Archive For: Humor

A Sad Realization

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When Steve and I undertake this hike, and then complete this hike, we are going to be going through quite startling physical transformations over the course of the 6-month hiking adventure.

We are both going to lose weight. A LOT of weight. Once we get into full hiking shape, on the trail, it will be impossible for us to eat enough daily calories to make up for what we are burning on a daily basis.

We are going to finish as lean, mean, walking machines…..easily in the best physical shapes of our lives from the past three decades or so.

We are also going to have a little more hair. Yes, even Steve….will have hair……….. 6 months of uncut, ungroomed hair! And beards! Six months of glorious hiking beards!

I have seen a trend in looking at photos of male hikers who have completed the trail.

Without fail, a male hiker will start the trail in Georgia, with no two hikers looking alike, and by the time they finish atop Mt. Katahdin in Maine, EVERY male hiker will look like the spitting image of 1980’s Singing Sensation Kenny Loggins.

Kenny+Loggins+kennymuppet2

At first, I thought…..COOL!! I go into this hike looking like Santa Claus’ twin brother and I come out the other end looking like 1980’s Kenny Loggins!

The wife was OK with this….

“You’re gonna look like Kenny Loggins from my High School days huh Idiot? I can live with that…”

But..

Then, I realized that this phenomenon only applies to hikers under the age of 40.

My eyes feverishly looked through photos of “older” hikers, hoping that they would at least come out of the hike looking like…

sam_elliott

Actor Sam Elliott.

Yeah! That’s the ticket! I go in looking like Santa Claus….and come out looking like Sam Elliott!

The wife hears me talking to myself and yells across the room… “I could live with Sam Elliott!! Of course YOU would have to move out….but Sam could stay!”

But, of course, this was not to be.

I looked closer at photographs of hikers atop Katahdin that would be in OUR age range by the time we finish the hike.

Ouch!!

Without fail, every male hiker over the age of 40 who actually completes the trail, will be posing atop the sign on Mt. Katahdin and will be the spitting image of…

Someone quite different.

No Kenny Loggins for Steve or I….

No Sam Elliott for the wife.

Instead..

Just call us “Uncle Jesse”…………

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dukesposterunclejesse

Who knew?

Just a quick note for any who might be interested. We are taking this whole raise money for charity thing seriously, and hope others will too. When we are lying in a pool of our own sweat and vomit, agonizingly crying “Why am I doing this?”, we will just need to be reminded that there will be thousands of puppy eyed … well puppies, and possibly a few puppy eyed children, and who knows how many other souls who could use a boost, quietly watching us and thinking shameful thoughts at our failure to produce the funds we promised them. And we will groaningly get back on our feet and continue on. Have YOU ever tried to stare a puppy down?

Granted the numbers are not exactly high yet, but I have created a couple of new pages to not only track our own progress for everyone, but to offer those who have made pledges suitable accolades and to keep track of what good we might inspire and for what charities it is being done. The pledge list can be found HERE, and the charity list HERE. Both pages are a bit short right now, but considering we have really only been at it for less than two weeks, a possible offering of approximately $500 for two charities does not seem all that bad. Imagine if we had just this much offered each month for the next three years, that alone would be approximately $18000 spread between a few charities. That is with just two people a month making similar pledges to what we have.

surpriseI just surprised myself with that number, but I even took my shoes off to verify it. With enough people even making small pledges, we could seriously make a notable difference in many lives with this project.I was mainly just pointing out the pages, but now I am actually even more intent on making this happen. Maybe others will find the same inspiration that I just accidentally found!

Our first sucker … ahem … pledger!!

I have been part of many a crazy plan in my time. In recent months I have dubbed myself Steve Quixote, since I am always chasing “impossible” dreams and doing my best to fight evil windmills whenever I come across them. My success rate is not one that inspires Hollywood to make a movie out of my life, but it DOES tend to generate a fair amount of humor and convince most people I am completely off my rocker. Before I joined the idiot in this newest grand adventure, I created a Save the World Blog that has not exactly WOWed the masses. It may be too crazy an idea, or maybe I am just not the one to pull it off. That does not mean I won’t keep trying, but I am being realistic in my chances of going anywhere with it.

