Sometimes, you just have to take the advice of critics and take a hike.
I did just that Sunday, heading up to a state park for a nice three-and-a-half hour hump through deer trails, horse paths, and along creek beds.
Last week was rather brutal, both online and in the real world. It's been a long time since I received an e-mail comparing me to Hitler or had folks expressing a wish that folks I know meet the same brutal demise as a bunch of party kids in Seattle. I wish I had time to give a shit, but as a journalist I learned that a few nuts will always fall from the tree when you shake it hard enough. And there's nothing wrong with that.
But in the offline world, I have projects I'm developing. I have products that I'm responsible for producing under deadline. And I don't have the luxury of pondering anyone's gripe against a web site that I write in my spare time.
So I took a hike.
I'm a bit of a nature lover and like to think I'm in touch with my primordial self. At least, I used to be - how easy it is to forget the beauty of nature when wrapped up in a blanket of silicone and plastic.
While I no longer hunt, I still like to keep my tracking skills at least minimally tuned. I always preferred the tracking aspect of the hunt to the killing. Tracking game is a lost art in a time when cubicle-hardened weekend warriors hunt with automatic weapons.
I tracked a pregnant doe for miles (the excessively deep, almost bow-legged tracks left by the hind legs are a dead giveaway), but my hunt was ruined when I found three sets of Birkenstock clog prints (wide toe and low heel imprint - one lighter male, two heavier females), a discarded candy bar, and picked up the whiff of weed upwind.
Hippies. Damn hippies. Not even cool Dennis Hopper, burnt-out, 1960s hippies. No, these were the trustafarian, I-worship-Bob-Marley-from-an-SUV kinds of hippies.
It took me a grand total of 10 seconds to pinpoint three heads bobbing up and down in front of me in the bush, 100 yards ahead. I could've been blind and picked them out. They had a white five-gallon bucket with them and were loudly lumbering through the woods.
Looks like somebody's planning some illegal agriculture. Growing up in the rural South, one learns to hate the site of those five-gallon buckets - and I grew up with people who's parents relied on those potted crops to put food on the table. Ilost one of my best friends because he fell in love with the money made from the crops grown in those buckets.
Not only did these three assholes manage to scare away every breathing creature for acres, they were planning on setting up their own little farm in a state park.
So I hollered up ahead and asked if they were enjoying the day. They took off running. They even dropped their bucket, which, upon inspection, had three holes neatly cut in the bottom for drainage and a tiny baggy.
I guess I was lucky. They could've been armed, and I left my knife home for the first hike of the year. I never go hiking without ol' Sharky (my grandfather's blade), or at least a Gerber.
Yes, I'm just dumb enough to bring a knife to a potential gunfight. A lot of folks expected I wouldn't make it past 21, so I figure I'm on borrowed time anyway.
Why is it that some pot users think that inhaling the smoke of a plant somehow puts them more in touch with nature? Or gives them the right to exploit natural resources illegally, probably for profit, anymore than Enron or ExxonMobile?
Last year, I spotted a badger in this same area - very rare for southwestern Ohio, given that the population level is unknown. Any chance of that was ruined by a couple of kids looking for a place to grow a banned plant...in a state park. The doe? Gone.
I don't care if someone smokes weed; it's none of my business what one does in the privacy of one's own home. But hundreds of folks use this park every weekend from April through November. If you want to grow, buy your own lot and take your own chances.
I don't know too many families that plan outdoor vacations based on the likelihood of a DEA raid.
This part of the country is, despite what a lot of local college students think, very rural and very poor. The local parks provide low-cost entertainment for working-class families and being outdoors is a hell of a lot better for kids than a fucking Xbox.
Are ya looking to ruin the experience for everyone?
Fini - Due to my changing job responsibilities and numerous serious personal issues (I’ve been out of work for a month on medical leave) this blog has run its cou...
7 years ago