Archive for the adventure Category

Feral Futures pt 2

Posted in activism, adventure, band, colorado, earth, ecology, hiking, travel with tags , , , , , , , on June 19, 2012 by tymora42

The Wild Roots blog had great information about itself and the Feral Futures campout. The directions were detailed with numbers rather than names, though. Being a literary person I like words. Being a logical person I can follow numbers. FYI: 602 is not on Google Maps nor the Latitude 40 topos. It is, however, on a small rectangular wood sign once you make the turn off 501. How’s that for numbers.

Once you get to Pine River Campground they have another sign provided by Wild Roots in a car window detailing trail directions to the main camp. If I didn’t see him on the way out I would assume that Tom was still there waiting for his deer cart to load equipment in for a water filtration exposition. The cart was about half a mile in, pushed off to the side, abandoned by the initial group struggling to get it up the rocky trail. I sent a bicyclist fisherman heading back with word of it’s situation for him. Poor Tom.

You will walk past 3 miles of barbed wire to the Weminuche Wilderness boundary. Main camp is about another mile and a half. They hung a green bandana from a tree, intuitively instructing those in the know their whereabouts. On my last pass someone constructed an arrow with rocks and an animal vertebrae.

I met the crew led by a guy named Nathan, who runs the Wild Roots blog. He said this was their fourth year doing this event. As it turned out I had met Nathan once before at a holy! holy! holy! show in Durango. He put me on the Rise Up email list under the name Dirty Hands. He claimed that holy! holy! holy! would probably play at their gathering on the solstice. “If you see a bus in the parking lot, they are here.” They put on a really great show. The Beehive Collective opened with a seminar on The True Cost of Coal. Then the lead singer gave a talk about activating against strip mining before taking the stage and convincing the audience to get naked. I like to walk by that building soon to be a parking lot and say, “I got naked there.” It is one of the few places in a Colorado city that I can say that compared to Houston.

I met other folks with names like Grasshopper and Kenney Eye and Juniper and Nettle. No Ben. Nobody knew the hitchhiker I picked up a day ago.

I ate lunch up the river and swam by myself. Coloradans don’t like to get wet. When I mentioned this to Nathan he said, “That’s not true. My friends and I live to go swimming.”

“Yeah,” I replied, “swimming isn’t the only way to get wet and it’s the only one Coloradians can think of offhand.” Texans in full business attire in the middle of the summer will thank you if you shoot them with a water gun. As Nathan finished filtering water into a large canteen, a girl pulled a bundle of plants she had soaking in the Pinos to the shore. I followed her out to a group that congregated to learn how to weave a net to catch fish. I wonder how well that worked. Grasshopper returned my map and we talked about Tuckerville, an old mining town turned ghost town up in the hills of Vallecito. I shook my hands, thanked them all by name and left.

Somewhere in the woods along the trail someone was playing guitar and a girl’s voice was singing. It was beautiful. Ten minutes up I saw Ben hiking in with a group of Australians freaked out by how many guns they saw openly displayed on the horseback trail. He told me that five minutes after I dropped him off he was picked up by a kayaker heading up to the lake. The kayaker bought him drinks all night at a local bar and offered to let him camp out in his back yard. Ben obliged and made a late start in the next day, the day I saw him. I told him I would try to make it in on the solstice for holy! holy! holy! After the show I would get people together for some night swimming in the buff. We will see. I have lots of work to do that day and it is a hike in.

Tom was waiting about thirty yards past the cart tha had moved maybe ten. It was repacked with medical supplies. He informed me that national parks at federal. Although they honor state laws concerning gun control they do not honor state laws concerning medical marijuana. I wished him and his glaucoma well on their way and made my own journey back to the car.

Feral Futures pt 1

Posted in activism, adventure, colorado, ecology, hiking, hitchhiking, travel with tags , , , , on June 18, 2012 by tymora42

I picked up a hitchhiker named Ben. I like picking up hitchhikers. I’ve been there. On the side of the road. Waiting. Walking. Taking rests. A break from the weary road. Running low on water. Hoping for someone. Anyone. Some kind soul to save you from the beauty of the road that has turned desolate. He was a “friendly.” I could tell from his labels. He had a nice pack that he was sitting on top of at the time of the extraction. That meant he actually walked most of the time. Unlike those yahoos with shit strewn about all over them. Or a duffle bag. Those guys aren’t adventurers. They aren’t ready for anything. They aren’t moving. They are just waiting to get to the next place. He wasn’t. He had a pack. The head of the pack had a hand drawn robot character. He wore a Phishing hat. I picked him up.

