Not many of us have spent near as much time below the Earth’s surface as Dr. Ken Walsh has. Ken is a Senior Environmental Engineer at Leidos Inc., but that is not who he is. Ken is an Everyday Explorer at hear. He started his love of exploration under ground early in his life, and it has taken him deeper and deeper in to exploring the beauty that exists above and below ground. It also has been a mode for him to explore the reaches of his own limits.
We weave our way through a wide ranging conversation that will expose Ken’s intelligence, creativity and natural curiosity, all of which are used by him to find wonder and awe no matter where he finds himself.
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
by Wendell Berry
It is appropriate to start this episode description with a poem from Wendell Berry. I love this poem. I can hear the quiet sounds of the outside just reading it. And I was introduced to this poem and to Wendell Berry by Daniel Alexander. Daniel is my guest this week, and you will find out that he is a bit of a poet himself.
I really enjoyed this conversation because I got to catch up with an old friend, but also hear about what it is about an outdoor space that opens his soul. This is a different kind of adventure conversation, I know you’ll be inspired. We explore many different angles of the human experience and what we are all made for. One great take away I got from Daniel is that Comfort + Comparison = a Crushing of our souls. And the flip side of that same coin is that if we embrace the suffering in our lives, it can lead us to a place where our souls truly come alive. It’s an inverse universe.
Be sure to listen to the end for his book recommendations. Daniel has always been spot on when it comes to a good read, and these are now on my reading list. And if you want to join Daniel for any part of his Mountain to Sea Trail adventure, you can reach him at or on Twitter at @dalexander_1.
What do you get when you pursue adventure in your life with abandon to push to the edge of growth? Rob Angst knows….peace. This is such a cool conversation. Rob has through hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT), the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) and spent many other long days and weeks on adventure in other spaces around the world. His accomplishments are beyond impressive, but I think I learned more hearing about the one trail that he has not been able to conquer while pursuing the Triple Crown (AT, PCT, CDT), the Continental Divide Trail (CDT).
Rob has an ability to brutally assess what he wants and needs, both when he is ready to start a new adventure as well as when it is time to pull the plug. He has a high ability to constantly answer the question of ‘Why’. He has chased different adventures by being present in whatever space he’s in and experiencing life through all the senses. He has a constant pursuit to expand himself and stretch his preconceived limits.
This conversation challenged me in all the good ways. Rob is a bit more explicit with his words than my previous guests, so consider yourself warned, but I think it is completely fitting as he describes the rough edges of how life really works. It’s never pretty and it’s never clean but man, what a journey.
My guest today is Eric Clarke. Eric might be best known in business world as CEO at Orion Advisor Services. But Eric also embodies the idea of the Everyday Explorer as well! He is a man of many talents as you will find out, but exudes widsom and humility with each word. What became clear to me is that Eric is made for doing hard things. He has built a mantra around doing the ‘easy things’ first (like running the first 18 miles of a marathon) so that he can get to work on the ‘hard things’ (such as the final 8 miles). The hard things are where we learn most about ourselves. You will learn how he plans his adventures and expects the inevitable pain cave that comes when one reaches for the limits of what is possible.
There is much to this conversation, and even if you have known Eric for a while, there are still gold nuggets in this conversation to pull from his experiences. From the Grand Canyon to the Napali coast of Kauai to the Four Pass loop around the Maroon Bells in Colorado, Eric’s stories will hopefully inspire you to pursue your own great adventure!
Folks, this is a cool conversation. There is always something interesting to me about capturing wisdom and experiences from an elder. It seems to be missing in our suburban spread, face paced, instant gratification culture, but I think we all desire to hear it at some level. My conversation today with Connie Grant fits right into this. Now at 91 years old, Connie has some great stories about adventures she has pursued during her lifetime. From the Grand Canyon to the Tetons to Glacier National Park, she has a story.
But one of her best nuggets was that it is never too late to pursue a new adventure, no matter your age. She even discusses what are the next things for her as she continues to evolve and pursues new interests in her life. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Connie Grant.
What do you do when your favorite uncle dies suddenly and leaves you 3 different businesses to run? You move to the Caribbean, of course! Lynne Culbreth is my guest today, and she has a pretty cool story of how to follow serendipity in life to find the next adventure. I am not going to give up too much of the story, so you will just have to listen, but lets just say that the Covid time period had many different challenges for Lynne that she never could have planned for.
You will also find out that she runs a dive business, a retail shop and a small hotel as well! You are going to want to check out the Carib Inn here. The pictures are amazing, but perhaps it could be your next Caribbean destination. You can also find Lynne and the Carib Inn on Facebook and Instagram.
The On Adventure Podcast is about the Everyday Explorer and how she plans and pursues adventure in her life. The pursuit is never easy, but the valuable lessons from the journey are always priceless. And you don’t get them without the suffering. So how do we push through our perceived limits to get to the treasure? Well, mindset plays a key role.
The conversation today with Jenny Richardson is full of lessons from the suffering. Jenny is a mom to kids, a wife, a pastor, a friend to anyone who is in need…and oh yeah, she is an Ironwoman with multiple full distance Ironman triathlons under her belt. You will learn how she trains to get through the first half of the race, and then prays her way through the second half. You will also hear how she is relentless in breaking through the hurdles in her way, no matter if it is illness, time limitations or even being hit by a drunk driver.
So without further ado, enjoy the conversation with Jenny Richardson.
What do you do when reach to edge of your mental capacity? According to Steve Sanduski, you take one more step. And then you take one more step after that. Eventually, your body proves to your brain that there is more left in the tank in pursuit of the summit (literal or methaphorical).
Steve has been a very important mentor for me so I really hung on every word to hear what he learned from his experiences. Steve is an accomplished author, podcaster, entreprenuer and outdoorsman. He has accomplished much because of his ability to dream, plan, focus and execute on the things that are most important to him. You will learn at ton from listening to this conversation for your own journey, so pay attention.
The Everyday Explorer comes in all shapes, sizes, ages and background. JW Eades is one of those characters. Who would have thought that a boy from rural North Carolina would end up hiking Mount Kilimanjaro or become an expert skiier traversing some of the most extreme slopes in the United States? JW certainly did not. So how does a country boy turn himself in to an international man of mystery? By paying attention and saying an immediate Yes without fear to adventures as they presented themselves throughout his life.
At 80 years old, JW can now look back and philosophize on how and why he built these exploits in to his life experience. This conversation barely touches the tip of the iceberg with all of the things he has accomplished, but I especially loved his take aways about what he learned by touching different parts of the globe. Sit back and enjoy a conversation with The Most Interesting Man in the World.