Category Archives: Adam masturbates
Good afternoon, my friends. It is with a tattoo-free lower back that I announce my quest to run 100+ miles from June 20th to August 15th has been a successful one. Read ’em and weep:
Actually, I hit 100 on August 7th, which was a private goal I kept to myself and one other person. As one can see from looking at the graph, there was an 8 day stretch where I literally did nothing. I had a lot of lower leg pain and running any more than about 50 feet brought on a lot of calf/shinsplint pain. I finally broke down and ordered a pair of Hokas, which cured about 90% of all those problems. More on that later.
The embarrassing thing is that I truly believed running 50 miles in one month was a monstrous challenge. Almost insurmountable. The truth is..it really wasn’t that hard. I just put my shoes on and dedicated between 10-60 minutes of my day to completing the goal. Using the Beeminder was a huge benefit, but I’d have to say most of my motivation came from my lovely wife when she asked me “what kind of pink panties are you going to wear when you lose the bet.” I ran an extra 2 miles that day, and for the record I would’ve went with boy-shorts.
As per luke’s part of the bet, he has handily doubled my mileage and dwarfed me in the process. He’s in Colorado as we speak, probalby on a mountain doing something awesome.
So, this is one of those odd bets where we both win, and you, the reader, loses. I’m honestly torn as to how I should feel about this, but I think there’s a solution.
Robby, Travis and Kate are also going to Thunder Rolls. It only seems fair they have to duke it out somehow, and I’d like to hear your thoughts on how we should make that happen. Or maybe you want us to do another running bet “to the death’ for the Castlewood race later this year; I don’t know..let your imagination run wild.
Either way, let your thoughts be heard. I’ll be at work all weekend and likely bored out of my mind.
For this trip-report, Cara has been granted temporary access behind the Virtus curtain to leave her comments in pink 🙂
Last year on July 1st, Gomed and I were enjoying a nice day on the river when *one of us* (we all know it was Bob)made a critical paddling error and flipped the canoe. I must’ve swallowed too much river water, because suddenly a creek-bank next to our submerged canoe sounded like the perfect place to ask if she’d marry me. Forgetting to kneel, I botched the proposal and had to “do it again.. the right way“. This is, of course, a short version of the story and only a small part of a great weekend trip together.
And so we decided that a wilderness trip on the first weekend of July would be an annual thing. This year, I’d been spending a lot of time on the Ozark Trail Planner website, and I really wanted to do their featured 2-day trip. Basically, it’s a 13 mile hike on the OT to BASS River Resort campground, then paddling back the next day. It was going to be a challenge for sure, and we were both pretty excited about it.
Finding the Onondoga Trailhead was a little more challenging than we’d hoped, but after a few minutes of driving around in circles we finally stumbled onto it. Striking out onto the trail, Cara wasted no time dropping my ass. I’m hardcore like that.
Since we were carrying all of our food/water/tent, etc. for the whole weekend, our packs were pretty heavy. I’d tried to do the chivalrous thing and carry most of the heavy stuff, but she was still left to carry a really heavy blanket and about 9 pounds of Slim-Jims and sweetTarts. Lucky for us, there were randomly placed benches along the trail for the first few miles.
The OT website described the first 4 miles as “A pleasant walk through hardwood forests and a few pine groves”. Lies. I guess that’s mostly true, but there was some respectable elevation changes, especially with the heavy packs we were hauling. One thing I noticed was that while it doesn’t look like the trail gets used much, it was in very good shape. The further we hiked, the better the scenery became, especially as we neared mile 5.
The miles ticked by steadily and soon the trail was skirting along between the Courtois River and a rather large limestone bluff. Very cool stuff. We saw a few paddlers in the creek, but for the most part we passed by unnoticed.
