Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another Epic Journey Filled With Ecstasy, Pain, and Pleasure

The John Butler Trio… Jamming as I type, these guys are to chill what Rage is to rock, with stinging lyrics about the white man killing mother nature to various other topics on what’s wrong with our world. They’re not all Debbie downers though, check them out, if your into my kind of music, you’ll like them. Grand National is a great place to start, Used to Get High is one of my favorites. Seems to be my life mantra now days…

I’m a little late to the party on last weekend’s journeys to far away great lands, but I couldn’t find my damn camera connector, and tales of such epicness could not be portrayed correctly without the images to back them up. I’m sure you understand…

My weekend started a day early with Jamie and I leaving after work on Thursday to make the four hour trek down to where the hoot owls fuck the chickens, Salem, Misery. That’s Missouri for those not in my boat. I guess it’s not all that bad, but I can think of other places to be. Salem is home to the Current River, and Montauk State Park. One of the many sides of my family, (hey, my branches spread far), conjured for their yearly trip to camp out, fish, and float.

This marked my first year for the journey, and it did not disappoint. We arrived around 9:30, popped up the tent, threw back some cold ones and hit the sack. I woke early to test my might against the mighty Montauk and the trout that hold to its bank. I opted not to do the artsy fishing I love, but took my ultra light out. I was soon reminded why I stopped trout fishing with it. Just not the same I tell you. I did manage to pull in two, and missed a couple others. One was about the size of the average male’s pecker, so I had to throw it back. The other was a keeper so on the stringer it went.

Fish cleaned and truck packed we took the thirty minute drive down back roads to the canoe rental. We had something like 32 people in our party, so they loaded us up and in no time we were on the river looking for a day of chill-laxin coupled with A LOT of cans full of America’s greatest fluid, BEER!

The float was awesome, it’s been way to long. It was like rejoining with your old best friend you haven’t seen in years. The partying was grand, the river was pristine, and the views were as close to breath taking as you’ll find in this great state. We did 8 miles I think, and by the end of it both Jamie and I were ten sheets to the wind. We were drunk, and loving life.

We arrived back at camp, half asleep, and while the rest of the crew cleaned up, my Pops, my little Bro, and I took off to the river. This time I took out my old school 7 foot 1 weight fly rod. Bring it back to the early days of whipping my rod around like Zorro, tangling every other cast, and trying to learn the ropes. Now days I’m a little more fluent and I can put a dry fly in perfect position for the elusive, heart skipping dry fly take from a rising trout. If you’ve never had the pleasure of pin pointing a rising trout, and working him till he strikes like stealth jet, then you haven’t lived. It ranks up there with the greatest thing I live for, I FUCKING love it. Excuse my french, but that shit is real, my passion runs deep and if I could, I’d spend every waking hour on trout rivers.

I got the shaft when I found out that all my tippet line had rotted and was worthless, leaving me with only some thick 3lb test that was too big to really productively dry fly fish with. I did manage to land three more, and break one off that happened to take the only good fly that was working magic at the time. We fished for about and hour so it was still productive. Two little dicks, and one keeper. Better than nothing, right?

We packed up Saturday morning and made the four hour trip home where I had a three hour lay over until my next journey, off to KC to meet Tim and Sean SSP Burns for our trip to Madison, KS for the “so called” epic Flint Hills Death Ride.

It was an hour and half to Sean’s place, and then another two hours to Madison. We arrived around 10:30 pm, I set up my tent, they slept out in the open, and by that time I was wiped clean out. To much driving for my taste, but sometimes you do what it takes in hopes for a trip that will forever be embed your memory banks for future story telling to you little ones. This happened to NOT be one of those times.

I won’t spare you the boring ride report, because it was boring to say the least. Apparently their description of dirt roads and ours are different. We call them GRAVEL ROADS around here. It basically turned into an 80 mile gravel road ride with absolutely no epicness to it. Pretty lamo. We spent probably a total of 10 miles in the actual Flint Hills which were pretty cool, and the rest of the 70 miles in flat ass plains. I could have ridden better gravel here any day of the week. The only dirt we hit was about 1 mile total of cow paths that ran parallel to the gravel roads. Other than that, it was a lot of gravel. Well hell, I guess the weather was nice, so that was welcomed. I guess if the winds howled at 20mph and it was 110 out, this might have been a challenge, but not in any fun way, more like why the hell am I doing this kind of a way.

Shawn had paragon dropout issues resulting in him running a 32x19 on his SS so I took the easy route and rode the first 70 miles with him. Without him this ride would have sucked serious monkey balls. The last 10 miles I decided to see what I had in the tank and took off at a blistering speed. I finished the last 10 miles in 30 minutes flat, and glad to be done with it all. I will give a shout out to the volunteers; they did a hell of a job at the aid stations. I will say I won’t be doing this ride ever again unless they find a way to make it more interesting and challenging. A quote from their website, “this is on the most difficult one day events in the country.” Bullshit. 5000 feet of climbing they say? My garmin read 3500, superior weaksauce for 80 miles. I can get that climbing in 40 miles here in flat ass Blackburn. Oh well, it was good training I guess, and good company. Can you ask for more? Nope, so ride well taken, and as we all know, any day spent spinning circles is better than sitting on your lazy ass watching Tour replays wishing you were riding your bike. Go Lance! Ha…

Three nights spent in a tent, now that’s living my friends. If you haven’t ever done so, I recommend you clear the calendar and do it. No racing this weekend for me, more endurance training leading up to Rim and the Binder 6 hour. I’ll probably race Marathon the following weekend, Dwayne has been on my case to race the three hour class and see what kind of fight I can put up to his awesomness. All signs lean to fail. But fail I may, but only to the best and that’s good enough for me…. Ride on my friends, ride on.

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