Ben told me he was heading for Vallecito Reservoir, a lake with three rivers flowing into it. From there he was heading up the Pinos to Pine River campground. He didn’t know all these names, of course. I knew them from the road and trail numbers he spouted off from a list. My brother and I tried to drop a canoe in from that campground, but there was no river access from it. Everything along the banks was privately owned by horse ranches, who probably strung up barbed wire over the stream even though all waterways in Colorado are public use. The nearest put in to run the Pinos is three miles up from the trailhead. This happened to be where Ben was going.

He was heading to an Eco Activist meet up for the next 10 days. “Like a Rainbow Gathering, if you know what that is.”

“Yeah, I was with the family at a National in Arizona a long time ago.”

“Cool, then, so, yeah, you know. This will be more like Regionals size-wise, but there should be people from all over. I’m coming from Texas.”

We talked about that for a minute. He had a bad time in Houston on that section of the trail and swore to never go back. By the end of the ride I learned enough about Feral Futures and Wild Roots to want to see what this camp out was all about. He invited me to join them when I could and ultimately admitted that I softened the whole Texas experience for him just a little.

The next day I scheduled my hike into the forest. I wanted to see where that trail went anyway.

The Scylla’s Blanket

Posted in adventure, books, fantasy, fiction, life, love, passage, poetry, relationships, story, travel, writing with tags , , , , , , on March 1, 2012 by tymora42

What a delightful day for a picnic!
The waves of Charbydis lapped against the beach
Helios had not yet set upon the Cliffside
And the song of Sirens played softly over the dune
Scylla laid in wait upon her blanket in the sand
for sailors, the most scrumptious of company,
To pass by her snare
She will reel them in like a fisherman
Entice them into her cavern with her sway
Posing all twelve of her long tall legs for the show and
Nibbling on appetizers of caviar and starfish

Fleets edge up to Beauty’s blanket
But only six men will be served
They would be wined and dined upon
A pound of meat; A bottle of red
“Oh, yes, dears, there is plenty enough to go around
Would you like some more?
You sure are a group of big strong lads.”
The conversation goes on like this
With the choral serenade still lingering in the distance
The calming waves churning along the shore
And Helios preparing for bed
Scylla smiles with all of her teeth
Then she cries
She wines like a babe about ceaseless desire
Here, they cry for her
She brings them close to her lips
They enter her and are consumed by her ways

The feast is done
The lambs were harvested on a bed of kelp
The ox were well seasoned with salt and brine
Beef and poultry and pig and man
All were taken down her gullet
With nary a crumb left for the ants
The men lay strewn about the den
From the ravenous ferocity of their hunger
In spent puddles along her floor
A little of them here
A little there
“Seconds?”
Gracious Host has the nerve to ask
“Dessert?”

“No, thank thee, m’lady.
But we must be on our way.”

Go F Yourself – another Hash post

Posted in adventure, beer, blog, houston, rant, relationships with tags , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2012 by tymora42

Tonight I got to tell more deserving people to go fuck themselves. Yes, this is another Hash post.

We ran trail, a shiggy 5 miles through south Humble’s development. Only part of it was green belt sidewalk. The rest was marsh and twigs, my kind of terrain. Being a swamp born coonass those second wave marathon runners slowed me down through the brush. The first wave was long gone. The second could take me In a clear straightaway. This, however, was home. I ducked and weaves like willy the wabbit, bowing my sunglasses down when eye pokers threatened, letting my arms grow numb from the brambles and stickers, hopping over the wet bits by staying close to the trees and hobbling over downed logs. When there were not logs I made them with swift kicks to trees. I was determined to keep my feet dry. That was dad’s first rule of backcountry hiking: Always keep your shoes dry. Never get wet unless you have to.

Despite the three or four river crossings, I managed to have dry socks when I rolled into circle. Yes, I bragged. Yes, I knew I would have to drink for it. Yes, I threw a sock in the two faces of my accusers. Yes, they made me do a tea bag down down. This is where they laid me on the ground and poured beer through my sock and into my mouth. I knew it was coming so I saved my beer for it. With the two kegs sponsored by Karbach brewery floated in under an hour I knew the only alternative was pickle juice.

The walkers got lost. A game warden wrote a citation. A Galvez hasher exposed our identity. A crazy girl ran with pickles. Am I missing anything?

