Friday, July 27, 2012

Hello Ozarks

After a tired eleven hour drive yesterday, I finally made it up to Mountain Home, Arkansas along with the rain. It's been months since any rainfall has met the ground up here, but what was a dry creek in the morning was a raging white water filled river by the time the rain stopped in the evening. The joke yesterday was that I brought the rain with me from the coast (which was a blessing to these recently dry parts).

Being a night shifter, the daytime drive yesterday turned out to be torture in places. Driving with a hangover didn't help the cause any either. I just got off of a six night stretch at work on Wednesday morning, so I haven't had the time to swap my sleep schedule over yet. I got so sleepy, a couple of times, on the trip up that I had to pull over for much needed power naps before continuing on the journey.

The good news? I caught up on that sleep with a full twelve hours last night. I woke up to a beautifully sunny Friday morning in the Ozarks. From the back porch of the house there is a wonderful view of the surrounding hills and a glimpse of Shoal Creek Cove off of the massive Norfolk Lake. I'm looking forward to the potential of the day!

Until Next Time,
Kyle

Friday, July 20, 2012

Jump!

I don't know what your views on dreams are, but mine tend to lean towards a loosely scattered collection of thoughts and things you've seen throughout the day.  I will admit that I do love to think and dwell on the dreams I've had.  I even like looking through the occasional dream book to see what is written about the elements of my dreams.  Where is this going?  I had a dream today that was pretty interesting.  Let's call it the skydiving dream.


I don't really remember where it started, but there were 4 people that I knew in this dream.  It was my friends Brandon, Andrew, Jake, and myself.  (back story: all of us were having an extended facebook comment conversation yesterday.)  Jake came up to the rest of the group and told us that he met a guy that was willing to take us skydiving for a great price.  What could go wrong right?  What else would we do?  We went!  We were all packed into a tiny plane that didn't have any seats heading towards the jump zone. We were all discussing some new hardcore technique for skydiving.  Jake was the first one out of the plane when we reached the jump zone.  He didn't even hesitate.  Brandon followed him out the door in nothing but a wet suit.  He didn't even have a chute on, but we were over water so I guess in my dream that was normal.  Perry took a stutter step when reaching the door, but was soon on his way down to the water.  When I got up to the door my entire thought process changed.  As I was looking out the door I could see that we were flying very low and close to a bridge.  The longer I stood there, the farther from land I got.  Am I supposed to swim back when I land?  Is someone going to pick us up?  Will my chute even have time to open at this low altitude?  As I was thinking, the plane kept getting further and further out to sea.  I back up from the door and sat back down.  I told the pilot to take me back to the airport.  


When I arrived back at the airport, and got down out of the plane, the rest of the guys were there waiting on me.  They were all soaked from their water landing and already razzing me when I walked up dry as a bone.  They had the right to be.  They all jumped and I couldn't.  I just backed away from the door and sat back down.  


When I woke up, I was actually relieved that it was only a dream.  I woke up feeling a little embarrassed.  Of course I had just taken a razzing from my friends.  When I realized I was awake I started thinking about it.  Why didn't I jump?  Is my subconscious trying to tell me something, or is it all just a loosely scattered collection of thoughts and things I had seen throughout the day?  I of course don't have the answer to that, but I have been thinking a lot lately.  Thinking about taking a pretty big leap.  I can't say too much about it at the moment, but is this my subconscious telling me to jump?  Jump Kyle.  JUMP!  I can almost hear it.  Live in the moment.  Don't live with the regret of not taking the leap!


Until Next Time,
Kyle

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Double Package Day

Does anyone else get as excited as I do when they receive two packages in one day!?  It feels like Christmas.  This was my excitement on Monday.  What did I get you ask.  First off I got the latest installment from Old Crow Medicine Show, Carry Me Back.  I've been a fan of theirs for a long time, so everything they put out sounds like gold to me.  The thing i've loved about music lately is that everything has been put out on vinyl!  So, I got this one in vinyl form and it came with a free MP3 download.  Who needs CD's anymore?  


The second package I got was a new pair of shoes for my Colorado trip.  I've had non-stop problems with my feet on the trail.  I just can't seem to find the right combo to ease the pain in my right heel.  I've been doing a fair amount of r & d lately on a new pair.  I've been reading online and trying shoes on in different stores.  I finally decided on a pair of Keen Targhee II mid's.  The heel support is fantastic, so hopefully these will be a better fit for me.  Now, I can be a little frugal. I just couldn't bring myself to pay the retail price of $130 for a pair of shoes, so I hit the web.  I found them on backcountry.com for $90 with free shipping.  Bingo!  I definitely recommend this site if you're looking for quality outdoor gear at reasonable prices.  There is also plenty of coupon codes online for this site (hint hint).  



