Monday, February 6, 2012

A Taste of Retirement

To tell this story it must be told in the reverse as I am sitting at the Southwest Florida Airport in Fort Meyers awaiting my return flight to Maine. It is currently the most exciting part of my journey b/c what was suppose to be a ridiculous flight home with two layovers that was going to zigzag me east-west-east is now a lazy first class flight including a voucher for a free flight. Thank you Jesus (totally stated with my hands in the air and a refreshing Hallelujah! Amen! attached) and Bill (the Delta attendant who hooked me up with the fab accommodations). I would like to think this will be how retirement will treat me in the future and am damn glad karma is treating me to this little ice cream moment in real time!!

The title of my post is a tribute to the Q-tips that inhabit 90% of Naples. There was a moment sitting at a fountain on 5th Avenue in historic downtown Naples when I realized that I (as a person under 55) was the minority. Seriously, how am I suppose to pick up guys in a sea of grey hair which I admit is totally vain and ageist of me b/c beneath my tinted curls camouflages a natural powdered wig. I did have two men of a mature nature hit on me while watching the Super Bowl at the Tavern on the Bay. One of them had the audacity to tell me he was rich, "no really, I'm rich, and will be able to buy a new car when the Giants win." Bastard...first your rooting for the wrong team. No matter what I will always be an NE fan. He was totally insulted when I actually refused to give him a high five when NY got their first TD. Second, your rich... What?!!...who cares... you are talking to the wrong girl, honey. This is the girl who, driving by Naples' gorgeous mansions bordered by the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and layered behind beautiful, ornamental landscapes, thought to herself, "this in no way appeals to me. I have no desire to live in a beautiful mansion. In fact, it gives me the hebejebes. Give me a little condo and a container garden and I would be truly content."

Nevertheless, I do see the appeal of taking a four month sunshine hiatus in the winter months because man, despite the clouds (never really saw the sun) it was the perfect temp for tank tops and shorts. The folks at the retirement community I was staying in (you have to be over 55 to own a condo in this little complex) have a laid back life where a schedule of aquatic exercise, zumba classes, games of dominoes and dips in the pool are top priorities of the day. I guess I'll just have to use my free flight to visit retirement again.

When I figure out how to download pics from my phone (couldn't find my camera for this trip) I will write more about my visit to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and downtown Naples.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Breath of Life

Only the Breath of Life from a Mord-Sith can resurrect the Sasquatch Hunter. Obviously, I've been watching too many fantasy tv shows to make a reference like that. After 3 years of technological sensory deprivation I find my self owning a 32" flatscreen, a blue-ray player with wifi and an addiction to Netflix.

I have been fantasizing about blogging again for months but really felt I needed a new platform but tonight I said, "screw it." I like Sasquatch Hunter. It speaks to me just like it did from the beginning and it will speak to you again too. That's The invisible. The intangible. Life out there-in here. A cosmic circle spins me right round, baby, right round. I do like circles. Anyway, I have been complementing a new blog for a while. Sasquatch Hunter gets the mystery and magic I like to contemplate is out there in life; the fantasy and the reality; the adventure and the stories.

So, I'll snazz up the old blog, put a fresh coat on 'er and see where she takes me. As usual, I'll keep to the real, the story telling but more mini adventures than the high mountain climb of ol'. Not that there won't be references as I have a nostalgic heart. For now, I am intrigued by the newness of Brunswick, Maine. Already, I have found the Cathance River Heritage Trail. Awesome! It's a little river gorge. Nothing I love more than to hike next to a river. Another great discovery is the Long Branch School in Bowdoinham, Maine. A community based school teaching sustainable living skills and BONUS: Free movies like "The Princess Bride" on February 25th. Let us make a date!

Due to my insanely time consuming job I suspect the timing of my posts will be a bit erratic. That disclaimer being declared I am in hopes that I will have enough mini adventures to write several times a month. Today, most of this is being written to tap my desire, my words into this keyboard, as a chisel into declarative and binding stone.

