photo by Rick Reid via darlenepatterson.wordpress.com
Meet Darlene, schoolteacher by trade and expeditionist at heart.
photo by Darlene Patterson
I first met Darlene one year ago, when she presented her latest adventure (which we ended up sponsoring) to the New Castle Photography Club. That's me in the center back, with the blond hair and brown top. (I just realized I wore that very same blouse today...)
I was immediately fascinated by this modern-day woman adventurer and explorer. While the rest of us are planning relaxing beach vacations, she plans excursions where no one else would ever dream of going, and last year at this time she was planning her vacation...
You, like me, may wonder where in the world is Baffin Island. As you can see from the map, it's a large island in the northernmost part of Canada, on the Arctic Circle.
Not exactly a place I yearn to go, but it's EXACTLY the kind of place Darlene loves!
And she goes there BY HERSELF!
Darlene says she is married to the world's shyest man, and he's not into extreme adventures at all. She laughed that they do have a camper and occasionally she can talk him into a trip to McCormick's Creek State Park. But his lack of desire to do such daring travel doesn't faze Darlene in the least, and if she can't get someone to go with her (not many are quite so wildly adventurous!) she just goes by herself.
This week I was privileged to see Darlene again and hear first-hand about her amazing and often harrowing experiences on Baffin Island. She was the recipient of a Lilly grant to help with an art workshop for native children there, but after the workshop was over she headed out on a solo backpacking excursion that ended up being more of an adventure than even she bargained for and she was lucky to make it out alive.
photo from google.com
And then, as if that wasn't enough, she did a canoe trip with a family of four Australians that she'd never met. We are talking DESOLATE land here, miles and miles and miles away from any hint of civilization. And even though she was definitely in their territory, thankfully she didn't meet up with any polar bears.
selfie photo by Darlene Patterson
She's an incredible woman, very inspiring and I love living her adventures vicariously through her animated tales and beautiful photos. I have an adventurous side myself and there's a small part of me that can see myself doing such trips in my younger days, but mostly I love listening to her and dreaming of faraway wilderness places that few have ever laid eyes upon.
Brave adventurer, wild-woman explorer, living life fearlessly and with gusto, Darlene is an incredible lady and a real-life...
(You can read about Darlene's Baffin Island adventures on her blog, www.darlenepatterson.wordpress.com. And if you're really intrigued, you can join her on a photographic paddling wilderness adventure in June...sounds like fun....maybe.....better yet, I'll just stay in my cozy cabin and read her blog....)