James Dziezynski

of Mountainous Words

James Dziezynski is a best-selling author and writer based in Boulder, Colorado. You can follow his blog at www.mountainouswords.com/mountain-air and via social media at Facebook www.facebook.com/jamesdziezynski and Twitter @James_DZ.

See guided adventure trips from National Geographic Adventures. From the cockpit of my expedition kayak, I watch in awe as the stadium-sized iceberg 500 feet away starts to roll over. The Arctic air is dead silent as the immaculately polished white ice tilts in slow motion into the inky black sea. Hundreds of feet away…

The snarling, fierce gazes of mighty beasts illuminated by my headlamp light send a momentary jolt of adrenaline through my sleep-deprived body. Upon further inspection, the fearsome pair is revealed to be stone shisa statues, mythical dog-lion creatures that act as guardians from evil spirits. Here they sit, perched beneath the final tori gate high…