A Day in Bed Thinking...!

The Yukon Blind..... Canoeing the 'Big River'
Team "Imtiaz and Howard"
Thu 30 Jun 2011 13:52

A Day in Bed Thinking…!
62:46.07N, 137:19.57W

Yeah, I bet with all the philosophical stuff 'we' have been throwing out, you wouldn't believe we needed more thinking time...! Well Mother Nature, disagreed and 'forced' us back into our thinking spaces... We awoke to a coldish, grey rainy morning, and being ahead of 'schedule' Imi suggested we stay in the comfort of 'our' temporarily claimed island, for 24 hours. I must say I was a bit challenged, as bowing down to the weather seems to go against the spirit of adventure, and secondly 24 hours in a tent can be challenging! He soon convinced me that not moving had lots of pluses, so here we are a day of rest....not really in bed, as I write, 3pm this is nice sunshine!

The rain has been interspersed with periods of almost sunshine that have provided us with opportunity for attending to a few jobs, and also lively discussion. The one discussion relating to spending 'a day in bed'! We have been debating the need for an adventure end goal and time limit, with Imi saying these are potentially un-Zen like as they can move the focus away from the now of the journey, to only the end goal. I made the observation that without these end goals one may be tempted to stay in bed every time it rains, and thereby missing the personal triumph of dealing with the adversity of the cold and rain. Yes one would be more comfortable, but more content.....? A good debate he said, this is what the great paradox of pleasure is about! Right, no more questions to me (Howard) as to why I do these and harder adventures....they are pleasure, ok!

Yesterday's canoeing time brought some more surprises and special experiences:

We passed very close to a female moose standing on the river edge. For those that don't know these animals can weigh up to 500kgs and can be pretty ferocious. Only when we were 10 metres off did she noisily take off and run through the bush, providing Imi with a real good audio experience that enabled us to better share the encounter. So much so that hours later in the campsite, he remarked how great the moose experience was. An hour after the moose I saw our first bear, an adult black bear, on the mountain slope rising out of the river. Just nice to have seen one out here! This time it was sad to see how the distance and lack of audio connection almost excluded Imi from the encounter and almost making me feel I should have keep it secretive....Hmmm, tough reminders!

The weather on the river was very changeable, with often a strong headwind making for challenging progress, even with the river flow. Each day I have been saying how many more islands there are than the day before, and yesterday set another new record! They make for interesting river flow patterns, and yesterday we had our first real running aground. A shallow channel forced us both out to push the canoe a few hundred metres. Who is that poor navigator....?

Imi's Reflective Insight:

Rigours of Wild Nature vs Human Mercy

I desire a world where brave autonomous, self reliant, free spirits, win out over envious, cunning persons of low integrity. That's why we need vast open wilderness.....!

I hear my opponents shouting: "How dare you say this as a blind man. Social justice requires that even those that are weak, hurting, downtrodden and lost should have equal opportunity to thrive and flourish."

My response to this will require that we temporarily accept Kurtwiel's thesis in his book, "The Singularity is Now". Here he declares that computers will soon be able to mimic and enormously enhance human brain capacities, as well as reinforce body immunity, organ functions etc. Social justice would require that humans be provided financial assistance to install such computers if individuals desire and in the process become "cyborgs", with greatly enhanced human capacity. But the decision to become a "cyborg" is depravity and loss of autonomy, even if it provides much needed assistance to the weak and downtrodden.

No matter how harsh and merciless is wild nature, confronting its challenge as naked as possible is our only route to real autonomy. Let humans be kind and helpful to each other, but let the world be wild, rugged and natural to facilitate this path to autonomy.


It is such a privilege to have an adventure partner like Imi, who appreciates the many dimensions of adventure in the wilds, often helping me to bring clarity of thought to some of my own life puzzle conflicts. It's not in his agreement, nor his disagreement, but in the honesty and openness of our discussions, where the truths are personally exposed. The Yukon River has facilitated this....

We have just 140 kilometres to Dawson now, and there are probably two and a half days on the river left.... Hmmm, not sure how I feel with the prospects of 'normal' life so soon awaiting us...

Look forward to Imi's 'whole Adventure' reflections that will be a full on personal post by him only, and a few days after our arrival in Dawson.

Bye for now

H + I