How great are Dads? You know, those big dudes that you looked up to as indestructible towers for climbing all over when you were a bub. The guys that may have carried you out of the car when you fell asleep after a long drive and have a whole category of jokes named after their infamous gags. Yeah, they’re pretty great.
Dads are also quite possibly the fellas that introduced you to your first taste of adventure. You may even be able to trace that little adventure tingle you get up your spine to an adventure your Pa took you on all those years ago. Well, we thought, on today of all days, it’d only be fitting to tell a couple of stories about the big boys in our life who gave us a kick into the world of adventure.
It’s Just The Vibe Of The Thing – Pat Corden
When I was eight years old, our family was lucky enough to head off for 13 weeks on a doozy of a trip around Australia. We shot straight up through the Red Centre and then slipped down the East Coast. Along the way, I spent nights gazing up at the stars with Dad, played countless games of I Spy and probably turned a few of his hairs grey.
Since then, we’ve squeezed in a few more getaways around Aus and the trips have only become better as I’ve grown. I’ve loved having a yarn with Papa Cordz as an adult while cruising through remote Aussie landscapes.
But the thing is, it could have been anywhere from Tassie to Timbuktu and I really don’t think it would have mattered. It’s more about the idle hours trotting along dusty paths – where we could chat about anything and everything – that are the most special.
Like Father, Like Daughter – Kate Donald
My Dad has never been interested in cricket or golf. Those sports are too slow for him. He loves to get his heart racing. He fills his body with adrenaline on the weekends to last him through the working week.
On Friday nights he’d load up the car, five of us kids squeezed in together, and take us out of the city. Onto the rugged 4WD tracks, thrown from side to side, we’d squeal over every bump and dip, while my Mum sat calmly in the front seat, deep in a book.
As the months grew cold in the winter, the adventures never stopped. He loaded ski gear in between the kids before we headed to the mountains and hit the slopes. I remember sitting on the chairlift, watching my Dad carve a perfect line down the hill with the biggest smile on his face. ‘My Dad’s the fastest skier here!’ I boasted to my friends.
When the snow melted and summer came ‘round, we’d go sailing. He’d put on his adventure hat; a faded olive Akubra with a shabby feather hanging out the leather band. If that hat was on we knew we were in for an exciting weekend.
Once, he was teaching me how to sail and the hat was swept away in a gust of wind. Without missing a beat, he dropped the wheel down and swung the boat around. Not a thought about the rest of the family making lunch downstairs, he ignored the clatter and chaos below the deck. ‘Take the wheel Kate’ he gently instructed, unconcerned that we were travelling sideways. He casually leaned over the railing, picked up his hat, and plopped the sodden thing back on his head.
My Dad’s adventurous spirit is now ingrained in me. He’s the very reason for my passion for the outdoors. Whenever I start planning an absurd new hike, my parents are always the first to know. The response is almost always the same. My Mum sighs, ‘You really are your father’s daughter’, but behind her, I can see him smirking, with a twinkle of excitement in his eye, at the idea of a new adventure on the horizon.
Soaked To The Bone And Content To The Core – Isaac Probert
As the rain and the wind lashed the walls of Waterfall Valley Hut, we were all thinking the same thing; ‘It’s going to be a tough few days.’ But the next morning, Dad woke up, shouldered his pack and trudged out into the unknown with my brother and I, like it was nothing out of the ordinary.
Our first bushwalk together inspired a love of the outdoors in me that neither of us could have seen coming. Every time I head out into the wild, it’s because we didn’t dare to say what we were all thinking that first night, or consider turning back. We simply put one foot in front of the other all the way to Lake St Clair.
Nothing like a classic case of Type Two Fun to get you hooked on nature.
For The Future AdventureDadz™ Out There – Kel Sanson
My love for adventuring came from growing up on a farm with my little brother and the need to keep ourselves occupied. I always had plenty of bush around me – a creek or two and hills to run up and down. Dad was pretty busy though, so I can’t specifically remember adventuring with him.
However, his incredible work ethic meant that I had easy access to nature’s playground, and for that I will always be grateful. It’s this lack of memories of my Dad taking me on outdoor adventures, that has motivated me to take my girl on so many micro-adventures.
For a while, I lost my connection with the bush. It was only when going through a marriage separation two years ago that I rediscovered the magic of the mountains. Since then I have taken my little girl (now six years old) camping and climbing every chance I get.
I don’t know how much time I have on this earth, but I know that if she ever gets lost in this world, the mountains will be there for her. I want her to have those foundational memories of us adventuring together. Even if she forgets the magic that they hold for some years at a time, she’ll always be able to go back there to find herself and regain her perspective on life.
What’s Your AdventureDadz™ Story?
On a day like today, the only thing better than reading about AdventureDadz™ is walking straight up to your very own Adventure Dad and telling him how much your adventures together mean to you. If your Pa wasn’t the one to get you out in the wild, don’t fret, today anyone can be a part of the AdventureDadz™ Crew.
So whoever they are, give them a heartfelt squeeze and say thanks, because AdventureDadz™ are helpless to the powers of a big hug and a little appreciation.
Take ya old man, take ya Pop, take ya uncle, brother and son too