The cure?

In other news, i'll be hitting the road again next week.  I just recently planned a trip up to Mountain Home, Arkansas to visit the neighbors I spent 20 years of my life next to.  They have some great land up there that they plan to retire to at some point in the future.  They recently finished remodeling the house that was there and invite me to come up often.  With my schedule now, this is going to finally give me the opportunity to hit the road and get up there.  I'll be spending a few days hiking, swimming, and basically enjoying life out of town for a bit.  I'll keep you updated as always.


Until Next Time,
Kyle


Monday, July 16, 2012

The Date is Set

Brandon was in town this past week, so we finally got the chance to sit down with a calendar and lock down the days for our trip to Colorado.  I'll be flying out to El Paso on the 7th of September where Brandon will pick me up.  We will be heading north through New Mexico until we reach the Mt. Sneffels wilderness near Ouray, Colorado.  We will be camping at the trailhead that first night to try and adjust to the altitude a little bit before we hit the trail.  From there we will be hiking/camping around Mt. Sneffels and the blue lakes for the next 3 days before hiking back out on the 4th day.  



The dates are set!


Blue lakes, we will see you in September!

If you knew half of how excited I was for this trip, you would already be tired of hearing me talk about it.  

I had a little mishap during training today.  My first mile went without any incident, but between mile 1 and 1 1/2 I rolled my ankles on 3 separate occasions.  My left ankle rolled twice and my right once.  That was a rough half mile.  I don't know what the deal with that was, but I didn't have any trouble on the remainder of my hike.  Hopefully I don't have too many more days like this.

Until Next Time,
Kyle


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hotlanta

We hit the road early on Friday morning.  Well, honestly it wasn't that early.  We started making the rounds through Ocean Springs at around 9 and were making our way out of town by at least 10.  The great thing about a trip to Atlanta, from here, is that the directions are not difficult at all.  I-10 to I-65 then I-85 and hello Atlanta.  


We made it to Turner Field 2 and 1/2 hours before the game and stood around just waiting for those gates to open up!  As soon as we walked in it began to rain.  It was just drizzling, so we weren't too worried.  We were walking below the stadium and saw the first tunnel that would give us a view of the field when we saw it.  It was POURING!  Our hearts sunk a little, but none of us were willing to say what we were thinking.  Did we really just drive all the way to Atlanta to have this game rained out?  We pressed on and just kept the faith.  


We piddled around, dodging the rain, for a little bit before finally deciding to find our seats.  We really didn't know much about the seats we chose, but it didn't really matter to us as long as we could see.  We were pleasantly surprised to see that not only were our seats amazing, but they were also under cover.  We had dry seats!  Victory!



Our first view of Turner was of the rain coming down
on the infield tarp.  

We sat down and kept pulling up the radar hoping to see something good.  I decided that we weren't doing anything else, so I would take a few pictures.  I had carried my big Canon with me to document the trip.  I was so excited to be able to get some amazing photos from this trip.  I flipped the camera to on and I didn't hear anything.  Maybe with the noise I just couldn't hear it.  I turned the LCD screen around to me and noticed it wasn't on.  I flipped it off and on again and still nothing.  Did I just come all the way out here with a dead battery?  I opened up the battery box and noticed something was wrong.  There wasn't a battery at all!  What have I done!?  How could I get all the way here without my battery!?  I thought back to where it may be, but the fact was it wasn't here.  Was I a little bit embarrassed?  Yes, and I still am.  I can't believe I did that!  It ended up being in my bag in the car, but I never walked back out to check and there's nothing I can do about it at this point, so oh well I guess.

The rain finally stopped.  The radar was showing us that it should be done for a while, so the field crew came out to start working to get the field ready for the game.  


It all happened pretty fast after the rain stopped.  The field was prepared.  The national anthem was sung and we were ready to play!  This was my first major league game, so I was filled with excitement.  I was not disappointed.  I'm not planning on giving you a play by play of the game, but there was some highlights for us.  Not only did we get to see Chipper Jones play before he retires (one of our main reasons for going), but he also hit a homer that night!  How awesome is that?  You go to see one of your all time favorite players play and he just so happens to homer in that game.  Needless to say, we were all pretty happy.


The Braves on the field


What's a baseball game without a beer and a
hot dog?  Seriously? (but, at those prices it's
definitely a one and done!)

The game was great.  We tomahawk chopped like it was the last time we'd ever do it.  Then after a commanding close by Kimbrel, the Braves had the win!  What more could you ask for in a trip to the ballpark?  


Braves win!


Fireworks after the game.

