Wednesday, October 28, 2009

hang on

i live in las vegas. we've had a high wind alert for the past 2 days. and they (meaning the issuers of said alert) weren't kidding.
it's been blowing nonstop, at about 15 mph, with gusts up to - get this - 65 mph. my car has been blown all over the road.

so when my friend cristina called last night and asked if i wanted to go hiking, of course i said yes. we included an opt-out clause if the wind was too bad. unfortunately, we didn't really define "too bad."
we decided to hike ice box canyon, on the not entirely unfounded premise that once we got back into the canyon, the wind wouldn't be so bad.
we were right about that-kind of. a factor to which we gave insufficient weight was why ice box canyon was named ice box canyon.

i was blown sideways walking to the trailhead.
the hike to the canyon is across open land-WINDY open land, today. we managed to lose the trail several times, taking the scenic route through the brush. no big deal. not like we haven't done that before.

the fun really started once we got into the canyon. because, at that point, it's all boulder scrambling. whatever trail there is, is faint, and not for the faint of heart or foot. there is no space for, nor requirement of, thinking about extraneous crap when scrambling. you must pay attention, to every move, breath, shift of weight. or you get hurt. i re-learned this today, when i fell on my left hand, raising an impressively large, and sore, lump on the thenar eminence. my opposable thumb isn't quite opposable right now. this is gonna wreak havoc with my yoga practice.

being down on the floor of the canyon, looking up at the rock walls, was just what i needed today. i put some stuff in perspective that was beginning to take on a disproportionate importance in my life. i remembered that all you have to do is place this foot, place that hand, place that foot, place this hand. you get where you need to be, every time. all else is frippery.

i took some pictures, when i could stand to take my gloves off. if my hands ever thaw, i'll post them. i think one of them turned out ok.

if you've read this far, you win the prize.
here's the funny part.
when we arrived, i had to pee. i went into the restroom, which is a housed latrine. i sit down, and realize -you know that wind? well, it's blowing UP the latrine hole. kind of like an air bidet. i laughed the entire time i was in there!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

roughing it

i'm living in a tent.
maybe more like living with a tent.
it's in my living room.
best roommate i've ever had.

back story:
30 years ago, i did a lot of camping, including 2 cross country runs. had all the gear, gadgets and doodads then available. i LOVED it. i loved being outside, hanging with trees, rocks, stars, lizards, bears-well, not so much the bears. as life was lived, the accoutrement of camping was dispersed, through moves, divorce, dumb decisions. roughing it became a hotel without room service.
here and now:
about 2 years ago, i decided that i wanted to start camping again. i deeply missed being outside for extended periods of time. i missed the stars, the smells, the clarity of vision and thought that comes with breathing unadulterated air. so i began the process of collecting, once again, the stuff needed. i bought a sleeping bag and some other odds and ends.
i got distracted (hey, look, a squirrel!), then busy. finally, finally, after a 2 year gestation (think elephant), birth is imminent. now i have a tent.

the exact same make and model i had 30 years ago. deja vu all over again.

oh boy, there are lots of tents out there! after whittling away the ludicrously expensive, the too heavy to carry, and the 10-person halls, there were only a few that i liked. and then-Eureka!

that happens to be the name of the manufacturer of my tent, in business for 100 years. can't slap a fly-by-night label on them! and the same model? still in demand, still getting good reviews after all this time? well, as they say, duh.

i still have things to get-stove, lantern, gear loft, seam sealer. the departure date gets ever closer. i'm still chewing over the destination for the shakedown trip.

in the meantime, i hang out in my tent. eat dinner, read, laze about. zip and unzip the window and the door. arrange the sleeping bag and mattress.
you know-play house. or tent.

**singing softly under my breath "i'm goiiing camp-ing, i'm goiiing camp-ing"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

how did we get here?

welcome to my blog.
since you're reading this, i'd love to know how you found it, since it's been up for, oh, about a minute and a half.

most of the blogs i've wandered through are written by people who like to write, have something to say, and either have some skill at it, or think they do. that's not why i'm writing this.
yeah, yeah, i can spell, punctuate, and syllabicate with the best of them. a catholic education in the 50's/60's will do that to you. not the point.
the only reason i'm doing this is to get the stuff that's in my head, out of it. that way i don't have to listen to it rattling around my brain, until it finally finds a way to leak away. and i get to inflict it on an unsuspecting public!

so i don't know how interesting this will be to anyone besides myself. i don't know if it will be interesting to me, either.

i guess we'll all find out.

(oh, and about the no capital letters thing. this is a really small laptop with a really small keyboard. every time i hit the shift key, i do something stupid to the computer. nothing to do with e.e. cummings, or an affectation of coolness/nerdness. just poor hand control.)