Search Results for: still small voice

Thanksgiving Musings: We’re Grateful for that Still, Small Voice…

This is the time of year to stop, take a pause, and think of all the things we’re grateful for. For most of us, that’s family, friends, a warm hearth when it’s cold outside…

And we’re grateful for those, very much so. Particularly our friends, who have held us close recently, and whose warmth and support have reminded us of the very best that human nature can offer.

We’re also grateful for something that’s a bit harder to articulate. It’s the common theme uniting art, poetry, adventure, and the love of nature. It’s that small voice that calls to you: “Pay attention! This thought, or image, or moment, or destination is important!”

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Down the Hudson: Hudson to Yonkers-Glory Hallelujah!

By Johna Till Johnson “Glory, glory hallelujah!” My voice rang out strongly and surprisingly tunefully. It was late morning, and I was just entering Peekskill Bay. The weather was perfect: Sunny, cool, with just enough breeze to generate a light … Continue reading

Freepaddling in the Ten Thousand Islands: Part Three

By Johna Till Johnson I awoke to the sound of…not very much at all. A few birds piping, and the rustle of air high up in the leaves. The front had passed through, but other than the droplets remaining after … Continue reading

The Power of Art

“It is so beautiful I must show you how it looks,” wrote Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother. In the margin of the letter, he scribbled a quick sketch of what was so beautiful: a streetlamp at twilight.

I’ve never considered myself much of an artist. In fact, I’ve gone so far as to say I don’t understand the artistic impulse: I don’t know where it comes from, or how artists know what to create, even though I respect and admire the life-changing power of art.

But one of my favorite explanations is from a book written in 1938: “Art is a feeling of love and enthusiasm for something… in a direct, simple, passionate, and true way you try to show this beauty in things to others.”

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Guest Post: The Art of Art

A few days ago we posted “Thanksgiving Musings: We’re Grateful for that Still, Small Voice…,” in which we referred to a wonderful essay by writer and adventurer Willis Eschenbach. He generously gave us permission to reprint the essay in full on our blog. Here it is. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Everglades Challenge, Segment 5: Highland Beach to Flamingo

Start: Highland Beach, Thursday, March 6, about 10 AM.
Finish: Checkpoint 3, Flamingo, Friday, March 7, 11:05 AM.
Distance: 39 nautical miles (45 land miles).
Paddling time: 20 hours.
Stopped time: 5 hours.
Average paddling speed: 2.0 knots.

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Everglades Challenge, Segment 1: Fort De Soto to Cape Haze

Start: Fort De Soto Park, Mullet Key, Saturday, March 1, 7:00 AM.
Finish: Checkpoint 1, Cape Haze Marina, Englewood, Sunday, March 2, 2:10 AM.
Distance: 55 nautical miles.
Paddling time: 18 hours, 10 minutes.
Rest time: 1 hour.
Average paddling speed: 3.0 knots.

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Everglades Challenge, the Days Before: Preparation and Gear Check

Our preparation for the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge actually started more than a year before the event itself—in January 2013, when we decided that this time for sure, we were going to participate in EC 2014.

But it kicked up considerably following our Everglades Shakedown trip in December 2013. After that trip, we put together a detailed timeline covering everything from gym training to logistics to food and gear purchases—and more or less stuck to it. As we’ll detail later in “Reflections: What Worked, What Didn’t,” I started a serious lifting and high intensity workout routine in January, and tapered down in the weeks approaching the EC. And we found that dropping alcohol and coffee in the weeks before the EC—along with getting plenty of sleep—made a difference in our stamina and responses to hypothermia.

Meanwhile, we made lists and checked them off… purchased equipment… made hotel and plane reservations… got our SPOTs and PLBs, registered, and tested them… And of course, did training paddles when we could, though the Polar Vortex kept us from doing more than two moderately long trips in NYC.

But Murphy’s Law has a way of stepping in, and due to some work challenges I was concerned that at the last minute, I might need to cancel, despite all the planning. It wasn’t until the Friday, a week before the event, that we were sure we could make it.

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Everglades Shakedown, Day 6: Headwinds and Homelessness

Start: Little Rabbit Key.
Finish: Sunset Point Park, Key Largo.
Distance: About 24 nautical miles.
Paddling time: Roughly 11 hours; average pace 2.2 knots.

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“A Bizarre Boating Accident”

Since we posted our Red Hook adventure a couple of weeks ago, readers have been asking for more. So here’s a real adventure, which until now, for reasons that will become obvious, we’ve been a bit reluctant to post in full…

We’ve drawn upon the initial couple of hours of this story for a previous post. But at the point where that post left off, the adventure was just beginning!

This is an example of people going “above and beyond” to be human, even when it could potentially threaten them professionally. So to protect the well-intentioned—and much-appreciated—innocent, all names, dates, and other identifying details have been modified or obscured.

This happened sometime last spring…

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