Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?


Critical Update

Yeah so I haven't written in a while. A million other bloggers have written the same damned thing on at least one post, and that was my indulgence just then. Unlike those bastards, who have lapses in their posts because they lead such heartbreakingly boring lives that the thought of writing with nothing to talk about just kills them, I've been too BUSY to blog for a while. Shit, it's been more than a month ... last time I checked in I was posting pics from the drunken Fourth of July festivities when I almost fell off the 11 story rooftop of a friend's place while doing headstands. Sooooo, what juicy bits have occurred since then?

Well, I went camping in the Shenandoah Valley with a bunch of strangers I met on the internet. (A harsh but accurate way to put it I think.) Basically a few people put an ad on Craigslist looking for folks who were keen on or experienced in travel and adventure, etc. It eventually grew into an entity known as BP Unite with the "BP" standing for Backpackers. That trip was a rousing success. I met eight diverse and interesting people, saw ant hills the size of cars, swam with a rattlesnake, met a band of fellow rednecks, saved the day with some quick thinking when another BP-er locked his keys in his car, did some stream bashing, played harmonica and accompanied guitar by the firelight, learned part of what it takes to make home-brew rootbeer, drank vodka from a piece of watermelon, sipped wine on a mountaintop during sunset, drank beer pretty much whenever, cooked eggs and sausage over a fire, burst a shaken-up beer can against a tree with a giant slingshot, futzed around with a crossbow, and of course got to drive my Jeep off road and through a few streams. Very weet. Hopefully I'll get a chance to take the group caving later this year.

Since last time I wrote I've gone sailing in the Potomac a couple of times, which was quite the relaxing rush. Especially the first time, seeing as we really didn't have much in the way of wind the second time. I'm putting together another trip over the Labor Day holiday, and that's shaping up to be a good one, as long as the weather holds out and we get some substantial wind. It's been fun to stretch my nautical muscle a bit and try to relearn what I first was exposed to back in sailing camp on Lake Pontchartrain years ago.

So what else have I been hiding behind this mysterious shroud of not posting, you ask? Well the old family and I met up for a week of family vacation out in Wyoming and Montana. Flew into Bozeman and didn't slow down for seven days. For only having a week to deal with I think we did pretty much everything we could be expected to do in that amount of time.... first a few short hikes in Big Sky, then whitewater rafting on the Gallatin River, then the usual Yellowstone sights like guysers, Grand Prismatic Pool (Less than prismatic when it's overcast and the pool is covered with steam), Old Faithful (which was sort of on the neat-o side of the scale), and so
me "safari" which allowed us to spy nesting osprey feeding young, bison herds, and even a few wolves on the hunt. I was yawning through much of it since we never got off of the beaten path. In fact we never got off the wide, freshly-paved, RV-choked highway, but whatever ... my family no se gusta hiking and it WAS a family deal so I just went along with it and tried to keep my mouth shut. In any case, before we left the area I got to climb up Mammoth Hot Spring's famous terraces for sunrise, played a bit of harmonica up there for the birds, and then soaked for the better part of an hour in the Boiling River. Look it up if you're ever in the area, it was uber-cool ..err..I mean hot. Whatever.

So we left Yellowstone and headed back north into Montana higher and higher up into the rockies to see Glacier National Park. That was my kind of place....trees and mountains as far as you can see, just fucking fantastic. Spent a morning horseback riding through the foothills, which was a good time despite the dust in my eyes and the fact that for the second half of the time I had to piss like I can't describe. We followed that up with another rafting trip, on which Mom decides to whine about it only being a class II or III river while the other one we did had class IV stuff. She thought it was an outrage that we had to wear helmets and the outfitters called it a "Wild Side" trip. So naturally the guide ensured that we got dumped into the icy river. He dumped Mom twice just to make sure she got the point. I'm not sure if she tipped him more or less for that, but I do know that her teeth were chattering like hell.

The next day might just have been my favorite. The 'rents unleashed me for one day of solo gallivanting in the mountains, and so I chose a path to frolic on that would take me high into the alpine playground and across a goodly streth of it. I started from the turn in the legendary Going to the Sun Road below Piegan Pass and hiked up and over the pass, then down into the valley beyond and on eventually to Many Glacier, 13 miles and change away. WOW. That was the fresh air I'd been waiting for. Just evergreens and crumbly mountain slopes and glaciers and jagged peaks and wildflowers like New Year's Eve confetti. Got a decent workout and then followed it all up with a peek at a grizzly through a couple's spotting scope, then enjoyed a delicious berry-infused beer at the historic and grand Many Glacier Hotel. (Avoid their dining room. I've eaten better out of a box of Hamburger Helper.) I would have loved to spend some more time hiking in that park, but it was not to be. The other highlight of the trip that remained was the KFC dinner we had at the hotel the next morning before we finished our drive to Bozeman. I suppose the Lewis and Clark Discovery Center in Great Falls was worth a stop as well.

Moving along, I was back at work for a week and then jetted off to Assateague Island National Seashore on the Maryland Atlantic coast last weekend for some birthday celebration and more than my share of adult beverages. I happen to think I also took more than my share of mosquito and horsefly bites. Note to self: Bring an end to the entire global population of horseflies and mosquitoes. Forget that they're food for creatures we like, I don't appreciate being food for them. In case you didn't know, Assateague is known for its population of wild horses. By wild I mean generally fat and lazy and used to being illegally fed by humans. So of course everyone was so sauced by the end of the night that we couldn't be bothered to clean up the campsite much, and we foggily assumed the "super-sturdy" gates were going to protect us from the ravages of those marauding equines. Well when we staggered and jerked awake, we learned that we were wrong. See photographic evidence. The horse seemed pretty excited to be rooting through our stuff, and I can't blame him...we ate decently and drank even more so. Good thing hooves aren't well-suited to opening bottles.

So what will the next few weeks hold in store for me and mine? Tune in again soon and slake your thirst for knowledge and photography and adventure. I'm going to bed.


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