Thursday, September 29, 2011

Change of Plans

Sometimes plans just don't go the way you want them too, and that's not always such a bad thing. Today, Jason and myself had planned to go to our favorite creek spot to look for petrified wood. We have been trying to get back out there for weeks, but it seems like every time we get the chance something comes along to spoil it. As of late, the spoiler has been rain. Before tropical storm Lee the creeks were down so low that we were able to get to places we have never seen before. Since the storm, the rains have kept coming and the water level is just not dropping to what we need. Today, we had big plans to check out some new spots we have found on Google Earth.
So we drove up to the spots, grabbed our bags, and headed out. We were walking down a powerline and it didn't really seem that bad at first. We even started making comments about driving the truck down there. Little did we got worse. Before we knew, the ground started to get a little wet. Then the brush started getting a little taller. Soon after, we were in knee deep water trudging through brush well over our heads. We were still determined to find that creek. Finally we came out on the other side; VICTORY. We had just walked a mile through water, mud, stickers, and all kinds of brush to find that the creek is way too high and rushing far too hard to even get in. We had one of those big long sighs, turned around to look at what we had just come from, and headed right back into it.

Once we got back to the truck we discussed what was next. We decided to go ahead and ride around to another spot on the creek we had been looking at. At some point, we lost purpose in the ride and ended up just flying down some old back roads. Once back on track, we came around to the other part of the creek, which of course was just too high to get in, and realized that, once it goes down, this will be a great spot to check out. It is very easy to get to. On our way we came across another bridge over a smaller creek, so we decided to turn around and go check it out. This creek was still a little too deep to get in, but looking under the bridge we realized just how sketchy it was. Some of these old bridges really look like they could use a little help. The piers of this one look like they were leaning a bit.

After leaving there, we rode up a little further to the old P.O.W. camp to take a look around. I have never been out there before, but it was a interesting place. Well there really wasn't much out there. Just some old concrete structures semi-covered in graffiti. That is something that always bothers me. Why do some people just insist on defacing anything and everything? I did learn something while I was out there that I am hoping helps me out in my mission.

The back-story: Growing up, down here, in south Mississippi one of the things I really enjoyed, even from an early age, was hiking. There has always been a great trail system in this region. This really starts a few years ago around the winter of 09. A group of friends and myself decided that we wanted to go do a day hike. So we packed our gear up and headed up to the Leaf River trails. I spent the whole time, driving up there, telling them about how great these trails were. Once we got out we were excited to see that we were the only people out here. We very quickly found out why we were. The trails were in such bad shape that we could barely find the main trailhead. Withing 75 yards the trail

was completely unusable and we had to turn around. So, with this trail set useless, we headed back west to the Black creek trails and had a very enjoyable day hiking all around. The trails were in fairly good shape a this time. A few weeks ago, knowing Leaf River was completely out of the question, I attempted another day hike out at Black Creek. Almost immediately after accessing the trail, it was easy to see that these trails were now in complete disarray. The Black Creek trails are now unusable as well. Talk about disappointing.
Back to today: Since discovering that another set of trails was in complete disrepair, I have been trying to come up with ideas of what I could do. My thought was that writing a few letters might be a good place to start. Today I found my target on the bulletin board at the P.O.W. camp. So very soon a letter will be on its way to the forest supervisor, Antoine Dixon of the USDA. I am hoping to make some kind of difference over time. A letter might not do much, but i'm just hoping it's a start. It's kind of the only idea I have at the moment. Ideas??

