About the Hot Mess Adventure Blog

Hello! My main interests are exploring, adventure / travel writing, and photography. I’m particularly interested in the outdoors, adventure history/literature, out-of-the-way spots, and recreation, including paddling, biking, skiing, and hiking–or, as my buddy calls it, oddly-purposeful walking.

Over the years, and in somewhat random order, I’ve become a raft guide, a wilderness backpacking guide, a river researcher, a whitewater kayaker, a college teacher, a mountain biker, a writer, a pretty bad skier, a photographer, a shaky-legged paddleboarder, an editor, a shaky-legged packrafter–I’m currently interviewing several other sports for future amateurish consideration.

Originally from California, I left in my early 20s when organic quinoa started costing $8.75 a pound and I didn’t know what organic quinoa was and didn’t have the $8.75 to find out. Since then I’ve lived in Missouri, the Southeast, and spent a lot of time in Germany with my wife, visiting her home village. I have always tried to stay one step ahead of organic quinoa, but every time it has found me–I may be trapped in a strange grain-based witness protection program. Currently, I split time between the east coast and mountain west, commuting across roughly the 38th parallel, working along the way, and trying to track down my gear in various storage spaces of friends and family.

I titled this blog Hot Mess Adventure because I think that stuff like adventure, travel writing, and photography often comes out looking pretty slick–but that’s just the final product. (And it’s often necessary to pay the bills.) But anyone who goes on adventures knows that in reality it’s usually a hot mess out there.

During my adventures, I have seen and done a lot of dumb stuff. I seem to have an uncanny ability to fall, trip, or crash my bike onto my camera. I become unusually defiant when maps try to tell me which way to go. I must enjoy personal injury because I go to great lengths to pursue this pain. I’m not sure, but I believe I onetime sent a grandmother down a dangerous mountain bike trail because I misunderstood her question. I have watched my kayak take off down the river without me–and had to swim after it–while all was captured by my camera. I’m particularly fond of running out of drinking water in the desert. And that’s just recently.

On this blog, one goal is to share the behind-the-scenes hot mess reality of adventuring, writing, and photography. I will also be re-posting relevant pieces I publish elsewhere. Confessions about mistakes made, the many lessons learned in the field, and all the wacky stories that follow being a hot mess of an adventure writer.

About Mike Bezemek

I’m a writer and photographer of four books, several blogs, and many articles for a variety of publications. As a contributing editor for Canoe & Kayak, I write the series Weekend Expeditions and other articles. I write biking and bike-packing articles about being a roving rider for publications like Adventure Cyclist. My two guidebooks are Paddling the Ozarks and Padding the John Wesley Powell Route, a narrated guide to the dramatic (and kind of slapstick) story of the 1869 expedition combined with landscape photos and practical info for exploring the route yourself. (Excerpt here!)

Other publications include Adventure Journal, Duct Tape Diaries, Rafting Magazine, Red Bulletin, Paddling Magazine, and others. I write a satirical review column about so-called shitty beer, Like Sex in a Canoe, cause someone’s gotta do it. And my humorous literature companion book series, Twit Lit Classics, retells works of classic lit in tweets for a 21st-century audience. The first two books, #Moby-Dick and #Frankenstein, are now available from Skyhorse Publishing.