HORACE AND THE ROUGH STUFF FELLOWSHIP

What are we itching for? Are we itching to go out and seek the unknown? What makes us want to leave everything behind?

And crossing a desert of black sand all alone? Why would you rather sleep under the stars than in the comfort of your own home?

These were the questions I asked myself when we finally left for Iceland, Europe's outpost in the North Atlantic, the last rock on which to settle before the endless ice. Tucked away in an old newspaper, we found the story of Horace Dall, an astronomer and stargazer, who set off one day, packing a few of his belongings and his best suit to make the first crossing of Europe's largest desert on wheels. Sprengisandur is a landscape so rugged, raw and remote that it was used by NASA to train its astronauts for the moon landing a few decades later.

What was going through his mind, what motivated him to embark on a journey into the unknown? A piece of paper, not much bigger than his hand, showed the entire island of Iceland and was his only map. So many spots were still empty on the map of the earth in 1933, so many first ascents were still to be made, so many deserts were still to be crossed... 80 years later, Sprengisandur has turned into a dusty racetrack for tourist buses, all 8k mountains have been climbed and I wonder if there are still adventures for us to discover?

 

I don't think Horace saw his venture as an adventure, he simply left his house, closed the door behind him and went on a journey. The journey was his destination. There was nothing he had to prove to others, no internet to show how epic his journey was.

The smallest detail can create the greatest memories. A snapshot with your camera can never replace the images in your mind. It doesn't matter how big an adventure you are going to have, what matters is that you leave home and go on a journey.

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