We spent the weekend in the dark, gathered around the wood stove while outside we had our first blizzard of the New Year. We’ve got a fresh crop of twelve baby chicks waiting to hatch in the incubator, and with the power out they were counting on us to keep them warm.
It was an adventure in its own right (and an all-nighter, at that), and it got me thinking more about the spirit of adventure, and what it means to discover adventure in the most unlikely of places.
Many people often talk about ‘some day’ when it comes to finding adventure, while other people always seem to have a story to tell, as if adventure, or discovery, or experience, just falls into their lap. They’re the never-a-dull-moment sort of friend. But what is it about them? Well, it’s not that adventure somehow finds them; it’s that they find it.
Adventure, to me, is when experience encounters narrative, and is best understood through story. To find adventure, you simply need to seek out experience, and make it into something meaningful. And in this way, adventure is not what happens to you, but how you respond to it.
But to have a spirit of adventure is to seek out new trails, new horizons, and new experiences, purely for the sake of discovery. Many people wonder ‘what’s down that road’, or ‘where does this trail lead’, but adventurers are those who are curious enough to find out. Given this, adventure can take place anywhere, and at any time, because adventure is crafted by our narrative understanding of that experience. It’s only in deconstructing the experience, that we realize the adventure that we’ve had.
This isn't to say that our stories need to be told to be appreciated; it’s not to say that we must seek out the recognition of others for our adventures to matter. On the contrary, an adventure is only worthwhile if it means something to us. Everything else is secondary.
And so, to those of you with resolute dreams of discovering adventure some day, I urge you to ask yourself “why not today?” Because yes, grand things may lie in wait, but sometimes it is the most unexpected of experiences that become the greatest adventures of all, for as we know, life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans, and we hope to be part of those plans someday.
Yours in adventure,
If you’re like me, then December is a time for reflection, a liminal month where we both look back, but look ahead, too, and imagine the future that lays before us. And if you’re one to reflect like this, I wonder what the past year has meant to you. And more importantly, I wonder how it has defined you?
If you were to tell me about the year gone by, what has mattered most to you? What has made you happiest? What has been your greatest struggle? Have you overcome it?
In what ways were you an agent of your own fortune, and in what ways did you rail against the world? In reflecting on these things, I always ask myself the same question: what was my greatest moment? What was the best day of the year gone by? I’ve asked this question a lot lately, and fortunately, I am in the position where it is so hard to decide, as there are so many contenders for greatest day. But I’m aware, too, that my greatests don’t simply roll along like a tide.
No, they are crafted, curated almost, in the hopes of greatness. Happiness, it seems, is deliberate. These days are resultant from a willingness to take risks, to spur adventure, and to seek that which lies beyond the horizon. It’s not enough to wish to define yourself: sometimes you just have to do it.
So with that in mind, I wonder what has defined your year, and as you look back at 2021, I wonder if it has satisfied you? Did you live deliberately? Was it all that you’d hoped it would be, or is something missing still?
And if so, what is it? And what will define you in 2022? Whether you think you know the answer, or whether you’re still searching, I encourage you to pause, consider, and reflect on the year gone by, and decide what matters most to you. And just as importantly, I urge you to look ahead to the new year, and decide how, and when, and what might define you. Whether or not the answer comes clearly is up to you, but it’s my sincere hope that Red Rock might be part of that journey of self-discovery, and that you might be part of mine. Until that time, I wish you health, happiness, and dry feet.
Yours in adventure,
As you may have heard, we are happy to announce the purchase of our new woodlot which will permit us to extend our offerings even further in 2022. Coupled with our Adventure Club area in Rollo Bay, this new purchase, located just East of the Baltic, is an exciting feature for us.
With a creek running through it, several springs providing fresh water, and mature Acadian forest hardwood, it is truly a remove piece of paradise on our Island. What's more, we're proud to know that our purchase rescued this untouched plot from a potential logging operation. We couldn't imagine those beautiful trees being cut down!
You'd be hard pressed to find a more remote area on the Island, and it is ideal for our range of offerings. We've been spending much of our Autumn season mapping, trekking, and exploring the area, identifying all the potential adventures that will be held there for years to come.
We're happy to know that it will help us to share our Island with many more people in the years to come, and we hope that you will be one of them.
Yours in adventure,
What can we say? Once you get a taste of the wild, it's hard to ever turn back. What started out as bicycle tours all those years ago continues to grow; in 2021 we were proud to deliver our Adventure Camp to more than 130 children, from both Prince Edward Island and Atlantic Canada, including three extended overnight trips. We hosted Red Rock Beach Boils for countless guests, grew our flock of fowl to include eight hens and five ducks, and began work on our new woodlot! Oh, and we built a fence (which I take great pride in).
All the while Charley was a great help, and we thought he might be looking for a friend too. When we learned his new little brother was available, we were quick to jump on the offer, and so we soon brought Shadow home too. It's not easy to get a photo of them both together, but we did our best.
Each of them, much like ourselves, eagerly await the return of the warm summer weather, where we can once again hit the trails, get dirty, and discover what living is all about! Until then;
Yours in Adventure,
It's truly impossible to capture that electric feeling in the air when a group sets forth into the forest for backwoods camping. There's always such a sense of potential, of possibility, where anything can happen. It's moments like those, grains of sand in a sea of time, that each so strongly in our memory, and we are so proud of all of our Red Rock explorers who joined us for these incredible experiences.
In this blog post we wanted to take a chance to showcase some of those adventures, and share some of those stunning photos with the world. They truly were experiences to remember (from wasp-stings to hauntings) but that's what summer is all about!
So to those of you have braved the journey (which in some cases was 19KM in one day!) congratulations, and we can't wait for more of it to come next season!
Starting out in the canopy could only mean one thing: we were going to be heading deep into the woods. It was all dirt roads from here on out, and with food rationed and the destination unknown to anyone but the leaders, we knew an adventure was inevitable.
Everyone was pretty happy to see the famous 'Red Rocket' van after such a long hike. But that was only beginning. With bags loaded in the back we drove deeper into the forest, in search of our final campsite.
It was crucial to get the fire started before dark, as temperatures were expected to drop that night, but everyone put their skills to the test and soon we had a fire to be proud of. This is important, because after a long day on the road, everyone knows that supper is the best part!
Well... maybe not the best part. Everyone knew something wild could be expected, and they certainly weren't disappointed. When Nathan returned with his face painted, that devilish look in his eye, and a bag full of paints, keys, and treasure, we knew that we would be in for the night of our lives! But were we afraid...?
When we are all painted up, we knew we were ready for the night's adventure. We just didn't know what it would be, or where we were going? How'd it all end up? Well, we'll never tell. It's just one of those things you have to be there to experience, and we can't wait to experience it all again next summer.
Yours in adventure,