Stir Crazy After All These Years

One good thing about getting your head out of your ass: The world looks so much better.


To me, canoeing is a way of life. I’ve been doing it for 36 years. When my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer last October, I put my life on hold. He became the center of my world and the center of my siblings’ world. Dad died on Pearl Harbor Day.

I didn’t realize it until mid January that my life had remained on hold. Part of the grieving process, most likely.

But it was more complicated than that. I allowed myself to become distracted, to idle away my time on the computer, drink more than I should and piddle around with this, that and the other.

Then I decided to pull my head out of my ass. I began staging for a winter canoe trip. It was a gradual process at first, packing one item a day — tent, sleeping bags (plural for winter trips), cookware, etc. Then came the point of no return. I borrowed a phrase from my father: “Do it like you meant it.” I spent an entire afternoon packing in earnest, getting to the point where I just needed to throw some food and water in the cooler and go.

It was just a matter of waiting for a window

Finally, on the weekend of the Jan. 22, that window opened. I loaded my canoe and shoved it onto an ice ledge on Black Fork of the Mohican River near Perrysville. The ice gave way under the loaded boat and dropped into the cold dark water. As the last three feet of the stern began to slide down what was left of the ice ledge, I jumped in, rode the canoe into the open water and headed downstream.

Mission accomplished. I had pulled my head out of my ass and gotten on with my life.


Making breakfast Saturday morning at my campsite near Loudonville.



Two eagles engage in aerial combat near Spellacy. I saw more than a dozen bald eagles on this trip.



Poor man’s selfie. My Saturday campsite. Thanks to George and Amy Smith for their hospitality.



A nearly full moon rises over a steep hillside Saturday night at my campsite at Smith’s Campgrounds & Cabins.





2 thoughts on “Stir Crazy After All These Years

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