Wednesday, September 02, 2015

a day on the rez

when we were out camping on waterbury reservoir last week, barb and i saw a lot of people go by on stand up paddleboards, which looked like a LOT of fun to us.

and it's one of the things on the venture vermont challenge, so all the more reason to try, yes?

so we did.

and the awesome thing about the SUP is that you can hop on and off of it a lot easier than you can with a kayak, so easy to flit around, or just slide off into the water and go swimming.

and i can tell you plainly that when you fall off of one, it hurts a lot less than when you capsize a snark sunfish. you just slide off into the water. it's lovely.

anyway, here are some pictures.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

a letter in your box

right, so.

i'd always intended to go letterboxing. i had even carved a stamp to use but until last year's venture vermont challenge came along, i just had never gone out to actually DO it.

since then i've been to a number of letterboxes and now letterboxing is on my list of Stuff I Do.

cool, yes?

this year i made you a little video.

seen on the way


Monday, August 31, 2015

stone tools

yep. still writing for venture vermont.

this year again, flintknapping is on the list.

now, i learned to do this in college, although i did not apparently learn to talk about it coherently.

anyway, for your striking stone you want something nice and hard and not fracture-y. i've using a granite against this here shale.

shale isn't ideal for it, but you can get it to fracture mostly reliably and it will make nice sharp edges, if not durable ones. you work with what you have.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

the bitterest pill

i think that a little ways back i mentioned an ambulance ride.

yeah, well.

so barb and i were doing the bitter pill. you know, like you do. and we were totally kicking butt on the navigation. when we saw that map in the morning and saw where the trek went, we KNEW we weren't going to get any more than 8 checkpoints if we did well, because ALL THOSE MILES OF BUSHWHACKING.

and it also meant we were going to have to spend our day mostly in foot travel, which is not our best thing. i move very slow on foot. biking is what we're good at.

and we were pretty much resigned to not getting to the bike portion of the race in time to ride.

well, them's the breaks.

we were pretty proud of ourselves for our awesome navigation on the trek, too, and our sheer bullheadedness in keeping on keeping on.

but then some time between checkpoints 5 and 6, i experienced some chest pain. later on when people were trying to get me to say what KIND of chest pain (burning? stabbing? aching?) all i could do was describe it as EXTREME SUBSUMING PAIN. and radiating to the elbow and up to my ear on the left side.

the kind of pain that makes you wonder if you are dying NOW.

and also shortness of breath and dizziness and nausea.

but you know, we were way up on the woodard trail and IF you're having a heart attack and you CAN still move, your chances of survival increase if you can get you over THERE where a rescue team can get to you.

you don't move fast, but you keep moving. i required a lot of resting along the way.

eventually we ran into a race volunteer, who called race direction, and together they decided to call a truck.

we kept moving, slowly, toward that extraction point.

eventually we met up with the first wave of responders, some very nice EMTs who did an assessment and decided that we could continue to proceed slowly, but that what we really needed was a paramedic.

so we kept moving. slowly.

and eventually met up with the second team with a paramedic. there was another assessment and it was decided that some more slow careful movement would not be out of place both toward the goal of getting me to the easiest extraction point, and also for some observation.

mostly, the shooty stabby i-need-to-lie-down-now pain was completely absent.

...unless we were walking uphill.

so the paramedic called it quits on the walking and we waited (turns out not too long) for colchester technical rescue to arrive. and they put me on the sled on the big wheel and heaved me out to the trailer and rode me down the mountain to the truck.

the short version of everything else is that while i did not have a heart attack, we are not yet certain that i do not have some blockages. the nice young cardiologist tells me that if i DO have blockages, they are not major blockages, nor are they in any major vessels because, among other things,  of my general level of exercise without pain up to a certain extent.

and while we're waiting to do some more tests, i ought to be just fine if when i get pain, i just back the heck off and slow down. he goes on to say that if i experience pain and it goes away if i back the heck off on a consistent basis, that's also very common symptomology for minor blockages of minor vessels and while it should not be ignored, is not immediately life threatening.

he also advises not doing any athletic stuff alone in remote places.

so there you have it.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

camp food

yep, still talking about the venture vermont challenge.

we're going to cover "cook food over a campfire" and "make a camp cooking utensil using found natural items".

foil packets cooking in fire

dinner being served

marshmallow sticks, of course.

Friday, August 28, 2015

kayak camping

back in my youth, i used to backpack.

but in my later years i find that the deterioration of my knees and feet plus the general discomfort of the camping experience puts it out of my reach.

but then as a result of the venture vermont challenge last year, the idea of kayak camping came to my notice. and yeah, i know they list it as "canoe camping", but for the purposes of reching your campsite by paddlecraft, i think a kayak will do just fine.

besides, transporting your camping gear by kayak represents some challenges that loading your gear into a canoe does not. think about the enclosed hull of a kayak and then think about piling your camping gear in there.

'nuff sed?

anyway, barb and i went from the blush hill boat access to a remote site on waterbury reservoir.

it was about nineteen different kinds of awesome and i want to go again soon.

morning on the campsite

midmorning paddle

lazy afternoon

wasp preparing to lay eggs

evening paddle to LRSP

our cove

packed up and going home

Thursday, August 27, 2015

you need a hat.

yesterday was MB's birthday.

and of course MB needed a party hat.

of course.

so with a little help from the nice people down at richmond home supply, i made one.


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