Saturday, April 25, 2009

An exceptional read...

Climbing and film were always the things my life revolved around. Film from the first time I went and saw a film and climbing the moment we visited Yosemite when I was a kid and I looked up at Half Dome and wanted to be on it.

Film (at best) was/is a part time job and the marriage of climbing/film meant that between film jobs I could climb a mountain in Pakistan, Alaska, Patagonia or wherever the need took me. Something of a match made in heaven!

The need was always there and in fact still cries out to be fed... Sailing is just a natural progression and a natural part of the mix.

One of the great things about the climbing lifestyle was that there were so many exceptional people involved. Guys who made sleeping bags and other mountain gear would converse on art, books and film on a higher level than was often found on college campuses... We all loved to read as I recall and hardly the thing of jock talk that outsiders expected.

Mountain Gazette magazine was the standard to Mountain writing and is still the yardstick all aspire to and never quite meet. Those were great days and Dick Dorworth was very much in the eye of the storm.

One issue, Mountain Gazette did a single story by Dick Dorworth and that story "Night Driving" took up the entire magazine! Which in itself was somewhat earth shattering... Can you imagine "Cruising World" deciding they had a story that was so good they would throw out all other content for an issue and just have one story? Brave and crazy stuff...

Dorworth had always been one of the best writers in the genre but with "Night Driving" he pretty much found his voice and set the bar so high that I still don't think anyone has topped it. He certainly rocked my world and if he had not written the story I'd most likely not be living on a sailboat, built boats or made a lot of lifestyle choices that have me where I am today.

"Night Driving... Invention of the Wheel & Other Blues"
A lot of us have been waiting for this book for a long, long time.