12.31.2009

That Was A Damn Good Burger

I went touring with Wayner yesterday up on Togwotee... damn good snow. Met a new friend named Paul and we got to rapping. He made this video last year.

The best thing about snowkiting is that there's so much untapped potential...


Once Upon a time in the wind - HD from Paul Podell on Vimeo.

12.30.2009

Shamelessly Sexy Surf Flick


A pretty compelling argument in favor of sex, drugs, rock n' roll, and generally fucking around...

... but seriously, why don't you guys take Betty's trust fund and throw it into a 50 foot boat.

Yeah, boozin' and smokin' in a motor home.  Congrats.  Neo-Hippies?  Bravo.

All y'all do is surf better than your daddy.

Get off the freeway.  Get out there.  It's good, but art?  Schmart.

Repeat after me.  Y'all ain't even fucking close to free.

Me neither.

Push.


Surf Feature: "REPEAT AFTER ME; I AM FREE" - A Fly On The Beast Documentary from Insight Clothing on Vimeo.


Follow My Reasoning...



I miss my boat, but the solitude of the mountains trumps the crowd in the lineup.

I am once again JOBbed.  You're reading the words of the new DOORMAN at the Silver Dollar Bar.

I'll be training in New Year's Eve.  After that you'll find me doing my best Swayze impersonation at WORT Bluegrass Tuesdays.


 


Quoth "Roadhouse":

"All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it's absolutely necessary. And three, be nice."

Yep.  One night a week.  7pm to 1am.  That's a six hour, 70 dollar work week.

$10 a day?  In Jackson Hole? No problem.

My 2010 Resolutions?

1) Live as SPARTAN a life as possible.

2) For as long as I can stand it, I will not buy myself a drink.

Other people can buy me drinks.
I can buy other people drinks.
I'll certainly accept free drinks.

But I will not buy myself a drink.

This should make the occasional foray out of my mind more interesting.

***

But back to the point...

These days I find myself dancing on slippery pickles.

Go for Wealth or Go for Broke?
Settle Down or Don't Settle?
Live Wrong or Live Strong?

You probably know the intersection I'm at, even though most Western maps mislabel it...

"HAVE A KID or BE A KID"
or more bluntly
"GROW THE FUCK UP, FUCK UP."

Those sorts of maps are dangerously dated.  Follow my reasoning...

I don't know about you, but I like living on this planet.

Unfortunately, aside from a bonafied natural disaster, the convergence of catastrophes threatening to fuck everything up are entirely homemade.

Will we save ourselves with technology or kill ourselves with technology?

Are we approaching something like a Singularity or the Mother of all Clusterfucks?

I don't know the future, but I do know one thing.

This great little planet is currently overrun by an ever-growing Cult of Consumerism.

This Cult poisons our mental and physical environments and wastes everything, including the time left to get our shit together.

Our chances of saving ourselves from, uhhhh, ourselves decrease as more people get caught up in this wasteful Cult.

Most folks don't even know they're members of this Cult.  They're convinced that a happy human life couldn't exist without STUFF despite tens of thousands of years and billions of human lives showing the contrary.

If you just celebrated a typical American Christmas, you're a member.  If you own a car or house or any flashy shit, you're a member.  I admit it: to varying degrees, I've been a member my whole life.  Leaving a Cult is hard.

If you think the meaning of life at 2010 is to work a lot, spend a lot, replicate yourself, and build a little bubble of security around your bloodline you've missed the bus.

When people tell me to grow up I tell them I'm trying and I encourage them to do the same.

Raging against the nonsense is a damn good hobby.  Just try it.

Max

12.28.2009

Publish This!


Hey All,

I'm house sitting a mini-mansion for a friend and am taking advantage of the opportunity to pull my hair out distilling my little trip into something publishable.

It's a bitch trying to do justice without getting wordy.

Anyway, I've got a running column in a small monthly Costa Rican travel magazine.  It's a start.

 ***

El Viaje Sin Fin: 1st Installment

WELCOME ABOARD!


