No turning back…

There are a couple of types of exhaustion; one from simply being tired, the other because you’ve burned the candle at both ends the over-activity spectrum. The latter variety has more appeal to me.


May 19, 2014

Ellen/Reid: There’s no turning back on the kayak now; I dropped $550 at REI for a roof rack and other gear. Now it’s on to the kayak itself (Ocean Kayak Trident 13 Angler Package). The plan is to order it today from Austin Kayaks. I’ve got to rig some sort of pulley system in the garage to suspend it from the ceiling. But I’m excited about the prospect of going after fish although there’s a ton to learn about rigging rods, what to take on board, water safety, etc. Reid, that photo of the giant redfish was from the pier adjacent to where we stayed in Oak Island, so we know the fish are there. Now it’s just going after them. I don’t think I’ll be in open water very much; mostly the inter-coastal waterway and other reedy areas until I find my sea legs, so to speak.

Kayak ordered. Check. Roof rack installed. Check. Next stop: Oak Island, North Carolina.

Kayak ordered. Check. Roof rack installed. Check. Next stop: Oak Island, North Carolina.

Ellen, tell Tim I’m sorry to renege on the Gregory pack. I was all set to ship it with your iPhone stuff but at the last second wondered if John would go to the Bridger next summer. If so, that pack would be helpful for him since I’ve got the new Osprey sitting on the first floor. All this year’s Bridger gear is laid out on the carpet. I ordered a new stove from Anti-Gravity Gear that is fueled by denatured alcohol. It means for the first time in nearly 45 years, I won’t take an MSR stove along on a trip. That is a huge deal for me. That saves about 6 pounds of fuel since only 10 oz. of denatured alcohol is needed. Tom and I had breakfast on Saturday, and he’s just a whiz at this stuff. He has us going against the typical flow of hikers once we get to the Cirque of the Towers. That means we’ll see fewer people and we’ll have a better choice of campsites. We’ll be above timberline a lot of the time.

The notion of other non-Ellen/Reid/Emma travel is wearing on me. I’ve come to the conclusion that all the near-constant travel when you guys were peanuts has just made the idea of non-pleasure travel repulsive. I just don’t want to do it anymore. The one argument against that is the proposed ‘Touch ‘Em All Tour’ on the Heritage Softail once I pull the plug on work. That doesn’t really count as travel though. The idea of getting on a plane to travel for travel’s sake just nauseates me.

My next door neighbor is single handedly trying to elevate housing prices in our neighborhood. He listing is condo (about 500 sq. ft. larger than mine) for at least $75,000 – $100,000 over the going price for units. I hope to hell he gets it. That would make me feel much better about the prospects to see mine. I’m not altogether sure what was behind his thinking, but all it takes is one buyer – sucker? – to bite. Then that rising tide will perhaps raise all ships. My neighborhood would seem highly desirable given the growth in the Charlotte area.

I was out on my walk about 6:15 Saturday morning when there was an awful commotion in the tree canopy not long after I left the house. Any bird that could squawk was making a hell of a racket. They were sounding the alarm – a predator (a cat I thought) – was nearby. But it didn’t turn out to be a feline; it was a very large owl I could see silhouetted against the early morning sky. Its prize was safely in its talons as it moved from one branch to another. I left but the birds kept up the din.

The best part of the weekend, though, was giving a go-cup of fresh, strong coffee to Ruby, a black woman who delivers the paper. She pulled up right when I left the house for my walk. The dear woman can hardly hobble to my door. So I told her to sit tight as I raced back in for the reusable Starbucks cup. It made her day since she buys coffee at some cheesy convenience store. But she’ll never know how happy that single act of kindness made me.

Love, Dad


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