Following the game we didn't have any problem getting back on the interstate.  That was possibly the smoothest exit from any event i've ever been to.  The good thing about road tripping with a night shifter is that I have NO problems staying awake at night, so we drove straight through back to the house.  Yes, we did Atlanta as a day trip.  For those of you that aren't from around here, that is a 6 hour one way trip.  We win!  I look forward to doing it again sometime!

Until Next Time,
Kyle








Thursday, July 12, 2012

Road Trip

I am a HUGE fan of spur of the moment decision making.  I am also a HUGE fan of road trips.  What could be better than combining the 2!?  That's exactly what we are doing tomorrow.  We are hitting the road at 9 in the morning heading down the highway to Atlanta.  We are going to see the Braves take on the Mets tomorrow night at Turner field!  I've never been to a major league game, so needless to say i'm pretty excited.  We were just kicking around the idea of seeing Chipper before he retires and it just happened.  Tim Hudson will be pitching against Chris Young, so it should be a good battle. 



I was a little on the excited side so I had 
to make it Facebook official!  


We had man night tonight so discuss the trip
over the best steaks on the coast!


Now i've broken out the best double feature
of all time for a little watching tonight.  This
brings back so many memories!

I will have a full update whenever I make it back.  Fingers crossed all goes well!  Here we come Braves!

Until Next Time,
Kyle


Saturday, July 7, 2012

My 4th Through Photos

I know this is a few days late, but the last few days have been a little bit hectic for me.  As I am sitting here, I can't believe it's already the 7th of July!  Where has this year gone?  Maybe it's a good thing that it's gone by so fast because I am definitely having fun with it at this point.  I never said it, so happy 4th everyone!  I hope you all had a great time doing whatever it was that you were doing.  I've decided to take you on my journey of the 4th via the pictures I took.  Come along:



My 4th celebrations actually started on the 3rd.  Our little town decided to do our fireworks display a day early to save from any competition with the neighboring cities.  The beach was PACKED.  Scott, Andrew, and myself had decided to hop on our bikes and do a little ride beforehand.  We rode over to Biloxi and back, then sat down and watched the fireworks with the crowd.  It was  a nice little event that our town had put on.  Rosco Bandana was playing down at Fort Maurepas park to kick the night off followed by the fireworks.  There wasn't nearly enough parking for everyone that wanted to be there, but it was fun.  I was impressed with the level of anger we brought from people on the road because we were in the closed lane on bikes.  I don't know if they were mad because we were successfully navigating the traffic or what, but they were definitely upset with us and let us know if with a steady stream of profanity hurled our way.




I started out my 4th with a viewing of Ed Wood.  If you've never seen it, you should!  It's Burton/Depp at their finest.  It's a quirky little flick about the worst director in Hollywood's history; Ed Wood of course.  Martin Landau won an Oscar for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi and it's easy to see why when you watch.  Great cast + great subject = great movie.


This was a birthday present I received from some friends.  I was joking with everyone at the party that they finally put me on a hugger!  The bad part is that some of my family actually believed it. 


One of the best parts of the entire day was the fact that we had grandma's gumbo!  I'm getting hungry just looking at this picture.  She brought a huge pot of it over and we all ate until we were ready to pop.  We get together every 4th and have a big family cookout.  This year we even had my Uncle Scott in town.  I can't even remember the last time he was down here.  It was a nice mid week break for some good food and much needed cutting up.


I ended my night in kind of an odd way.  I have to admit something to all of you.  I have a little obsession.  That obsession is candles.  More specifically, fresh linen scented candles.  I actually have a general obsession with anything fresh laundry smelling.  I've even got dryer sheets stuffed down between the cushions in my couch.  Yes, I know i'm weird.  Don't we all have something that might seem a little bit odd to others?  Anyway, I decided to do everything by candlelight on that night.  Lamps and candles were the way they did it before power, so why shouldn't we do it now?  I even did some reading and writing with nothing but that calming glow.  You can make fun of me now.

Until Next Time,
Kyle








Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rest High Above

I got the news yesterday afternoon.  My paternal grandmother has passed.  It wasn't something that was unexpected or caught us by surprise, but things like this are never easy.  As I was driving home I hit shuffle on my iPod, as I always do and a perfect song popped up.  Playing through my speakers was the Dave Matthew's Band's "Satellite."  There is a line in the song that says:


Rest high above the clouds, no restrictions

I'm sure i'm taking this line completely out of context, but it just just spoke to me in that moment and I listened to that song on repeat for my entire ride home.  



I wasn't as close to her as I feel like I should have been, but I know she is in a better place now free from any pains or distress.  Without her there would be no me, and that fact I don't take lightly.  I'm very thankful for that.

Rest high above....

Until Next Time,
Kyle