Tuesday, January 28, 2003

We finally got some snow, with temps reasonable and in the 30s. If I weren’t going to see Henry Rollins with Clay Frazier in Milwaukee tomorrow night I’d try out my new cross country skis.

On Saturday Esther and I went to Beloit and hiked the Turtle Creek flowage, about an hour and two miles. We walked by thick vines, briar thickets, new growth alders and mossy logs. The trail took a loop following Turtle Creek. At a couple spots the creek was not iced over, and the white noise water flow drowned out surrounding city noise sirens and barking dogs. Esther said she understands why people own devices that tumbles water over rocks, but she still thinks they are corny. I asked her what she thought of the aquarium at Ron’s friend’s place in DeKalb? The 6x3 feet tank holds a snapping turtle, a rock, and a water circulator that perfectly imitated the sound of a gurgling brook. I remember Ron’s friend was very cool, very trail, laid back, not caught up in the rush, a camper, he lived in a boarding house. His studio had tall factory windows overlooking a rail yard. Noise association brought back May 3, 2002, when I met Ron’s friend. We hung out at his place after watching the premiere of Spiderman.

Before we finished our hike it started snowing round pellets that accumulate soft but sting windblown against the face. Back to the car, we drove less than a mile to Tom and Pat Backe’s place. They are on vacation, kayaking the Everglades, but gave us the code to get in their garage to have our pick of cross country skis. Two of the newer pairs fit us perfectly – boots, poles, everything. And although Saturday’s accumulation was not enough to support cross country skis, I’m hoping today’s is.

Last night I used my mono tape recorder to put some guitar ideas on tape. I would have sung, but my voice is hoarse with laryngitis. No pain and not too much coughing, but I can barely speak. It is a liability to my job as physical education instructor. I never realized how much I talk to the children.

This morning I worked out at the YMCA on stationary bike and weight lifting that focused on my chest. It is the first non-aerobics workout in over a month. I’m trying to increase the number of days I work out from three to four. Eventually five? We’ll see. I weighed myself for the first time in months and was happy to discover, post-holidays, I’ve kept off the 10 pounds I lost on the Superior Hiking Trail last September.

Working this week editing chapter sections for a guidebook of the Ice Age Trail. Spent at least an hour and a half the past two days. Also, my Hog Greer AT short story is coming along, albeit slowly and with great frustration. I just need to turn off my editor side and write whatever comes to mind. Once I have a completed rough draft I can work with things will go more smoothly. Trainwreck has agreed to help me layout and do artwork for a chapbook I am putting together for Traildays.

I am currently reading The Vision by Tom Brown. It contains a lot of outdoors wisdom, less mystical but following the same the student/sage paradigm of the Carlos Castaneda book I read last summer. Instead of Don Juan, we have Grandfather. Both are Native Americans. Both make me realize how out-of-touch I really am with the natural world, and how untested I am in real survival situations. Maybe I ought to change this blog from Rantings of the Natural Man to Musings of the Net Boy.

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