They spanked a twenty one year old birthday girl at the on after. Barbeque sauce was shuffleboarded down the row with a high score of 1 for team BBQ.

Someplace around there I started talking shit. Nah, the shit talking had begun long ago for me. Tonight I just kept them rolling. Some old guy I have met at every function played the not remembering me game. Guess what? You can go fuck yourself you old English prick. He was only interested in my persona because I got to spank the hot birthday girl and he didn’t. There were a few others. They got theirs. Most of those that got it last time either remembered or avoided which suited me just fine. Thats one way to remember someone. The hash casher girl asked me again who I was, which can be a bit upsetting because she actually has to write my name down to record runs or whatever. You remember 30 percent of what you write.

Chuggers asked about my broken legged friend. G did not. He probably has Alzheimer’s anyway. I respected my elders and told him, “Not that you remember but…” Blah. I also drank in circle for a titty twist and comment about someone’s dead grandma. Life is good. The trail was great. The on after had awesome food by an unappreciated Assgrabber. I jerked off and went to sleep.

Go fuck yourself.

Houston Hash gets a Humpty Dumbass

Posted in adventure, beer, blog, houston, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2012 by tymora42

My buddy broke his leg. I broke a vow. He considered this an even trade.

I have been running with this group called the Hash Hound Harriers. If you are not in the know, their concept is simple: follow the rabbit and drink along the way. They are a multinational organization with independently operated cells across the globe, like terrorists except for the drinking part. I mentioned that. Drinking. It almost needs to be mentioned again. And I am sure it will be.

The “hare” lays flour along his tracks. The rest of the group chases him. Every once in a while (1.5 miles give or take) they “beer check” you. That means you drink. At the end of the route is a keg and a circle and songs and dancing and shit talking and cuttin up. That means you drink more. It’s fun.

Right before that, the more drinking and singing and circle stuff, is when my buddy took a dive off a 12 foot wall.

This was not the normal hash run. It was actually a bike ride. They have all of these different variations in the 40 plus years the Houston Chapter has been active. They call the bike version the “Cychohash.” We rode 12 miles (really 15 because we lost trail for a bit and wandered in circles) ending at these abandoned grain silos along the bayou. You could climb up inside of them through this hole and a rope on the back side. I won’t say it takes too much of an adventurer to explore this, but evidently it does take enough of one since most of these hashers chose to stay on the ground.

And these people chase other people through the woods and back alleys of the city and the more “shiggy” a trail means more water and weeds and mud and forest obstacles. When a 12 year looked up the pipe, grabbed the rope and started his ascent with nobody following behind, I had a sudden revelation: There is a difference between an athlete and an adventurer.

I joined H4 because I thought it would be adventurous. Sometimes it is, but for the most part these guys are all athlete. I am not an athlete. Athletes were the guys who kicked my ass in highschool. I had a rude reminder of this at their New Years party. I felt like the social outcast nerd that crashed the jock frat party except they had grown up a little. They served better beer, they played terrible music on a soundsystem that could not handle it and instead of pushing me around they just ignored me and forgot that they knew who I was. Happy twenty twelve!

A few Hashers cross over into the adventurer athlete realm of the Vann Diagram. So, what’s the difference? An athlete is trying to win. An adventurer does it because it is there. Athletes avoid danger. Adventure seekers dive headlong into it. Athletes want speed. They want to hurry and get there. Adventurers crave the journey.

This pipe and silo was not at all the leg breaker of my buddy. Humpy Dumpty climbed a wall. He did not so much as fall as he did drop a couple feet from a hanging position and land awkward. He heard it snap. He saw it dangling. He shouted the only name he knew. Some of the crew heard him. It was a couple of women I met earlier. We had shaken hands and introduced ourselves. I remembered both of their crazy nicknames given to veteran Hashers who have done stupid things in the past to get those names. As my friend shouted my name they asked him, “Whose that?” Go figure. Nerd in the frat house.

Oh, they know my name now. They yelled for a medic. Nobody officially stepped up while everyone wanted to do their part in helping, which mostly included snapping pics of him on the ground with their cell phone cameras. I observed for a second to see if anyone was more qualified than my meager Eagle Scout wilderness survival skills. They weren’t.

“Step back,” I said. “Don’t move him. I need two sticks and some rope.”

Nobody moved. I was still not important enough. I found the sticks myself and used my scarf belt to stabilize the wood on either side of his leg. I normally wear a faerie scarf belt. This time was no different. You never know when you may need to tie something up. I used the scarf to brace the wood on either side of the fracture. This ex-navy dude whips out a cord of manilla from the trunk of his car. Together we bound him up with bowlines and half hitches and a square knot for good measure.

