Riding the Scalpel (Paperback)
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"Riding the Scalpel" is the incredible 20-year saga of a globe-trotting adventure traveler who rode for his life. Jim Doilney was a PhD in economics and university professor when he kicked academia away and moved to a small mountain town in Utah. Within a few years he had a successful resort business and made a promise to himself to make time every year for long treks "…to places nobody goes, to meet people nobody knows."
Traveling by foot or by bike, he crossed faraway deserts, climbed mountain peaks, hiked through tropical jungles and over glacier passes. His plan was "no plan" and he deliberately set out with minimal equipment and comforts, testing himself against deprivation and physical limits.
He skied down active volcanos, waded through crocodile-infested rivers, dodged angry grizzlies and great white sharks, spending hours in the company of unique characters--- still-truckin' hippies, burned-out surfers, laid-back expats, remote farmers, cocaine cowboys, backwater entrepreneurs, and a host of fellow travelers who shared the road.
His journeys took him from the top of Alaska to the bottom of South America, through the wilderness of Denali and frozen fjords of Glacier Bay, along the remote Oregon coast, down the beaches of the Mexican coast, across the Panama Canal, over the Andes and down into Patagonia.
He finished the "toughest bike race in the world"---Canada's famed Trans Rockies---and walked the 500 miles across northern Spain for the way of the thousand-year-old Camino de Santiago.
He hiked the ancient Annapurna circuit in the shadow of the Himalayas and climbed the peak where Spanish conquistadors once stood to see both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He biked across the South Island of New Zealand and down the east coast of Australia. He dove with sharks in Africa and survived a rogue wave in Mau---and then tragedy struck.
At the peak of his travels, he faced a fatal diagnosis of prostate cancer. Weighing the only treatments offered---radical surgery, chemo, or radiation, along with the brutal life-changing after-effects---he rejected them all. '"Butcher me, bake me or burn me," he called them, and vowed to find the alternate path.
For decades, in between treks, he haunted the offices of doctors and the halls of the American medical establishment, astounded that no one had better answers for a cancer that maimed and killed hundreds of thousands of otherwise healthy men. Most surprising of all, he uncovered published studies that showed those same tortuous treatments offered no longer than simply doing nothing. But doctors seldom discussed it.
Eventually, through twenty years of searching and traveling, he found what he was looking for. He has lived to write this journal. Not just to relate his adventures, but to tell the thousands of aging men who every year face death from prostate cancer, "There is another way."
About the Author
For over 40 years, Jim Doilney has been crossing the globe on foot or on his bike, traveling to places nobody goes, meeting people nobody knows. His travel mantra is "minimal plan, minimal gear equals maximum surprise and maximum experience." A PhD in Economics, former university professor, successful retailer , homebuilder and city councilman , he lives, plays and works in Park City , Utah. He wrote these stories of his off-path journeys to complement the one continuing story he tells here---his quest to conquer prostate cancer. Using the same techniques of exploring off-path, he worked with a far-flung team team of doctors to find solutions not found in most medical journals and best practices. All the years he battled his cancer, he defiantly continued to travel to distant places. Today, at age 74, he is one of the fittest seniors you will meet. Still wandering across deserts and mountains, and still on a mission to change the way thousands of men can better face and manage the odds of a terrifying cancer and the destructive treatments they are typically offered.
Jim once built a million-dollar sun calendar in his town plaza, because no one had built one for centuries, and no one thought he could . You can see it today in Park City. And if you hike the trails or ski the mountains of Park City, you will still see Jim. Rick and Jim have been great friends since their college days as summertime cooks in a beach town. Rick is a former journalist, political consultant and White House speechwriter, but spent most of his career creating award-winning ad campaigns to underwrite his passion for playing polo all over the world. After years of living in Washington, New York and Miami, he resides today with his artist wife at their bed & breakfast on the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, NC.