At mile 5.2, we came to the “wet crossing, normally 1-2 feet deep and subject to flooding.” The water was so clear you could see to the bottom, and we learned pretty quick that the green-shaded areas were DEEP..as in, up to my waist. We had the foresight to remove our socks and shoes before crossing, so after a very relaxing swim, (Bob swam around in only his underwear, tight, green little booty shorts.. he got some looks) I sat on the water’s edge changing back into my dry socks.
….then I had a good laugh watching her try to find a way across without getting soaked. She skirted the bank all the way around, barely getting wet past the knees.
Right about this time, we had a the option of cutting the trip short or continuing on. I left the decision to her and she wanted to do the whole 13 miles… an impressive lady on all counts. I’m tough.
Having crossed the creek, we made our way up a short piece of trail leading t0 Bat Cave, which is obviously not somewhere the Dept. of Conservation wants people playing around.
After that, the trail got very interesting. We basically went up, up and up before eventually reaching a scenic overlook near the 8-ish mile mark. There’s a rock outcropping that overlooks a few miles of the valley below, and the view is awesome. I don’t know if it was the spectacular view, the awesome weather or the remoteness of it all, but we were suddenly inspired to do something more adventurous than stand there and take photos…so I hope you’ll forgive the absence of bluff-top pictures. I’m sure any other man in my position, (get it?), would’ve done the same thing.
I’ve got to say, for a woman who spends most (all) of her day working in a lab, this wife of mine did very well on our 13 mile hike. It wasn’t until we’d gone about 11 miles that she finally lost her shit. But when she did…it was in glorious fashion. Let me see if I can remember her words correctly:
***Quietly hiking slong and then…..**” I f*cking hate nature!!, this is so stupid, why do we have to climb all the way to the top of these giant ass hills, then have to turn around and go right back to the bottom and then come back up again?!?. This is so stupid, we’ve hiked like 7 miles and 5 of them have been in circles!! Who makes these trails, anyway??!? And how is that creek a “reliable” water source?!?! I’m not drinking that green shit, I don’t care how long you boil it.
It’s true, I said all of that plus some.
It was absolutely hilarious and I loved every moment of it. We discussed the possibility of camping along the trail and finishing the hike tomorrow, but she wanted to get to the campground. About an hour later, we reached Bass River Resort. 13 miles had come and gone (those miles did not just “come and go”, they were looong, painful miles), so we decided a victory pizza was in order:
We set up the tent, drank a few beers and settled in for the worst night of sleep we’ve ever had together. Not bringing an air mattress was a HUGE mistake, regardless of how heavy it would have been. Having one blanket and no pillows was an even bigger mistake, but I don’t know how we would’ve gotten them into our already-stuffed packs anyway. We were awake early the next day, mostly because it was too painful to lay on the
ground gravel bar. Some leftover pizza slices and a few cups of Pine-needle tea, and it was time to break down the tent and get ready for the paddle.
Before leaving, we decided to eat one of the Mountain House meals we’d brought, but ran into a bit of trouble when we realized we didn’t have any spoons. The people at BASS told us they didn’t have any either, which I’m sure was a lie. I won’t elaborate on the rest of our experience with the employees there, but I will say their demeanor was disenchanting.
Trying to impress my wife, I broke out the old survival knife and made us a spoon, which we then boiled to make sure it wasn’t loaded with nasties. Bob thinks he’s an ultra-survivalist from watching too many Man, Woman, Wild shows.
All loaded up and ready to go, we embarked on the 1 mile hike to the kayaks. Cara really didn’t want to walk, so I stuck out my thumb and we hitched a ride on the tailgate of someone’s pickup truck. We both had a good laugh during the ride, and before we knew it we were ready to hit the water.
You couldn’t have asked for a much prettier day. The temps were probably in the mid 80’s, no wind, sunny and pleasant. Paddling in separate boats was definitely the right thing for us to do, as we were able to choose our own lines when the river got tricky. (No arguing) I was probably 100 yards behind when I saw her boat go around a corner…then shoot up into the air upside down. She exploded out of the water like an Olympic swimmer trying to catch the boat and paddle , and I did my best to laugh quietly. Seriously, though..I don’t think I’ve ever seen her move that fast. I’ll kill you.
