Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What's Next?

With two months left at the Gulf Hagas, people are starting to ask me, What's Next.

Wished I knew!
One thing for sure, this has been the most eye opening job I've ever had.

Dealing with the public in what many consider a dream job, I've learned there are so many ways of doing any particular thing, one never quits learning.
I meet people from around the world hiking the "100 Mile Wilderness." Thru hikers, both north and south bound, day hikers who've never walked through the woods before, babies, dogs, crew maintainers, fishermen, on a daily basis I see a good sample of all of these particular groups.

Sometimes they'll see me walking to work, mug in one hand, day pack and one hiking pole, in flip flops or water shoes, ready to cross the same West Pleasant river multiple times.

Pretty amazing, this study of self as well. Turns out I love to write and would rather do it directly on my hard drive than transcribe pen and paper illegible scratchings made on the fly.

So what's next? Any ideas?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kayak Lessons at the Island

Here on my days off, with a friend from Texas, I'm learning how to chose and navigate with a kayak. True, I'm only learning on a lake, but the lake is bedeviled by strong currents and wind sweeping down from out of nowhere, or so it seems. Yesterday, while plodding along in the shortest yellow one (second from the left) I struggled to return. My friend suggested the next day I take a long sleek vessel, and choose a longer paddle.

Upon putting the kayak in the water, I immediately sensed the difference. It was fast but initially quite unstable. He quickly pointed out that mine had no groves in the bottom and also my weight wasn't enough to settle deep in the water.
After heading across the lake, read turbulence, I took cover behind a secondary island. Much better. We landed, checked out the various artifacts (plastic, feathers, charred fire ring, fishing lures) then headed onward. 
Now I put my life jacket behind my back, so I could sit up straighter. He said, its all about your butt staying centered. 
How true!
Eventually I got the hang of things, able to navigate in and out of inlets, stands of water lilies and arrowroot, around fallen logs, off submerged rocks. By applying a brake with one paddle, and stroking deep with another, a quick about face is possible.
Who knew?
Perhaps an extended voyage is in the making.