Sunday, August 03, 2014

What inspires you?

City Walk is fast approaching (101 hrs for anyone counting). I've been doing some thinking about where I find inspiration and why I have this need for adventure. Below are just some thoughts, good literature, movies and songs. Get your brain ready.

Childhood

The Wizard of Oz. While we had a copy of the book in the house, it is the 4 LP version that I listened to endlessly. It is probably the first great journey to inspire me. It might have been better if Dorothy had to travel the vast desert that surrounds the land on foot. All the same, once the cyclone drops her down, Baum does a great job of making the many miles she puts beneath her feet seem worthwhile (even if she could have avoided every single step with the simple click of her heels).

The Hobbit is the book that will always be my benchmark for a good journey. I first read it in grade 3. I took it out over and over again from my school library. There was a beautiful fold out map in the back. I stared at it for hours, plotting the journey and wondering what was going on in all the places where the story wasn't.

One of my favourite things is that Bilbo isn't forced into the journey. He chooses it. Why the heck would he do that? It seems too hard and uncomfortable... definitely too long, and, "you may never return!" Why? Because, somehow, deep inside, he knew that you need to test yourself and it isn't a true test if you might not fail.

Gandalf says of Bilbo, "There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself." Who wouldn't like that to be true of themselves? Do you think it's true of you?

The Lord of the Rings. The whole journey is inspiring for me. The part that will always stand out  is the run to save Merry and Pippin. Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn manage to run for days and nights across vast distance in broken lands in the pursuit of the most noble of goals... friendship. Sure, it's a fight against evil, too. But, the story really says a lot about the power of friendship, simplicity and putting one foot in front of the other.

More Recently

Here are some of my favourite stories with themes of "journey"

StarTrek. 5 year mission. Strange new worlds. I'm in!

Into the Wild. The movie was... fine. If you have a choice, stick to the book. It was fantastic.

127 Hours (imdb). Any of these stories where bad things happen, could totally happen to me. I wouldn't say I'm careless, but is carefree close to the same thing? Maybe they have the same result. Sometimes I don't think through my actions before I take action. +david aschim is a good influence on me. I can't think of anyone who takes more thorough and well reasoned precautions. Okay, maybe +Brad S

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (imdb). While not at all like the story from which it takes it's name, it was gorgeous and spoke to me in a surprisingly profound way.

Tracks (imdb). Just saw it this evening and it is still settling in my brain. I loved it.

The Motorcycle Diaries (imdb). Haven't seen it, but it manages to inspire me anyway. It must be good ;)

Playlist: 4 songs to get me ready to travel (what are yours?)

Hobbit Song - Cossbysweater (Allie Goertz)
Ramble On - Led Zeppelin
I am the Highway - Audioslave (although, I prefer the Chris Cornell version)
Space Oddity - David Bowie

I posted a brief packing list on Facebook and G+ last week. Here it is for any who can't be troubled with social media (I don't blame you):

-small backpack
-hat (for rain or sun)
-light, layered clothing (extra socks)
-rain stuff (only if the forecast insists).
-strong, comfortable shoes or hikers
-bug spray, sunscreen, and lip balm (if you are sensitive to such things as sun, bugs or lips). Lips... eewww!
-water for several hours of walking (we will get refills along the way).
-calories (granola bars, fruit bars, trail mix...) light weight and potent. Special snacks and meal-type things can probably travel with a buddy who will meet you on route, or with Wendy... my buddy
-camera?
-patience
-fortitude
-all the stuff I forgot
*If you are doing the wet river crossing (about 12 or 1pm, I would guess), you will need a life jacket (Wendy can transport it for you). I may also wear a wetsuit for added comfort. It's pretty easy, but if you aren't okay with the river, let me know and we will make arrangements. There will be a vehicle to meet us on the other side with a picnic anyway.
**It would be great if you could make or buy something for said picnic (although, Wendy says, "don't worry about it.")
***FULL DISCLOSURE: peeing in the grass/bushes is a certainty!