Reallife in Gig Harbor, WA

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reallife

Reallife in Gig Harbor, WA

Post by reallife »

I there everyone. My logon is 'reallife' and my name is Dave. I'm a recovering mid-westerner who just relocated to Gig Harbor, WA to spend the next however many years in semi-retirement seakayaking around the Pacific Northwest and Puget Sound. Oh, i know what you're thinking ....
Nevermind, I got here as soon as I could and I love it.

I'm spending this year learning to sea kayak by taking LOTS of classes and guided trips (nearly every weekend) and next year I'll do a few extended trips with others. By 2010 I should be up to speed as far as guiding my own trips.

I'm a very experienced backpacker (27 states), canoeist, etc. I switcehd to canoeing when I thought backpacking was doing too much damage to my body. Now I'll concentrate on sea kayaking because the portaging is easier.

Why 'reallife'? 'Reallife' is from my alternate life in the wilderness. My job and family require me to participate actively in the 'false' life of conventional American society. 'Reallife' for me requires waking up in the wilderness to the sound of the birds and going to sleep in the wilderness to the sound of the wind. I require frequent, deep wilderness experience to maintain my sanity in our crazy world.

My other moniker is 'Iron Chef Wilderness'. Lucky are those 'chosen few' who have been invited on my Quetico Wilderness canoe trips. I'm already planning menus for future kayakng trips.

Maybe I'll be getting together with some of you for breakfast on the beach someday soon?

Alm

Post by Alm »

I require frequent, deep wilderness experience to maintain my sanity in our crazy world.
This is probably the reason for many of us here, but there is a flip-side to this too. The longer you stay in wilderness, the more difficult is return back to civilization. I read about it before, didn't believe it first, but this is true. Different daily routine, even different time of waking up and going to bed. It's like changing time zones when flying across the ocean - takes time to get used to it, no matter in what direction.

Kapitän von Klepper

Post by Kapitän von Klepper »

You're not too far from me. You can came up anytime for breakfast on the beach (It's a hundred yards away). If you come sometime between full and new moons, the tides aren't so bad and we can get some decent paddle time. I speak of rough tides because according to a neighbour's story, a friend of his sailed from here to Australia and my channel was the roughest part of the entire journey! :shock:

BTW, I'll put a plug in for our FK meeting around May 17. I still haven't got any offers from anyone to paddle across from Roche Harbor to Canada with me. Would you be interested?

I well understand the real world vs. artificial world. I'm currently living as a refugee from the real world... :roll:

-Andreas

Christov_Tenn

Post by Christov_Tenn »

Yeah, about the real world thing...

I work for a smaller government agency that bases its goals on whatever policy fiction makes the a-hats in administration and management feel good about their inability to manage, meaningfully direct, add any value to the process that no longer results in even partially successful outcomes for those who voluntarily seek the services we are reputed to provide. The real lives of our clients contradict the happy clappy politically correct cant of the memoes purporting to describe them, their goals, and their abilities.

When I paddle, I see contrast the bureaucratic "State" with the actual state - land, water, growing things, wildlife, other people, that comprise the state upon which a societal hierarchy has been superimposed. The one is better than the other. The one is free and the other is a model of soviet-style political correctness that enslaves to no good purpose those whose lives intersect its framework.

A lousy day on the water is better than a tolerable day in the office.

Alm

Post by Alm »

Christov_Tenn wrote: A lousy day on the water is better than ...
There is no such thing. Can't remember any day on water that I would regret for.

YvonneB

Post by YvonneB »

I work for a smaller government agency that bases its goals on whatever policy fiction makes the a-hats in administration and management feel good about their inability to manage, meaningfully direct, add any value to the process that no longer results in even partially successful outcomes for those who voluntarily seek the services we are reputed to provide. The real lives of our clients contradict the happy clappy politically correct cant of the memoes purporting to describe them, their goals, and their abilities.
You too eh? Sad.I always held the notion that other countries did things with more common sense. I wonder how many sea kayaks are sold to provide therapy for the likes of you and me.

By the way if anyone ever needs to know how to make the time pass on a cold English Bank Holiday, it has just taken me an hour and half to DISSASSEMBLE my Kahuna, including lubricating the joints. Still, it was good exercise in both physical and mental terms. I managed mpt tp break anything.

