Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Last Great Adventure?

I'm not gifted with a great imagination, so there are definitely possibilities I've overlooked, but I don't think there are many ultimate adventures left out there. The world has been, largely, discovered, man has walked on the moon and dropped for miles in a free fall from space; we've climbed all the peaks and endured all the valleys the earth has to offer. We've gone practically to the bottom of the sea and hazarded pitfalls both manmade and natural throughout the world. I know the common cold has yet to be cured, and solving the mysteries of AIDS/HIV still elude us in terms of curing people, but for adrenalin-pulsing survival options, I just cannot think of anything other-worldly. Fortunately, there are people like Paul Salopek left.
Salopek, a journalist, has taken it upon himself to compress thousands of years of history into a seven-year span. He intends to walk the 21,000 miles he figures it took for civilization to creep from its origins (possibly in Ethiopia) to the furthermost point on Tiera del Fuego to prove that civilization as we know it, could have, and probably did, make that journey.
Salopek, 50, figures it will take him seven years to complete the hike through the 30 borders and countless cultures as he recreates the trip made by ancient people. National Geographic, a sponsor for the trip, calls it the "Out of Eden" tour, and it promises updates with some regularity.
The trip has already begun: Salopek stepped out of Herto Bouri, a village in Ethiopia, on January 10th, equipped with a GPS, space age communications equipment, and a small laptop. His only hike interruption will occur as a ship takes him from Russia to Alaska, the land bridge across the Bering Strait having been lost some time ago.
This promises to be an amazing adventure; if he completes the trip, book royalties and speaking engagements will probably make him among the most famous people of the time...the last modern adventurer.
Of course, by then, we'll have space tourism as a regularity, and folks will be in line for the shuttle to..."Infinity and beyond!"


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