyons than either of us can remember and, while we didn’t find that lost gold mine we saw places not many human beings have ever seen, certainly not many in a longish time. We systematically explored promising locations from the Zuni Mountains, to Santa Rita Mesa, to Pelona on the south side of the Plains of San Augustin, to the Gallinas.
I don’t know how Keith thinks about all this these days, but I know how I think about it. I wouldn’t subtract one mile, one minute, one canyon of it from my life, though we never found what we were looking for.
Not from that, not from Y2K, not from flying a Cessna 140 all over the sky for a number of years, and not from this current adventure of survival that’s my life today, for that matter.
It seems to me people have become too ‘smart’ and ‘wise’ with the debunking culture to allow themselves a piece of outrageous risk with minimal prospects for any returns. It’s been that way for a considerable while. I believe it’s robbed a lot of people of experiencing a side of life that once a particular sort of individual demanded of himself.
When I say it’s been going on a long while I mean it. During the early 1950s my granddad and step-dad became the laughingstocks of Portales, Dora, Garrison and Causey, New Mexico, by injecting a piece of it into their lives. They bought a WWII jeep, equipment, and joined thousands of other similar men searching for uranium. Probably the last ‘rush’ in US history.
They were gone several months, didn’t find a thing, and when they returned they endured the jeers and snide laughs of everyone around them. But both men cherished the memories of that time as long as they lived. They had something the stay-at-home sneerers would never have because they were too smart, too dedicated to the other side of human existence to allow it into their lives.
And the venom they expressed for anyone else doing it provides a hint they probably wished they had.