Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I AM NOT DEAD, Just Dreaming...

First off, contrary to popular reports, I am not dead. Second, my absence can be excused because our computer went kerflooey. Third, I'm certain that there is a proper way to spell kerflooey but I don't know it.

I never wanted to be one of those bad weather bloggers. The kind who post every day during the winter when the ice and snow held them home-bound, and when summer came they disappear into the ether of the internet for months on end. I am not of that ilk. Only the short loan of Flannery's work computer brings me to you now, bless her heart.

Right now, I have many irons in the fire. I have been spending my time away from work planning the trip of my life time. Should any of my readers live near the Ohio or Mississippi rivers, I will be passing through late this month and would look forward to seeing you.

For those who don't know, I am planning a trip that will start from my boyhood home in Newark, Ohio down the Licking river (yes, you read that right) to the Ohio and on to the Mississippi in a canoe. My partner in this adventure, Err, has signed on and the only snag that could hold us up is if my sister can't watch the kids. I have arranged for a week and a half vacation and I am going to live out my dream such as it is. More than anything, we are shooting for distance and the Gulf of Mexico would be nice but that might have to wait for next year.

Let me go on record as saying that this is madness. It is. There isn't one good reason on God's green Earth to attempt this other than the fact that we can. There will not be any records broken. The folks from Ripley's won't be knocking on my door and my adventure will probably only grace the pages of my blog instead of the three book deal I'm hoping to sign with Random House publishing. Nonetheless, I embark on the journey just the same.

Why you might ask?

Because this has been a life-long dream of mine for twenty-two years.

Much like the amatuer mountain climber who dreams of Everest or the archeologist who dreams of finding a lost city, I have one chance to live my dream and see how far the river takes me. I just want to see where I end up.

I am by nature a homebody, and while the chances to venture out and see the world have presented themselves on occasion, seldom have I taken the chance as work/school/family have always intervened. I have never gone far enough or stayed long enough to satisfy me.

It all started with seventh grade history class I think. Tales of Simon Kenton and the French fur traders who traveled the Ohio Valley looking for beaver were a big impression on me at the tender age of thirteen and I so wanted to emulate their trip. (at 13, I was looking for beaver too.) I wanted to be an explorer much like they were, but a couple of hundred years and satillite photos had spoiled my contribution.

So I am going to do it anyway and history be damned. I honestly have no idea what to expect or what I might possibly gain from this venture. There is no money to be had. There is no fame or power to be garnered. No statue will be erected or footnotes entered into history books. Your subscription to Time-Life books won't have my photo, but unnatural compultions rarely are.

So far, everything is in place. All I need to do now is get the canoe licenced and registered and I'm going to do that tomorrow. I have Flannery's blessing and that has been the biggest hurdle so far. She did admit to me with a snicker that she is, "looking forward to picking my smelly butt up" around Cinncinnatti. God bless her as she has a heart of gold. I don't know of any other woman who would condone the kind of damn foolishness.

I'll be checking in with your blog tomorrow,


  1. If you already have one handy, post a map with your course or river on it, will you? I would love to see where you are going!

  2. Good for you, Doc! That sounds excellent. One of my life goals is to one day kayak the length of the Mississippi. I can't wait to hear about your experience.

  3. First, thanks for your kind words on my blog. Second, this is not madness at all... well except that you spelled kerflooey correctly without knowing it. The rest sounds totally sane and quite doable to me. And just so you know I'm serious, I won't make a joke about looking for beaver in the Ohio valley, or make any squealing pig jokes.

    A dream such as this is the perfect reason to embark upon it if you ask me. Because it's about the journey, not the destination, no matter where you end up or how long it takes.

    My hat's off to you Doc, I hope you get to go.

  4. Skyler's Dad- I can't find a map that suits me and I'm not even sure that the rocky Fork Creek meets the Ohio River by way of the Muskingum but I will keep looking and post one as soon as I can muster. Sorry, I should have done this sooner but it just didn't occur to me. Thanks for the reminder.

    Some Guy- I don't think I'll get all the way to Cinncinnatti like I hoped for this year, but plans are already in the works for next year and I would LOVE to have you along. If you can clear your calender for late August 2010, I can provide two willing traveling companions, one of which is a five-star campfire cook. Drop me a line, I'll be in touch.

    Dr. MVM- Damn computers, they only work when I've got nothing to post but some stupid dirty joke everyone's heard.

    GkL- If I said nice things on your blog, you can bet your cat I meant them! Your travels and doings have been something of an inspiration to me, much like Skyler's Dad's candid posts and Some Guy's videos. The three of you have taught me what adventure was.

    Skyler's Dad showed me what an adventure fatherhood can be with all of it's trials and pitfalls. Some Guy made me start wanting to video my goofy exploits, and you my dear, made me realize in a hard hitting way the thing that my father tried to teach me, namely that life is for living and we are only here for a short time, so why not fly into the teeth of it? I will never again be content with my armchair and I will always actively seek out a new story/adventure to tell.

    For you sport is a grand reward, but this is an area that holds no interest to me. Other than one football game a year at Tiki and the vain hope of catching the fencing matches or down-hill skiing on the Olympics every four years, I could care less about sport. Most kids learn sports early on. The only sports I learned were endurance oriented, e.g. running, swimming, hiking, holding one's breathe, walking through fire, etc., but none involved more than two people or had actual rule books. There was only three kids in the neighborhood so team sports were out and the only game you can get up with three kids is "Hide and Seek" and "Smear the Queer" (a game I have yet to understand).

    I really hope your injury is short-lived and you can renew your love of the game soon, and you still play like the reckless rebel you are. Let nothing slow you down dear. "Carpe Diem" and thanks for all that.

    P.S.- Tell your sister she warped me in a good way too.


  5. Very Nice Info and blog.I agree with You.Thanks for sharing.

  6. That sounds like fun! I've always wanted to go on a lengthy boat trip, but I don't know if I'd be brave enough to go in something as small as a canoe.

  7. Ah yes, sport and competitiveness often go hand and hand, but not always. By true definition (and yes I looked it up just now just to make sure) the term sport means, "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess." Two men paddling a canoe all over the not-new-England=sized state of Ohio sure sounds like sport to me Doc, and a great one.


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