Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thoreau Had It Made

Before you start reading this, go check out the comments of the posts from Mother's Day on. Julie, Mickey, and I have been quite busy with our slacker selves in the last 24 hours.

Now, if you've finished reading the comments, you can continue on to today's post. I feel I should warn you, however, that should you continue on without checking the other comments first that you will be doomed to contracting syphilitic crabs at the next public toilet you encounter.

I've got an overwhelming urge right now to head off into the hills with a tent, pack full of food and nothing else. The last time I had such an urge was my last year teaching at the alternative school where I was so burned out on humanity that I really just needed to spend a couple of days entirely removed from people and any way to be connected to others of my species. My plan then had been to drive up to the spot on John's Mountain where my college friends and I usually hang out with nothing but my camping gear and enough food and beer to last a couple of nights.

I ended up not going, which was perhaps a good decision. John's Mountain is in Walker County, and that place is apparently a wee bit fucked up. It's probably best to hang out there in a large group and not alone.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about this urge this year. K and I only have one functioning vehicle, so I can't very well leave her here with the kid while I ramble off into the wilderness in the Prius. I also can't get anywhere I'd want to be by walking. She has given me permission to take a couple of weekends away this summer to hike small sections of the Appalachian Trail, but I can always dump her at her parents' house where she'd have companionship and transportation then. Still, I'm not sure I'm comfortable hiking that alone given that I've never backpacked before. I'm hoping a certain rugged outdoorsman will respond to my freaking e-mail with an affirmative soon. I won't call any names, but you probably already know who I'm talking about, so withholding his name is just petty pissyness on my part.

Still that does nothing to sate my need for intense solitude. Mr. Rugged Outdoorsman is still human and therefore screws up the whole entirely-by-myself thing. I'm also planning on taking rescue training for sea kayaking and do a little touring of the intracoastal waterway in Georgia by kayak this summer as well. But K will be a part of that, and again, that's not alone.

I could dig a really big hole and just live in it for a couple of days, but that sounds really boring. Plus, I have really soft, girlish hands. I'd have painfully oozing blisters for weeks.

I guess I could go hole up in a hotel in Decatur with nothing but a couple of books, a notepad, and drinking money. I don't think people count as people when they're bringing you drinks or largely ignoring you, the guy scribbling in a notebook a book at the bar. Maybe Thoreau wouldn't have been such a quitter had he built his transcendentalist cabin in the backyard of the local pub instead of on some stupid lake.


JustinS said...

I'm there.

Wait... we can still watch Battlestar Galactica, right?

Jacob said...

Not unless you want to pack in a small DVD player/viewer and a pedal or crank power source.

Of course there's always DVR for when you get back home.

Julie said...

Enjoy your solitudiness. I understand the impulse, even if I don't share it.

sid said...

I agree. People who bring you food, clean your house etc can't be considered human.

Chris said...

This is really going to screw up your Blog 365 thing. On the other hand, you may come back with lots of harrowing adventures to write about.

Probably not, but maybe.

Jacob said...

It won't mess with my Blog 365 at all, it'll just take some planning. The rules give permission to miss a day of posting as long as you're still writing. I've already made use of that exemption a couple of time this year. When you get back to a computer, you just upload the post and back-date it. What I'll likely do is type up a couple of extra posts, date them to post on the days I'll be out in the wilderness then write up my hiking experiences with pen and notepad and compile a couple of days of hiking into a single post.

Mickey said...

Who? Me?

Of course I understand your urge completely. Most of my backpacking/hiking experience has been by my lonesome,and I'm okay with that. I've even had a couple of days in my life when I haven't seen a single other human. It is extremely rare and utterly divine.