Adventurous Living from the Safety of My Recliner

Dee in the Jungle

What is it with my fascination with adrenaline-charged shows like “Ice Road Truckers” or “Deadliest Catch?” Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a good adventure as long as it does NOT involve any physical discomfort, danger to my person, creepy-crawly bugs, or things illegal. That rules out a lot of stuff. So while I won’t bat an eye when it comes to going onstage to talk before hundreds of people, you’ll find me running the other way if someone suggests going camping unless it involves a motor home and lots of bug spray. I like my creature comforts.

That’s why I can’t understand why I find it so fascinating to watch people who have got to be nuts willingly go out on a rusty tin can on a stormy sea to work long hours on a pitching deck that would just as soon toss them overboard as bring them back to Dutch Harbor.  But doggone it, it is TV that you just can’t tear yourself away from.  I even watch “After the Catch” where the skippers sit around a table and discuss the different episodes over beer and seafood.  You know, I don’t even LIKE seafood unless it is in the form of a fish stick and not in any way recognizable as the original food source.  Yet, I just love watching these guys battle the elements every week.

Dee Peaks through Foliage

Then there is the current season of “Ice Road Truckers.” Wow, this season the Polar Bear and Alex (the guy has to have the best laugh EVER) are in Alaska driving roads on the North Slope. These aren’t your normal ice roads, dangerous but generally flat. These are heart-stopping roads hugging the sides of cliffs and then rollercoastering up and down through passes. Icy conditions are a real threat, as are sudden nordic storms with white-outs. Ugh! My husband is getting used to me gasping every few minutes as I lean to the side to help the drivers gain precious inches as they try to edge their wide loads around oncoming rigs. He has stopped flinching when I yell out “Downshift, you idiot” when Hugh takes a corner too fast and starts down a hill, threatening to rear-end the truck in front of him. I’m telling you, Season One and Two were nowhere near as stressful as this season’s episodes. I can’t flip the channel, though. I’m glued to the road.

Dee Behind Bush

Dadgum! Just when I thought it was safe to get out of my recliner, I’ve discovered a new adventure show to watch.   “Expedition Africa” is a rip-roaring, punishing trek from Zanzibar through Tanzania, using just a compass and simple maps along the route that Stanley covered when he went in search of Dr. Livingstone.  The team features a survivalist, a navigator, a journalist, and a wildlife expert plus numerous locals who serve as porters and guides.  Just last night, they encountered torrential downpours, malaria, food poisoning from hairy grubs,  a young green mamba that can kill you in less than a half hour, and baobab trees that could be several thousand years old, perhaps seen by Stanley, himself.  This is good stuff and I get to see it in hi-def, without worrying about hypothermia or getting eaten by a lion.   Now if I can just remember to remind myself that I am NOT actually participating in the adventure, I know that my hubby will be relieved.   He’s already considering banning all spears and machetes from the TV room.

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