All content copyright Dave Chenault, 2006 to present. If you’re interested in non-commercial private use of anything here, please go ahead, just give me due credit. For anything else, please email.
Bedrock & Paradox began in December of 2006 as a personal chronicle of my journey into the world of ultraendurance mountain biking. Since then it has followed me north to Montana, and grown into an award winning website that is one of the leading voices for lightweight backcountry travel, and the culture and political issues which underlie that pursuit.
I founded the Bob Marshall Wilderness Open, and wrote the first guidebook to packrafting in the Bob Marshall and Glacier National Park. I’ve completed a number of traverses across the largest stretches of wilderness in the lower 48, and twice participated in the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic. I’ve worked with Revelate Designs, Gossamer Gear, Seek Outside, and other companies to make their gear better. But my fondest accomplishments outside have always been finding unique routes through a given landscape, ones that best allow me to see what is to be seen, routes that make 3 days feel like 10. In recent years I’ve found backcountry big game hunting by fair means, using strict fair chase standards and only human power, can provide me with yet another perspective on the woods and, therefore, myself.
I was trained in continental philosophy by one of world’s leading Friedrich Nietzsche scholars, and believe that Edward Abbey’s work (Solitaire being the most singular example) has flown under the radar as one of the best extent answers to Nietsche’s problem of nihilism. Nietzsche says that the dominant western ethics and epistemology (best embodied by institutional Christianity) of the last millenia have been iatrogenic, that is, they’ve made worse the problems they were meant to cure. If that foundation is destroyed, as it must be, what system of meaning will take its place? In a world increasingly in touch with the pernicious impacts of power, what should system now mean for us?
Like it or not, these questions defined the 20th century, and is continuing to define the 21st.
I think the answer lies in redefining how human subjectivity is thought of in its relation to the natural world. Rather than attempt a definitive answer which would fall into the Cartesian trap which Nietzsche helped destroy, I try to answer this question by building on Abbey’s work here.
Thanks for reading.