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Category Archives: August 2011
I have to keep this short, my battery is about to die, but I wanted to share with you all a sad loss for the PCT.
‘AsAbat’, for years, has put together a water report for all of us hikers in Southern California. It would have info on where to find the water , where caches were that people leave for the hikers, and info on how much or little water flowed from seeps, creeks and streams. This is pertinent information for us all.
Last Wednesday, at Shelter Cove Resort, a couple was providing trail magic for PCT hikers. AsAbat was there with his wife, as she drove him around so he could section hike southbound on the PCT. We spent a good few hours together talking trail and gear. His wife, at one point, said most women get most of the closet in the bedroom, but she had little room in HER closet because AsAbat’s backpacking gear, and collection of 5 bear vaults, took up most of the space.
Thursday, Katherine, Banana Pants and I passed him on the trail, spent a few minutes chatting about our day (he’d mentioned that he pushed himself too hard while trying to flee the dust kicked up by a horse on the trail, so he went around the horse, and pushed fast ahead so he wouldn’t be in the way). Katherine took photos of us together, and we said our goodbyes. Later that night, he failed to check in with his wife, and she called the authorities. It seems AsAbat passed away, seemingly of natural causes, that night at his campsite.
This is such sad news, and I feel terrible for his family. I feel honored that I stood next to him in what may be the last photo taken of him. He was a kind and giving man.
Here’s a link to his water reports, so you can understand how he helped us out…
and the photo of us, Thursday at 2:30
Playing photographer/Model/Maniac/Hiker/Location Scout is exhausting, and often ends in disaster, which I seldom fully admit to. Some time ago an image popped in my head that won’t leave until I attempt to capture the image on my camera. Driving around North of here, past deep dark woods, eerie rays of light streaking through the evergreen canopy… BAM. Image captured, imagination soaring. Me. My friends Elk Skull. Mohawk. It seemed so simple.
This led to me buying up chunks of hair from the beauty supply store, all in nice neat silken ponytails. Weave. The enthusiastic girl hooked me up from the latex to attach it (which reads clearly DO NOT APPLY DIRECTLY TO SCALP) right down to the perfect hairspray to use.I hot glued it all to some netting, spent weeks cleaning up long strands of hair, that managed to get EVERYWHERE. In a box it went, until my motivation to make that image happen came back around. Saturday was the day.
I wasn’t quite sure how i was going to make the hair ‘stand up’ into a mohawk, but surely wasn’t about to go to the trouble of doing ANYTHING with it until I knew if the latex would firmly adhere the faux follicles to the little patch of hair i have up there. Instant success !!! until it was clear this was not something I should be attempting alone. It didn’t take but ten minutes to create a rats nest, which was now VERY much adhered to my body.. what to do, what to do??? WIRE ! I grabbed the spool of wire, created 6 inch long ‘bobby-pins’, and eventually, after using most of the can of hairspray, had something big enough, vertical enough, and solid enough to get me through this photo shoot.
I should have ducked when i walked through that door way.
Long story short, as i never do well, it was late in the day, I was loosing light, and needed to get somewhere photographic, and soon. I was directed by a friend to a great spot just down the road. After I drug my giant Rubbermade full of gowns, gear, and accessories, across the field, through the cows, and into the darkening woods, that mohawk was little more than a messy mop atop my head.
Another miraculous moment for me, as everything is going wrong, last minute, rushing around, dropping things, cow crap EVERYWHERE… the location and near dusk lighting were perfect. A few test shots, light’s good, gown is good, Boulders for me to stand upon, PERFECT !…
Then out of the corner of my eye, I see it… A skunk !?? WHEW! no, not a skunk, although not much better, it was a porcupine. I’ve seen them often dead on the side of the road, There was ‘that one’ that i wanted to take my picture with a few years ago, after I’d spent a few hours in the bar, but this was my first encounter with a quilled critter in the wild.