I do have a much deserved vacation to Naples, Florida in a week or so. And so feel it will be a great launching time for Sasquatch Hunter to share a kickoff story that will a involve a champagne bottle being smashed figuratively and literally at some currently undisclosed location on the west coast of Florida (after being consumed, of course). I believe the headline with read something like: Sasquatch Hunter 'restles Killer Croc.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Life as a Redneck

So, last week I was initiated into Redneck Hall of Fame in Ashford, WA (population: 293) when I was told by a local, while in the general store, called Suvers, that I was "now a True Ashfordite" because I has a big brown tarp covering my rear window. And, yes of course, the masking tape I was using did not stick well in the soggy northwest so the tarp was flapping in the wind as I drove the three mile stretch from my homestead to the store. It gets better, a few days ago I signed a get well card for one of my co-workers that read as follows:
Medical Definitions for Rednecks
Barium - What the undertaker does to 'em once the doctor's are through with 'em
Impotent- Significant and distinguished
Pap Smear- To insult or belittle your own father
Rectum- Crashed 'm and totaled 'em
X-Rayed- For adult audiences only
These were a few of the inspiring redneck definitions included on the card. The fact that I live in a double-wide (make that half of a double-wide) and that I drive a fourteen year old Bronco only reinforces the whole embracement of my redneck ways. In fact, at the end of last week I found the local watering hole, the Elbe Tavern, that I now fear I will become a "regular" at. There the likes of dentists and hairdressers have never been seen. Where even the town's pretty girls (remember these are redneck lovelies) are wearing camo and the local men are outside, smoking cigarettes, discussing the Rebel flag they want to affix to their 4x4. This Friday night you will find me belly up to the bar, nursing a Washington Apple (crown, cranberry and pucker) double shot listening to the live band jamboree. Yee-Haw!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My first Pre-Winter Hike of the Season

It never fails that I forget my camera to digitally record my experiences with nature in the photo form. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I guess I'll have to paint a picture of the mountain in my own words but don't expect a thousand of them, I'm not that long winded. Yesterday, December 2, 2009, I decided to go for a hike up at Longmire. My decision was to hike up to Carter Falls which is a 7 mile fairly easy round trip hike. The day was one of the most beautiful days we have had here at Mount Rainier since early November. The sky was a clear, not a cloud in the sky, robin's egg blue. My first sighting of the mountain as I drove to my destination was at Kautz Creek. Described by my mind's eye as a stunning, large, stark white mass with hints of purple rock beneath against the painted blue backdrop. This mind picture was framed with dense evergreens and a small creek flowing gently below. A digital picture couldn't really capture the beauty and largeness of it.
I stopped by the tiny historical museum at Longmire to get some trail info from the rangers. I was soon disappointed to find the the half log bridge that provides passage across the Nisqually River has been washed out in one of our first snow storms making the trail to Carter Falls inaccessible. Undaunted, I requested info about Rampart Ridge and Eagle's Peak. The look that crossed the rangers face instantly told me that Eagle's Peak was not the safest route but I think I will explore that next week. Rampart Ridge it was I decided. A 5 mile loop with an elevation gain of 1420 ft. I slowly started my ascent, taking my time to look at the azure sky through the tall trees, listen to the birds chirp, breath in the crisp air. About three-quarters of the way up I sat on a moss covered rock to rest, take a sip of clean water, strip off a layer of clothing. I stared into the forest not focusing on anything really when I discovered I was staring at the brown rump of a thin legged animal. It blended in so well that I wasn't really sure it wasn't a tree stump until it moved disappearing behind a thick tree. Silently, I repositioned myself to see three deer slowly idling through the trees with their heads down, nibbling flora off the forest floor, between patches of snow. Delightful sight!
As they disappeared I thought to myself how lucky I am to be working in a national park. This thought continued as I rounded the next switchback to hear a small woodpecker working for his tasty bug meal. The rest of the hike was uneventful in that I saw no more animals but did continue to hear the birds chirp and the trees creak. I was very glad I chose not to pack my snowshoes for the top of the ridge. There was probably about 2 feet of snow at the top but very hard packed by the tread of other hikers. I was smart to bring my little boot ice cleats because the hard packed snow was super slippery. Just a little ways around the bend from the top of the ridge, the forest opens to a brief cliff side and you get a stunning view of the mountain. My plan was to stop, drink some hot tea and marvel at it's vastness but the wind was wicked, forcing me to continue forward into the forest for shelter. I found a little clearing, protected by grand Douglas firs, where I drank tea and did some yoga stretches on the hard packed snow. What a geek I am. My last nature discovery of my hike was at the corner of Rampart Ridge and the Wonderland Trail as your heading to Indian Henry's. I stopped at the junction to drink more tea and rest a little. Again, staring blindly through the trees there appeared to be an empty space behind the trees. Leaving the trail by about 100 feet I discovered a small meadow, about the size of a baseball diamond, just beyond the trees adjacent to the trail. I chose not to step onto this snow covered meadow because I was not convinced it is a meadow at all. Based on a 10 ft circular indentation in the middle of the snow I thought may be a small wetland area which I did not want to mess with but made the discovery no less of a delight. This small discovery gave me an adventure to look forward to next July after the snow melts.
All throughout my hike was the reinforcing thought that I am lucky to work in a place that I also get to play in and hoping that my friends and family take a moment to experience whatever access they have to nature. Do you hear a bird sing? Do you feel the wind on your cheek? Do you see grass growing in a sidewalk crack? I did actually hug a tree during my hike while I was watching the woodpecker. I can't help it. I felt compelled to share the experience and I am surrounded by trees that experience the delight of nature every moment of their life cycle. I felt we (me and the tree) were comrades in nature. Did you hug a tree today?

