Kurt Bell

A life of courage, joy and independence.

The John McCain hike – Going Alone

There was a storm raging all about me during this hike. You can't see it for the clear, clean atmosphere, the dead air, and the deceptive desert silence. Yet you can see it in my beet-red face. You can detect real and rising anxiety in my fast words, and sense my growing delirium in the odd topics of conversation, and the distracted nature of my discourse. While making this video I'd been exposed in the open sun in temperatures of 110-degree Fahrenheit (43 C.) for over two hours, and the heat stress was really beginning to take its toll. I remember thinking, while I walked to hide under the Route 66 bridge, how I was perhaps getting near to someplace bad with regard to my bodily condition. Getting close to someplace I shouldn't want to go. Yet curiosity urged me to continue just a little further when I soon left the shelter of the bridge. To inch just a bit nearer the edge of heat stroke and the one-way vista beyond. There's something deeply satisfying about tempting danger in this way. I suspect it's the same feeling others get when they drive very fast, or swim with sharks, or climb without ropes. A deep invigoration and appreciation of life which comes of every near miss of life's final and utterly conclusive end.

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