“No ambulance,” my buddy cried, “No insurance.” It looked like we were doing this ourselves.

Once his leg was immobilized so as not to exacerbate the break, three tough guys fireman carried him to the back of the hare’s car while I called his girlfriend. She followed us to the Methodist Hospital. We checked him into the emergency room.

Nurses and Doctors from other floors gathered round to look at my handiwork. I was proud. They even left the splint on to take the x rays. As proud as I was showing everyone pictures and retelling the story, that pride was missing one persons validation. I called my dad. Part of me did it to tell him about the experience (read: adventure). The other part, the part I did not realize until I was actually talking to him, was that I wanted to thank him for providing me with the skills to take control of a situation like this with adequate knowledge and calmness to handle it correctly.

How did I break a vow? I said I was not going to go to Ruddyards, a dive bar my broken ankles friend frequents, the biggest reason he is always broke, and just as big a reason he has enough weight sensitivity issues to not want to be called Humpty

Dumbass. Of course he went there that night. He needed some comfort food in the vein of 151 and coke. Yeah, I went inside to clink glasses with his stupid ass and break my vow.

He told me, “Alright. We’re even now, but I guess that ski trip is off, huh?”

So, I Bought a Chainsaw Today

Posted in adventure, colorado, how to, technology, Uncategorized, work with tags , , , , , , on July 13, 2011 by tymora42

This was not an impulse decision. I have been working with an 18″ Echo for the past 5 years chopping logs into firewood, cutting down dead trees, and clearing slash from the fallen. 3 of those I have been interested in the prospect of chainsaw carving. Still a bit timid toward the monetary embarkment of a new artistic skill, I researched the topic to death until I finally said, “This summer I am going to get me one.”

Normally saws come with a 3/8 chain on a regular bar that looks like a fish. Detailed carvings require a 1/4 chain on a bar that tapers almost to a point. To change that bar and chain requires a sprocket with a 1/4″ pitch. Not all chainsaws can be modified in that way. Eventually I decided on a STIHL model 171 because there is a STIHL certified shop in Durango and it was the least expensive for what I was doing. Originally I wanted the 192 CE arborist saw simply for the weight of it, but the top handle trigger made it difficult to maneuver. You can get them in the rear trigger for about fifty bucks more. This made the 171 over a hundred dollars cheaper for the sacrifice of a little more than 3 pounds.

Now I have two saws. Three if you count the outdated Craftsman with the equally outdated and broken oil pump. Outdated in this realm means finding a replacement part is next to impossible even with the vast resources of the all powerful internet. The Craftsman is still usable. You just have to keep manually lubing up the bar and chain after every few cuts or so.

The first two recommended projects are an eagle and a mushroom. The eagle allegedly teaches you every basic cut you would do with a carving saw. The mushroom is designed to be easy, quick, and repetitive practice without a schematic. Everyone knows what a mushroom looks like, right? There are a lot of stumps leftover from thinning the forest this summer. I have a feeling they will all become mushrooms.

Well, gotta go. I got logs to cut.

Going Dark – Good Times

Posted in adventure, blog, family, kauai, work, writing with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2010 by tymora42

I have just recently returned from a proverbial internet communication “radio silence” due to nondisclosure acts of the highest media security that I am not at liberty to discuss any further than a notification that they were in place. People who are dear to me and new friends met along the way had their jobs on the line by a hundred key strokes of my hand. I even had a post ready to go that verbal cease and desist orders asked me nicely not to publish. Eventually, they will be, but not until the green light flashes from these sources. Even then they will be safely coded, misrepresented, and possibly guarded further by impersonating a fictitious story on my other site, Stories of the flEA.

My apologies go out to all of those neglected during this vacation, those emails to people who are letting me use their photography and artwork in my next story, which should have been published before leaving. Unfortunately, some of the permissions were not solidified before I got on the plane to Kauai as I hoped they would have been. It should be up in no less than a week since the majority of the work has already been done. Keep a lookout for it. It is about a guy who turns into a fish. There are some fascinating images involved that will be presented similarly to the MOAB: filled with genital humor article. That worked out well. I will continue to keep it going in further stories if I can and if they call for it.

My thanks go out to those who helped make my stay off-continent a wonderful one. As much as I wish I could they will henceforth remain nameless until I name them.