The water was crystal clear and the scenery was fantastic. There were a lot of people on the river too, but we never ran into any belligerent drunks or anything. Check out the bluffs along the river:
Since I’m an idiot and hadn’t brought a map, I had no idea how far we’d come or how far we still had to go. We were having fun though, and our pace was decent. Things were about to change, though. The sky grew dark and the wind picked up quite a bit. Off to our right, a giant sycamore tree broke in the wind and crashed to the ground. It was LOUD, terrifying, and an awesome sight, but also foretelling of the incoming weather.
Basically, the weather went straight to shit. It started out with some strong wind, then came the rain. The cool rain was pretty refreshing at first, but it wasn’t long before we found ourselves in an all-out downpour. Branches were splashing into the creek all around us and the rain filled the kayaks. I tried to get some videos, but they’re pretty shaky.
Adding insult to injury, Cara finds herself on a sandbar:
Next thing you know, it starts hailing. Time to get serious. I yelled for her to abandon the boat and take the paddles to the bank. Then I hauled both boats to the bank and dumped our stuff out. She laid down on the ground and I put the kayak on top of her. I’m about to get under my kayak when I look out and see a family in a raft being pelted with hail. A girl in the raft couldn’t have been more than 4 years old, so…I ran out and helped them get the raft to shore, dump it over and get them under it. After that, I crawled under my kayak next to Cara and we laughed about the “epicness’ of it all, because being caught in a thunderstorm with hail is HILARIOUS when you’re under a piece of plastic hoping to not get crushed by fallen tree, or drown in the quickly rising river.
It’s hard to believe you can find romance in a hail storm, but laying there under the kayak while my legs were being beat to shit with ice, I was so happy and proud of my wife. This was obviously an unforseen circumstance and she had handled it like a champ. There were no complaints, no arguing..just the two of us working together to overcome an undesireable situation. There’s nowhere else I would have rather been. Aww, he’s such a sweetheart 🙂
I guess the hail lasted about 20 minutes, and when it stopped we decided to get moving before we got too cold. So back out into the rain we went, until the skies eventually cleared and the day was gorgeous again. Along the way, we bumped into a few folks we knew, including, Lisa, Pam and Randazzle, who were more than eager to share their deviled eggs, cookies, booze and water with us. (Just a few more of the things we’ll be bringing with us next time). They saved us. We had no food, no water, no nothing. I was so relieved I didn’t have to drink river water treated with iodine tablets.
We were also invited over to “Chateau de Dazzle” later that evening for some delicious steaks and intelligent conversation. Talk about an awesome day. We paddled/floated with the 3 of them for the remainder of the trip, and eventually called it a day. In my book, this weekend trip together was a complete success. The route was challenging, scenic and rewarding. We worked as a team, overcame all obstacles and even got to eat steaks at the end. Judging from the soreness in both of our lower legs, I’d say the next trip will be a bit shorter, but we’re already talking about doing it again. I’m thinking a group trip with other couples/individuals would be a REALLY kickass time.
Last time we talked, I laid down some embarrassing truth about my lifestyle. “Coming out” was like taking a massive emotional dump, and I’ve gotta say…I feel better now. And while this has all been very humbling, a lot of positive things have happened because of it.
It seems I’m not alone in this dietary fall from grace, as I’ve gotten emails from several people in similar situations. As the people around them are rising to meet new challenges, they find themselves spiraling into an isolating, sedentary existence. These email exchanges have gotten me really motivated. Just knowing that other people are dealing with this same bullshit has been very uplifting. In one man’s words, “Sometimes the easiest way to inspire people is to let them know they’re not alone.”
