A boomer pushes the edge of adventure

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We’re all about active lifestyles. That’s a large part of what sets our boomer generation apart from those that came before us. Which is why we’re always glad to hear stories like Pam Johnson’s, about working hard to explore the great outdoors. No matter how hard!

My husband and I are passionate about the outdoors and travel. It’s hard to put a finger on any one thing that drives us to keep exploring. But we do.

We never tire of exploring the wonders of the Coastal Mountain Range near Vancouver and the Cascade Mountain Range of Washington State. Nature just keeps on giving, and more so if you do the work.

Views-from-Camp-Shurman_Johnson-2

A Mount Rainier climb was a gift from my husband. He knew that I had been itching to take my mountaineering skills to the next level. The climb turned out to be challenging and exhilarating and just the right intro to mountaineering (with a guiding outfitter). We trained for ten months to build our strength, knowing that we needed to do everything we possibly could to ensure success. After all, we were all still expected to share the work load with our team and to carry our own packs — 50 pounds each. In the end, we all achieved the summit.

Team-members-climbing_Johnson-2

Strangely, the summit was almost anticlimactic. In the end, success came in other ways, bonding with team members who had been strangers, as well as fighting through the exhaustion, pain, and altitude when into the eighthhour of the summit climb. But mostly, it was the joy in the journey and doing it with my husband. Now that is motivation.

Pam Johnson

Trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal is a different type of passion. I wanted desperately to share Nepal with my husband after having trekked the Annapurna Circuit years ago. We decided on Everest Base Camp as a destination and an independent style of travel. We wanted freedom to decide on our itinerary and our pace. We wanted freedom to make any unexpected side trips, plus more time to interact with locals in the towns and villages. We read about the country, the region, and the culture in advance. Respecting cultural mores and making the effort to speak the local language enhanced the trip.

Trekking in the Himalayas offers its own special challenges. The resource that we used almost exclusively was a book by Jamie McGuiness, “Trekking in the Everest Region.” There is info on everything you need: trails, gear, health issues, permits etc.. Oh, and train before you go. You will be glad you did.

We spent three glorious weeks up in the Himalayas. I could go on and on but suffice to say, it was outstanding on so many levels. Oh and provingthat you are never too old, we met a few trekking groups with folks in their 60s and 70s!

There are unlimited resources available nowadays for any soul with an interest in outdoor pursuits. Guide books and the internet are a great start but I would highly recommend organizations such as “The Alpine Club of Canada” or its American counterpart. They advocate for protection of and safety in the outdoors with courses, trips, and more. What a gift we have in them.

Pushing boundaries and testing our mettle is part of the motivation forexploring, with curiosity and learning, another. But the jewel, and true reward, is the magnificence and glory of nature and life. Sublime.

Pam is the creator of Mz Zoomer.

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