Last month, I registered The Road not Taken Enough as a Limited Liability Corporation with the state of Oregon. I’m not altogether sure what I will do with this designation but, as usual, I’ll make it up as I go.
The application had a series of questions that I immediately forgot after answering. I was looking through the paperwork yesterday and found this:
I mean, why be “Owner” or “President” when you can be so much more. A field tech long ago and far away gave me this title. Apparently, I see no reason to change it.
An ounce of prevention, Big Cat requests that I stay.
The trail was on the east-facing slope, in mid-afternoon, it was entirely shaded. Autumn settled in last week making the shady slope cool and damp but we were in pursuit of a sunny nap clearing.
The trail came to an extravagant but rather permeable fence, then turned and followed the fenceline. One large, mangled, weathered, and high-off-the-ground sign stated, “No trespassing. No hunting. No…”
We followed the trail until it veered away from the fence. Then we crossed the fence, climbed the hill, and found the most lovely picnic spot, complete with a stone fireplace and a picnic table. We also found a perfect, sunny, pine needle-laden opening for a nap.
Enjoying the sun and watching as dozens of turkey vultures wobbled their way south overhead, we heard an engine, grinding up the hill.
“I suppose you know you’re on private property.”
“Yes, we saw the sign.” I mean, really what else could we say? The fence should have been enough.
After a pleasant exchange about where to find an equally beautiful and sunny nap spot on public land, we bid adieu and made our way back to the trail.
It was only later that I coined a new word: tresnapping. We meant no harm, we caused no damage, we merely wanted to nap in the sun, trespassing was necessary to fulfill our goal. Tresnapping. It’s perfect. You read it here first.
I took this photo of Big Cat napping in my duffel bag. I was packing for a work trip. He was tresnapping in silent protest.
I drink coffee for the cream. Decaf is just fine. Ask anyone, I don’t need the caffeine.
I took this photo in Bozeman, Montana. Kudos to ZCH for remembering the syllables.
Life and death. Eeny, meeny, miny, mo, catch a grasshopper by the toe.
There are good days. There are bad days.
Some days you’re a black widow spider on top of your web. The world is at your feet, and it fears you.
Other days, you’re the grasshopper, caught by the most delicate thread and just by the toe. Yet, each time you hop away, you land in exactly the same place.
I took this photo on a day when I was perceived as the spider – though I felt like the grasshopper. Gratefully, those days are past.
Things that happen while you sleep.
Unless the weather was completely unbearable I left the tent door partially unzipped so I could sit up and look out. My theory was if a polar bear was calling, I wanted to see it before it pounced. Of course, zipped into my sleeping bag, I looked like a puffy seal and an easy snack for a bear (granted in the photo above, out of my sleeping bag, I look like a puffy upright seal).
Sometimes while I slept people would stop on the island. They would pull up their boat, walk to the tent, see me buried in my bag, and leave again. Occasionally, I awoke to a plate of donuts or fresh fish left by unknown visitors.
When you live alone in a tent on an Arctic Ocean island you might expect heightened senses and light sleep. Hearing a boat approaching the island or a bear approaching your tent would be a good survival skill.
I took this photo after a good night’s sleep. I crawled out of the tent to find that the Arctic Ocean had moved thousands of tons of ice into this massive wall less than a hundred yards from where I slept.
It’s amazing I survived at all.
[This is a scan from the original slide. From film. Some of you may remember that stuff.]