Quote For The Day

A regularly featured item in our email newsletter and our @Badwater Twitter stream is the "Quote For The Day." We have compiled them all here, along with the dates we featured them in our email newsletter.

Feb 11, 2014

"I used to say that Badwater saved my life and I think I believe that still to an extent, but what I see now, is that it's not the race, because that's really just a place-holder. It's more the community of people that I have been exposed to doing these races. What I think primaly was so initially powerful and appealing to me was not necessarily that people are running this distance in this heat, but as you watch people talk and do Badwater, you are watching people do what they love with people that they love. I think, more than I wanted to be an ultra runner, I wanted to be someone who does what that they love with people that they love. And through ultra running I am so grateful that that has been part of my story. So my hope is not that everyone goes out and runs Badwater, but it is that you find your equivalent, whatever it is that lights you up, and maybe the people that also light you up. So I hope you find a community that by your involvement in, you make it better, and that they make you better."

- Hannah Roberts, 2012 Badwater 135 finisher and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. She trained for the 2012 Badwater 135-mile ultramarathon while underway on the destroyer Hopper, based out of Pearl Harbor. She told her Badwater tales - as both racer and crew member - as well as her battles with depression at TEDxHonolulu.

Jan 28, 2014

"Anybody can be successful when life is easy. I want to succeed when things suck."

- Meredith Dolhare, 2013 Badwater Salton Sea, Badwater 135, and The 508 veteran, quoted in a Runner's World profile written by Charlie Engle.

Jan 15, 2014

"In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high."

- Henry David Thoreau

Dec 27, 2013

"The incessant anxiety and strain of some is a well-nigh incurable form of disease. We are made to exaggerate the importance of what we do; and yet how much is not done by us!"

- Henry David Thoreau

Dec 1, 2013

"Man's capacities have never been measured; nor are we to judge of what he can do by any precedents, so little has been tried."

- Henry David Thoreau

Oct 4, 2013

"Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find."

- Walt Whitman

July 17, 2013

"You just can't beat the person who won't give up."

- Babe Ruth

June 1, 2013

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."

- George Bernard Shaw

May 6, 2013

"The one thing that matters is the effort."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

April 12, 2013

"The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination."

- Dan Millman

April 9, 2013

"Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

April 1, 2013

"The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Mar 28, 2013

"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine."

- Anthony J. D'Angelo

Mar 18, 2013

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

- Anne Frank

Feb 7, 2013

"Wake up! If you knew for certain you had a terminal illness--if you had little time left to live--you would waste precious little of it! Well, I'm telling you...you do have a terminal illness: It's called birth. You don't have more than a few years left. No one does! So be happy now, without reason--or you will never be at all."

- Dan Millman

Jan 17, 2013

"It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Dec 31, 2012

"To realize one's destiny is a person's only real obligation. All things are one. And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."

- Paulo Coelho

Dec 5, 2012`

"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake.
The great affair is to move."

- Robert Louis Stevenson

Nov 15, 2012

"A life has to move or it stagnates. Even this life, I think."

- Beryl Markham, "West With The Night"

Nov 13, 2012

"No human pursuit achieves dignity until it can be called work, and when you can experience a physical loneliness for the tools of your trade, you see that, the other things - the experiments, the irrelevant vocations, the vanities you used to hold - were false to you."

- Beryl Markham, "West With The Night"

Nov 1, 2012

"If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work."

- Beryl Markham, "West With The Night"

Oct 23, 2012

"The notion of looking on at life has always been hateful to me. What am I if I am not a participant? In order to be, I must participate."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Oct 19, 2012

"There is a big wind blowing today and I'm part of it. I want to make a difference and, above all, I want to be a good person from here on out."

- Neil Young, "Waging Heavy Peace"

Oct 1, 2012

"Once men are caught up in an event, they cease to be afraid. Only the unknown frightens men."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Sept 12, 2012

"If you have enough willpower and you want something bad enough, you can get your body to do enough anything, anything."

- Jonathan Boyer

Sept 5, 2012

“Though we live in trying times, we’re the ones who have to try. Though we know that time has wings, we’re the ones who have to fly.”

– Neal Peart, Everyday Glory

Aug 8, 2012

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere,
they are in each other all along.