I bounced up and down, made noises that I could only assume might frighten such a creature. I waved a wedding gown at him… Nothing. My presence didn’t phase him for a second. Sadly I didnt’ have a bigger flash on my camera, for it would have been at least PARTIALLY worth it, to present to you a photo of said animal. But no… Darkness. That’s all I have to offer, A photo of darkness, and a knotted disaster of who knows WHO’s hair, that had to be pried off of my head.
So there you have it and there you are… All of this, and that image is still stuck in my head, and will stay there, until I complete my goal, and get that shot (minus the mohawk, i think)… Justanother crazy photo to add to the 26 collection…
YA GOTTA GETTA GIMMICK !!!
The shortest version of the “HOW ? WHY ? REALLY ? “ goes a little somethin’ like this.
-New Years decision made to hike the PCT, and start planning it, whether it takes a year or a decade to achieve.
-On a snow shoe adventure with my buddy Bruce, I said i wanted to do it before my High School Reunion, but that’d be next year. He said “get a sponsor.” it was that simple suggestion, and the gears in my head started working double time.
-In the early stages of a friendship with someone who was quickly becoming a Mentor to me, I was often urged to do more with my photography, and my interest to write. To essentially succeed in life by doing what i’m good at. (much more difficult than it sounds). So, I tossed him this idea. I spent three weeks working out the game plan to raise money, search for possible sponsorship, and keep everyone interested from ‘unvailing’ through the end of the hike itself. Sadly, my friend wasn’t around much longer… But in his infinite wisdom and experience in life, he never once said no, this is a bad idea… he just urged me to work out the basics…
So… I”m running with it. It’s been 7 or 8 long months of second guessing and doubting. Reading up on the trail and gear… the pros and cons… the ups and downs have been a little more crazy than the dress itself.
Through Blogging and Fun(d)raising I hope to make this dream a reality. Money is the only thing standing in my way…
In the end, I’d like to write a book about what an experience this has been and will be. Use my photography as a catalyst to generate interest, and keep you all entertained…
Not everyone will understand…. But ‘like’ it like a trainwreck, and see what happens…
26 Photos of 26 Wedding Gowns, at 26 different points on the 2600 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail… Next to each Photo, the torn and tattered gown from the trail…
Why not? A man can dream, can’t he?
I received my tent a few weeks back, from Six Moon Designs. With everything going on, my strange schedule, and working on the Video ( http://hiking26.com/26-tv/hiking-26-the-movie/ ) I didn’t have the opportunity to ‘seam-seal’ it. The company specializes in ultralight tents and packs for long distance backpacking. They operate out of a small space, therefore sealing each tent is difficult. It’s rather enjoyable and rewarding to do some of the work on your gear. And if you’re lying there in a downpour, and the tent springs a leak, there’s no one to blame for that drip on your forehead, and the damp quilt, but yourself.
So, today I staked out the tiny little tent, which will be my home for half a year, and took pity on myself for a brief moment as i realized it wasn’t much larger than the hoop skirt that came with a gown someone gave me. It’s one more moment of harsh reality, as I realize the difficulty involved in this hike. I’ll hike all day, eat dinner, hit the sack, wake up, start it all over again… I can’t wait… I just wonder where i’m gonna store a big dress under that rain fly, because there’s not much room to spare.
I’m going to summarize 5 paragraphs of boring commentary I just deleted, all about the county I live in, what brought me here, and the excitement of the 100th anniversary.
The Pend Oreille County Fair is this weekend. They’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of the County, with the theme “Honor the Past – Look to the Future”. I have been looking forward to entering a few photos from the hiking26 project in the fair, just for fun, and see what kind of comments I will get. The fair opens tomorrow at Noon, all judging will be complete. I’ll make it up there at some point to see if I won anything exciting…. But for now, I’ll leave you with these words, spoken from the woman in charge of the exhibit….
“you have issues”
Well Thanks…. I don’t think anyone’s doubting that.