Yet this project, as extreme as it sounds, is not only totally doable, but based on the insane response we have received in just a week, definitely something people support. I was not sure how well the charity idea would take, yet within hours of us presenting it, we already had two people making pledges. Granted one was Mark, so that does not completely count, but I want to thank our first official pledge maker, for not only the support AND the pledge, but for the kind words she included when she made it. Not only did our blogging friend sweffling (stopping by woods) make the first pledge, but she also had this to say:

“WELL DONE. You are both truly an inspiration and just reading about your dream has given me strength for my own. Thank you.”

2 hiking idiots cert

She pledged an amount per lb lost and per mile completed on the trail to her local Sheffield Animal Centre, and another flat amount to Global Mission Readiness (GMR) should we complete the whole hike.

No pressure there! 🙂

In one fell swoop, she put a whip to our back while at the same time showing us we have a chance of doing something good. Thank you!

Mark’s pledge was per lb lost by the time we hike, to go to GMR. Between the two of them we can almost but some coffee for a couple of the staff members at both charities at the moment. Of course we HAVE only been at it for a week! All in all I’d say that has been a pretty good start!

Won’t power vs WILL power

I have a few comments in response to Mark’s rousing post today:

  • We can bring a pet mongoose.
  • We can bring a comfy toilet seat. The mongoose can carry it.
  • With carrying the toilet seat and defeating hordes of snakes, the mongoose will probably be rather large and muscular, so …
  • the mongoose will be able to help on difficult trails.
  • as for the bug menace … maybe we can Teflon spray ourselves?

Joking aside, everything he pointed out has merit. What we are planning is not simple walk in the park, even for the fittest of people. It is easy to be loaded with doubts before we even start, based on other’s stories and recognitions of our own limits at the moment. Once again … are we crazy?

When I was younger, I used to go on ten to twelve day canoeing trips in the middle of nowhere. We carried everything we needed with us, and would possibly not see civilization for as much as three of four days at a time. Portions of the trips often involved whitewater. And sometimes, we also had to portage between bodies of water. For those not familiar with a portage, it means carrying everything overland to the next water source. One of the more notable portages was about 2.5 miles long, which was reached after about 8 miles of canoeing. On one of these trips, that bit of canoeing was against the wind. The portage was necessary, because the only area suitable for a large group to camp was on the other side. Now to clarify, the 2.5 miles is the length of the trail (which incidentally was not flat). That means, bring some stuff over, walk back, bring some more stuff over, etc. For the beefier of us (yours included) this meant at least four trips, with the heaviest stuff. My canoeing partner also happened to be a young girl, and our difference in size was such that the bow of the boat where she was sitting was mostly out of the water during our paddle. So 8 mile paddle in a fully loaded canoe against the wind. Ten miles of hiking, half of that carrying a minimum of 70 pounds. And THEN we had to set up camp.

I took this picture on my walk today. It seemed appropriate for this post :)

I took this picture on my walk today. It seemed appropriate for this post 🙂

Did this push my limits? Hell yeah. Did I question if I could do it or not? Most definitely. Did I wonder WHY I was doing it? Who wouldn’t? But the simple fact is, I (we) did it. How? Frankly because NOT doing it was no longer an option. If we wanted food and shelter; wanted a bit of rest and comfort, the only option was to continue forward. And the beautiful thing was, this was pretty much just the beginning of the trip.

It is scary how much of our limits are really based on our mind. If we don’t believe we can do something, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Yet we will find that when we have no other choice; when the option is complete failure or just bullying on, that we have reserves that we just did not know were there. We will frankly amaze ourselves.

Not everyone has this strength no. Some would give up at the very thought of the tough road ahead. Or some my not even try the journey. But I know in my heart that this is neither Mark nor myself. We both have faced some dark periods in our lives; changes that affected our very ability to function. And we both bullied our way through. I would never have so heartily jumped aboard when Mark asked me to join him if I did not fully believe that together we can make this happen. Many people who have lived through what Mark has gone through would simply have settled for bitterness and a wheelchair. Not our Idiot. He fought the darkness; and not only became a shining beacon himself, but an inspiration for oh so many others. You are so strong on your own Mark, and you did not even have me on the side before. Maybe alone we could not do this, but together we will battle on through!

I still want to bring the mongoose though.