- Jelaluddin Rumi

Aug 7, 2012

"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

July 13, 2012

"It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

July 12, 2012

"What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

June 6, 2012

"A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

May 15, 2012

"I would advise all youths aspiring to athletic fame or a professional career to practice clean living, fair play and good sportsmanship."

- Major Taylor

Mar 19, 2012

"To get the most out of an adventure, one must be flexible. It is often the unplanned parts that reward the deepest."

- Pondero

Mar 16 2012

"Insist upon yourself. Be original."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mar 13, 2012

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Feb 13, 2012

"Ride clean or die! Champions ride clean. Losers ride dirty."

- Bill Walton on "Shark Tank"

Feb 9, 2012

"You are a very fast flier, aren't you?"

"I . . . I enjoy speed," Jonathan said, taken aback but proud that the Elder gull had noticed.

"You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn't flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn't have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there."

-Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Feb 1, 2012

"Every noble work is at first impossible."

- Thomas Carlyle

Jan 17, 2012

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan 9, 2012

"We travel on the road to adventure on a desert highway straight to the heart of the sun. Like lovers and heroes, and the restless part of everyone, we’re only at home when we’re on the run, on the run."

- Neil Peart, “Dreamline"

Dec 20, 2011

“I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.”

- John Cage

Nov 18, 2011

"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nov 15, 2011

"Look in, look the storm in the eye. Look out, to the sea and the sky. Look around, at the sight and sound. Look in, look out, look around."

- Neil Peart, "Force Ten"

Nov 14, 2011

"If man has a talent and cannot use it, he has failed. If he has a talent and uses only half of it, he has partly failed. If he has a talent and learns somehow to use the whole of it, he has gloriously succeeded, and won a satisfaction and a triumph few men ever know."

- Thomas Wolfe

Nov 8, 2011

"Do not lose hold of your dreams, or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist, but cease to live."

- Henry David Thoreau

Oct 3, 2011

"Fatigue is a disease and I don't want it."

- John Marino

Sept 26, 2011

"If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me."  

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

July 25, 2011 and also Aug 31, 2011 (oops!)

"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

July 7, 2011

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."

- Martin Buber

July 5, 2011

"None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

June 9, 2011

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

June 1, 2011

"We should seek the greatest value of our action."

- Stephen Hawking

May 12, 2011

"Whatever course you decide upon there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

May 11, 2011

"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places."

- Ernest Hemingway

April 22, 2011

"We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character."

- Henry David Thoreau

April 13, 2011

"When you were born, you were crying and everyone else was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

In memory of Jim Swzrzman.

April 7, 2011

"Service to others is the rent you pay for living on this planet."

- Marian Wright Edelman

April 5, 2011

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."

- Saint Augustine

March 17, 2011

"Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has a personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us."

- John Steinbeck, "Travels with Charley"

March 15, 2011

"I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it is forward."

- David Livingstone

March 1, 2011

"We choose to go to the moon, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

- John F. Kennedy, Sept. 12, 1962

Feb 14, 2011

"One of the qualities that draws me to deserts is their sparseness. I go to be scoured by their winds, purged by their silence, humbled by their searing sunsets. The desert dirt, which accumulates in the chapped cracks of my fingers and the pores of my face, brings me solace. It somehow stills the subtle anxieties produced by living in a culture in which what you do is so often mistaken for who you are, where artificialities obscure essences. Immersing in the desert's simplicity is akin to a ritual purification. As the earth stands naked, so I am stripped to my unadorned self, with little to distract me from the truths of my life."

- Michael Benanav, Men Of Salt

Feb 9, 2011

"The world's greatest lie is this: At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate."

- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Feb 7, 2011

"You shouldn't spend your entire life trying to fit into the system. You shouldn't just take your place in society and do nothing. The world is huge. The world is awesome. That world is to go out and explore."

- Ronnie Simpson, Outside Magazine, February 2011

Feb 1, 2011

"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."

- Oscar Wilde

Jan 24, 2011

"Fatigue is the best pillow."

- Benjamin Franklin

Jan 12, 2011

"Adventure is not outside us, it is within."

- George Eliot

Dec 7, 2010

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."

-Kahlil Gibran

Nov 16, 2010

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

- Henry David Thoreau

Nov 9, 2010

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see."

- John Burroughs

Nov 8, 2010

"Not less than two hours a day should be devoted to exercise, and the weather shall be little regarded. If the body is feeble, the mind will not be strong."

