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Random thoughts

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Banff Mountain Film Festival

Friday, Marc and I went to the first night of the Banff Mountain Film Festival 2005. It felt a little bit like being at the climbing gym because when we got there, we saw most of the climbers that we knew. We actually all sat together and took up about three full rows total. It sort of reminded me of college too, when we used to go in big groups to watch movies at the theatre.

The films they showed were amazing - ice climbing, extreme skiing/snowboarding, a disabled person getting back on the rocks (I was cringing the whole time because he had lost his arms and they showed him trying to climb with the stumps that were left), base jumping, bike stunts (which I didn't really care for), even a funny little cartoon that left us all laughing out loud, and best of all, a film about adventurer Jon Muir's 128-day hike across Australia.

That last one stood out among the other films because the audience could follow the emotional and mental progression as well as the progression of his hike, and Jon Muir had the most wonderful insights while he was traveling Australia on foot. I suppose subjecting yourself to that kind of hardship will give you a better appreciation of the life that you're coming back to once it's already over. Jon Muir certainly gave light to all the things that we take for granted.
During the 128 days he spent crossing the Australian continent in 2001, Jon Muir lived on small amounts of rice, flour, muesli, supplemented by whatever he could shoot, catch, or forage. Along the 2500-kilometre walk, he ate termites, bull rush greens, wild duck, dried lizard, a piece of a dead cow at an indeterminate stage of decomposition ("a bit smelly, but I'll give it a go"), spit-roasted snake, and about 50 types of native bush fruits and vegetables, and drank water collected from a camel's footprint.

Amazing, isn't it?

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