High Adventure

Past and present. You can't make this stuff up.

Re: High Adventure

Postby Taboo » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:45 am

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:05 pm

Taboo wrote:Thanks for the suggestions!

Have a safe and thoroughly enjoyable trip.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby AzariLoveIran » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:44 pm

.


Pilot Larry Hockensmith





Emergency landing of a glider in San Diego landscape

must admit, excellent job Larry


****





Boeing 767 from Newark, New Jersey, carrying 230 passengers made an emergency landing in Warsaw after its landing gear failed to open




.


.
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Lord Byron's Blonde

Postby Antipatros » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:54 pm

With Lord Byron at the Sandwich Islands in 1825 (1922)

Being extracts from the MS diary of James Macrae, Scottish botanist

Wm. Frederick Wilson, ed.

http://archive.org/details/withlordbyronats00macrrich

Foreword

King Liholiho Iolani (Kamehameha II.) and his queen, Kamamalu, died in London while on a visit to see their "great and good friend" George IV. In order to show its respect for the royal pair who had travelled so far and who had come to such an untimely end, the British government sent their remains back to Honolulu in the Blonde frigate, commanded by George Anson, seventh Lord Byron, who happened to be first cousin to the poet and successor to his title, and who was also a grandson of Admiral Byron of the Dolphin, one of the British explorers in the Pacific previous to Captain Cook.

The Horticultural Society of London (now the Royal Horticultural Society), hearing of the intended departure of the Blonde for the Sandwich Islands, and wishing to help the natives of that group, obtained permission to send on the Blonde a fine collection of plants, considered suitable for the climate of "Owhyee" under the charge of James Macrae, a young Scotsman, trained as a plant collector and horticulturist. The plants were to be distributed as a gift among the chiefs of the islands. By the same opportunity, John Wilkinson, a skilled agriculturist, was induced, evidently through promises held out to him by Boki, one of the chiefs who had come to London in the train of the deceased King Liholiho, to come out to Honolulu with the intention of starting some kind of tropical farm on land to be given him by Boki....

During the course of the voyage of the Blonde to and from the Sandwich Islands, which included visits to various ports en route, James Macrae, when he had the chance, was a diligent collector of plants and objects of natural history. On returning to England in 1826, his herbarium and diary were handed over to his patron the Horticultural Society. The herbarium was probably delivered to Kew or the British Museum in order that the various plants collected by Macrae might be scientifically catalogued and described. His manuscript diary, however, has reposed, until this date, on the shelves of the library of the Royal Horticultural Society. The present writer thought it would be worth while to have that portion of Macrae's journal which refers to the Sandwich or Hawaiian group made known to the public. He has therefore obtained the consent of the Council of the Royal Horticultural Society to its being published.

To those who are interested in the early history of the Sandwich, or as they are now termed, the Hawaiian Islands, it is believed that in Macrae's Journal will be found some curious glimpses of men and manners as they existed in the islands at the close of the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The Hawaiian chiefs and people were then beginning to come in contact with the haole or white man, but were still masters in their own land. The people grew their own taro and caught their own fish, and did not rely on Asiatics to do it for them. They were still living in grass houses built by themselves and they were clad in the native tapa or kapa cloth.

Like his fellow countrymen, Doctor Archibald Menzies and David Douglas, who had visited and explored the Hawaiian Islands, James Macrae was a botanist and mountain climber, and the account of his visits to Mauna Kea and Kilauea Volcano and his rambles on the island of Oahu are worth preserving....

George Anson, Lord Byron, et al., Voyage of HMS Blonde to the Sandwich Islands in the years 1824-1825 (1826)

http://archive.org/details/voyageofhmsblond00byro

September 8th, 1824.—His Majesty's ship Blonde, of 46 guns, commanded by Captain, the Right Honourable Lord Byron, then lying at Woolwich, received on board the bodies of the King and Queen of the Sandwich Islands. They had been previously deposited in a vault under the church of St. Martin's in the Fields ; but His Majesty's Government, in compliance with their wish to have their remains taken to their native Islands, appointed the Blonde to convey them and their surviving attendants thither.

The coffins were attended to Woolwich by the chiefs, who then returned to London, whence they proceeded to Portsmouth to meet the frigate, and on the '28th of September they embarked at Spithead, and the ship sailed on her interesting voyage the next day....

Our voyage began prosperously. On the 18th of October we reached the often described Madeira, and enjoyed the beauty of its scenery and the hospitality of the resident English merchants, for five days ; when, on the 23d, we sailed for the coast of Brazil, and entered the magnificent harbour of Rio de Janeiro on the 27th November.

It is impossible to conceive more sublime and beautiful scenery than that which gradually unfolds itself on passing the narrow entrance; which is marked on either hand by an almost perpendicular rock, at the base of one of which is the strong fort of Santa Cruz. Beyond the spacious harbour, the surrounding hills rise into high peaks covered with wood to the summits, except where the sides nearly perpendicular afford no hold for vegetation. The suburb of Botofogo and its placid bay lie on the left; on the opposite shore, embowered in orange and lemon-trees, is the large village of Praya Grande. The church of Nossa Senhora da Gloria on its own hill, and the city, with its superb aqueduct, and fine churches and convents, appear in succession as the ship advances to the anchorage.

While we remained at Rio, the Sandwich Island chiefs seemed to take great pleasure in revisiting the places they had formerly seen with their king on their passage to England. On one occasion, when they were invited to dine with the English Consul-General, Liliah showed marks of a very affectionate disposition. On going into the room where, but a year before, a great entertainment had been given to Riho Riho, she burst into tears, and said it seemed as if she saw her lost friends again. The imperturbable good-nature and gentleness of the Sandwich Islanders have sometimes led us to fancy them unfeeling, but they are in truth very affectionate, though their state of society is not such as to have developed all the sensibilities that form the charm of civilized life. We had frequent occasion to remark the kindly disposition of the chiefs our shipmates. They often spoke with the greatest gratitude of the civility shown them while in England, and with affection, mixed with anxiety, of the friends and countrymen to whom they were returning. One night that an exhibition of phantasmagoria took place for their amusement, Boki stopped it, entreating that some of the pictures might be saved for his friends at Woahoo....

C.S. Stewart, Journal of a residence in the Sandwich Islands, during the years 1823, 1824, and 1825 (1828)

Including descriptions of the natural scenery, and remarks on the manners and customs of the inhabitants; an account of Lord Byron's visit in the British frigate Blonde, and of an excursion to the great volcano of Kirauea in Hawaii

http://archive.org/details/aja1753.0001.001.umich.edu

Introduction

From the London edition

In the course of the last eight or nine years, public attention, in Europe and America, has been frequently directed to the Sandwich Islands. The demolition of the ancient temples—the destruction ot the idols — the renunciation of the national religion in 1819, and the establishment of a Christian Mission among them early in the following year, were events remarkable and important, in the estimation of all who take an interest in the propagation of Christianity throughout the world. The discovery of vast numbers of sperm whales, first in the Northern Pacific, and afterwards on the coast oi Japan, has occasioned an increase of the shipping accustomed to resort for repairs and refreshments to the Sandwich Islands, to so great a degree, that instead of a few uncertain calls, not less than one hundred vessels touch at the Islands in the course of a year. The visits they have received from Capts, De Freycinet, Vasselieu, and Kotzebue, in the French and Russian ships of discovery, which have recently traversed the Pacific, together with the more subsequent ones of Lord Byron and Capt. Jones in British and American vessels of war - the peculiar facilities afforded by their local situation, to the important and growing commerce which the establishment of the South American states has now opened between the western shores of the new continent, and the eastern parts of India and China — have naturally attracted the attention of Europe and America, and probably rendered a settlement among these interesting Islands an object of desire with more than one maritime power of the present day.