So now that we’re all motivated, it’s time to set some goals, (mine is to run at least 50 miles by August 15th.), and with goal-setting comes the issue of accountability. How do we keep ourselves focused? Follow-through has always been a struggle of mine, so I was excited to hear from Silky about a website/app called Beeminder. Beeminder is basically a way to break your long-term goals down into a more focused, daily “path” leading to success. Stay on the path and all is well..leave the path and they’ll start taking money from your checking account. Yeah, that’s serious motivation. They also collect your data and put it on a really cool graph that shows you how you’re doing. Check it out:
50 miles may not seem like a lofty goal to some people, but it’s a big deal to me. I’ve been at this for 13 days now and logged just over 18 miles. I’ve had LOTS of foot pain, knee pain, back pain, chapped butt cheeks and sweat in my eyes, but I can promise you that it’s getting just a little bit easier every day.
So..how about a 4th of July run tomorrow morning at Binder?
Tearing down a non-race course is a lot like picking up all the wrapping paper after Christmas morning. It’s depressing to know you’re gonna have to wait a year before you get to do it again. This year, though, has been very different. One might even go so far as to say it’s been awesome.
A few days ago, I loaded up my pack and set out to tear down the Western half of the CAC2 Orienteering course. The following is my account of this truly badass day.
9 am: Woke up and checked to see if anyone I had invited was going to show up. No dice; this would be a solo venture.
10 am: Driving down Highway J, I see a bald eagle swoop down and pick up some roadkill. I nearly wrecked my truck watching it happen. This was surely a sign that today was going to be awesome.
12:05 pm: Parked the truck at the end of County Rd 354, hit the woods and started hiking North. I could already hear the water ripping down Cedar Creek. Before long, I was crossing a small feeder creek and started finding beaver chews. I love finding this kind of stuff.
About 20 minutes later, I arrive where the CP flag should be.. and it isn’t there. With CP flags being $9 a piece, this was disappointing, for sure. I decided to sit on the cliff and look around. Sure enough, I spotted the flag about 100 feet downhill from where it was originally placed.
After gathering the next two flags, I decided to slide down the hill and follow the creek Northward for a bit. I started noticing a bunch of Blue Heron cranes flying around, and when I stopped to watch them I realized I was in the middle of their nesting grounds. Blue Herons are known to make their nests in large Sycamore trees, so I sat under one and watched them fly in and out of their nests. It was very cool to watch these giant birds swooping around. They make the oddest sounds..
This was now uncharted territory along Cedar Creek, and since I’d forgotten to bring my map I wasn’t sure if I was still on public ground. The houses on the bluffs above would make me an easy target for someone wanting to shoot a tresspasser so I made my way into the wooded area away from the creek. Ascending the bluff, I found yet another clifftop with the most scenic view I’ve found to date. Check this photo out:
Getting to the top of that cliff was tricky; it’s overgrown with cedars and some kind of vines. But once I got there, I found a pretty cool slab of rock right at the edge where a person could sit and take in the view. Dangerous for sure, but a pretty awesome feeling to be that close to the edge.
I hung out there for a bit before heading back into the woods. When I cut back into the woodline, I noticed something below that demanded closer inspection:
The photo doesn’t do a good job of showing the steepness of the hill going down to the waterfall. I can assure you that it was at least mildly perilous. This is definitely one of my new favorite places.
This trip was just getting better and better. My plan had been to hike North along the creek until the second time it turned Northeast, then packraft my way back to the truck. I was almost sad when the creek turned, but I was super excited to get in the water. Making my way toward the water, I found this rock formation with a giant gorge in either side.
The terrain was too tricky to get a photo at the top, but I did snap this one from the bottom. If you look where I’m pointing, you’ll see two small caves at the base of the rock. I assume they connect in the middle, but we’ll have to verify that on an exploration trip very soon..
And now it was time for the fun part. I inflated my packraft and the $5 inflatable surfboard I was using for an inflatable floor. I put all of my stuff in a “waterproof” bag, (waterproof, my ass), and roped it to the back of the boat so it wouldn’t weigh me down. Then it was time for the fun part.
