Meet Me in St Louis, Loo(ie)
Despite the resurgence of the Giants offense after the drought of the homestand, and the epic stomping of the hated Cardinals (I still hate Jose Okendo, Ozzie Smith, Whitey Herzog, Darrell fucking Porter, and Tony LaRussa), I’m going off on another tangent. Someone mentioned this a while ago, so what the hell? I mean really, got to be something besides baseball 24/7. I’m a little curious (not really, but hey it sounds good) as to what you guys and gals (Ferrethead? Melkmaids? Come out come out wherever you are!) do when you ain’t watching/going to baseball games and immersing yourselves in everything Giants? Some of you guys apparently work out as I hear peripheral shit about that. Me? I haven’t trained hard for anything since football and track in high school. And that was over 30 years ago. But I do do stuff like hiking mtn biking golf camping tennis skiing and the occasional body surfing and boogie boarding trips to the beach. But I do more than my share of 16 oz curls . . .
I bring this up, because last weekend, my wife, son, and I went whitewater rafting on the middle fork of the American River. We’ve been up here about 10 years, and I’ve been meaning to do that for a long time, so we finally did it. It’s about a 20 mile paddle down the river (6 hours), and the ride is pretty crazy. Class III stuff, some Class IV, and a little Class V rapids. There’s one spot on the river where, in the 1880s, miners blew a 50′ tunnel into a giant rock wall to divert 1/2 a mile of the river that was an oxbow. By doing that, they got about $6 millon of gold out of that dry riverbed. Little did they know that what they ended up doing was to create the longest man-made Class V rapids in the world. I (and the guy behind me) got thrown out of the boat on one of the nastier sections. As I got back in the boat, the boat behind us went nose-first into a hole, and all 7 people were catapulted into the river. They went shooting by at about 30 MPH in a fast section of the river. We were able to snag one of them as they flew by, and all were fine minus some scrapes and bruises. People were flying out of rafts all day. Cool shit.
Tomorrow, my son and I are off to Haven Lake up near Sierraville off of Highway 49. It’s a quiet little lake among a bunch of lakes out there at about 7500′ near the Sierra Buttes. We’re going to do a little fishing, a little dirt-biking, a little 4 wheeling, and a lot of just hanging out. He starts his sophomore year in a week, so this is the last summer weekend of fun. Plus I need to teach him how to drive, and what better place is there to do it than out in the middle of nowhere?
So, what do you folks do for thrills? Sure, I used to be an adrenaline junkie, and I still get myself into stupid situations that I should know better about (mainly skiing and dirtbiking), but don’t. Shit, when I was a kid, I ended up in the emergency room 7 times for various cracks, breaks, and stiches. One of our greatest inventions when I was a kid was to take my sisters rollerskates and attach them to a piece of plywood. I don’t even know if skateboards were invented yet, but we’d have 4 skates on a 2′ x 4′ piece of plywood. The damn things were fast as hell. The best one was the Turtle. It was a square piece of plywood that a plastic (green of course) garbage can top would fit onto. We lived on a nice hill, so the rest was obvious. After a fast run down the sidewalk, I smashed my face on a rock and then flew into a tree. That one was 12 stiches on my eyelid and 8 on my forehead. My brother thought it was the coolest thing he’d ever seen. I looked like an axe murder victim. By that point, my mom was getting used to the carnage. And the trips to the emergency room . . .