In addition to these circumstances, a project so bold and patriotic as that of the Rulers of a people, with whom we had been accustomed only to associate ideas of all that was degrading in ignorance, and ferocious in savage life, traversing a distance greater than half the circumference of our globe, in order to visit and behold for themselves a country whose fame had long reached their distant and isolated shores, — with the sincere desire to improve the condition of a nation, which Providence had committed to their government and care, — justly attracted no ordinary attention. The dignified propriety of their manners, and the mild benevolence of their dispositions, were not less agreeable, than their complexion, language, native costtijne, and the varied productions of their country Which they brought, were curious and strange. The interest produced by their visit was evinced in the general sympathy awakened by their Illness and death, and by the apprehension, almost universally entertained, that suspicion would arise in the minds of the affectionate people whom they had left behind, that they had fallen victims to some unfair treatment in England, and, perhaps, had suffered in revenge for the death of Capt. Cook, who had been murdered, half a century before, on their own shores. The costly and delicate respect shown by the British government to the bereaved nation, in despatching the Blonde frigate, commanded by a nobleman, to convey the bodies of the King and Queen, that they might be deposited in the sepulchres of their ancestors, and that the nation might have the melancholy satisfaction of paying the last tribute of affection to the remains of their departed rulers, tended in no small degree to give a salutary direction to the sensation to which their sudden decease had given birth. These combined circumstances have secured to the Sandwich Islands a greater degree of attention, than had been manifested since the announcement of their discovery, or the publication of those fascinating accounts of their natural beauty, and the interesting circumstances of their inhabitants, which were at that period given to the public....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:50 pm

James Willard Schultz, Rising Wolf: The White Blackfoot (1919)

Hugh Monroe's story of his first year on the plains

http://archive.org/details/risingwolfwhiteb00schu

One of the greatest pleasures of my long life on the plains was my intimate friendship with Hugh Monroe, or Rising Wolf, whose tale of his first experiences upon the Saskatchewan-Missouri River plains is set forth in Rising Wolf just as I had it from him before the lodge fires of the long ago.

At first an engagé of the Hudson's Bay Company, then of the American Fur Company, and finally free trapper, Hugh Monroe saw more "new country" and had more adventures than most of the early men of the West. During the last years of his long life he lived much with his grandson, William Jackson, ex-Custer scout, who was my partner, and we loved to have him with us. Slender of figure, and not tall, blue-eyed and once brown-haired, he must have been in his time a man of fine appearance. Honest he was and truthful. Kind of heart and brave. A good Christian, too, and yet with no small faith in the gods of his Blackfoot people. And he was a man of tremendous vitaHty. Up to the very last he went about with his loved flintlock gun, trapping beavers and shooting an occasional deer.

He died in his ninety-eighth year, and we buried him in the Two Medicine Valley, under the shadow of the cliffs over which he had so many times helped the Pi-kun-i stampede herds of buffalo to their death, and in sight of that great, sky-piercing height of red rock on the north side of the Two Medicine Lake, which we named Rising Wolf Mountain. It is a fitting monument to the man who was the first of his race to see it, and the great expanse it overlooks.

J.W.S.

J.W. Schultz, My Life as an Indian (1907)

The story of a red woman and a white man in the lodges of the Blackfeet

http://archive.org/details/cu31924028667974

Wide, brown plains, distant, slender, flat-topped buttes; still more distant giant mountains, blue-sided, sharp-peaked, snow-capped; odour of sage and smoke of camp fire; thunder of ten thousand b.uffalo hoofs over the hard, dry ground; long-drawn, melancholy howl of wolves breaking the silence of night, how I loved you all!

I am in the sere and yellow leaf, dried and shrivelled, about to fall and become one with my millions of predecessors. Here I sit, by the fireplace in winter, and out on the veranda when the days are warm, unable to do anything except live over in memory the stirring years I passed upon the frontier. My thoughts are always of those days; days before the accursed railroads and the hordes of settlers they brought swept us all, Indians and frontiersmen and buffalo, from the face of the earth, so to speak.

The love of wild life and adventure was born in me, yet I must have inherited it from some remote ancestor, for all my near ones were staid, devout people. How I hated the amenities and conventions of society; from my earliest youth I was happy only when out in the great forest which lay to the north of my home, far beyond the sound of church and school bell, and the whistling loconaotives. My visits to those grand old woods were necessarily brief, only during summer and winter vacations. But a day came when I could go where and when I chose, and one warm April morning long ago I left St. Louis on a Missouri River steamboat, bound for the Far West....

More about Hugh Monroe, Sacajawea, and others:

James W. Schultz, Bird Woman

http://www.heritage-history.com/www/heritage-books.php?Dir=books&author=schultz&book=bird&story=earth
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby AzariLoveIran » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:33 pm

.

Ski since 50 years

but

have to say

looking at this

get Goosebumps








.
AzariLoveIran
 

Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:58 pm

Homer Davenport, My Quest of the Arab Horse (1909)

http://archive.org/details/myquestofarabhor00dave

Preface

This book has not been written with any idea that it will add to literature. Indeed, my primary object in going to the Syrian desert was not to see things and then over-describe them in a book; I had no use for souvenir spoons or Turkish rugs. My purpose was but for one thing, and that was to obtain Arab mares and stallions of absolute purity of blood that I could trace as coming from the great Anezeh tribe of Bedouins. That was my fixed idea in undertaking the journey.

I had been deeply interested in the Arab horse for many years before I really knew anything about them. Then, when I thought I had begun to acquire some knowledge of the breed I found that I was not learning much. Information about them, obtainable in this country, was confusing; alleged authorities contradicted each other in every argument; the thing to do, it seemed to me, was to go myself to the home of the Arab horse and there learn of him from his master, the Bedouin.

The journey thus was undertaken also for my own education and that it was so successful (if I may be permitted to say so) is largely due to aid received from several influential quarters. I carried with me, for instance, letters from President Roosevelt, who, as a horseman, ranks with his standing as a man, and without which my errand would have been fruitless. From His Imperial Majesty, the Sultan of Turkey, I received an Irade, together with the courtesies of the Sublime Porte. In Aleppo I had the extreme good fortune to form a bond of true friendship with the venerable Achmet Hafez, himself the Prince of all the Bedouins. By him personally I was taken to the desert and personally he interested himself in my purchases of horses. Without him it would have been an accident if I had been able to purchase a single animal of absolute purity of blood. It was these unusual courtesies that brought success to the undertaking and to all that extended them a sincere and hearty acknowledgment is here made....

To repeat again what has been said above, my journey had this serious purpose in view — that by a judicious use of the pure Arabian blood, a breed of horse might be re-established as useful to mankind as was the Morgan horse when it was at its greatest. But, I had to get to the desert before I could purchase my horses and getting to the desert under the circumstances, proved even more interesting and romantic than I had expected. That may sound foolish. In these days, when an automobile honk-honks through the bazaars of Damascus, and when a trolley car clangs under the old city gate over the pilgrim road to Mecca; when you journey most of the way to Mecca itself on one railway and when you travel to the ruins of Baalbek on another, there does not seem to be much romance left.

But after you have been in the East for a while you will find, as I did, that all the hustle and bustle imparted from the Occident speedily become orientalized; there is always plenty of time at the other end of the Mediterranean.

