A Vanishing Florida

We hear alot about endangered species these days but one of the most endangered is the oyster fisherman of the Apalachicola Bay.

I just got home from a few days in a remarkable part of our country. Apalachicola Bay sits about 75 miles SE of Panama City and 90 miles SW of Talahasee Fla. but for all practical purposes it could be a million miles from nowhere. For sure the wealthy have built there beach houses and wreaked havoc on some of the essential dunes, but there is still a timeless quality about it and there you can still find the Florida I fondly remember as a young boy in the 60's.

Apalachicola Bay is fed by a river of the same name which originates some 800 miles north and is called the Chatahoochee. The Chatahoochee is also largly responsibe for supplying the city of Atlanta it's fresh water. Unfortunately, in our efforts to civilize and dominate our environment, the good citizens of Atlanta have made watering their lawns a more important priority than saving a little for the vital flow of fresh water to the Bay. The Apalachicola river feeds the Bay with nutrients and is essential and critical to the ecosystem of that forgotten landscape. If something isn't done now, and thankfully there are things being done now, another beautiful and unique system will be forever changed by the mad march of industrialized mankind.

My son and I fished out of our canoe (and ate what we caught), skinny dipped in the middle of the day in the Gulf of Mexico (there is just nobody out there for miles) and learned to appreciate some rugged individuals who make their living supplying our markets with fresh seafood. 90% of Florida oysters are havested in the Bay and the tecnique hasn't changed in a century. It's still done for the most part out of 16 foot boats by hand.

I am happy to get to travel to new places and understand why it is important to fight for our good mother earth. We must be different than others. We must try our damndest to not partake in the degridation. It's hard I know. But there is so much beauty left out there to fight for.


Here's to Cactus Ed

"A true patriot is not afraid to defend his country from it's government."

There is about a million things i'd love to say about Edward Abbey but there is no way with my pea sized brain and my memphis public school education vocabulary, i could get close to doing him justice.

He was a true libertarian, a defender of the american west, a lover of many women, a man's man with taste for good whiskey and cheap beer. Ah, we must somehow be brothers.

If you havn't, read everything he has written and start with the "The Brave Cowboy" and go all the way to "A Fools Progress". You will be inspired to live a richer life and examine your reasons for being on this mother ship we call home. He lived his life his way.

Thank God, whoever you are, for Cactus Ed.


Karl's AT Speedrecord Attempt

The cards are dealt and the chips are in. I heard from Backcountry.com yesterday and they are buying my plane ticket to Allentown, PA on the 28th of Aug. Another fine mess you've gotten yourself into. When you look back at your life and try and connect the dots as to how you got where you are, it's amazing. I meet Karl thru Nate at Hardrock in '06. He is a good guy. Just a regular guy with big goals and huge tallent. He finds me up in Pensylvania last year while I'm thru hiking the trail and spends some time. We hook up at Hardrock again in '07. He casually mentions the AT speedrecord. Now a year later, I'm getting my expenses paid to go out on a cool adventure crewing Karl for the second half of his trip. There is no telling what will happen because of taking this step. Huge fun for sure. All I can say is what I've been saying all along, if an opportunity presents itself, do it. Do not limit your experience to 'inside your own mind' or 'too close to home'. The world is a big place. Every experience leads to new and better experiences. Don't be afraid, don't be shy, make your life an open book. The years go by faster and faster and faster and faster. I want my kids to say, "my dad was an adventurer."


It's All In The Numbers

Hardrock is in 1 month. While I was doing my long run, 10 miles on flat smooth gravel at a speedy 10:45 pace I was saying to myself, "self, your ankle will be at about 25% ready and your fitness will be at about 25% ready and that adds up to 50%. Heck, you got a 50-50 chance of finishing that thing."

I like the way ultra runners rationalize. It all looks so easy sitting here in the AC sipping a Fresca on ice. I keep forgetting how big and god aweful steep those mountains are and how freaky it gets traveling thru the backcountry in the middle of the night. And it would take me two nights to finish this one if I made it that far.

But what do they put in that stuff? This race is so adicting. It is truly like the best and the worst drug. you just can't quit it knowing full well how bad it's gonna make you feel if you do it. and for what? you do it because it's the purest high out there. It's just so big. It's just so much. I hope it doesn't kill me this year. I hope standing there facing the beast I have the nerve to do the right thing and I hope I can survive the choice I make.

10 miles under 11 min. pace in the heat of memphis. I'm gettin' there.


Beware Peaking Over the Fence

Man.......it is Africa, equatorial hot outside. I mean, HOT. It's only June 7 and it has averaged in the mid 90's all week with humidity so high i felt like I was swimming in the air. So, what does a southern boy who lives his life outside do when it gets this hot? He finds ways to cool off.

This outside shower is my way of flipping the bird to this HOT weather. I built it yesterday. Bring it on sunshine. The hotter it gets, the better it feels standing under the cool water in the middle of the back yard with the sun shining all over my skinny, bare behind.

Life is sooooooo good.

Walked, joged 8 miles yesterday. Ankle feels good.

Peace to all.......


Creek Cabin Mt. View Arkansas

I had to do it. I drove by it, saw the sign, bought it. I had a place on this creek, the South Sylamore, some years back and have regretted selling it about a million times. I'm glad life gives us second chances.

Peace to all.........


When the horse bucks you off, hit him in the head.

Man.....what a good day. I had the pleasure of doing a group ride to benifit the Wolf River Conservancy this morning. It turned out to be 58 miles and got to share the ride with some of my favorite peeps. Rick Prince, man, what can I say. One of my idols and one of the tuffest guys ever to set foot in this town. We rode each others wheel all day and had a blast. I almost wrecked a couple of times we were laughing so hard about past exploits. That's what is so good about getting older, more war stories and between the two of us, we can spin some yarn. Richard Williams rode his MT bike the whole ride and even pulled some. The guy amazes me. Also an old bud from back the day, Chip Benson rounded out the quartet and helped pull alot. I havn't been doing jack for 3 months and today we rode 58 miles and averaged over 18. I am really happy with that. It's a great thing to get back out there and work the body hard. I'm fired up.