Friday, December 23, 2011

Silly Season's Greetings

Silly in so many ways.

Running around in fresh snow over black ice.

Spending money on the wrong things for the right people.

Looking back. Feeling guilty, sometimes regretful, mostly thankful.

Looking ahead, excited, maybe. Older. Achier. More forgetful.

Sleepy, here in the darkness north of 61 degrees.

And overfed, maybe over-medicated, if you know what I mean.

My semester kicked me to the curb and then spit on me.

But. It's over, I'm alive. And addicted to "R", for the small handful of you who may know what that is and read posts here.

I have a lot of things to say but no time to say them, maybe no readers to hear them.

Not only have I been unable to blog, or meta-blog, but I have not been able to read anybody else's blogs really.

OK so I look at MC's photos now and then (how is he so good?), maybe peruse B&P's latest musings (liked that Dave C thought our bikenraft was the best trip of the year), see what my old Sherpa packraft is up to at Dirt and Dogs, check out blogpacking in Finland, of course, occasionally (which some how may have led to seeing a lone, crazy, Italian bikenrafted the Parsons/Kentch route making it a bit more of a trade route these days).

Hig sent me a link to his Malaspina pics. Awesome. While luc Mehl got the "Golden Paddle" award this year for documenting the most significant uses of a packraft in 2011, I must say that Hig continues to dream up trips I want to do even after he does them.

He wrote me about Malaspina,
"The route, with some minor refinement, should become a classic AK trek like Aniakchak. It's totally awesome to cross the ice to the ocean, and both the Samovar Hills and the coast end are incredible. And there's a lot to be missed if you stick to the beach. And the geo-geek stuff is intense. We're ruminating on designing a "how-to" kind of thing that includes info on the route, and also includes a series of photo-reoccupation points and other re-occupiable activities (e.g. plumping depth of growing glacial lakes) that would help illustrate the incredible change going on there. Would love to chat with you about this idea."
Hig and Erin's Wild Coast movie, "Journey on the Wild Coast", edited by Greg Chaney, won an award at Banff, which is cool and appropriate. The 30 min Banff version is good, particularly all the couple's talk. It's short on interactions with other people, people who must have been interesting, but it was their trip and the movie is a good complement to the book, as it was edited by Greg and his take on the trip is good. There is an Epic Eric cameo on their so-called "victory lap" around Unimak (maybe it was a hubris-hating bear that bit them in the boat, there, at the end), which adds a lot as well.

Apacka sent Tim Johnson and Luc some hyper-cool new Llamas. Cool in looks and function. They each have spray deck cowlings that function like a hardshell cockpit -- i.e. the spraydeck stays on your waist and comes off of your boat. Luc's is particularly colorful, apparently inspired color-wise by his wonderful Bird-Spelled-Backward video. We three are going to the steep creeks of NC in early January to test them out.

Yes, that silly season. Silly thinking of next year and all the wonderful possibilities.

Life is short and always getting shorter -- gotta try and live it well, which starts by dreaming.

What are you dreaming up?


  1. Merry Christmas. FYI the link for the spray deck cowling is broken.

    I've given more thought to my dry suit/pack concept, which would involve modifying the PFD in an uncompromising way to better hold the vertical straps in place. We'll see if I have time between earning more tele turns at Turnagain, TAing Winter Wilderness, and Thesis pontificating to actually make it happen.

  2. Merry Christmas! I think the readers are still here when you have the time to write...

    What am I dreaming about? Many things. Very many. Some of them hopefully turning into reality and still staying wonderfull as the ideas in my head. Hopefully as many as possible... Oh, the great problem of time/money/company!

  3. Seasons greetings Roman. What am I dreaming up? After I wake up in a pool of cold sweat from the nightmares about how much import tax I'm going to have to pay on my incoming 2012 Llama I will be dreaming of exploring Norway in my blow up boat.

    Thanks for all the inspiration your blog provides.

  4. @ Steve, ah those pesky theses, interrupting an otherwise exciting life of adventure in Alaska!

    And korpijaakko -- dreaming is wondrous, particularly when you know that some dreams can be made reality. I look forward to see what you dream up and do in Lapland.

    Joe, there looks to be an ever-burgeoning group of packrafters in Scandanavia. As you likely know it's more fun -- and safer, too -- to have good companions. Congratulations on the purchase and sorry about the import tax :(


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