It is always "Bookra" (to-morrow) there....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:01 pm

Edna Brush Perkins, The White Heart of Mojave (1922)

An adventure with the outdoors of the desert

LibriVox audiobook: http://archive.org/details/whiteheartofmojave_1201_librivox
Other formats: http://archive.org/details/whiteheartofmoja00perk

"The White Heart of the Mojave" recounts a 1920's adventure "in the wind and sun and big spaces" of Death Valley by two independent minded women, Edna Brush Perkins and Charlotte Hannahs Jordan. Both women were early feminists, Edna as chairwoman of the greater Cleveland Woman's Suffrage Party (1916-18). At the end of the Great War, the two friends wanted nothing more than to escape "to the solitariness of some wild and lonely place far from city halls, smokestacks, national organizations, and streets of little houses all alike." Their vacation started as a long motor drive through the backwoods of California (Charlotte's husband, Ned, owned the Jordan Motor Car Company). It ended with a month long trek through Death Valley in an old milk wagon drawn by a horse and a mule. Edna's descriptions of the desert are superb and from the heart--the dunes "were very beautiful, with knife-edged tops ridged in pure, clean lines from which fringes of fine sand blew up like the wind tossed manes of white horses." This is a great listen for anyone who likes first-hand accounts of adventure in the Great Outdoors. (Summary by Sue Anderson)
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Spitsbergen

Postby Antipatros » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:18 pm

James Lamont, Seasons with the Sea-Horses (1861)

Sporting adventures in the northern seas

http://archive.org/details/seasonswithseaho00lamouoft

In August, 1858, while cruising in my yacht the "Ginevra," of 142 tons, on the coast of Norway, I was induced, by the accounts I received of reindeer and other game to be met with in Spitzbergen, to make a trip across from Hammerfest to that country. It being late in the season before we got there, our stay was very short, and our sport was limited to killing a few reindeer, seals, and Brent geese, and to assist in the harpooning of one or two walruses, in the boats of a sealing brig, which we fell in with among the ice. I, however, saw enough of Spitzbergen to convince me that wonderful sport, and of a most original description, was to be obtained there by any one who would go at the proper season, with a suitably equipped vessel and proper boats, manned by a crew of men accustomed to the ice and to the pursuit of the walrus and the seal.

Although I have the honor to append the letters F.G.S. to my name, I make no pretensions to the character of a scientific geologist, but I was also very much impressed with the interesting field Spitzbergen affords to a votary of that noble science, and particularly with the strong evidence to be met with in support of the theory of the gradual upheaval of the land in that remote part of the world, and I was anxious to investigate farther this interesting phenomenon.

I perceived on this occasion that nothing could be more utterly inapplicable for ice-navigation than a long fore-and-aft rigged schooner yacht, as in threading the intricate mazes of the ice there was no possibility of stopping her "way" to avoid collisions, as is done by backing the topsails of a squarerigged vessel, and her frail flanking and thin copper were exposed to constant destruction from the ice. The dandified "ultramarine blue" painted gigs were also totally unsuited for the rough work of pushing in among the ice in pursuit of the seal and the walrus; indeed, it was very fortunate for us that we did not succeed in harpooning one of the latter mighty amphibiae from the yacht's boats, for my subsequent experience of the strength and ferocity of these animals leads me to believe that he would infallibly have pulled us all to the bottom of the sea.

In the spring of 1859, therefore, I made up my mind to have another trip to Spitzbergen, and to go about it in a more systematic way....

Image

Winterers' sloop frozen up in Advent Bay

Sir William Martin Conway et al., The First Crossing of Spitsbergen (1897)

Being an Account of an Inland Journey of Exploration and Survey, with Descriptions of several Mountain Ascents, of Boat Expeditions in Ice Fjord, of a Voyage to North-East-Land, the Seven Islands, down Hinloopen Strait, nearly to Wiches Land, and into most of the Fjords of Spitsbergen, and of an almost complete circumnavigation of the main Island.

http://archive.org/details/firstcrossingofs00conw

It is thus evident that, up to the year 1896, the interior of Spitsbergen was practically unknown. The island had never been crossed, whilst such descriptions of its nature as had been given, by persons who looked inland from high points of view near the coast, were, as might have been feared and as we afterward proved, altogether misleading. When I began to study the literature of Spitsbergen topography, nothing surprised me more than the manifest indifference of travellers to everything concerning the interior, an indifference perhaps characteristic of yachtsmen and seagoing folk in general. A German visitor, for instance, who climbed to a high point on Mount Lindstrom, near Coles Bay, described the view inland to the south as being over an "unabsehbare weisse Plache." Other writers spoke of the hills in the same neighbourhood as being the fronts of a great plateau. Only Mons. Rabot and Herr G, Nordenskjold gave truthful and intelligible accounts of the kind of country they saw. Various writers spoke of having landed and advanced up valleys in pursuit of reindeer; but it seems never to have occurred to any one of them to note the bearing of the valley's direction, still less the position and number of side-valleys. When they added estimates of the distance they advanced inland, to which it is possible to apply tests, the estimated distances always turn out to be ludicrously exaggerated.

Thus it came to pass that, after taking the best advice we could obtain, we equipped ourselves with Nansen sledges, and ponies to draw them. It was believed that we should have to drag our things for a few miles over soft bogs, and that then we could find smooth areas of snow over which advance would be rapid and easy. It was the central portion of the island that we were to explore, the northern and southern portions being supposed to be wholly buried under great ice-sheets, though, as we afterwards proved, there is much mountainous country and many green valleys in the neighbourhood of Wijde Bay. In the central portion of the island many valleys were recorded as penetrating the hills. By one or other of these we imagined it would be easy to gain access to some snow-covered plateau continuous to the east coast. Even Mons. Rabot thought we should have to cross such a plateau east of Peak Milne-Edwards.

We had not been a week on the island of Spitsbergen before we discovered the utter unsuitability of Nansen sledges for the work we had to do. We ought to have brought Samoyede sledges. With them we could have accomplished easily what we accomplished only as the result of the most toilsome exertions, and perhaps we might have done more in our time. Such, however, are always the drawbacks under which pioneers labour. Learning from and profiting by our experience, a party may go in some future year and add largely to our knowledge of this most interesting island....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:50 pm

Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan's Voyage Around the World (1906)

The original text of the Ambrosian MS., with English translation, notes, bibliography, and index

James Alexander Robinson, ed. and trans.

Vol. 1: http://archive.org/details/magellansvoyagea01piga
Vol. 2: http://archive.org/details/magellansvoyagea02piga
Vol. 3 (index): http://archive.org/details/magellansvoyagea03piga

Preface

Of all the accounts of the first circumnavigation, by far the most important is that of the Venetian, Antonio Pigafetta, who accompanied Fernão Magalhães, the greatest navigator, perhaps, of the modern age, on the expedition that disclosed secrets that had been so long hidden from man. Pigafetta's account is not only the most valuable and authentic of the few contemporary and early relations of the famous voyage, but is also the only source of information for many details of that voyage. Probably no other historical document is more universally accepted by students as the final authority regarding the actual events with which it deals.

Pigafetta's account is herewith presented for the first time in complete form. The value and interest of the relation are evident by its various manuscript versions, and were recognized by its publication in condensed form in both French and Italian during the first quarter-century after the return of the "Victoria" to Spain, and in English as early as 1555. These publications, however, are very unsatisfactory, for much of great value to the modern historical student has been hurriedly slurred over, or entirely omitted....

