Thursday, January 06, 2011

Here I Go, Turn the Page

On coming of age in 2010 and other jiblets:

We find ourselves in a new Julian calendar year.  Our globular vehicle has made another go at its path around the sun, and we celebrate our arbitrary milestone in this revolution with yeast piss, kisses, and if you’re the kind of person that feels the constant nagging of time chipping away at your block, maybe a resolution for the next set of 366.24 rotations during our next solar orbit.  These will, of course, set us up for multitudinous forms of disappointment, as we earthly beings are quite incompetent when it comes to satisfaction, and thus constantly looking for new ways to make our intolerably difficult lives easier; only succeeding in adding complexity to an infinitely chaotic universe.  Take the most popular gift for the 2010 Christmas season as an example, the Apple Ipad.  (Off topic, but what a poor choice in names:  Is it only for women?  Does it have wings?  I’ll need to see a disembodied hand spill an Erlenmeyer flask of strange blue liquid on it before I buy one…) While I’ve seen it do some nifty things like organize photos and present awe inspiring slide-shows of places I’m too poor to be accepted, I’ve yet to see it take out a middle man, destroy the power grid, or reduce our dependence on foreign oil, which to me, seems like it would make life a bit more simple.  It does however put the entire world library at the fingertips of every cyber-barney, and surely when the Ipad reaches the hands of the indigenous subsistence farmer, he will wonder how he ever lived without it. 

I just know these things are going to be so uesful
I spent a lot of time in 2010 shedding the skin of my youth.  Actually, a more accurately analogy would be that I put on a few new skins on top of my old ones because I like my old ones, no matter how tattered and bacon-necked they have gotten, and I want to keep them for going deep in the green room.  So, though I may get hot in 2011, I’ll have some grown up threads in which to shred the gnar gnar.

 The state has granted me a license to practice civil engineering.  All I had to do was work my ass off for ten years, take a burly test, pay them a good chunk of change (annually), and continue my professional development by attending seminars, summits, and conferences on my area of expertise, which not so ironically, is surface water.  It is a heavy new jacket, laden with pockets full of responsibility, risk, and the potential to get my pants sued off.  At least when that happens, I’ll be looking dope in my new coat.

Hella Fly
Speaking of simplicity, zeitgeist, and the coming apocalypse, I have been honing my frontiersman’s blade and have shed the blood of a furry, four-legged doe-friend.  Fun is not really an appropriate adjective with which to describe killing.  Exhilarating, for sure, but also solemn.  There is something very old about it; something that the many layers of societal progress and pressure have suffocated over the years.  This will serve as my summary: blood was spilt; the good earth yawned.

A Three Buck Tragedy

Carpentry skills will also be necessary in life after the end, and rebuilding a roof over the back of Quad One Eleanor afforded me the opportunity to spend my otherwise kayaking vacation in the Wind River drainage, practicing the art of patience and hammer swinging, nail driving, building America. 

The accomplishments in my single-man, watercrafts were slim this year, dwarfed by the responsibilities of life as a young adult, but I did manage to procure a bangin new squirt which proved to be the ultimate gun for roaming the Upper G this past fall.

Also of mention was the first decent of Sam’s Creek, tributary to the Thunderhead Prong of the Middle Prong of the Little River in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.  Let’s hear what T-fat Sibley had to say about this little gem:

A classic Smokey Mountain creek saw it first descent yesterday, December 1.

Sam’s creek is a little known run that flows into the Thunderhead Prong of Tremont, which flows into the Little River, eventually finding its way into the Tennessee River. This hair-tastic , Class V+,wilderness run was difficult to access and even harder to navigate. 

Team Vagina Boobs (Tbag); consisting of myself, A-Dud, and J-two-the-MT planned to rendezvous with Bankfool and 37-420 at the Y. We arrived shortly after the proposed time to find that we had been left behind in true Jib fashion. The aforementioned paddlers were en route to a run which can only be described as Gay Fork of the Fagg Prong.  Selfish and unable to share the spoils, they came back with tales of rapids such as Anal Beads, Poop Shoot, and Curious Back Ender. 

Tbag, determined to take a piece of their own first D pie, headed towards Sam’s Creek.  We parked at the put in of Tremont and headed upstream past Thunderhead. We crossed the river and began to hike along this beautiful creek and its neighborly rhododendron. 

A-Dud and I hiked up some 1.23 miles according to his GPS, leaving the J-two-the-MT below the hairy section. After playing paper-rock-scissors for the first Rapid, I peeled out of the eddy and styled it, followed closely by A-Dud.  We caught an eddy below the rapid which consisted of a 100 yard stretch of IV+ boogie into a clamshell drop. We decided to name it Baby Gorilla in honor of the best rapid in the world:  Baby Falls.

The next rapid looked pretty hairy, so out of respect for superior kayakers and in the spirit of a true First D, we left it untouched. 

We then found ourselves just above a perfect twenty- which is now called east coast groove tube. The lead in was perfect – a three footer into a rockslide and a boof on the right. The left side of the drop had a huge log in it which added an element of danger. J-two-the-MT walked this one as well.
The next hundred yards was another section of V+ boogie which fed right into Thunderhead. We paddled down through lower Tremont. A great run, good friends, and marginal kayakers.

Thanks for the update T-Fat.  

My camera is broken, so I’ll leave the images up to your imagination, faithful reader.  May the sidereal days be at their best for you in 2011.