- Thomas Jefferson

Oct 14, 2010

"Eventually, what you love trumps what you hate."

- Neil Peart

Oct 13, 2010

"Death Valley may be called that, but really it's so full of life, life you would never see here in Canada. And at night that life really came out to play. Scorpions, tarantulas, lizards and snakes, mice and rats, coyotes, birds and other flying things that would hit me in the head in the middle of the night, or fly into my unzipped jersey... whatever that was? It's hard to put into words."

- Dallas "Alberta Bison" Morris of Canada

Sep 28, 2010

"If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves."

- Thomas Edison

Aug 13, 2010

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

- Albert Einstein

July 9, 2010

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”

- Carl Jung

July 6, 2010

"You cannot teach humans anything. You can only help them discover it within themselves."

- Galileo

June 7, 2010

"Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, only character endures."

- Horace Greeley

June 1, 2010

“There is no moonlight in the world that can compare with the moonlight in Grapevine Canyon, our desert canyon, where the castle stands… You may have your cities and electric lights, movies, dancing parties, and surging crowds; but for a thrill, and emotion, a sense of peace, and a confidence in a God who cares, give me moonlight in the Desert.”

- Bessie Johnson, 1932

May 17, 2010

Unfortunately, saving the planet ranks nineteenth on the list of most pressing needs for most Americans, well behind things such as resolving the Mid-East conflict, figthting world hunger, and providing healthcare. Unfortunately, none of the 18 “more important” items on the list can be done without saving the planet first.”

- Yvon Chouinard

May 3, 2010

"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew."

- Marshall McLuhan

April 20, 2010

"Wilderness is a resource that can shrink but not grow ... the creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible."

- Aldo Leopold

April 8, 2010

"It is important to give it all you have while you have the chance."

- Shania Twain

Mar 30, 2010

"I think in so many areas, technology has replaced craft. No one has the time or bothers to take the time to learn a craft so they replace technique with technology. We have a huge problem in America, namely the emasculation of the American male, who is forced to buy cars he can no longer fix. Their confidence and self-esteem become all wrapped up in all the gear they have on display. They go fly-fishing with a $12,000 fly rod to catch a 12-inch trout, which works out to about $1000 an inch. We've all seen the guy on the tennis court who, after a series of missed shots, shoots off some blasphemies and then pulls out another racket with a different weight and tension, as if that was the problem all along. Same thing goes for skis and climbing gear."

- Yvon Chouinard

Mar 16, 2010

"The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle."

- Albert Einstein

Feb 17, 2010

"But to gain a perfect view, one must go yet further, over a curving brow to a slight shelf on the extreme brink."

- John Muir

Feb 3, 2010

"Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal."

- E.O. Wilson

Feb 1, 2010

"The whole purpose of an adventure is to gain some spiritual or emotional insight. When you compromise the process, you compromise the gain."

- Yvon Chouinard

Jan 25, 2010

"Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present."

- Albert Camus

Jan 22, 2010

"Activity does not necessarily equal progress."

- Johnny G

Jan 19, 2010

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy,
I awoke and saw that life was service,
I acted and behold, service was joy."

- Rabindranath Tagore

Jan 14, 2010

"Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle for where we're going. There's something ahead worth fighting for."

- Neil Young

Jan 5, 2010

"You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can't, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don't give up."

- Chuck Yeager

Dec 23. 2009

"Finis Coronat Opus" (The Ending Crowns the Work)

- Ovid

Dec 15, 2009

"A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against and not with the wind."

- John Neal

Dec 7, 2009

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

- Albert Einstein

Dec 1, 2009

"Civilization has a relatively precarious hold upon us and there is an undoubted attraction in a life of absolute freedom once it has been tasted. The 'call of the wild' is in the blood of many of us and find its safety valve in nature."

- Percy Harrison Fawcett

Nov 23, 2009

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

- Lewis Carroll, from Alice in Wonderland

Nov 4, 2009

"If you ask the grail for happiness, that demand precludes happiness. But if you serve the grail properly, you will find that what happens and happiness are the same thing."

- Robert Johnson

Nov 2, 2009

"Fast, very fast, I am entering into the heart of tomorrow, far beyond the hills of doubt, fear, and sorrow."

- Sri Chinmoy

Oct 21, 2009

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted."

- Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Oct 15, 2009

You are not dead yet.
It is not too late
To open your depths by plunging into them
And drink in the life
That reveals itself quietly there.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

Oct 14, 2009

"The mountains are fortresses of protection. The canyons are full of interest. The long shadows, at night, are soothing. I close my eyes and forget the restlessness of the world"

- Bessie Johnson (of Scotty's Castle)

Oct 8, 2009

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

- Teddy Roosevelt

Oct 1, 2009

Not all those who wander are lost. 

- J. R. R. Tolkien

Sept 28, 2009

"It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what is required."

- Sir Winston Churchill

Sept 17, 2009

"How does one plan to live in a tree? I don't know. I didn't even know how to climb using ropes before I got to the base of Luna, the 1,000-year-old redwood I lived in for 738 days in the 1990s to keep it from being cut down. We live in a production-driven society, rather than a purpose-driven society. We approach everything backward, looking at the results first. But we don't have to know how to do something before we begin it. People thank me for what I did, saying 'I could never have done that!' And I think, 'I couldn't have either!' But passion and purpose called me to live my life in a way I didn't know was possible."

- Julia Butterfly Hill, Yoga Journal, October 2009

Sept 15, 2009

"It didn't matter if people thought I was crazy, because whose life is it, theirs or mine?"

- Marta Becket, Amargosa Opera House

Sept 1, 2009

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

- Seneca

Aug 25, 2009

"One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."

- Andre Gide

Aug 5, 2009

"I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways.
And no message could have been any clearer:
If you wanna make the world a better place,
then take a look at yourself and then make a change."

- Michael Jackson

July 29, 2009

"Seek the very best in everything. If you bow your head, let it be to a great mountain."

- New Zealand Maori proverb

July 7, 2009

"Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries."

- Theodore Roethke

June 24, 2009

"In the long run, nothing's more important than the evolution of consciousness. Winning championships is the greatest feeling in the world, but it passes. In even the best-case scenario, it is just a by-product. What doesn't pass is the opportunity it offers each individual player for personal growth and evolving consciousness."

- Phil Jackson, "More Than a Game," 10 time NBA championship coach

June 15, 2009

"A lot of people want a shortcut. I find the best shortcut is the long way, which is basically two words: work hard. As I see it, if you work more hours than somebody else, during those hours you learn more about your craft. That can make you more efficient, more able, even happier. Hard work is like compounded interest in the bank. The rewards build faster."

- Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

June 9, 2009

"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations. All this is put in your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it on to your children."

- Albert Einstein

June 1, 2009

"The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They're there to stop the other people."

- Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

May 29, 2009

"The world belongs to the energetic."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

May 15, 2009

“A person's life purpose is nothing more than to rediscover, through the detours of art, or love, or passionate work, those one or two images in the presence of which his heart first opened.”

- Albert Camus

May 10, 2009

"Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point."

- Harold B. Melchart

May 4, 2009

"One of the interesting lessons I've learned from running extreme distances is that the more you can rely on the natural scenery around you for company - the mountains, the desert, your crew, the other runners - rather than distracting yourself from what you're doing by feeding artificial noise into your ears, the better. Instead of listening to someone else's disembodied, digitized voice, you make yourself listen to your own thoughts and reactions to what you see, and you pay attention to the other people who are with you in the present moment." -

- Frank McKinney, three-time Badwater Ultramarathon finisher, author

April 29, 2009

"When I first caught sight of (Mount Shasta) over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since."

- John Muir

April 27, 2009

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

- John Muir

April 13, 2009

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."

- Anais Nin

April 8, 2009

"When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way."

- Wayne Dyer

March 31, 2009

"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

- Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer

March 11, 2009

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

- Steve Jobs

March 7, 2009

"There are occasionally people in your life with whom you have an innate sense of communication. I've found that these people are often your training partners. Perhaps it's due to the countless hours spent together not always being able to communicate verbally. Instead, we consciously and subconsciously study and learn their movements and expressions. Over time words are needed less and less. Rather a subtle gesture or body movement or quick look is all it takes to completely understand each other.

"Back home a couple months after our rookie appearance at the 2008 Furnace Creek 508, my Black Angus Cow teammate Scott and I met for dinner at our favorite local hangout, the Q-Shack. As always, the barbequed brisket was tender and the conversation light, but when a friend brought up the previous year's 508, we both knew what was coming. We had both sensed it since leaving the desert. We had heard it in the still of night and just as clearly during the noisy backdrop of the world during the day. With a quick glance, just like the countless ones during all our rides together, I saw his eyes and knew.