The present edition first gives the English reader access to a translation of the true text of Pigafetta, edited and extensively annotated. This, together with the original Italian of Pigafetta, places before the student abundant material, both for a study of the relation itself and of the wonderful voyage. The transcript of the Italian manuscript (the oldest and most complete of the four existing manuscripts) which is conserved in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, was made personally by the editor, who enjoyed in that library full privileges for the work of transcription and reference....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:54 pm

Thomas Stevens, Around the World on a Bicycle (1894)

Vol. 1: From San Francisco to Teheran
http://archive.org/details/cu31924023253093

Vol. 2: From Teheran to Yokohama
http://archive.org/details/aroundworldonbic02stevrich

Preface

Shakespeare says, in All's Well that Ends Well, that "a good traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner;" and I never was more struck with the truth of this than when I heard Mr. Thomas Stevens, after the dinner given in his honor by the Massachusetts Bicycle Club, make a brief, offhand report of his adventures. He seemed like Jules Verne, telling his own wonderful performances, or like a contemporary Sinbad the Sailor. We found that modern mechanical invention, instead of disenchanting the universe, had really afforded the means of exploring its marvels the more surely. Instead of going round the world with a rifle, for the purpose of killing something, — or with a bundle of tracts, in order to convert somebody, — this bold youth simply went round the globe to see the people who were on it; and since he always had something to show them as interesting as anything that they could show him, he made his way among all nations.

What he had to show them was not merely a man perched on a lofty wheel, as if riding on a soap-bubble; but he was also a perpetual object-lesson in what Holmes calls "genuine, solid old Teutonic pluck." When the soldier rides into danger he has comrades by his side, his country's cause to defend, his uniform to vindicate, and the bugle to cheer him on; but this solitary rider had neither military station, nor an oath of allegiance, nor comrades, nor bugle; and he went among men of unknown languages, alien habits and hostile faith with only his own tact and courage to help him through. They proved sufficient, for he returned alive.

I have only read specimen chapters of this book, but find in them the same simple and manly quality which attracted us all when Mr. Stevens told his story in person. It is pleasant to know that while peace reigns in America, a young man can always find an opportunity to take his life in his hand and originate some exploit as good as those of the much-wandering Ulysses. In the German story "Titan," Jean Paul describes a manly youth who "longed for an adventure for his idle bravery;" and it is pleasant to read the narrative of one who has quietly gone to work, in an honest way, to satisfy this longing.

Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
Cambridge, Mass., April 10, 1887.
Last edited by Antipatros on Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:06 pm

Image

THE VICTORIA FALLS AS SEEN FROM THE GORGE
The gorge in front is now spanned by a railway


Image

My caravan on the march

Theo Kassner, My Journey from Rhodesia to Egypt (1911)

Including an ascent of Ruwenzori and a short account of the route from Cape Town to Broken Hill and Lado to Alexandria

http://archive.org/details/myjourneyfromrho00kassiala

Preface

For some years I had harboured the ambition to penetrate the remoter parts of Central Africa. I recognised that the possibility of breaking new ground would not be open to me or to anyone else very long. When civilisation has taken a firm hold on a vast territory as it has of Africa, it spreads its agencies and influences over the whole area at a rapid and constantly accelerating rate of progress. I recognised that within thirty years Africa will be an open book, with every part as convenient of access as any part of the United States. The role of the explorer is one that will be impossible to fill when the railway has spread its network of tracks through the dense forests of the Congo and along the high plains of the African uplands. This ambition of mine was nursed for many years, but the opportunity to realise it had never come. About two years ago the knocking of my desire was, if possible, more insistent than ever, and opportunity seemed to have left the door ajar. So I began to make my preparations. It was my intention to traverse the highlands of the Dark Continent, not to explore the coast-lands, that are much more easy of access.

The first object of my travels was to ascertain what parts of the interior are suitable for white settlement, and calculated by climate and natural resources to furnish a livelihood for the pioneer who is prepared to take his fortune in both hands and hazard it upon the issue of his own hard work in a new land.

In the remote parts which I proposed to visit, it was more than possible that I should discover unknown natural products, and my second object was to seek these and to collect specimens of geological, botanical, and zoological interest.

The sporting side of my expedition was entirely subordinate. I shot only for the pot and to save and protect human life. The reader who looks for sporting adventures in the pages that follow will be disappointed.

I travelled north through Southern Rhodesia, cut a path through Northern Rhodesia and the eastern part of the Congo territory, visiting Tanganyika and German East Africa, and reaching civilisation again by way of the Nile. The length of my entire march was 8000 miles and the time occupied was eighteen months. The journey might be described as one from Cape Town to Cairo....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:10 pm

Some of us are old enough to remember the Selous Scouts of the Rhodesian Army:

Frederick Courteney Selous, Travel and Adventure in South-East Africa (1893)

Being the narrative of the last eleven years spent by the author on the Zambesi and its tributaries; with an account of the colonisation of Mashunaland and the progress of the gold industry in that country

http://archive.org/details/traveladventurei00selouoft

Preface

In the following pages I have written the story of the last eleven years of my travels in the interior of South Africa. During the first six years of that period, namely, from the beginning o£ l882 to the end of 1887, I was principally engaged in collecting specimens of the magnificent fauna which once abounded throughout the land, but many forms of which are day by day becoming scarcer, whilst some, alas! are already verging upon extinction. My occupation naturally led me into parts of the country where game was still plentiful, and as in South Africa wherever there is game there are lions too, I now and then encountered some of these animals, and had one or two interesting experiences with them, of all of which I have given some account. The first nine chapters of the book deal with the experiences of these six years; but in addition to lion stories and hunting adventures, there will be found much matter of more general interest, such as some notes upon my own personal experiences amongst the South African Boers; accounts of the two expeditions sent against the Batauwani by Lo Bengula; the devastations committed by the Matabili in Mashunaland; notes upon the Bushmen, etc.

Chapters XI., XII., and XIII. deal with accounts of journeys beyond the Zambesi to the countries of the Mashukulumbwi and Barotsi tribes. My experiences amongst the former people were eminently unpleasant at the time, but have supplied me with the materials for two chapters that may be of interest to those of my readers who appreciate tales of adventure.

All the remaining chapters, with the exception of the last two, which are devoted to a narration of hunting reminiscences, some of which date back to many years ago, deal with the past history and present condition of Mashunaland....

F.C. Selous, Recent Hunting Trips in British North America (1907)

http://archive.org/details/recenthuntingtri00selorich

Preface

All the best years of my life, from youth till middle age, were spent as a hunter of African game. During that time the love of the free wandering life in countries still well stocked with the richest and most varied fauna to be found on the face of the earth, grew with the years, till it seemed to me that I could never be content to live any other life than that of a nomadic hunter.

But as time went on the game that was of value became ever scarcer and scarcer, civilization gradually spread over the old hunting grounds, and the old hunters either died or had to turn their energies in other directions.

It is now a good many years since I ceased to make my living by my rifle, but in view of the length of time during which I did so, and the eventful character of the life I then led, it is not, perhaps, remarkable that my thoughts still often wander back to a past of stirring and glorious memories. Nor is it surprising that I sometimes grow restless and dissatisfied with life in this highly civilized country, and long with an irresistible longing to taste the joys of a hunter's life once more....

With the ever-growing brotherhood of young and vigorous big game hunters, I cherish the hope that this plain tale of the latest wanderings of an elder brother of the craft may find some favour. May it not only afford interest and information, but act as an incentive to the undertaking of hunting trips to one or other of those vast and still unexplored hunting fields of North-western Canada, which are still almost virgin ground to the British sportsman.

American Alaska, in the central portions of which all the species of great game inhabiting the far north-west of the American Continent, are still extraordinarily plentiful, is at present closed to the sportsman....