Mary from Oxford and I just booked our Scottish adventure in September, hurray! Let's hope I am a bit faster with the assembly by then.

Kapitän von Klepper

Post by Kapitän von Klepper »

Yvonne, Here's hoping you don't have an early onset of FK owner's remorse. The key to quick assebly time is lots of practice. The key to offset the decreasing desire to assemble (and thus later disasseble) your boat is to not assemble it too often without cause. The objectives are obviously across purposes. :?
This is primarily the reason why seeking ways to have a boat that happens to tranform into a bag rather than a bag that happens to transform into a boat has been a topic in some of the recent threads.

-Andreas

Alm

Post by Alm »

By the way if anyone ever needs to know how to make the time pass on a cold English Bank Holiday, it has just taken me an hour and half to DISSASSEMBLE my Kahuna, including lubricating the joints. Still, it was good exercise in both physical and mental terms.
Ribs again, I guess? It takes me 30-35 minutes to assemble and 12-20 to dissemble (20, if I take care to wipe it dry inside, cleaning seaweed, sand and other garbage out). Once you've figured out how to deal with ribs, dissembling can be fast. Lubricate the joints with Bo-shield before assembling, it will stay for a few weeks or months, then you don't need to lubricate it every time, especially when dissembling. Clean the corrosion off the inner tubes (whitish dust is aluminum corrosion), before applying the lubricant. With a second-hand boat tt is a good idea also to rinse all the tubes with fresh water in bathtub and let them dry, before cleaning out the corrosion and lubricating. There could be a lot of grit or salt in the tubes.

Christov_Tenn

Post by Christov_Tenn »

Alm wrote:There is no such thing. Can't remember any day on water that I would regret for.
Friday was a pretty rotten day paddling, but you're right, I don't think I've ever regretted any kayak time.

reallife

Real world vs un-natural world

Post by reallife »

Alm wrote:
I require frequent, deep wilderness experience to maintain my sanity in our crazy world.
This is probably the reason for many of us here, but there is a flip-side to this too. The longer you stay in wilderness, the more difficult is return back to civilization. I read about it before, didn't believe it first, but this is true. Different daily routine, even different time of waking up and going to bed. It's like changing time zones when flying across the ocean - takes time to get used to it, no matter in what direction.
Of course, the natural world I'm calling 'wilderness' includes the un-natural, 'man-made', industrial world. There really is no separation between the two. It is an artificial dicotomy. I have found that I can easily transition between the two worlds. When I enter the wilderness I find that it takes a few days to transition to the pace of the wilderness. Usually I wake up on the third or fourth morning and notice the stillness, for lack of a better word. The 'buzzing' of the industrial world is silenced. Hearing, smell, taste, even vision becomes clarified. I usually become less verbal and often enter a more 'experiential' existence.

Many years ago while solo hiking in the Grand Canyon I traveled for eight days without even seeing another human being. On that eighth evening I suddenly became aware that I had passed the entire day without a single word entering my thoughts. I had been hiking and responding to the environment in an entirely non-verbal way. This could never happen in the man-made world. I doubt this would even be possible in the Grand Canyon anymore.

After 10-14 days in the wilderness I notice that my thoughts are gradually shifting. My relationships with my family, co-workers ( all of us are slaves to the machine), and friends rise into my conscious thoughts more and more. I start to miss this world and anticipate my return from the wilderness. I frequently return a day or two early. Once I spent 28 days in the wilderness near the southeast corner on Yellowstone National Park in the Bridger-Teton Wilderness. Near the end of that hike I was greatly anticipating my return to civilization. That was the longest period I ever went without speaking or interacting with other humans.

My return to the wilderness is usually delayed much longer than I would like. Work and family obligations must take precedence over wilderness renewal. Eventually, the planning gets underway and the next wilderness experience becomes reality. Now that I am getting older and my children are grown up, I have decided to spend more of my time in the wilderness. My new sea kayak will be my vehicle. :)

reallife

Real world refugee?

Post by reallife »

Kapitän von Klepper wrote:You're not too far from me. You can came up anytime for breakfast on the beach (It's a hundred yards away). If you come sometime between full and new moons, the tides aren't so bad and we can get some decent paddle time. I speak of rough tides because according to a neighbour's story, a friend of his sailed from here to Australia and my channel was the roughest part of the entire journey! :shock:

BTW, I'll put a plug in for our FK meeting around May 17. I still haven't got any offers from anyone to paddle across from Roche Harbor to Canada with me. Would you be interested?

