4 a.m. Rise and shine. No sleeping in. Jerks.
4 a.m. Rise and shine. No sleeping in. Jerks.
Considering I recently retired the ol’ buffalo coat header, I figured I’d share the shot in all its glory. No text, no cropping, no BS. Just a man and his 800-pound buffalo coat. I really love that coat. Even though I think I fractured a vertebra wearing it. Still a great coat, regardless.
The joys of flying are often exacerbated by these 11 knuckleheads.
A gentle bump here and there, no big deal. Every 30 seconds? I’m about to flip out. Adjusting my seatback in a violent manner and rolling my eyes at you are completely ineffective. One of these days I’ll wait until your tray is full of liquids and electronics, when I will then crank my seat back and forth 40 times.
You’ll never kick another seat again. Mark my words.
The race is on. Once it’s safe to unfasten our seat belts, let’s see who can grab their bags the fastest. Be sure you put your crotch in everyone’s face as you climb over them. And then stand uncomfortably in the aisle for 15 minutes waiting for an entire plane load of people in front of you to disembark.
Got a crying, whining kid who won’t shut up? No problem. Slip on those headphones and let every other adult around you suffer. Baby poo-poo their diaper? Don’t worry about it. Take a nap. Little runt putting their greasy, dirty hands all over everyone’s stuff? Oh well. Somebody has to entertain this child.
Hey, just a quick FYI: You’re the worst parent in the world.
Ding. Flight attendant. Yes, I’m quite cold. Fetch me a blanket. Ding. Flight attendant. Yes, I’m awfully thirsty. Water, right away. Ding. Flight attendant. Yes, I would like a pillow. Ding. Flight attendant. More water please, and perhaps a little orange juice. Ding. Flight attendant. Any idea when we’ll land? Ding. Flight attendant. This pillow isn’t soft enough.
Ding. Annoying passenger. We hate you. Ding. A lot.
Here’s a tip: Purchase one of those U-shaped pillow things they sell in every airport gift shop around the world. This should keep your giant, drooling head in your own cramped space. If you emerge from your deep slumber covered in obscene Shapie decorations, don’t look at me. You earned it.
You look like you have the plague. Throw in a metal tube with closed air circulation, and you and your fellow passengers are sure to have a quality flight. So be sure not to cover your mouth while coughing and sneezing all over the place. Breathe really heavy in my general direction, too. I really appreciate that. Tissue?
I prefer aisle seats, but immediately regret the decision the moment I realize I’m parked next to people who can’t sit still longer than 10 minutes. Better stretch those legs and stand with your ass 3 inches from my face. No, that’s not awkward at all.
Easy to spot, difficult to avoid. They were in the terminal chatting with the wall when nobody else would listen. Alone time is a thing of the past should you unfortunately be seated next to this guy. Hey, where you from? What do you do? Oh, where you traveling? Very nice, I went there once with my family. My sister’s husband’s brother’s uncle worked near there once and blah blah blah blah.
Your life story. So interesting. Shoot me.
Sly as a smelly fox, The Fart Machine acts like he’s not dropping noxious fumes every few seconds. You know it’s him. He knows you know, too. But he’ll avoid eye contact at all costs. And keep on rippin’ em.
I am pointing my vent at you full blast for a reason, pal.
Your carry-on is the size of a rhinoceros. But there is no chance in hell you’re checking it. So we’ll wait a half hour as you struggle to jam that thing into the overhead. Make sure everyone gets involved in your carry-on tribulation while you’re at. Still doesn’t fit? Rearrange the small, reasonable carry-ons. Maybe even drop a few bags on our heads. Spend the half hour apologizing profusely. Insincerely, of course.
See my small backpack there? Yeah, the one under the seat. Jackass.
The flight crew has already instructed you 20 times to please be seated until the restroom is available. Yet there you go again, hoping to secure your spot in line. Somehow you are always a window seat. Why does this happen?
How about you not drink 5 gallons of beer before boarding the plane next time? Just a thought.
