Intelligent Adventurers

Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002) A Norwegian with a background in zoology and geography. He created an experiment that came to be known as "Kon-Tiki." He and five others went to Peru where they built a raft of native balsa wood and other materials. Designing it to be like the Inca rafts drawn by the Spanish explorers, he sought to find out just how far people could travel in these rafts. He traveled almost 5000 miles before the raft crashed onto a reef. He showed that it was easy for mainlands heading west to take to the currents and travel far.

Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997)Described as a French naval officer, explorer, ecologist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. He was co-creator of the aqua lung. Many of us middle-agers remember his fantastic specials on TV that showed his exploration of the ocean and preservation of sea life.

Sir Edmond Hillary (1919-2008)A New Zealand mountaineer, philanthropist and explorer. Talk about the "most interesting man in the world." He went on expeditions around the world from the North Pole to Mt. Everest. He even worked to get hospitals and health care to the Sherpas of Nepal.

Lewis & Clark (expedition 1804-1806) They set out to really see what the country had to offer in the way of plants, waterways, and usable resources. Their journals as they headed west by the northern route were filled with descriptions of the natural surroundings and resources and the Indian cultures they encountered.

Eric the Red (950-1003) This adventurer founded Greenland. He also had a son named Leif Erickson who was the famous Iceland explorer. The rascal used the name "Greenland" to entice those in Iceland to want to go and settle in the new land. Settlers ended up not faring well there because of the climate extremes, but that this adventurer found a new land and was determined to settle it, is a testimony to his tenacity.