Wednesday, March 23, 2005


In talking with a friend today we got into discussing a ham radio event that happens April 30th this year, which is a Saturday. It's one of those events/contests that have interesting rules. For this years QRP To The Field day the theme is railroads and he and I have been discussing combining hikes with old railroads, preferably near ghost towns, that we can operate from for that weekend. I discovered there is a great place called Corona Pass Trail that is way up in the mountains and not far from here that both of us think would be a great way to combine an interesting hike with an exceptional place to operate from because it's above most of the local peaks, with only one 14,000+ foot peak in the way and there's an old railroad depot that would add points to our scores. It's strictly for rigs operating with under 5 watts of power and using Morse code (extra points for using an old fashioned straight key as opposed to the modern iambic keys -- ham talk) and the views from the pix we have shared back and forth are breathtaking. Could be a plan. I plan to get on the air before then and before I leave here, but it would be my first contest and my first time combining hiking and ham radio.

I haven't been hiking in about two years and haven't done a major backpacking trip in more years than I care to admit, but it's something I definitely want to do. Since I'm forced to work for a living again and have to work during the week, hiking and backpacking on weekends with my radio rig and a close friend are just what I need to get out and get away from everyone and everything and get back into shape. Getting into shape is top of my priority list these days. I want to get the rest of the weight off and I want to hike and backpack and camp along the Colorado Trail and some of the other really adventurous trails here, something I need to do for myself and for my soul. To share makes it even more appealing.

Who knows, now that I'm back on the work track and will have regular access to money I think it's time to consider getting that mountain bike I've had my eye on for so long. If I'm going to get physical I might as well go all the way.

It seems so strange having something really adventurous and physical to look forward to and not something just to dream and fantasize about but something to plan for and execute. Might even add a camera to the gear or possibly just a sketchpad and pencils or charcoal to feed my soul while I'm walking my heart and body.

Don't get me wrong. Living up here this past year and a half has been wonderfully soothing and makes me feel closer to nature and to myself, but I have been alone too long and I need to add at least a person or two to the mix to include conversation and a different point of view to keep things interesting.

I am definitely looking forward to moving in May. I have a feeling that there are a lot of new adventures in store for me to keep me interested for a good long while. Time to shake the moss off this rolling stone and roll onto some new paths.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I'm going to the Taj Mahal at last

I got an email this morning I deleted and then glanced at the subject line before it went to the trash. It didn't seem to be spam, but you never know. Never one to take chances where my writing career is concerned I looked in the trash and it wasn't spam; it was from the editor of the Taj Mahal Literary Journal to reprint an interview I did with horror writer Simon Clark. Will wonders never cease?

I checked them out and the journal is published on paper (the finest kind, according to their information) and they want to reprint the article for their June 2005 issue, which is compiled, edited, and printed in India. I will be among international writers in English with a very wide distribution. I'm excited. Talk about exposure. I couldn't get more exposure walking naked down Wall Street in New York City after the closing bell.

Okay, so I won't actually get to go to the Taj Mahal and see the marble monument to a beloved dead Indian maharani, but this is the next best thing.

Monday, March 21, 2005

A breath of fresh...

...air. Spring is here -- or so they tell me.

Today was a white day: white sky, white trees covered in snow, white ground, white everywhere, very few other colors. I hear it's spring everywhere else, but not up here, but it's spring in my heart.

I hate fights and arguing. I had enough of that growing up from my mother and my siblings. I especially hate being on the outs with friends. Today a very dear friend and I had a long conversation. Nothing really important. A little give and exchange of information, a few jokes, teasing each other, and generally a return of the easy camaraderie we have shared until recently. It was wonderful. He laughed and I could tell he was smiling even when we got off the phone and switched to IM. For the first time in so many weeks I feel like I have my friend back and that is a feeling I have missed for so long. He had even deleted his LJ and I asked him to please undelete it. He did, for me. It isn't that he writes in it, he hasn't since last September, but I like knowing he's there and that I can go back and read what he wrote about himself.

What's important is that for the first time in a couple of months I feel like we're back on track and he's himself again. Granted, some of the problems were physical in nature, and that has been taken care of, but there were other difficulties, too, and it feels like we've resolved the worst of it.

I've always told him I'd rather have an hour with him than a lifetime with anyone else and I still mean that, but I'd prefer the hours keep coming.

Today is the vernal equinox, the time of the year when night and day are equal, when the world awakens and puts out buds and green fingers of leaves and grass and plants, and the trees deck themselves in soft pastel colors that float on the winds and fall in soft scented mounds on the bleak but burgeoning landscape. It is the time the earth promises that the cold and silence of winter are passing and life is returning. Up here, the birds are coming back and I saw two new ones, beautiful blue and white and black birds like none I've seen before. Red foxes jog down the dirt road along the beach sand-colored edges of the snow while the last of the great bucks peer from the shadows of the pine trees along the hillsides and does nose aside the slushy snow for the tender shoots reaching for the brightening sun. Ravens wing up among the scattered blue sky peering thru the white sky and arrow down toward bits of brightness struggling thru the ice and new fallen powder where rodents sniff and scamper among the bright burnt orange twigs of last year's bushes.

The promise of new life and returning friendship is in the air and I am intoxicated.