However, there are yet vast areas of British Africa and the far north and west of British North America, where big game is plentiful, and where Europeans will probably never settle down. In such wild and inhospitable regions I hope and believe that if the game is not exterminated by natives armed with modern weapons, well stocked hunting grounds wiH be available for enterprising and energetic British sportsmen of moderate desires for a long time yet to come.

In the following chapters will be found a description of my first moose hunt in Central Canada, together with accounts of caribou hunting off the beaten tracks in Newfoundland, and the pursuit of moose, wild sheep, and caribou in the almost virgin hunting grounds of the Yukon Territory of North-western Canada. Where I hunted moose near Lake Kippewa seven years ago, is now I believe the centre of a great mining district; but in Newfoundland and the Yukon Territory the conditions will be found much as I have described them, probably for a long time yet to come....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:18 pm

Since hunting season is rapidly approaching....

Further adventures in Asia Minor, Wyoming and Montana:

Frederick Courteney Selous, Sport and Travel, East and West (1900)

http://archive.org/details/sporttraveleastw00selouoft

...and Africa:

Frederick Courteney Selous, A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa (1907)

Being a narrative of nine years spent amongst the game of the far interior of South Africa, containing accounts of explorations beyond the Zambesi, on the river Chobe, and in the Matabele and Mashuna countries, with full notes upon the natural history and present distribution of all the large Mammalia

http://archive.org/details/hunterswandering00selo
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:45 pm

By way of tribute to the upcoming Paralympic Games, 29 August - 9 September 2012:

Harry's Arctic Heroes - 1st Programme


Harry's Arctic Heroes - 2nd Programme


[A] two-part documentary in which Prince Harry joins four disabled Afghanistan veterans, two of them amputees, on a trek to the North Pole. Filmed over a year, the soldiers - Captain Martin Hewitt, Captain Guy Disney, Sergeant Steve Young and Private Jaco van Gass - undertake gruelling training in the UK and Norway, in preparation for the Arctic expedition.

Everest 2012

Mount Everest: The Climb of a Lifetime

http://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/the-expeditions/everest-2012/

After the outstanding success of the North Pole expedition, Walking With The Wounded has set its sights even higher for 2012 – to successfully summit Mount Everest and put a team of wounded servicemen on top of the world.

The expedition will consist of two parts, but each will be challenging in its own way. The first is the 7-day trek from Namche Bazaar in Eastern Nepal to Base Camp at 5380m – when up to 8 severely injured service personnel will overcome terrain that is a feat for even the fittest of trekkers. Then part of the expedition will continue on – for the assault on the summit.

Climbing Everest is one of the toughest challenges in adventure exploration: narrow ridges with 3km falls; altitude sickness and immense fatigue; unpredictable weather and sudden storms; precipitous climbing over ice-covered rocks; deep crevasses covered with treacherous snow bridges. It took 30 years of attempts to conquer the mountain, and over 200 people have failed to return from its jagged slopes. As with all of our expeditions, the safety of the team is of paramount importance and remains integral to the expedition planning and execution.

With these obstacles to success, it is clear why any attempt on Everest is a phenomenal undertaking. But Walking With The Wounded will be doing it with 4 wounded servicemen. The challenge of ice-climbing and negotiating crevasses will be all the more insurmountable, as will the immense difficulty of daily tent-life: the drying of clothes, cooking of food and prevention of frostbite that is essential to keeping the body capable of this monumental task. It is an undertaking of immense scale for able bodied individuals, let alone those wounded servicemen with severe injury.

A team of determined, hardy and tenacious soldiers has been selected through interview, trials in the Brecon Beacons and technical climbing assessments around Mont Blanc. Their training continues with further work in the Alps and Himalayas, then months of conditioning in the British mountains before the departure for Nepal in May 2012, and an expedition every bit as ground-breaking as those first ascents of 50 years ago.


Walking with the Wounded Everest 2012 Launch


Video gallery.

Unfortunately, this year's attempt to scale Everest had to be abandoned due to unseasonably warm weather. Let's hope they try again.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:02 pm

Thomas Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea and the Moluccas, from Balambangan (1779)

Including an account of Magindano, Sooloo, and other islands ... performed in the Tartar Galley, belonging to the Honourable East India company, during the years 1774, 1775, and 1776

http://archive.org/details/voyagetonewguine00forr

The intention of the voyage I am about to relate, was to forward what the Honourable East India Company had recommended by the ship Britannia, that went from England, to settle Balambangan, an island situated near the north promontory of Borneo. The following is an extract from their general letter, dated June the 12th 1771, to the Chief and Council of that place.
Having good authority from the experience and inquiries of Mr. Dalrymple, to be assured that cinnamon, cloves, nutmegs, pepper, and clove bark, may with proper management be easily introduced into Balambangan, as some of those articles are produced in the Sooloo districts, and others in the adjacent islands, as the inclosed paper of inquiry, mentioned in a preceding paragraph, will show: the acquisition and cultivation of those valuable articles, must be specially recommended to the most diligent attention of the Chief and Council, as an object of the highest importance, with promises of a very favourable notice on our part, on its being made apparent to us, that their endeavours for that purpose have been effectually and advantageously executed. These articles, if obtained, we particularly direct, shall be made part of our consignment to the China Council, until we see occasion to signify our further pleasure therein.

About the latter end of August 1774, Ambassadors came from the heir apparent of the Sultan of Mindanao, to Balambangan, in whose train was an inhabitant of the Molucca's, called Ishmael Tuan Hadjee, who having been long employed there by the Dutch, had gained an accurate knowledge of the Molucca islands, and having also been to the eastward of them, beyond Pitt's Straits, as far as the coast of New Guinea, called Papua, had seen, and consequently reported that nutmegs grew there.

Mr. Herbert, the chief, had frequent conferences with this man; and, desirous to profit from his intelligence, in the scheme which he had in view, of forwarding the honourable court's injunctions by the Britannia, as above related, to endeavour to obtain spices from parts which had no connexion with the Dutch settlements, he was pleased to consult me on the occasion. As I had, from other accounts, found that there was great probability in the relation of Tuan Hadjee, I offered to go, accompanied by him, on a voyage to New Guinea, if Mr. Herbert thought proper, in order to ascertain the truth of his assertion, and proposed to attempt it in a small country embarkation. — This was approved by Mr. Herbert and his Council, and they left the management of it entirely to my direction....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:04 pm

Image
Rapids on the Burnett, near Ideraway

Richard Semon, In the Australian Bush and On the Coast of the Coral Sea (1899)

Being the experiences and observations of a naturalist in Australia, New Guinea and the Moluccas

http://archive.org/details/inaustralianbush00semo

Preface

When I started on my two years' journey to Australia in 1892, the aims which I had in view, and ideas which influenced my movements were chiefly zoological. It was the study of the wonderful Australian fauna, of the Oviparous Mammals, Marsupials, and of Ceratodus which I considered my principal task, on the achievement of which I concentrated all my energies....

The scientific gatherings of my voyage are being examined and worked out by myself and by a number of zoologists and anatomists, and the results of our investigations are being published in a purely scientific work, under the title of Zoologische Forschungsreisen in Australien und dem malayischen Archipel. Twelve parts of which have by now appeared, whilst fourteen are about to follow.