I found a nice calm pool where the water wasn’t moving too quickly and shoved off. At first, the water was relatively calm…almost relaxing. In several places, like the one pictured below, there are small trickles of water feeding the creek.
90% of the time, this creek is mostly dry. I’ve only ever seen it floatable after sustained heavy rains and/or flooding. And since the water level is never really constant, you just never know what the conditions will be like. Up until this point, there were very few strainers and only a small rapid or two.
The boat was doing well, my drybag was still floating and I had somehow managed to not drop my camera in the creek. I had no idea what time of day it was anymore, and that’s how I know I’m having a good day.
Little did I know the “drybag” was filling with water and all of my fresh clothes for after the float would be soaked. Coming around a bend in the creek, I could hear the rapids ahead and saw that I had to make a decision.
After that, things started happening a lot faster. A few quick rapids later I found myself dodging this little strainer.
I realize the video quality isnt the best, but you have to understand I was holding the camera in my mouth. By now I was full of confidence and ready for the next volley of rapids. This next video shows you why I bought a packraft in the first place. I’m sure these rapids would be no big deal in a whitewater kayak or maybe even a canoe, but in a small inflatable boat….excitement abounds.
I’m sure you could hear a *little bit* of fear in my voice on that one, but I assure you.. the fear was totally eclipsed by the excitement of that moment. Moments like those are the ones that make all your cares disappear. Your entire world is right there in the boat, there are no wandering thoughts of bills, careers or anything. All you think about is the spray in your face, the paddle in your hands and the ice cold water marinating your testicles….and I suppose you think about the friends you wish were there to share the experience.
I don’t think I’m being modest when I say the CAC2 has the best orienteering leg of any non-race we’ve ever put together. I can pretty much guarantee everyone, even the seasoned racers, will be impressed with what the CAC2 has to offer. And as much as I’d love to post photos of all the cool stuff you’ll see…I don’t want to ruin the surprise.
That’s a picture of my little brother on a “not so recent” CAC2 scouting mission. Despite the obvious badassery going on in this photo, I can assure you that the picture does absolutely no justice to either the coolness of the rock arch he stands upon, nor does it depict the deathplunge he would’ve experienced if he’d taken one step backward off of the rock. The CAC2 is supposed to be fun, but there are times when the CAC2 will demand your ultimate respect. Checkpoints have been placed in areas that showcase the land’s natural beauty, but also expose you to a bit of danger. This shit is serious business. (sometimes)
In that light, we’re going to require that you bring a bit of mandatory gear.
Individual Gear for the Entire Race:
- Backpack with at least 50 ounces of hydration (bladder, bottles, old Boy Scout canteen, whatever)
- Rain Jacket
- Blaze-orange vest or scarf or hat (anything blaze-orange) to keep hunters from shooting your ass
- Wool or Synthetic Stocking Cap
- Headlamp w/ fresh batteries
- Camera (not exactly mandatory, but we’d LOVE to see some photos of our CAC in action)
Individual Gear for the Bike Leg:
- Mountain Bike
- Rear-Facing Red Blinking Light
- Spare Tube
Team Gear for the Entire Race:
- Fully-Charged Cell Phone in waterproof container (make sure it’s charged!)
- Small First Aid Kit
- Iodine Tablets or other water treatment method
- Waterproof Map Case
Team Gear for the Bike Leg:
- Bike Tool
- Pump or Inflator
- Patch Kit
Other Stuff I would bring:
Lawn chair, beer, various forms of pork, a positive attitude, DOG SPRAY, wood splitter, WTFAR repellent, a change of clothes, some clean shoes, Mayonnaise and/or Ranch Dressing for Brian of WTFAR, toilet paper, sunscreen, camera, extra batteries, a blow-up doll for Adam, extra bbq sauce, lip balm, coffee, tent and sleeping bag, extra compass.
That should cover just about everything for now. Stay tuned for an update on the Gravel Grinder we’re doing on Sunday after the CAC2.