Monthly Archives: September 2019

The More Things Change, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

Y’know, I hate being right all the time. It’s a curse. The only thing worse is people assuming I’m stupid. Trust me, I’m not. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

There was a weekend full of adventure, and it was about flippin’ time. I had my gear packed in anticipation of something else (as usual), so I had some last-minute scrambling to make an alternate plan, and plan I did.

Unclaimed BaggageSaturday, Alabama Adventure! I decided to go do a little shopping at the Unclaimed Baggage Center, which is exactly what it sounds like. However, in the old days, it was actual “unclaimed [and lost/found] baggage”. Now, it’s that, plus a lot of flea-market type stuff; like, when a business shutters, and they dump their remaining inventory. Still, I’m glad I went, and there was a Starbucks there. Bonus. I had gone a couple of years ago, and came away empty-handed (largely because of time constraints for a bigger plan), but this time, I took my time, explored every nook and cranny, as well as the annexes, and still came away empty-handed (well, save for a new-with-tags Calvin Klein cardigan, in case it ever actually gets cold – and, y’know, I appreciate the finer thangs).

Following that, the exploring. Russell Cave, Neversink Pit, the internationally-acclaimed Rock Zoo and other points of varying degrees of interest. Explored Stevenson and Scottsboro, did some shopping, scouted kayak put-ins in Bridgeport, blah, blah. Pretty good and full day, actually.

Link:
Alabama Adventure Photo Album on Facebook

Sunday, a much bigger day, with a return to Savage Gulf to conquer the final significant trail there, the Connector Trail [Movescount data], described thusly on the official trail map: “This is the most challenging and strenuous trail in the Savage Gulf Natural Area. Several climbs and seemingly endless rocky slopes are crossed. It has connections with most of the other trails as it crosses the mouths of all three gulf.” Yeah, that sounds about right, and it was very hard, but not so much of the terrain, but because of the oppressively hot and humid weather. All of the creeks – even the huge Big Creek and Collins River – were completely dry. No wildlife, no wind, no other hikers, and more than 1000 feet in ascent/descent and 12.75 miles r/t. Just brutal. But awesome. And evidently, Mother Nature got my message from last week (at least as far as nature is concerned; other things, not so much), so no rattlesnakes, injuries or other major screw-ups.

Savage Gulf

click for larger, or see the Master Adventure Map

So, with the Connector Trail and the North Plateau/North Rim last weekend, I’ve done all of Savage Gulf, except for a couple of miles here and there, which will never be done (because of their remoteness). Just under 94 miles total, not including the times I’ve done the same trail more than once. Not too bad. Not too bad at all.

Link:
Savage Gulf Connector Trail Photo Album on Facebook

What’s next? Well, I have a plan. Two, actually. I always have a plan, even if it seems like I don’t. Yeah, imagine that. But I’m just getting started with the fall, and there’s lots that’s going to happen. Things move quickly in my world.

The Human Peepshow That Is My Life II: The Human Shitshow That Is My Life.

OK, Mother Nature. I get it. You don’t like me. I don’t know why, but you just don’t. That said, can we stop with the whole “nearly killed by a rattlesnake” thing? Seriously, I’m over it. Besides, better people than you have tried to do me in, and yet, here I am. Get in line.

Yeah, once more, hiking really deep in the woods, and I stumbled across (nearly literally) a huge Timber Rattlesnake, and oh, boy, was he pissed. Right in the middle of the trail, as well – one more step, and I would have stepped on him, and regardless, he turned, coiled and struck in the blink of an eye. This was at Savage Gulf, on the rarely-travelled North Plateau (rarely travelled because it’s out there – way out there). About 9 or so miles from the trailhead, so if he had gotten me, I guess that would have been the end of your ol’ pal Kevio. Yeah, I can tell you’re crushed. So, that notwithstanding (and getting turned around on the trail, and a torn muscle, and bees, and dehydration, and the official trail guide being woefully inaccurate as to the difficulty), it was still a pretty good 21 miles in the woods. A tie for my second-best hike (by distance), I believe.

Savage Gulf North Rim

Click for Movescount data.

As if that wasn’t enough, a few weeks ago, MN threw a brown recluse at me (well, not literally). It still hurts, and looks gross. So far, no super-powers have emerged from the bite. But I didn’t die, either, so there’s that. Well, depending on your perspective.

So, all that said, Mother Nature, you want me, come at me. I’ll be back in the woods this weekend (not sure where, but I have a couple of ideas). I guess if you never hear from me again here, Mother Nature won, and you can find my bleached bones in the woods somewhere.

And while I’m bitching at invisible forces, listen, Universe, my gym time is my unwind time; my therapy (although there are those that would undoubtedly say I need far more therapy than any gym can offer). So, please stop screwing with me while I’m at the gym. Yeah, another bit of – um – excitement this morning. Yay. Cut it out, already.

Y’know, I see these little allegedly motivational things on the IG and other places all the time (and you people who post these and nothing else, knock it off – have an original thought, please and thank you). I usually blow right past them, but my ‘pooter hung up, with this one right on the screen. Hmm. As much as I hate to admit it, this one is spot-on. I knew a guy once (who was quite a tool) who used to say “the best way to get over one person is to get under another one”. Told you he was a tool. Welcome to the world we currently live in. At the risk of overusing it…yay. Nonetheless, if I live to be 100 – which is highly unlikely – I will never understand people that just bounce from one victim person to the next in the never-ending quest for a warm body.

Oh, went to see Ad Astra. It had been forever since I went to the theater, and this looked like one of those films that would be best seen on the big screen. I’ll say this: save your money. In fact, maybe I’ll go to the drive-in this weekend to wash the taste of Brad Pitt out of my mouth. Wait, that didn’t quite sound right. Oh, well, I’m gonna stand by it. Interstellar was much, much better, and that had McConaughey in it. And Jason Bourne and Catwoman. Alright, alright, alright.

Since I’m ranting about stuff you don’t care about, this: long-time fans (and you’re all awesome) will recall that just over a year ago, I hit 1000 move goals on my AppleWatch (that is, I hit my daily targets for active minutes, calories, and hours 1000 times). The “1000” badge was as high as the badges went. Flash-forward to…now, and I updated my phone to iOS13, and updated my Watch to the newest WatchOS, and, lo and behold, the badges now go up to 2000 days. Sigh, I thought I was done. In fact, I was planning on taking the AppleWatch off after November (4-year anniversary) in favor of the new Suunto 9 Titanium. Can’t do it now – not with those goals hanging out there. Luckily, WatchOS was smart enough to give me the 1250 badge, since I hit that in April, but I’m 3 months away from the 1500 badge, and 590 days away from the 2000 badge. But really, snaps to Apple for updating their s/w, and realizing some of us are hardcore. Fitbit could have taken a lesson. Time this is done, the AW is gonna be the longest relationship I’ve ever had – at least it’s never cheated on me, and it always has time for me. Oh, I’m still gonna get the new Suunto – I guess I’ll be in a polyamorous watch relationship.

More news, after my near-miss strapping on my guitar (acoustic bass, actually) last weekend (don’t ask), I’m gonna try to take another swing at it this weekend. So, y’know, hide your girlfriends or sisters or whatever. In fact, there’s something brewing musically for me – not gonna jinx it, but I guess I better re-string my best guitars and maybe get some new threads. I’ve been working to get my chops back – like riding a bike, it comes back pretty quickly. I dunno, we’ll see how it all shakes out. But Ampasaurous Rex demands to be heard, and I miss being on stage, and it is kinda what I do best. OK, second best.

Links:
Savage Gulf North Plateau/North Rim Photo Album on Facebook