I well understand the real world vs. artificial world. I'm currently living as a refugee from the real world... :roll:

-Andreas
I'm not clear what you mean when you say you are a refugee from the real world. To me the real world is the natural world. A refugee is usually someone who has fled from a situation where a healthy, happy, fulfilling life is no longer possible, due to some natural or man-made disaster or conflict and one must flee to a less satisfying life in order to survive and hopefully, eventually, be able to return 'home' at some indefinite time in the future. Is that what being a refugee from the real world means to you? I guess we are all refugees from the real world. Refugee status is forced on us as the real world we all depend on is rapidly consumed by industrial civilization.

Breakfast on the beach sounds good.....

Kapitän von Klepper

Post by Kapitän von Klepper »

:oops: I got my metaphors switched. I meant I live as a pseudo-refugee in the real world and away from the psychotic artificial world. :roll: I guess I've grown accustomed to escaping and getting away from it all, and when returning to civilization telling people I was forced to return to "the real world". But this usage has beginnings no doubt in psycho-babble, -fantasy vs. the real world or reality. One says they are returning to reality when they step back into their usual routine.

-Andreas

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krudave
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: Astoria, OR

Post by krudave »

Longtime wilderness devotee here; is there a 12-step rehab program for this affliction? :wink: :lol:

I think wilderness affects different people very differently. In the very distant past (30 years ago) I did a few seasons as a "wilderness climbing guide" [what an inflated title that was!!!] on and around Mt Adams in central southern Washington. We took clients on 8- and 12-day treks around the north and east sides of the mountain, mostly above treeline, culminating in an ascent of the Mazama Glacier on the SE aspect. Most of these folks were completely new to climbing, but had some (or, a lot) backpacking experience.

Some found it intoxicating; for others, it was torture, and not just because of the physical demands.

I think it requires a person seeking solitude and open spaces for real appreciation of true wilderness. Some folks really freak out in places like that.

For me, it was a way to regenerate; like others who have written here, it was a way of counteracting some of the toxic interpersonal aspects of my job.

Sea kayaking in remote places, even only slightly remote, has a healing effect on me. Next post will be a piece stimulated by a wild beach on the Columbia.
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

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krudave
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Posts: 1035
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: Astoria, OR

Post by krudave »

Here's the piece. It's called Wild Places.

[More like it here for the addicted: :roll:
http://www.kayaktrips.net/sea-kayak/cat ... ruger.html ]

Been on a tear the last couple weeks, shedding work-angst. Five days on the water over the last seven -- two overnights and a day trip. Yesterday it gelled.

Smack dab on a coarse sand beach, a divergence in the River, where eighty per cent of the flow edges to the south, past parallel mountains of dredge spoils, and another ten per cent shelves northward. The rest is spread over four miles of shallows and backwaters, all hell-bound for the sea.

A man-made place, yet wild. Broken trees and huge driftwood lace the swash line. Moss and dried annuals scratch at the sand on the dune. Double crested cormorants alight echelons of pile dikes, preening for a mate. Grebes "screebing" at each other, bragging of bigger fish, more fish. Seals smacking the water, chasing vanishing salmon.

Mongo freighters take the larger channel, and the Corps smooths their path with a million dollars a year in spoil extraction, to make the waters turn ten degrees south. Conservation of momentum and money in a standoff. We sit in awe, here shuddering at the power of the River, shaking piles and gouging sand.

The geese know it, the terns know it, and the immature eagle fifty yards off knows it. All are competing for a piece of this place.

And so am I, to scrabble a fragment of sanity. The sun is out, the wet suit off, food gulletting down with water as lubricant. A feeding mode not so much different from the soon-to-be-hatched goslings, now incubating under an adult, itself watched by the eagle, the redtail, and us.

The current runs in two directions here, generating boils and mild haystacks for us to dance over, and we ease off, skirting massive piles of sand, decorated at the lower end with feeble fences of plastic to divert terns. An eagle silhouette stands guard, and two matures help on a grounded root ball.

Leaving this special, diverse, remote place, though it will not leave us. We carry it back to civilization, a tonic for an interval, or maybe a lifetime, knowing it is there.

Are there sand-Druids?
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

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