It’s almost time. In fact, it’s almost time twice.
Almost time #1: Until Saturday, and in true guy fashion, the lower living room was strewn with every imaginable do-dad and gizmo for the trip to Wyoming; a new (and lighter) tent and new (and lighter) sleeping bag,
minimal clothing, food, fuel and MSR stove and cookpots, collapsible plate and coffee cup, mosquito net, maps, boots, Tevas, and a few other sundry, lightweight items. We shove off for Jackson, WY on Friday, July 20.
Almost time #2: Felicia and I head northwest to Minnesota to check in on Emma’s progress at 2+ months and see her folks. She’s rapidly asserting her personality and no doubt she’ll find her grandpa all too pliable in her tiny hands.
This grandpa thing is still all too new and I’m not sure how to grandparent from afar. Perhaps this week’s junket will help me figure it out.
Here is last week’s letter. Reid is still in the U.K., so his copy went electronic late in the week.
July 2, 2012
Ellen/Reid: We’ve been hammered by 100F+ heat the past few days. Reminds you of what summer is really like in the Carolinas which is code for ‘not very enjoyable’. The humidity is off the charts, too. It’s just less than hospitable for humans. My golf group slogged through a round on Saturday with people dropping like flies all over the place. We had poor one guy taken off by ambulance for heat stroke. The cart girl came up to us and asked if we knew this guy named Bill, because he needed help and was passed out on the next tee box. He had crashed his cart and stumbled to the grass. By the time we got there, the course superintendent had called 911 and help was on the way. Not a very pretty sight. It’s all about continued hydration. I consumed nothing but water and got through in good shape.
Felicia’s daughter Suefan got in Saturday. She’s a good kid and is about your age, Ellen. She lives in Baltimore but she and her boyfriend, Ben, are moving back to Charlotte, hence her trip to look at something to rent. We went to a sushi place Saturday night where, for the first time ever, I knowingly ate some tofu. It wasn’t as bad as I assumed it to be. It’s like a bean curd thing. If you doctor it up (ours was fried) it is palatable. The raw octopus was really good and so was the eel. I would never seek out eel at the market let alone fish for them, but in a sushi place after a couple of cold ones and enough wasabi, and it’s not half bad.
Reid, I’ve been wondering how London is going. What a time to be there: Wimbledon, Olympics, etc. That is fortuitous in that regard. There’s no way to get over there in time to see you, what with vacation semi-maxxed out and ticket prices being what they are in an Olympic year. But there’s always Chicago when you return. I tried to get Google Plus up and working but it was nothing short of a disaster on my iPhone. I created the wrong email, couldn’t get the account deleted, etc. So it’s still not working like it should. And Ellen, someone told me you can’t do FaceTime from an iPhone to an iPad. You both have to have to have the same device. But to confirm that, I will go over to the Apple store tonight to hear that factoid straight from the horse’s mouth.
My trip to California was okay. Incredible weather and the meetings were fine. It’s just the return trip that set me back. To save the bank a few hundred bucks, I took the red-eye back on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, and there is a reason those flights are mostly for younger people. I hardly slept for lack of a comfortable position. Left L.A. at midnight and got home about 10:30 a.m. Was just fried the rest of the day. Totally gassed, and that lingered into Friday. No way will that ever be done again. Traveling just isn’t as much fun as it used to be.
Enjoyed real, honest-to-goodness BLTs the past couple of days. The little patio tomato plant on the front stoop has come through like a champ. Its producing tennis ball sized fruit, and they’ve been mighty tasty. There was an article in the paper about how taste has been bred out of store-bought plants (in the zeal to have eye-appealing red fruit with a long shelf life, most of the tasty sugars have been cut out by the plant chemists). The commercial varieties are red, sure enough, but with the flavor and texture of cardboard. It’ll be fun to see how Emma’s little garden is progressing, Ellen. Can’t wait to get up there to see the little wonder (and you and Tim, too).
The Bridger group came over Friday night. We didn’t plan much, just hung around and ate burgers and gabbed. All my gear is laying out in the front room. Trying to figure out how to take the pack as carry-on luggage since I’ve got two stops with a short layover between each. Don’t want to risk the darn thing being lost. In three weeks we’re on the trail, whether we’re ready or not.