Anyways, I spent the rest of the afternoon at home working on some of my camping gear. I will be flying out to Arizona to meet one of my friends and we are going to be doing a several day camping trip down in the Grand Canyon. I've never been before and i'm getting pretty excited about it. Anyhow, I needed to seal the seams of my tent and now that's done. I started doing some inventory of all my equipment. This trip is going to be here so soon. Well, another big day tomorrow.
Until Next Time,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wild Weekend

I can still feel a little bit of the soreness in my neck and shoulders from the weekend. I will take that any day in exchange for having a great time. This past weekend, myselft + 9 headed up to Flint creek for a "mini-vaca getaway in the sun fun-filled lay it all out weekend." I feel like that was a perfect, broken-down, description of what happened up there.
A few of us showed up a few hours before anyone else was supposed to be there, so we decided to go ahead and drop the boat in the water and get started early. We inflated the tubes and headed out to the lake. I always find myself feeling a little timid with the first ride and asking the driver to take it easy on me, but that always goes away within about 30 seconds. We spent the next little while out there, pushing the limit, trying to see who can hang on the longest or throw someone off the hardest.
Once deciding we had all been thrashed around enough we headed back to the cabin to see who was arriving. Matt and Leah had already made it and Alice was close behind. The rest of the party drifted in over the next few hours and we embarked on a night of fun unmatched by anything i've done in some time. Maybe it was the excitement of all of us being together, maybe it was the fact we didn't have work or school for a few days, or maybe it was the fact that the whoop juice was a lot stronger that expected. We turned the music up loud, raised our glasses in a toast to the weekend and began the fun. We laughed and danced and had one of those amazing care free nights that could've gone on for ever! Eventually, the night wound down and we started dividing up sleeping arrangements.

The next morning, needless to say, a few of us were feeling better than others. A couple Tylenol down the hatch and we were off on a new day. After breakfast, we loaded up the truck and boat, everyone found places to ride, and we headed over to the beach area for more tubing. We hung out on the shoreline for the majority of the day. I felt like I was living that Zac Brown song on the side of that lake. My tubing experiences of this day were rough. I had some of the hardest crashes i've ever had. I guess that's what I get for telling the driver to bring it. As long as no bones are broken i'll be right back on. One of the most enjoyable things I did while I was there was simply diving off the boat into the lake. After surfacing from my first dive I remember thanking my parents, out loud, for sending me to those swimming lessons as a child. Swimming is truly one of the most enjoyable experiences I know.
Following the thrashing of day, no one was really feeling up to a repeat of the night before. So as Matt and Leah were working on dinner, I worked on a fire. We enjoyed a huge dinner and then all starting dragging chairs and logs down towards the fire pit. Chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmellows starting being produced and smores were made. I forgot how good smores were! I could've eaten them until I was sick. There is just something enjoyable about sitting around a campfire with your friends just enjoying the night. Speaking of the night it was perfect. Not too hot, and not too cool. The fire kept the bugs away and we kept each other awake. We sat around till early Sunday morning as the group started drifting off one by one.

Sunday was the last little gem left in the weekend. One more day without work. One more day without school. One more day with friends. With the Saint's game on the radio we all got our last rides and last laughs in before parting ways. We all said our good byes and set off apart. Riding home in my truck I kept replaying the weekend in my head. I am the kind of person who can be really sentimental and cheesy at times. I hope I think back on weekends like this throughout my life. I hope one day we are all sitting around and someone says "remember that flint creek trip?" Anyways... I was amazing
Tomorrow i'm getting up early to do one of my favorite power nerd activities. I'm going to go to the creek to search for petrified wood. I don't know what it is, but that is my favorite hobby hands down! Hoping for some luck.
Until next time,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Remember When...

I thought about this blog for the first time, in a long time, recently. Tonight I finally decided to take a look. I must say, it was quite enjoyable. I was a nice little memory trip. I can see myself, sitting at my desk in McCarty Hall, writing these post a couple years ago. It's funny looking back on what I was thinking a few years ago. It honestly really made me miss that time in life a bit. Just living on campus, and being a student was an amazing experience that I completely took for granted back then. One of the favorite things I did, when I was there, was the late night walks I used to take. I would set out really late at night, sometimes alone sometimes not, and walk all over campus; really just exploring and looking into all the secrets of USM. I always enjoyed those nights. I actually did that recently, and got to show someone else the campus I remember. It was good to be back there for a while and to relive some of those good memories.

Although I haven't written on here in a LONG time, I do still write a lot. I haven't quite decided how this blog will be utilized, but I do have some ideas. It's funny how I had all these things I wanted to say in this first post, but now they are just all gone. The time will come.