"The desert was calling us back."

- Furnace Creek entrant Keith Weitz of Team Black Angus Cow

February 2, 2009

"One of my favorite things about cycling is that it can reward suffering with joy. Another thing I love about it is that it often rejects those who don't understand this. Cycling teaches you that there's such a thing as necessary suffering and such a thing as unnecessary suffering, and that sometimes a short cut is a dead end."

- Bike Snob NYC

January 20, 2009

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15, 2009

"Would you enjoy a trip to hell? You Might Enjoy a Trip to Death Valley, Now! It has all the advantages of hell without the inconveniences."

- An ad for the Death Valley Chuckwalla magazine on April Fools Day of 1907, as quoted on the Death Valley Chamber of Commerce website

January 6, 2009

"I've always thought that risk-taking is an important part of what it means to be human."

- Donald C. Johanson

December 16, 2008

"I do not know how to instill a taste for adventure in those who have not acquired it, and yet there are those who suddenly tear themselves away from their comfortable existence and, using the energy of their bodies as an example to their brains, apply themselves to the discovery of unexpected pleasures and places."

- Pierre Elliot Trudeau,
Exhaustion and Fulfillment: The Ascetic in a Canoe; 1944

December 3, 2008

"You are not dead yet. It is not too late
To open your depths by plunging into them
And drink in the life
That reveals itself quietly there."

- Rainer Maria Rilke

November 26, 2008

"It's also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that's sitting right here right now, with its aches and its pleasures, is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive."

- Pema Chodron

November 19, 2008

"We cannot lower the mountain, therefore we must elevate ourselves."

- Todd Skinner

November 17, 2008

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving."

- Lao Tzu

November 14, 2008

"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep."

- Rumi

October 30, 2008

"Cerca, trova" (Seek and you shall find)

- Giorgio Vasari

October 20, 2008

"What was hard to do is sweet to remember."

- Seneca

October 16, 2008

"No man can live this life (in the desert) and emerge unchanged. He will carry, however faint, the imprint of the desert, and will have within him the yearning to return."

- Sir Wilfred P. Thesinger

October 14, 2008

"Without ambition one starts nothing.
Without work one finishes nothing."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

September 29, 2008

"Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also."

-Marcus Aurelius

September 26, 2008

"For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one."

- Alfred D'Souza

September 8, 2008

"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."

- Edgar Allan Poe, "Eleonora"

August 28, 2008

"When you're stuck sitting in a comfort zone, small problems become magnified. Get out of your comfort zone, touch the edge, and you come back with an appreciation for life."

- Barbara Warren

August 26, 2008

"Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."

- Chinese Proverb

August 14, 2008

"Nothing's better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you."

- Aaron Douglas Trimble

August 8, 2008

"Mountains inspire awe in any human person who has a soul. They remind us of our frailty, our unimportance, of the briefness of our span upon this earth. They touch the heavens, and sail serenely at an altitude beyond even the imaginings of a mere mortal."

- Elizabeth Aston

July 10, 2008

"Death Valley is desert and mountains laid bare and dissected. This is serious wilderness, 3.4 million acres' worth (the largest patch in the lower 48), and the geography is ferociously rough: from the shimmering, superheated salt pan to the gashed and broken mountain ranges that surround it. Even the name sounds harsh. But trips here don't have to be. If you play it smart and plan your visit right - keeping in mind distances and the inherent challenge of the landscape - you will come away with a lasting taste of America at its most extreme."

- Robert Earle Howells, National Geographic Adventure, June / July 2008

July 7, 2008

"Within the hour I'll land, and strangely enough I'm in no hurry to have it pass. I haven't the slightest desire to sleep. There's not an ache in my body. The night is cool and safe. I want to sit quietly in this cockpit and let the realization of my completed flight sink in... It's like struggling up a mountain after a rare flower, and then, when you have it within arm's reach, realizing that the satisfaction and happiness lie more in the finding than in the having. Plucking the flower and having it whither are inseparable... I almost wish Paris were a few more hours away. It seems a shame to land with the night so clear and so much fuel in my tanks."

