My personal adventures have been relatively tame: parasailing in the Bahamas, zip-lining in Costa Rica, draping an anaconda around my shoulders in the Amazon rainforest. (FYI: Anaconda poop bleaches clothing.) But I’ve always enjoyed vicarious adventures—women’s adventures.
This started when I was in elementary school. I read the adventures of Ruth Fielding in a series of books owned by my paternal aunt.
Although the settings of these thirty books seemed like ancient history (published 1913-1934), I loved kind-hearted, curious, brave, adventuresome Ruth.
When I was somewhat older, I discovered Cherry Ames: Student Nurse.
The medical aspects of this series (27 books) fascinated me. But more important was the heroine, whose kind heart led her into dangerous situations that her sharp wits got her out of. I gave my Cherry Ames books to my older granddaughter a few years ago, but alas, her interests are more in the fantasy/horror genre. Oh, well.
As you may have gathered by now, for me, there is no expiration date on adventure.
Beryl Markham’s incredible book is set in the earliest years of flight, and being a bush pilot in Africa. The writing is lyrical, the scenes compelling.
When I was involved in a vicarious love affair with Alaska (I’ve never been there), I read book after book set there, and through a rather circuitous route, came across Woodswoman.
When one thinks New York, the first thing to come to mind is not wilderness. And yet the North Country has winters suitable for training military for the Arctic, and parts of the Adirondacks truly are isolated—and virtually inaccessible in winter. Anne LaBastille living alone, frozen in for the winter, with a jerry-rigged outdoor shower, is plenty adventurous.
My longest term adventure was a two-week float-and-paddle rafting trip down the Colorado River. I mostly floated. Side-canyon hikes were strenuous and attending to one’s bodily needs was a challenge. But the most exciting part was the white-water rapids. I went bow-riding over thirty-foot drops! (Bow-riding is sitting on the front of the raft, holding onto a rope.)
So it’s no wonder I love Writing Down the River. Over one summer, fifteen talented women writers rafted down the Colorado. Their contributions to this book reflect their successes and failures, joys and fears. They take you there! (And, BTW, the photographs are gorgeous.)
Bottom line: Find your adventure—personal or vicarious—and pursue it.