back home. awesomeness. Got back Thursday afternoon. Rode Swope Thursday night, then had minsky's and PBR. home is the best.
The week prior to getting back I had spent camping in far southeastern Missouri, nearing Arkansas, doing work on the southern sections of the OT. Work was ok, really really hot (100+ everyday) and really really overgrown trail. One day was an epic 8 mile hike/trim with a couple other guys. Not the most fun of things but making skrilla is the name of the game.
Anyway, the area we were staying in was first in Eminance, Missouri on the Jack's Fork River, then at Big Springs National Park on the Current River. Absolutely beautiful area, crystal clear free flowing streams, huge old(er) growth forest, turquoise springs, caves, cliffs, etc, etc etc. The entire week I didn't take ONE pedal stroke. It was pretty sad, but most of the time we were working 5-1 or 2 and it was time to sit in the river when were done cause by then it was usually 105-110*. Making camp fires to cook really sucks when its already a billion degrees. Should have just brought salads for all week. hamburgers and failed mac and cheese were getting pretty old by the end of the week.
Got damn close to hitting a century...finished with 96 miles of trail trimmed that I was a part of. Also build some trail reroutes, creek crossings, did a turnpike, debermed with a mini skid steer, lopped/sawed many many branches/trees across the trail (all by hand :/), and did an insane amount of planning and logistical work to make everyday happen. HUGE Thanks to Aaron B for giving me something to do this summer. and to Mason to coming down to work with me after a few weeks...I would have gone insane had I been there the ENTIRE time by myself.
So 2 months of my life is gone and really in the long run I have nothing to show for it other than a couple things I may remember the rest of my life (5 hour long float trip with cliff jumping after our last day of work will be one of those). I had a lot of time to think while out in the woods the past 2 months; some times good, some not so great. It's lonely and extremely isolating being virtually in the middle of the backcountry for that long. Half the time we were at least staying in the Potosi house, but the other half where we worked/camped were mentally and physically exhausting.
I guess I'm just getting old and really actually starting to come to terms with it. My high school sweetheart (does anyone really still use that shit? I guess I do) is getting married. My YOUNGER brother is about to have his SECOND kid. My sister is 4 years younger than I am and we're both graduating college this year then starting grad school hopefully, me in December, her in May. I'm 25 years old but feel like I should be 19 still chilling with my boys everyday smoking a ton of herb not caring about a damn thing in the world. But that's over, I don't hang with those guys anymore, they've all got real jobs mostly away from here now, I'm not high 24-7 anymore. I've finally come to terms with how my father was murdered on my 19th birthday, how I had to drop out of college 3x before being able to start back up at 21, how I had to take care of my brothers and sisters when I was 19 years old, play up the stone face/no emotion to be the rock for the family all the while dying inside, how my girlfriend of 3 years during all of this just turned her back on me, how I lost 2 college wrestling opportunities (and the opportunity to get my education paid for). Life sucks ass sometimes, but honestly I can really say I have it good. I love life and wouldn't change a damn thing about it. The times I have with the people I love and who love me are really all that matter in the end anyway (unless you do something crazy enough to be put in a history book and be taught to second graders). Riding my MTB ripping a trail is the best time in the world to me, especially being able to do it with some buddies.
peace and riding!
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