The Art of the Miniature Adventure
On (and Off) the Water
Big Trips get most of the hype in the paddlesport press, but how many of us can afford to take a Big Trip every time we need to get away from it all? Not many of us. And the solution? How about a miniature adventure? Farwell didn’t invent the idea. It’s writer Richard Frisbie’s brainchild. But it’s open to anyone with a boat and a dream. And in this, the last of a three‑part series, Farwell tells you how it’s done.
by Farwell Forrest | May 29, 2018
Originally published in different form on July 26, 2005
I‘ve said it before, I know. Still, it’s worth repeating. The miniature adventure is the escape clause in life’s contract of obligations. It’s adventure on easy terms, close to home and on the cheap. But it’s real‑life adventure, nonetheless. Every miniature adventure is a leap into the unknown, with all that this involves. Guidebooks only rarely offer guidance, and there’s no outfitter to turn to for timely reassurance or good advice. In short, you get no guarantees. To go adventuring is to place your stake on the table and risk … well … what, exactly? … Read more »
Learning to See
Happy Are the Painters
When a Christmas Eve fire left Tamia with little more than the clothes on her back, she mourned the loss of her camera and photos. But out of this loss came something of enduring value: She learned to see again. And so can you.
by Tamia Nelson | March 23, 2018
Originally published in very different form on June 6, 2000
Nearly forty years ago, Farwell and I made our first home together in what had once been the servants’ quarters of an imposing Victorian manse. Then, on Christmas Eve, the century-old structure burned to the ground. As luck would have it, we were away from home at the time, visiting family, but we didn’t escape unscathed. Except for an aging Volkswagen Beetle and the clothes on our backs, the flames consumed everything we owned.
This blow fell hard on us. We had no insurance, for one thing. Still, although we missed our tent, our sleeping bags, our climbing gear, and our books, the losses I felt most keenly were my treasured Nikon camera and my collection of photographic slides and prints, a collection which had filled dozens of steel boxes. From the … Read more »
On Keeping a Journal
Fixing Images on the Emulsion of Memory
Alexander Mackenzie did it. So did Henry David Thoreau, Mina Hubbard, Raymond Patterson, and Sigurd Olson. And you can, as well. In fact, if you canoe or kayak — or if you just take an active interest in what’s going on in the world outside your door — you’d be foolish not to. Curious? Then read on. Tamia will tell you all you need to know about keeping a journal.
by Tamia Nelson | March 16, 2018
Originally published in different form on May 21, 2002
When Colin Fletcher smashed his only camera, far down a trail in the depths of the Grand Canyon, he cursed his luck. After all, he was walking through country he’d probably never visit again. Before long, however, his spirits had soared. He discovered that he’d escaped from the “tyranny” of photography. “Instead of stopping briefly to photograph and forget,” he later wrote, “I stood and stared, fixing truer images on the emulsion of memory.”
The emulsion of memory… It’s a wonderful turn of phrase, isn’t it? But there’s a problem. Unlike the silver halide colloid once used to capture images in film photography, the emulsion … Read more »
Batteries Not Included
The Virtues of Simplicity
It might be April. The ground under the cedars is almost bare, the town roads are turbid rivers running between low dikes of salty slush, and a foraging blackbird is flashing scarlet epaulettes at anyone bold enough to approach him. It might be April. But it’s not. The snow will return. The New Model Climate may be making Canoe Country winters shorter than they used to be, but it hasn’t stopped the wheel of the year from spinning round. Winter will stay with us for a little while yet. And winter has lessons to teach us about our dependence on technology, as this tale from another time and place makes clear. So imagine there’s a winter storm headed your way. Because sooner or later, there will be.
by Farwell Forrest | February 23, 2018
Originally published in much different form on March 6, 2001
As I write this, a major winter storm is threatening the mid-Atlantic coast. Some parts of the country, places where a couple of inches of snow usually bring traffic to a standstill, will probably get a couple of feet. New York’s northern mountains will be spared the worst, … Read more »