Paying Forward and Giving Back


The initiative to enjoy the magic of mountains is a gift to yourself.



Mountains are like great friends.  They are always there when you need them.  The relationship with nature continues to be a very important part of any life as well as a very powerful and personal growth experience.


Paying Forward - Natural Wonders - Personal Growth An Alberta, Canada Sunrise.


Within the journey, there are many people who work very hard to promote and protect the natural environment.  It is a matter of balance.


Paying Forward - Natural Wonders - Personal Growth Snow Sculptures at Elephant Rocks near Chester Lake in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada


There is a poignant website, anonymously authored by DSD, called Summit Stones and Adventure Musings DSD's roots seem firmly anchored with Outward Bound, an organization making positive changes to thousands of lives by challenging the enormity and power of nature.


Paying Forward - Natural Wonders - Personal Growth Lower Falls in Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada


On her blog, DSD has developed an extensive list of websites beneath the heading 'Giving Back and Passing Forward'.  Each of the links in her list is worthy of investigation.  Some are well-established organizations like World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) , and World Wildlife Fund - Canada.  Many share experiences which lend credence to the balance required to ensure all interests are serviced for universal future benefit.  This benefit is a difficult, but essential balance, never perfect and seldom agreed upon.

Others like myself, share experiences that may convince someone else to seize the opportunity and discover the benefits of communing with nature.


Paying Forward - Natural Wonders - Personal Growth Behind Troll Falls in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada


Some sites combine a great passion for the wilderness with initiatives to raise funding for victims of major illness like MS and Cancer.  There are support sites to promote and improve quality of life for seniors.


Paying Forward - Natural Wonders - Personal Growth Reflections on Herbert Lake along the Icefield Parkway in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada


Each year, DSD sends me a supply of Summit Stones, (artistically painted pebbles), packaged with a small booklet of philosophical observations entitled 'An Adventure Muse'

Many of us are messengers.  We wander in the wilderness.  Periodically, we place one of these 'Summit Stones and Adventure Musings' packets in a location of great beauty, possibly of historical significance or intrigue, so others following can discover and potentially benefit from the anonymous gift.


Paying Forward - Natural Wonders - Personal Growth Upper Antelope Slot Canyon near Page, Arizona, USA


The initiative is a collective gesture to promote passion for the wilderness, and to combine effort and initiative with potential benefit to nature and people.


Paying Forward - Natural Wonders - Personal Growth Developing sunset looking south from the Smith-Dorrien Trail in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.


The past few years have been economically challenging for many fund-raising organizations.  They need continuing support for their valuable contribution.


Paying Forward - Natural Wonders - Personal Growth Reflections along the Bow River beneath Sulphur Mountain on the hike to Sundance Canyon in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada


Please consider and exercise your ability to participate in any way possible.


Paying Forward - Natural Wonders - Personal Growth The final approach to the French Glacier in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada


Over many decades, I have experienced, and learned from, the wilderness.  My personal commitment is to leave no trace.  I share my experiences to educate and to encourage others to consider giving it a try. 

Even though my contribution is humble, it gives me personal satisfaction to know years of gaining expertise and knowledge are exercised responsibly and passed on to others.


Paying Forward - Natural Wonders - Personal Growth An algae bloom in peaceful Mount Lorette Ponds, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada


Please take a few minutes to discover the efforts by individuals and groups to raise awareness and funding which will support valuable contributions to people and the planet.  Perhaps it will change your life for the better too.

Perhaps, a good life may be partially created or enhanced by the deliberate accumulation of more good memories than coincidental bad ones, or things.








Right back atcha, Rick. A summit stone was left today at the lookout of the Canadian Mount Everest Expedition Trail... in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada...between Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes.

Well said, Barry. Thanks.

Thank you, Charlie. I believe you will find the content as interesting as I do.

Nice post Barry :) I will check out all the blogs and info you posted. Charlie

It is my honour to participate. I shall distribute your Summit Stones over the hiking season. Certainly there will be a couple along the Alderson-Carthew Trail in Waterton Lakes National Park and, just recently, a possibility has arisen of placing a Summit Stone or two on the spectacular and historically rich east coast of Canada in the fall.

Thank you, Helen. The response has been excellent. I believe it will help to raise awareness for many groups working hard to find balance and improve the situation for everyone over the long term.

My sincere appreciation again Barry, for your thoughtful insights and especially your comments of support for all those who 'Adventure For Another Reason'... D

A wonderful post with spectacular photos and amazing photos. Sincerely hope numerous read it!

Thanks, Leigh. Appreciate your support. There is a lot of good work being done here.

What a lovely post and I will follow up with your suggestions.