The electricity had cut out at around 3:00 in the morning. Outside it was like being in a snow globe. After a bit of work with a shovel the venerable old Jeep did a bit of slipping and sliding but found enough traction to keep moving forward. Our friends Tahoe wouldn’t go backwards and forward progress was only accomplished with digging, pushing and the occasional use of a tow chain. It was truly a memory making adventure.

In my world adventure is the spice of life. It is what keeps the daily grind, the minutia, the bill paying, the earning of a living, the trials and tribulations of life from becoming overwhelming and drowning me with boredom. Without adventure the world shrinks, you develop tunnel vision and before you know it is possible to look down a beer bottle with both eyes. In all honesty I am of the opinion that like food and air to breathe there is a need for adventure in every life. I am not talking about free climbing a rock face or sailing around the world solo in a home built boat. I am simply talking about stepping from the comfort zone, challenging yourself just a bit.

It was a true honor to be invited to tour Ken Soderbeck’s farm and workshop that houses some very amazing things including this ultra rare Jackson 4×4 truck

There was a time not so long ago when adventure and the need for adventure was a given. Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and Thomas Edison often took camping trips and roughed it in the wilds of Michigan. Even though they were wealthy men, Henry Ford wielded an ax to cut firewood. They set up tents. In the summer of 1915, then 21-year old Edsel Ford and a few of his college buddies set out on a grand adventure from Michigan to the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, California via the National Old Trails Highway through the southwest. They experienced mud, washed out roads, mechanical breakdown, mud, getting lost and mud. They also experienced life. On a recent episode of Five Minutes With Jimour audio podcast I shared a bit of Edsel’s adventure. And on the Patreon platform based crowdfunding initiative for Jim Hinckley’s America, I shared Edsel’s entire travel journal, with original illustrations, in a series format.

Today the average American is so insulated from life that the simplest challenge can become a matter of life and death. I am always amazed by people who jump in their air conditioned cars without checking the tires or carrying water, and set out across the desert. Perhaps I go to far the other way. Still, our recent adventure was just that, an adventure because I travel prepared for adventure. I had a pair of insulated coveralls behind the spare tire. The jeep never leaves the driveway without a shovel and drinking water. Even though our plan was for lodging in the Ranch House at Grand Canyon Caverns, rain and possible snow was forecast. So, I dusted off the old clunky boots and gave them an ample rub down with mink oil. As a result when the adventure commenced, I was warm, dry, and had most of the tools needed.

Heading out to Route 66 from Grand Canyon Caverns after a Thanksgiving snowstorm. Photo courtesy Sylvia Hoehn

Adventure can take many forms from learning and using a new language to international travel, from sitting down to dinner with someone from a different country to being snowed in on Thanksgiving. Here is my challenge for 2020. Add some adventure to your life, put a little zip in the routine and see if your not transformed. Watch the world expand.

Learn to fix a faucet or build a functional website. Travel abroad and order a food that you can’t pronounce. Take a road trip without reservations. Step out of that comfort zone.

Can I ask a favor of you? If you enjoy our blog posts, our stories and the inspiration for road trips that we provide, would you consider lending support to our crowdfunding initiative on the Patreon platform. Like PBS, we are almost wholly viewer supported. In advance, thank you!


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