Much however, that I experienced and observed during my travels is ill-adapted to that work, which appeals exclusively to the professed naturalist. Many occasional observations concerning animals and plants, countries and their inhabitants, and the impressions produced by the sight of the Australian Bush, the Coral Islands of Torres Straits, the tropical charms of New Guinea, Java, and Amboyna, as well as a general picture of that far Australian world, its continents and islands, could only find expression in the freer and more popular form of a book of travel. Thus it is that this simple narrative, which perchance may offer some special interest to the naturalist, is intended for the reader who likes to accompany a traveller to foreign shores and nations ; for him who does not mind entering into his labours and worries, but who, on the other hand, may perhaps find pleasure in sharing his delight in nature and in human life, a delight awaiting any one happy enough to behold those glorious regions with clear eyes and a responsive mind....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:06 pm

John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative of a Five Years' Expedition, Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam, in Guiana, on the Wild Coast of South America; From the Year 1772, to 1777 (1806)

Elucidating the history of that country, and describing its productions ... with an account of the Indians of Guiana, & negroes of Guinea

Vol. 1: http://archive.org/details/narrativeoffivey01sted
Vol. 2: http://archive.org/details/narrativeoffivey02sted

The exploring of foreign countries having of late years, and particularly since the recent discoveries of the immortal Captain Cook, so generally been the object of persons both in private and pubhc situations; and the histories of their labours and pursuits being so interesting to the curiosity of the Public, I have ventured to offer such observations as I have had an opportunity of making in a very singular part of the Globe, on which few Englishmen have been thrown, either by accident or curiosity. The colony of Surinam, in Dutch Guiana, so far as it is inhabited and cultivated by Europeans near the sea-coast, has indeed been known for many years past. But the deep inundations, with the impenetrable thickness of the woods, have been such constant discouragements and obstructions to discovery, that but very little true information concerning that country hath as yet been obtained, except what relates to such objects of commerce as are common to most of the tropical settlements. This publication, therefore, is chiefly intended to particularize such circumstances and events as the necessity of penetrating into the interior parts of the country have enabled me to make, and forced on my observation.

The feeling part of my readers, I must hope, will receive with some indulgence a work proceeding from an officer, who, from his early youth, was debarred in acquiring perfection, either as a writer or a painter, by his military and maritime profession. I nevertheless humbly flatter myself that whatever may be found wanting in style and elegance, is in some degree compensated by that fidelity and correctness, which can alone be the work of a pen and pencil employed on the spot....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:57 pm

Douglas Carruthers, Unknown Mongolia (1914)

A record of travel and exploration in north-west Mongolia and Dzungaria

With three chapters on sport by J.H. Miller

Vol. 1: http://archive.org/details/unknownmongolia00unkngoog
Vol. 2: http://archive.org/details/unknownmongoliar02carruoft

Preface

The writer of this book, turning aside from the more familiar pathways of recent travel and reverting to the taste of an earlier generation, has selected a little-known portion of Central Asia as the scene of the explorations herein described. If a point be taken on or about the 45th parallel of latitude midway between the Caspian and the Sea of Japan, we shall approximately strike the region which he traversed, surveyed, and mapped, with the patience and thoroughness of the true geographer, during the years 1910 and 1911.

The regions in question are bounded by the Siberian dominions of Russia on the north; they include the little-known basin of the Upper Yenisei River, which our author explored and describes with genuine enthusiasm; they embrace successively the habitat of the Western Mongolian tribes and the plains of Dzungaria, and they are closed on the south by the long palisade of Tian Shan or Celestial Mountains. On the east they are shut off from the world and from the rest of China by the vast blank of the Gobi desert; on the west are the settled conquests of Russian Turkestan.

The great interest of the regions thus bordered lies in the fact that they constitute the Marches between rival races, creeds, and political powers. Here we seethe Russian colonist, eager and competitive, pushing forward from Siberia into a land rich with minerals, fish, and furs, and serenely conscious that the future is his. We see the Mongolian tribesmen, heirs of a mighty past, long withered under the blighting influence of degenerate Lamaism, but now turning to the risen Sun of Russia to find a warmth and a protection which Chinese suzerainty has failed to give them. We see, on the plains of Dzungaria, the easternmost outposts of Islam, Turki tribes that still turn towards Mecca, and present a romantic and virile picture, not unlike that which in many a tract of Central Asia must have greeted the eyes of Marco Polo. We see China, at once, in movement and in decay, exhibiting in the provinces, known as the New Dominion, signs of considerable vigour and activity, elsewhere atrophied and effete. The question which Mr, Carruthers continuously poses and indeed lies in the background of all his investigation and reflections is: with whom does the future of these mysterious regions rest, which have played so great a part in the history of the world, and which seem once more destined to have a future? To those who read between the lines of this book, there will occur but one answer.

Our traveller is of the type of geographer which has been evolved by prolonged experience and research. He does not set forth in the spirit of dare-devil and unscientific adventure, with few resources but his own courage, to face unknown risks, and to survive incredible dangers — which was characteristic of the Central Asian explorer of the first half of the last century. Thoroughly familiar with the writings of all his European predecessors (and they have been but few) in the regions which he proposes to visit, a trained surveyor, accompanied by competent companions, equipped with the means of investigating and collecting the flora and fauna, the geology and zoology of the country, and marching at leisure with a carefully organized caravan, he sets before himself the ambition of making a definite and valuable contribution to the sum total of human knowledge, and of writing a book that will long remain a classic on its subject. How well he has succeeded may be shown by the fact that in 1912 he received for these journeys and his account of them the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society.

Those who depict Central Asia to themselves as a land of limitless desert, ribbed by occasional and mighty ranges, and characterized by general desolation, will perhaps be surprised, as they follow the writer, even within the compass of the explorations which he here records; at one time into a country of jungle and swamps, infested by insects, at others into primeval forests, again on to bowery meadows and grassy uplands, or again amid crags and glaciers and moraines. Sometimes he is floating in rafts or boats on the broad lakes, or paddling a canoe on clear rivers; he rides alternately the camel, pony, and ass, or is bumped about in a Chinese cart or a Russian tarantass; now we see him sleeping in grim and dirty caravanserais — the skeletons of an almost immemorial past; again he is the guest of nomad khans, hunting with golden eagles and falcons, and living in richly-embroidered huts of felt.

In the course of these varied experiences hardships are encountered, disappointments occur, and an inexhaustible patience is required. But our author is of the true fibre of the Asiatic traveller, and it may safely be wagered that this book describes the two happiest years of his life....

It may be added that Mr. Carruthers is the master of a very clear, agreeable, and scholarly style. His name is a worthy addition to the sparse list of English explorers in these parts of Central Asia that contains the names of Younghusband, Ney Elias, and Stein, and even in the company of the illustrious Russians, — Prjevalsky, Kozloff, Potanin, Severtzoff, and others, whose pioneer labours, spread over a long term of years, have conferred such incomparable advantages upon their own country, — it will be held deserving of honour....

--Curzon of Kedleston

Douglas Carruthers, Beyond the Caspian (1949)

A naturalist in Central Asia

http://archive.org/details/beyondthecaspian018500mbp

Introduction

The title I have chosen for this book is both fact and fancy, for although the principal chapters in it do relate to those spacious regions beyond the Caspian Sea where Europe merges into Asia, others do not. But still the title serves, for it has a symbolic meaning in addition to its geographical one.

Perhaps I should begin by saying at once that the chapters which follow do not describe contemporary conditions in those Soviet Republics which occupy the regions beyond the Caspian. I have nothing to say about recent industrial developments in Transcaspia, nor of racial readjustment in High Tartary, and I do not mention air-lines or motor-routes across Central Asia. Should the reader expect to hear how the medieval mountaineers of Eastern Bukhara have reacted to Soviet jurisdiction, or to what extent obsolete Oriental societies have adapted themselves to the New World, he will be disappointed ; he must look elsewhere- there are many handbooks on the subject. But I can tell of things which have been able to withstand the avalanche of war and revolution, and which are to-day as they were before those things happened; also I can reveal a good deal on my own special subject which is not known, at any rate outside Russian literature. For these regions have stood beyond the range of even the ubiquitous Englishman, and no other one to my knowledge has been privileged to live openly, and travel freely, as long as I was allowed to do under Russian rule north of the Oxus.