- Charles Lindbergh

July 3, 2008

"Let us not underestimate the privileges of the mediocre. As one climbs higher, life becomes ever harder, the coldness increases, responsibility increases."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

June 26, 2008

"And if you should survive to 105
Look at all you'll derive out of being alive.
Then here is the best part
You have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart."

- Frank Sinatra

June 18, 2008

“My bike is my wheelchair, my gym and my church, all in one”

- Bill Walton

June 2, 2008

"In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia."

- Charles Lindbergh

May 28, 2008

"I would advise all youths aspiring to athletic fame or a professional career to practice clean living, fair play and good sportsmanship."

- Marshall "Major" Taylor

May 8, 2008

"The four of us were once world-class wanderers, equipped with weeks to spare but little cash; now that we're all professionals, with less time and more money, we try to pack our outings into small, highly structured slots. One day I realized that we spend more days plotting our trips than taking them, and it made me think that we'd lost our adventurous edge, that we were no longer willing to do something that amounts to nothing."

- Steven Rinella

April 21, 2008

"Don't you dare waste a minute!"

- Sandy Sanders, in reference to life

April 17, 2008

"If you think you're going nowhere and you stop, then you're not going nowhere anymore."

- Harrison Ford

April 8, 2008

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."

- Kingsley Amis

April 3, 2008

"Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation."

- Eugene V. Debs

Mar 12, 2008

"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mar 10, 2008

"There is only one perfect road and that road is ahead of you, always ahead of you."

- Sri Chinmoy

Feb 24, 2008

"The correlation between what shaman types do and what extreme athletes and adventurers do is obvious: both use risk, exhaustion, and so forth to break through into a more intense, potent state of being."

- Rob Schultheis

Feb 5, 2008

"Only boring people get bored."

- Shelby Kostman

Jan 16, 2008

"You can't get fit in one workout, just as you can't live your life in one day."

- Johnny G

Jan 7, 2008

"In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires."

- Benjamin Franklin

Dec 26, 2007

"Do or not do. There is no try."

- Yoda

Dec 18, 2007

"Who is more patriotic, the person who commutes to work on a bike, or the guy who slaps a U.S. flag decal on his SUV that gets twelve miles per gallon?"

- Jim Caple, writing at ESPN.com

Dec 11, 2007

"You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."

- Steve Prefontaine

Dec 6, 2007

"The time before us is history.
The time after, the future.
What lies between those two parallels is our time."

- D3

Nov 15, 2007

"All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it's impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer."

- Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince"

Nov 1, 2007

"The essence of the desert was the lonely moving individual, the son of the road, apart from the world as in a grave."

- T.E. Lawrence, "Seven Pillars of Wisdom," 1926

Oct 23, 2007

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

- George Bernard Shaw

Oct 17, 2007

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Oct 15, 2007

"You can't see anything from a car; you've got to get out … and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbrush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail, you'll see something, maybe." 

- Edward Abbey

Oct 1, 2007

"And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

Sept 28, 2007

"But you, by the grace of an ordeal in the night which stripped you of all that was not intrinsic, you discovered a mysterious creature born of yourself. Great was this creature, and never shall you forget him."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, "Wind, Sand, and Stars"

Sept 25, 2007

"From the solitary tops of these mountains, the eye gazes around with pleasure, filling the mind with adoration to that pervading spirit that made them."

- Charles Mason, 1767, quoted in "Drawing the Line: How Mason and Dixon Surveyed the Most Famous Border in America," by Edwin Danson, 2001.

Aug 30, 2007

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."

- Benjamin Franklin

Aug 20, 2007

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstance."

- Martha Washington

Aug 10, 2007

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

- Mark Twain

Jul 21, 2007

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jul 17, 2007

"All running, all exercise - all work, for that matter - is a dance with fatigue, manipulation of it, experimentation with it, and finally, acceptance of it."

- John Jerome, 'The Elements of Effort'

Jul 16, 2007

"As I have always held it a crime to anticipate evils I will believe it a good comfortable road until I am compelled to believe differently"

- Meriwether Lewis, 1805

Jul 11, 2007

"Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had sought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence, and where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world."

- Joseph Campbell, 'The Power of Myth'

Jul 5, 2007

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they make act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."

- T.E. Lawrence, 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom,' 1926

Jun 28, 2007

"There are dimensions of your being and a potential for realization and consciousness that are not included in your concept of yourself. Your life is much deeper and broader than you conceive it to be here. What you are living is but a fractional inkling of what is really within you, what gives you life, breadth, and depth. But you can live in terms of that depth."