Monday, November 2, 2009

There's no place like home, there's no place like home *click, click, click*

I see having a pair of ruby slippers along the same lines as Star Trek's transporter machine. I would use them to travel back and forth between the east and west coast. Just as I figured, being home in Maine has definitely made me think of starting to make plans to return to my rightful place in the world (right, Ang?) I don't see myself transitioning back to Maine right way but being in the New England area is a must do.

Geez, I just read some of my older post. God damn, there have been some good times and my writing was exciting. What the hell has happened to me? I need some descriptive inspiration to manuveur my brainwaves to write that good again. I love road tripping. My journey out west last year was an inspirational journey on many levels. The question is, who's gonna road trip home with me at the end of next season? Tune in, now that's a cliff hanger...good literary move. Swell.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Adventures of Murder Squirrel--Pictures

Murder Squirrel with blood on his knife. Are
we missing any hotel guests?

Edward (aka Rafiki) introdues Murder Squirrel
to his kingdom.

Murder Squirrel living on his Mountain.

Murder Squirrel stares at me in my sleep. Some
nights it really creeps me out and I have to banish
him to the closet.

Murder Squirrel at the Puyallup Fair. Scary!

The Adventures of Murder Squirrel

The creation of Murder Squirrel was designed early in the '09 season at Mt. Rainier. He arrived at the Paradise Inn Gift Shop very unexpectedly, in a box with thousands of his friends. It was an invasion of creepy plush rodents with beady eyes. Only Murder Squirrel was ghastly and cruel enough to fight his way in to the hearts of the employees at Rainier, leaving the others plush squirrels behind to be sold as slaves to the highest, child-like bidder. The above is the first picture of Murder Squirrel on the day of his creation. In the first days of his creation he terrorized the hotel guests by sitting threateningly in the gift shop window, peering out into the lobby with his knife gleaming until he was banned by the high king. Since then he has gone into hiding protected by all that revere him. Some nights he has hidden deep in the woods, camping, drinking to much beer and living dangerously by sitting to close the fire, his singed tail is scarred to prove it. Here's a crazy fact: while I have not summitted the mountain, Murder Squirrel has climbed the 14,411 feet up to the top of the volcano we live on together. Although I do not have them there are pictures to prove this. He is a wild one that Murder Squirrel. His most recent adventure was to the Puyallup Fair where he drank to many airplane shots before going on the Tilt-A-Whirl. As you can imagine he was quite a threat to eveyone who walked by him. When some teenagers behind us in the line touched him saying he was so cute. I made sure to respond, "I wouldn't do that if I were you, he's more dangerous than he looks."