I believe it to be the onus on every man to add, if he can, his jot to the sum total of human knowledge. Justification, then, if such is necessary, lies in the fact that my sketches of travel cover fresh ground, and do not repeat what has already been told.

Before me, on my table, lie several rather dirty and much worn quarto note-books. Each holds a hundred pages, and every page is crammed on both sides with closely written manuscript, in indelible pencil, luckily, for they show signs of having been under water. They are entirely legible, although they were written chiefly in the night-watches, by the light of a Bickering candle, in tent, cave, hut or hovel, at the end of long and tiring days. They represent my daily experiences over several years wandering beyond the Caspian. There are no gaps, although written sometimes, when time was short and physical strength at low ebb, in a sort of spurious shorthand.- The most exciting episodes, the most awkward moments, and the longest but most eventful days may on occasion be condensed within a few lines, but the full story is there.

"First impressions are always the most interesting, and even a day or two's delay causes one to think a circumstance or observation of less importance, and then it is forgotten." So I proceeded to put down everything that appealed to me in Nature, whether it was bird or beast, forest or flower, winter's storm or summer's heat, not omitting glances into the past, when history chanced to make a barren landscape alive with romantic figures or where prehistoric periods had entirely altered the scene. The Caspian deserts, for instance, assume a new and .greater interest as an erstwhile Asiatic Mediterranean, while the dreary steppes come back to new life when seen as the fairway of the human tides that have flowed from Asia into Europe. These things appeal to me more than the aspect of the same region as a potential cotton-growing and oil-producing area, or as a deposit of artificial manures.

The incentive to write a book is, or should be, created by two very natural desires to pass on to others the information one has so hardly come by, and to share with them the enjoyment of things which they cannot see. In this case there is a third factor, namely that a' happier and more permanent understanding between this country and Russia is highly desirable, and how can this be achieved better than by an interchange of knowledge about the two countries?...

There are some of us to whom "free air astir to windward" is almost essential. It is a desire inexplicable to those who have never felt it, ineradicable in those who have. I was lucky. My new home stretched from the Caspian to Mongolia, from Siberia to India. My playground was the Gobi desert and the Hungry Steppe; my garden the flower-strewn Heavenly Mountains and the rose-encumbered gorges of Bukhara. My park wall comprised the Hindu Kush, the Pamirs and the Altai. My chase held the giant wild ram, the heraldic beast of Central Asia -- "primeval patriarch, perhaps, of all the flocks on earth," besides the world's biggest ibex, stags, and roe-deer: there were tigers and wild asses. The river-valleys swarmed with pheasants and the open plains with partridges; myriads of wildfowl crowded the lakes in winter. For three years I had the run of it all, but three years was not enough. When I left Central Asia, I registered a vow on the summit of the Karakorum Pass that I would return; but although my cartridges awaited me in Samarkand and my tents in Kuldja, I was never to make use of them again....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:09 pm

W.S.W. Ruschenberger, A Voyage Round the World (1838)

Including an embassy to Muscat and Siam in 1835, 1836, and 1837

http://archive.org/details/voyageroundworld00rusc

The following pages, besides the journal of an Embassy from the Government of the United States to the courts of Muscat, Siam, and Cochin-China, in the years 1835, 1836, and 1837, embrace sketches in Zanzibar, Arabia, Hindoostan, Ceylon, Java, Siam, Cochin-China, China, the Bonin Islands, the Sandwich Islands, the Californias, Mexico, &c.

The voyage round the world was performed on board of the U.S. Ship Peacock, commanded by C.K. Stribling, Esq., accompanied by the U.S. Schooner Enterprise, Lieutenant Commanding A.S. Campbell; both vessels being under the command of Commodore Edmund P. Kennedy....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:23 pm

Paul Niedieck, With Rifle in Five Continents (1909)

H.B. Stanwell, trans.

http://archive.org/details/withrifleinfivec00nied

On the 15th of July 1898 I left Southampton for New York, with the intention of travelling round the world and at the same time gaining sporting experience in various countries.

The only information I could obtain about hunting-grounds in non-European countries was given to me at Cairo by a gentleman who told me that he had for many years hunted elephants in Ceylon, that there were still numbers of them, and that, so far as he knew, hunting was still allowed there, while in India the killing of elephants was prohibited. His advice to me was: "For elephant-shooting get a 10-bore 'paradox' rifle from Holland and Holland of London." I accordingly took one of these with me, as well as a Krupp "Drilling" and an 11-millimetre double-barrelled rifle, with all of which I used black powder.

The barrels of the 10-bore "paradox," which weighs 12½ lbs., are as smooth as those of a shot-gun up to the last 10 centimetres from the muzzle, where they are deeply rifled. This construction gives the weapon the advantage of being much lighter than those which are rifled throughout. On the other hand, it is a great disadvantage that only black powder can be used, the barrels not offering sufficient resistance to smokeless powder. The cartridge-charge is 14.126 grammes, and is therefore 2 3/5 times more powerful than that of an ordinary 12 bore shot-gun. The bullet may be either of lead only or of lead with a steel point, and weighs 60 grammes. The "paradox" gun is tested at 50 paces, and shoots straight at this distance. This was proved to my satisfaction at the range in London, where a representative of Messrs. Holland and Holland lodged four bullets in a 4-inch square target.

When I fired my first shot at the target, my hat flew up several feet in the air, and I quitted the place with a swollen lip. You must literally hug your heavy rifle to withstand the recoil due to the big charge. The numerous and excellent reports of well-known sportsmen on the merits of this gun lead me to expect the best of it, and it is to be hoped that opportunities will offer to enable me to confirm these good opinions....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:26 pm

Image

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George Coffin, A Pioneer Voyage to California and Round the World, 1849 to 1852 (1908)

Ship Alhambra, Captain George Coffin

Gorham B. Coffin, ed.

http://archive.org/details/pioneervoyagetoc01coff

Preface

Having been, by the decree of fate, the freaks of fortune, the force of circumstances, the destiny of my horoscope, or by some other unseen influence, called or sent, drawn or driven at an advanced age, to wander 'round the globe, and to spend four years far away from my family, during which time, I have been in a peculiar manner the sport and football of some or all the agencies I have named, — I have now, while on my way home, and daily drawing nearer to my native land, thought to employ some of my leisure hours at sea, in recording some of my experience. I am doing this partly to amuse myself, but chiefly because I believe my journal will be interesting to the members of my family, for whose information and amusement I am bound to contribute all in my power, and to the head of which, my well beloved wife, this book is affectionately dedicated, as a feeble token of my estimation of her many virtues.

This record is drawn up partly from recollection and partly from notes and memoranda taken "en passant," but now when 1 look back on what has passed, it appears to me to have been a trance, a wonderful dream, a something unreal, a great blank in my existence

I fancy this book will be kept as an heirloom in my family, and I here charge my children never to give away to despondency under misfortune. Should you be called to encounter disappointment and losses, remember your Grandfather and your Father; be honest, be firm, be resolute. Hope now, hope always; reflect that all things are under the direction of a Supreme Being, who "doeth all things well," and in the darkest hour seek consolation in that reflection.