- Joseph Campbell, 'The Power of Myth'

Jun 12, 2007

"When it is dark enough, men see the stars."

- Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Jun 4, 2007

"Man has always gone where he has been able to go, it is a basic satisfaction of his inquisitive nature, and I think we all lose a little bit if we choose to turn our backs on further exploration."

- Michael Collins, 'Carrying The Fire'

May 21, 2007

"This is an absolute necessity for anybody today: You must have a room, or a certain hour of the day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen."

- Joseph Campbell, 'The Power of Myth'

May 14, 2007

"When you're in the desert, you look into infinity.... It makes you feel terribly small, and also in a strange way, quite big."

- David Lean

May 7, 2007

"Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much . . . in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

- Theodore Roosevelt

Apr 26, 2007

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Apr 6, 2007

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."

- César Chávez

Mar 7, 2007

"Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. And you cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore."

- César Chávez

Feb 26, 2007

"The best things in life cannot be told. That is to say, you cannot describe that which lies beyond the reach of words."

- From 'A Joseph Campbell Companion, Reflections on the Art of Living'

Feb 16, 2007

"If you try to open a walnut shell when the shell is still green, it is nearly impossible; but if you wait until it is ripe, it opens with a tap."

- Ramakrishna

Feb 1, 2007

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

- T. S. Eliot

Jan 24, 2007

"He saw that to lose everything at the edge of such a glorious eternity is far sweeter than to win by plodding through a cautious, painless, and featureless life."

- Laurence Gonzales, 'Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why'

Jan 15, 2007

"Whether or not we are consciously aware of it, a flame burns in each of us, and our soul seeks union, and we seek meaning, and purpose, and direction. We awaken at our own pace. Ultimately, there is no problem, only a process, and that process is perfect."

- Dan Millman, 1999

Jan 9, 2007

"When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly."

- Barbara J. Winter

Jan 3, 2007

"And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

- Anais Nin

Dec 11, 2006

"Our life evokes our character. You find out more about yourself as you go on. That's why it's good to be able to put yourself in situations that will evoke your higher nature rather than your lower. (Lead us not into temptation.)"

- Joseph Campbell

Dec 5, 2006

"People say what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive."

- Joseph Campbell

Nov 22, 2006

"The urge to do and be that which is the noblest, the most beautiful of which we are capable, is the creative impulse of every high achievement."

- Yogananda

Nov 20, 2006

"To be in process of change is not an evil, any more than to be the product of change is a good. Green grape, ripe cluster, raisin: every step a change, not into what is not, but what is yet to be."

- Marcus Aurelius

Nov 17, 2006

"The high sentiments always win in the end, the leaders who offer blood, toil, tears, and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic."

George Orwell

Nov 15, 2006

"If you think you have the physical and mental fortitude to complete this event you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. I can promise you it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. This event grabs you in a very deep way. I have a spiritual connection with this event that is very hard to explain. I'm not a touchy feely kind of guy but I left a part of my soul on that race course and I don't think I'll ever be able to completely walk away from this race. It is dangerously painful, but the feeling you get when you roll through that toilet paper finish is worth every ounce of pain you absorbed out on the road."

- Greg Silly Goose Matherly, 2006 Furnace Creek 508 finisher

May 24, 2006

"The greater the suffering, the greater the pleasure. That is nature's payback to riders for the homage they pay her by suffering. Velvet pillows, safari parks, sunglasses; people have become woolly mice. They still have bodies that can walk for five days and four nights through a desert of snow, without food, but they accept praise for having taken a one-hour bicycle ride. 'Good for you.' Instead of expressing their gratitude for the rain by getting wet, people walk around with umbrellas. Nature is an old lady with few friends these days, and those who wish to make use of her charms, she rewards passionately."

- Tim Krabbé, "The Rider"

Mar 10, 2006

"The only true wisdom lives far from mankind, out in the great loneliness, and can be reached only through suffering. Privation and suffering alone open the mind to all that is hidden to others."

- Igjugarjuk, Caribou Eskimo Shaman, quoted in Joseph Campbell's 'The Power of Myth'

Dec 2, 2003

"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking."

- Arthur Conan Doyle, in an 1896 article for Scientific American