Adventure is a state of mind, you could argue. Available to anyone, anywhere, with the right amount of determination and imagination, adventure is abundant in its infinite forms.
Let’s face it, though. Adventure is oftentimes cost prohibitive. Mountain biking, backpacking, traveling internationally, skydiving, whitewater rafting — you name it, certain components necessary to achieve adventure are simply not an option for many people.
The socioeconomic adventure gap exists, and it’s quite large.
This got me to thinking. What if the barrier to entry were easier? What if cost prohibitive adventures were accessible to everyone?
Let’s crunch a few numbers first. I’ll work within the confines of an activity which has given me countless hours of satisfaction and happiness at a particularly high cost: snowboarding.
General Costs Associated with Snowboarding (give or take a few dollars):
For a grand total of: $1,390
Note that I did not include the cost of transportation to and from the mountain, or the cost of food/beverages.
Is a family bringing in about the same amount per month going to pony up that kind of cash for their kid to go snowboarding? Absolutely not. They’d be out of their minds.
This is where those of us in a particular community come in — whether you’re a climber, kayaker, snowboarder, or whatever. If you’re anything like me, you have a bunch of extra gear collecting dust. What if we were to put our gear to good use by donating to somebody in need? What if we were then to provide our guidance and transportation and support and everything else associated with the activity?
So many of those barriers would be eliminated.
How this works, I haven’t a clue. Which is why I’d love to hear your ideas. Please do share.
Sometimes it seems like California has it too good when it comes to nature. Great beaches. Inspiring mountaintops. Epic scenery. And the biggest tress on the planet.
Redwood National Park is crowded with such monsters. The forest here feels like a primeval temple, a devotion of sorts to ancient gods. Or, for a less pious perspective, the redwoods here are simply beyond your imagination. You’ve never seen a tree this tall.
Fortunately for us modern humans, we still have an opportunity to visit these old giants. With the gold rush of the 1850s came an unsustainable need for lumber. In effect, large tracts of old-growth redwood forest were axed. According to the National Park Service, “logging had consumed nearly 90 percent of all the original redwoods by the 1960s.”
Alarmed environmental activists eventually intervened, pushing for responsible logging practices and preservation. Their voices were heard, but large-scale logging continued in the area until Congress created Redwood National Park in 1968.
Here are a few photos from our recent redwoods camping trip.
For more big tree action, read my post on sequoias.
I think I’m getting old.
I can hear your sarcasm loud and clear already. Eric, that’s so amazing, you’re thinking. Weird how time marches on and people age. Yeah, yeah, whatever.
And before you older folks verbally accost me for the misuse of what appears to be my youth, hear me out.
The other day I was on wind hold at a Kirkwood lodge with a huge group of meetup.com pals. Ages varied, from those in their early ’20s to those of us not in our early ’20s.
The lifts weren’t spinning, nor were they going to anytime soon. Snow was blowing sideways at a rate of an inch per hour. Wisdom and experience said we weren’t going anywhere. So I joined two new friends, both of them grey in the goatee, for a few rounds of rummy.
Eventually the youngsters grew restless and decided to hike a ways uphill to take a few hard-earned powder turns. Several of them asked us older gentlemen if we’d like to join in on the fun. We took one incredulous look at each other and simultaneously said “you kids go on.”
That they did. I thought nothing of it at first, as my main priority was to destroy my rummy opponents. Later, when the the kiddies returned to the lodge exhausted, covered in snow, and jubilant, I had a moment of regret.
Maybe I should’ve went for a hike. A young Eric would not play cards waiting for the storm to pass. A young Eric would’ve went for a hike.
Sad story, right? Those of you who are many years my senior can now verbally accost me.
My point, though, is that maybe as we age, we develop a “been there, done that” mentality. We miss out on more opportunities to have fun.
Or maybe we’re a smarter bunch. How is a grueling hike uphill in waist deep powder considered fun, anyway?