Should these pages pass in review of other eyes, I trust they will look with favour on the simplicity of the style, remembering that it is intended only as a family souvenir.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:02 pm

James Hingston, The Australian Abroad (1886)

On branches from the main routes round the world

http://archive.org/details/cu31924023252806

Preface to First Edition

The following Notes of Travel are the outcome of a long holiday taken by an Anglo-Australian, who, after twenty-five years of active occupation in Melbourne, was enabled to indulge a long-cherished desire to make a tour of the globe. Without companions, save such as he found by the way, and unassisted by Guide Books, he travelled through large part of the chief countries of each of the world's five divisions, and recorded the impressions made upon his mind by what he saw and heard while such were still fresh. The chapters, in their present shape, were actually written in the localities which they describe, and were thence posted to a leading newspaper in Melbourne. In the columns of the Argus they appeared weekly for a period of nearly two years. Thus produced, they attracted increasing popular attention, and the Author ventures to think that, written as they were, they convey a more faithful description of the scenes and people visited than could otherwise have been obtained.

The kindly welcome eagerly accorded to them in their serial form has induced their publication in a collected shape for the reading of a larger public. The recount of travel begins with the leaving of the American Continent at San Francisco, and opens at Japan. Thence is continued the notes of visits to China, Cochin China, Malasia, Sunda, and Java, onwards to the Northern Territory of Australia, and so downwards to, and through, New Zealand.

Following on this came an homeward tour by the Overland Route, wherein Ceylon, India, Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, were in turn visited. The journey through the Holy Land was done in the old-accustomed style of tent-life, with accompaniment of dragoman, camels, mules, a cook, and other attendants. The experienced guide, engaged at Alexandria for this part of the journey, rendered all book-reference unnecessary, save as furnished by the pages of a marginally-annotated Bible. The toilsome travel of six weeks through Syria and Palestine was relieved mostly by nightly Biblical studies, aided by such help as the Handbooks found with fellow-travellers happened to afford. But for such occupation, varied by writing down notes of the day's impressions, this time of tent-life would have been far more wearisome than the Same period of time at sea.

Books of travel in the Holy Land are plenteous enough, but it is a great advantage to the traveller to have read none of them. Such was the case with the Author, who, in ignorance of the opinions of others, gained his ideas only from what he personally saw and heard.

Melbourne, Australia, 1880.
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:28 pm

Roy Chapman Andrews and Yvette Borup Andrews, Camps and Trails in China (1918)

A narrative of exploration, adventure and sport in little-known China

http://archive.org/details/campsandtrailsin12296gut

The object of this book is to present a popular narrative of the Asiatic Zoölogical Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History to China in 1916-17. Details of a purely scientific nature have been condensed, or eliminated, and emphasis has been placed upon our experiences with the strange natives and animals of a remote and little known region in the hope that the book will be interesting to the general reader....

Roy Chapman Andrews, Across Mongolian Plains (c. 1921)

A naturalist's account of China's "great northwest"

http://archive.org/details/acrossmongolianp00andrrich

Preface

During 1916-1917 the First Asiatic Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History carried on zoological explorations along the frontiers of Tibet and Burma in the little known province of Yun-nan, China. The narrative of that expedition has already been given to the public in the first book of this series "Camps and Trails in China." It was always the intention of the American Museum to continue the Asiatic investigations, and my presence in China on other work in 1918 gave the desired opportunity at the conclusion of the war.

Having made extensive collections along the southeastern edge of the great central Asian plateau, it was especially desirable to obtain a representation of the fauna from the northeastern part in preparation for the great expedition which, I am glad to say, is now in course of preparation, and which will conduct work in various other branches of science. Consequently, my wife and I spent one of the most delightful years of our lives in Mongolia and North China on the Second Asiatic Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History.

The present book is the narrative of our work and travels. As in "Camps and Trails" I have written it entirely from the sportsman's standpoint and have purposely avoided scientific details which would prove uninteresting or wearisome to the general public. Full reports of the expedition's results will appear in due course in the Museum's scientific publications and to them I would refer those readers who wish further details of the Mongolian fauna.

Asia is the most fascinating hunting ground in all the world, not because of the quantity of game to be found there but because of its quality and scientific importance. Central Asia was the point of origin and distribution for many mammals which inhabit other parts of the earth to-day and the habits and relationships of some of its big game animals are almost unknown. Because of unceasing native persecution, lack of protection, the continued destruction of forests and the ever increasing facilities for transportation to the remote districts of the interior, many of China's most interesting and important forms of wild life are doomed to extermination in the very near future.

Fortunately world museums are awakening to the necessity of obtaining representative series of Asiatic mammals before it is too late, and to the broad vision of the President and Board of Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History my wife and I owe the exceptional opportunities which have been given us to carry on zoological explorations in Asia....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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Re: High Adventure

Postby Antipatros » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:06 pm

Lord Dufferin became Governor General of Canada and then Viceroy of India. But that was in the future:
In 1856, Dufferin commissioned the schooner Foam, and set off on a journey around the North Atlantic. He first visited Iceland, where he visited the then-minuscule Reykjavík, the plains of Þingvellir, and Geysir. Returning to Reykjavík, Foam was towed north by Prince Napoleon, who was on an expedition to the region in the steamer La Reine Hortense. Dufferin sailed close to Jan Mayen Island, but was unable to land due to heavy ice, and caught only a very brief glimpse of the island through the fog. From Jan Mayen, Foam sailed to northern Norway, stopping at Hammerfest, before sailing for Spitzbergen.

On his return, Dufferin published a book about his travels, Letters From High Latitudes. With its irreverent style and lively pace, it was extremely successful, and can be regarded as the prototype of the comic travelogue. It remained in print for many years, and was translated into French and German. The letters were nominally written to his mother, with whom he had developed a very close relationship after the death of his father when he was 15.

Lord Dufferin, Letters from High Latitudes (1859)

Being some account of a voyage in the schooner yacht "Foam," 85 O.M. to Iceland, Jan Mayen, and Spitzbergen, in 1856

A yacht voyage of six thousand miles

http://archive.org/details/lettersfromhighl00duffuoft

Oban, June 5, 1856.

I have seldom enjoyed anything so much as our journey yesterday. Getting clear at last of the smells, smoke, noise, and squalor of Greenock, to plunge into the very heart of the Highland hills, robed as they were in the sunshine of a beautiful summer day, was enough to make one beside one's self with delight; and the Icelander enjoyed it as much as I did. Having crossed the Clyde, alive with innumerable vessels, its waves dancing and sparkling in the sunlight, we suddenly shot into the still and solemn Loch Goil, whose waters, dark with mountain shadows, seemed almost to belong to a different element from that of the yellow, rushing, ship-laden river we had left. In fact, in the space of ten minutes we had got into another world, centuries remote from the steaming, weaving, delving Britain, south of Clyde.

After a sail of about three hours, we reached the head of the loch, and then took coach along the worst mountain road in Europe, towards the country of the world-invading Campbells. A steady pull of three hours more, up a wild bare glen, brought us to the top of the mica-slate ridge which pens up Loch Fyne, on its western side, and disclosed what I have always thought the loveliest scene in Scotland.

Far below at our feet, and stretching away on either hand among the mountains, lay the blue waters of the lake.

On its other side, encompassed by a level belt of pasture-land and corn-fields, the white little town of Inverary glittered like a gem on the seashore ; while to the right, amid lawns and gardens, and gleaming banks of wood, that hung down into the water, rose the dark towers of the Castle; the whole environed by an amphitheatre of tumbled porphyry hills, beyond whose fir-crowned crags rose the bare blue mountain tops of Lorn.

It was a perfect picture of peace and seclusion, and I confess I had great pride in being able to show my companion so fair a specimen of one of our lordly island homes—the birthplace of a race of nobles whose names sparkle down the page of their country's history, as conspicuously as the golden letters in an illuminated missal....
Be not too curious of Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.

--T.S. Eliot
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