Skip to main content

Appalachian Trail rain and storms

The last few days (weeks?) have been rough. Bear Squad has been doing a series of twenty plus mile days and the rain has been nearly constant. Rain isn't a problem if it comes and goes, but when it lingers it siphons morale. The clouds block the sun making it hard to dry tents and packs and gear and kill the odor causing microbes. Everything is damp and smelly. In the morning I drag on wet socks that squish with every step. My boots weigh twice as much when saturated. Our clothes are heavy and cold. Blisters and rashes proliferate. It is a malaise of unpleasantness that turns all the chores of camp life into burdens. We are slower setting up and breaking down our tents and crawling from our bags. We procrastinate. We force ourselves to eat and sip fluids. We move more slowly. But always we move on.

Once we found ourselves trapped on an exposed ridgeline in a thunderstorm with no choice but to lose altitude as fast as possible. We sang to keep our spirits up, but The wind stole our voices. We had to touch heads and shout at some points to be heard. For two miles we scrabbled down rocks. Some of our party lost the trail in the storm and were forced to bushwhack up the mountain. Another time we found ourselves climbing fallen branches in a furious downpour trying to free our entangled bear bags.

Then we make a fire and cook a hot meal, and the cold fades. We change into our carefully protected dry clothes and the damp is barely felt. We sip coconut Malibu from ninja turtle flasks bought at Walmart and imagine ludicrous back stories for characters we've met along the way. We read the graffiti on the shelter and the log book to see who's dissing whom. We get a hot meal at hostel or drink a bud light in agas station parking lot. The sun cuts through the clouds and we strip drown to dry what we can. For a few moments, we don't smell quite as bad.

Popular posts from this blog

CrossFit: A Playground for Adults

Having suffered a bout of absentee self-discipline, I have joined the cult of CrossFit to mold my flesh into a more fetching vessel. It's interesting.

If you're lucky enough to have never heard of CrossFit, this is all you need to know—it's a jungle gym for adults. You run and jump and pick things up and put them down and throw them and jump rope and do hopscotch and work out all your heebie jeebies. There's some grade school math thrown in as well, since you'll be counting every time you do something, and you're always doing multiple somethings, and you're always doing a lot of multiple somethings. My gym is in an old converted garage with plenty of space, but at eight o'clock the rush hour hits and it is playground madness.

Likely there are serious types doing CrossFit who would quibble with this characterization, and there's no doubt that the serious types are serious. That ubiquitous American belligerence underpins the official CrossFit doctrine. …

Concentration camps in America and Urmpt learns he can make bad bad go away

Good article in the New Yorker yesterday chronicling the vicious misdeeds of Joe Arpipo:

It's clarion that under the Turmp [sic] regime we are a nation of men (and women) and not laws. Not that the facade of law and justice has ever been tatter-free but now it is being torn away completely. Now Urmtp [sic] is figuring out he has a magic eraser for criminal activity and I doubt it ends with two-bit authoritarian Arpi.

It's hard to imagine the GOP putting the breaks on this runaway train as long as in the carnage of the wreckage a few babillionairios get a hefty tax break.  When you get to be worth a tenth of a trillion dollars, laws are fucking inconvenient.

The arguments from the right wing insanosphere are already drawing comparisons to Clinton's pardons and claiming Arpaio's contempt of court conviction was unjustified. This is a man who boasted he was running "concentration c…

The Truth About Overwatch

Imagine a game of Overwatch with no duplicate characters—once a character is chosen no one else can play as them. In this scenario the characters of Overwatch are distinct persons.
In this world the characters of Overwatch are heroes cum mercenaries. Their watch ended, their struggle won or lost, they are reduced to venal pursuits to make ends meet or simply to stave off boredom. Puissant and bereft of a unifying cause, they often find themselves on opposite sides of a conflict. The battles revolve around mundane objectives—moving a payload from one location to another, capturing strategic territory.
In El Dorado and Junkertown a group of Overwatch mercenaries performs armored car duty. Perhaps they are transferring the weekly payroll for Union Pacific, or the ill-gotten gains of a cartel. In Hollywood the Overwatch mercenaries serve as bodyguards for Harvey Weinstein as he travels to the premier of a new Polanksi-Allen collaboration. Another group of Overwatch thugs attempts an assas…