Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, every Saturday ABC showed the Wide World of Sports. The iconic beginning of this show declared that sports show the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. They called it the human drama of human competition.

The same can be said about adventure travel. Hiking, canoeing, white-water rafting, and skiing to name just a few, take us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes we see amazing sights we never would have dreamed of seeing like whirling around a hill on a Minnesota cross-country ski trail to find a bull moose right in the middle of the trail. We might find ourselves in a Thai jungle and hear an Asian wild elephant crashing up the trail.

These are stories to cherish for the rest of your life and to bore grandchildren with. Sometimes, however, being in this position does not always lead to that once in a life time experience, or if it does it may not be the most pleasant memory.

Vermillion River

Vermillion River in Illinois, site of one of my not finest hour moments

I call these not your finest hour moments. Examples from my life include dumping three times while canoeing on the Middlefork of the Vermillion River in Illinois on a cold spring day. Another time was getting sick in the Everglades and hurling over the gunnel of the canoe oblivious that my head was hovering inches from the water where any alligator could have been lurking.

Florida Everglades

Not soon after this picture was taken, I threw up

Skiing is especially good at providing not only the agony of defeat, but also those not your finest hour moments. Recently, on a cross-country skiing trip I passed a dude who was going just slightly slower than me. I switched ski lanes and took off. When I felt I was ahead of him enough to get into the right lane, I hopped back into the correct lane. I did not want the skier to have to slow down to accommodate my passing, so as soon as I got into the right lane I went into afterburner mode. Only problem was one of my poles landed directly on my ski, and I fell face first into the snow in front of me and in front of the guy I just passed.

Wisconsin cross-country skiing

South Kettle Moraine Wisconsin – scene of a few not my finest hour moments

Just this past year, I picked up downhill skiing for the first time in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains outside of Salt Lake City. I picked it up fairly quickly although I took one mighty crash losing one ski and my poles. I later learned the ski term for this maneuver is called a yard sale.

Salt Lake City downhill skiing

I am smiling here because my equipment is in the right place instead of strewn down the mountain

This past weekend I visited Sunburst Ski Area in Wisconsin. Without natural snow the snow was a little icy. On one turn I overcompensated and dug into the snow too much and not only slowed down, but I did a 180 degree turn and my ski fell off. This was on a moderate run in Wisconsin. Then I could not put my ski back on. All these skiers came around the corner to find me in the middle of the run idiotically trying to put my ski back on. It was not my finest hour, and worst of all it is all on video.

Adventure travel not only builds confidence, but it teaches humility. Tell me, what is a not your finest hour moment you have had while traveling? Please share in the comment box.

Stay tuned,


The goal of Traveling Ted TV is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).