Author Jon Turk has embarked on some incredible adventures. He kayaked around Cape Horn, across the North Pacific from Japan to Alaska, and around Ellesmere Island. He’s also made numerous first ski descents and first rock climbing ascents around the globe. And he’s written several bestselling books on his journeys. However, Jon doesn’t write like the typical outdoor adventure seeker. He doesn’t dwell on the difficulties and distances. He’s more of a mystic poet that speaks more on the deep meaning behind the trek than the trials and tribulations that happened along the way. I really appreciate that.
I recently interviewed Jon on my KC Happy Camper YouTube channel’s Whisky Fireside Chat. He has a new book out: Tracking Lions, Myth, and Wilderness in Samburu. It’s a fascinating read, full of insight into the vital connection between human beings and the natural world.
To quote him…
“My current work focuses on honouring the power of Nature as a means of achieving Presence within the modern opulent, scientific, corporate, and uber-political 21st century. I rely heavily on the teachings of indigenous peoples who lived sustainably on this planet for millennia.”
The story reads like a high-adventure narrative and is based on his time spent helping to track a lion with a Samburu headman and then, later, eluding human assailants who may be tracking him. Jon reveals the best and worst of the human species. He writes of how our stone age ancestors did not survive and progress due to tools and armaments but though the development and the wonder of art, cooperation, storytelling and ceremony. However, these attributes have now been “hijacked and distorted within this modern, internet-crazed, consumer-oriented, oil-soaked world.”
Jon is an articulate, unique and creative writer who continues to ask us to review and contemplate our profound human past in an attempt to understand our connection to the natural world. Quite simply, he’s questioning that if humans are such an amazing progressive species, then why are we destroying the planet we live on?
Check out the Jon Turk interview below: