Gary Meyer | Tuesday, 31 December 2019
So, Paul has a new truck! What is the world coming to?
On the associated thread on the Sexyloops Board there was a video of a similar, apparently street-legal, 4WD vehicle climbing up what looked to be a dried out creek bed. The video was impressive documentation of the vehicle’s capacity to conquer almost unbelievable terrain. It makes one wonder if any sacred place is inaccessible these days.
Watching that truck video made me want to follow that trail to see where it goes, but then, on the second thought, I realized that I have a weakness for such things, and I questioned just how I would get back if the unthinkable happened?
It also brought to mind one of my favorite sayings. It is a rhetorical smart-ass question I usually offer up, after the fact, when some endeavor has turned out poorly for someone else. Where, in retrospect, the error was obvious and quite likely…
“Gee… what could possibly go wrong?”
Actually, while I usually do use that saying in a smug, joking sort of way, I have found that it truly is something to mull before jumping headlong into an unfamiliar endeavor with, lets say, “negative potential”.
My off-road vehicle floats. I use a wide tandem sportsman’s canoe with a small outboard motor to reach areas inaccessible to boats and too far for most paddlers. I learned long ago never to attempt to reach areas that I was not willing to paddle back from. Small four stroke outboards are very reliable these days, but that was not always true in the past. A fact I am sorry to admit I had to learn the hard way.
These days I am not quite as reckless as I once was, but I am pretty confident that as long as the canoe will float I can always make it back. Of course, I always have a paddle. And a spare paddle just in case. I also carry my cell phone, a VHS radio, and an EPIRB, emergency flares, whistles, and a signaling mirror. And, someone always knows the general area I am heading into in case they don’t hear from me within a certain number of days.
I also carry a waterproof ditch bag with enough spare essentials to survive at least somewhat comfortably for a few nights in the mangroves if I were ever to be separated from the canoe. The bag is attached to a life vest by a surfboard lanyard so I can tow it while swimming, if necessary. The bag sports an easily accessible whistle and a small waterproof divers flashlight fitted into a headband.
Not all of those items are a response to personal experience, but unfortunately most actually are.
This past week I got out for a few days into an area that is usually worth the effort, angling-wise, and is extraordinary for wildlife viewing. I know the area pretty well, but I have a strong suspicion that there might just be an untapped fishing dimension that I have yet to decipher. It will take some time, but if I am correct in my assumption it could be worth it, in spades.
On the second night I actually found some dry ground and enough room to hang the hammock. I recently upgraded the hammock kit with HMWPE rope, which is essentially a larger version of gel-spun fishing line. So, it is incredibly strong and reduces the bulk of rope for hanging the hammock quite a bit. Unfortunately, just like with the fishing line, knots are more tricky.
After setting up, and experimenting with some different knots, I laid back in the hammock for a test drive… and sure enough, something let go and rudely deposited my ass to the ground. But when I got up and assessed the situation, it wasn’t my knots at all! One of the metal rings integral to the hammock ropework had separated at the weld.
Being a recreational climber, I have carabiners like I have flyrods: more than a sane person will ever need. But, did I think to carry a spare when canoeing? Of course not!
Recovery from that unexpected equipment failure took a lot of time and effort and I was really sort of miffed, until I realized how lucky I was that the failure occurred at that time and not when I was set up over water!
Of all the things I scrutinize as potential problems, and either upgrade or plan around, I never looked at those metal rings and asked myself the simple question…
“Gee… what could possibly go wrong?”