I first visited Tamarindo six years ago and recently spent a month there again.  My first time through I was a brainwashed Gringo 22-year-old incapable of truly tapping into the Pura Vida lifestyle.  My recent visit found me mentally much improved…

A few months back I sailed into Tamarindo aboard my beat-to-shit 27-foot sailboat.  I was headed North after sailing and surfing my way through Columbia, Panama, and southern Costa Rica.  I had 62 dollars to my name.  I was lonely.  I was getting too skinny.

Four weeks later and ten pounds heavier, I said goodbye to a dozen new friends, and left Tamarindo with 350 dollars, a pile of food, and a beautiful woman who didn’t care that my little boat was beat-to-shit.

I’d been told Tamarindo’s development would break my heart, that it was the new Jaco and had lost it’s soul.  This was not my experience. There are plenty of characters bopping around and there’s plenty of soul.  The good people of Tamarindo welcomed me in, fixed me up, and warmly sent me on my way.  If that isn’t paradise, I don’t know what is.

I didn’t even catch flak for running little underground surf charters on my boat.  Most other places I stopped, I encountered hostility for trying to scrounge a few bucks under the table.  Thanks for being so laid back, Tamarindo.  Pura Vida, indeed!

The only real problem in Tamarindo is that the locals surf too well, and that’s hard on the tourists’ self-confidence.  Well, that ain’t really a problem, now is it.  Anyway…

Let me tell me you the story of my boat trip ‘cuz I’ve been told it’s inspiring.  I’ll be writing in this magazine monthly until I run out of things to say.  Consider this installment one.

A few years back I sold my car and bought a 27-foot sailboat for $5300.   My previous sailing experience consisted of a few summers on Little Boy Lake, Northern Minnesota.  Now I’ve sailed the Pacific Coast between Washington State and Columbia.

Over the course of a sixteen-month sailing odyssey I encountered adventure, boredom, terror, crippling seasickness, wealth, poverty, freedom, romance, loneliness, a whole lot of paradise, some amazing waves, and a ridiculous cast of characters, including myself.

I started the trip with $2500 in my pocket.  This money lasted four months.  Over the course of the next year I never had more than $400 at any given time.  The meager money that kept the trip afloat came from teaching kiteboarding, surf charters, and donations to my blog.

I got to surf or go kiteboarding almost every day.  I got to discover for myself all the great waves of Mexico and Central America.  I met enough characters to write a dozen books.  I made enough memories to keep me laughing for life. I developed respect and love for the ocean.  It was a truly life-changing experience.

What makes my sixteen-month trip unique is it happened for under 10,000 dollars.  With a little planning, courage, and flexibility, you could throw together a similar experience.  With a little more skrilla to invest, you could have more fun than I did… maybe.

So if you’re still interested, I give you the watered down, fit-for-publication version of El Viaje Sin Fin, The Trip Without End.


CHAPTER ONE: PREPARING FOR THE NORTH PACIFIC

March 3rd, 2008: After a few weeks of searching online, I buy the boat sight unseen off of CraigsList.  After one phone call I know the owner loves his boat and is only letting it go because he has to: the economic crisis hit a lot of US boat owners hard.  I have doubts but the pictures look good, and the boat was recently surveyed.  He listed for $9,000.   I pay $5,300.

April 12, 2008: My younger brother drops me off on the dock in Portland, Oregon.  He drove me there from Jackson Hole, Wyoming where I’d been bartending and ski bumming.  I don’t have a car anymore.  All my possessions fit easily in his old Subaru but they clutter the tiny cabin of the boat.  The weather alternates between dreary and drizzly for the next two weeks.  I’m overwhelmed by the change and having serious doubts.  The boat’s name is “Huzzah!”  My first of many projects is scratching the name off.  I don’t come up with a replacement name for months.

April 27th, 2008:  My 27th birthday.  A lady friend shows up and gets me out of my funk.  We untie the boat and set sail for the first time.  Prior to this, I was too scared to leave the dock.  I didn’t want to make an ass of myself or sink.  We sail a few miles and anchor near a freeway bridge over the Columbia River.  It’s a sunny spring day, and we get schnockered on Gin while playing Scrabble.  I watch the sun set behind a creeping traffic jam on the bridge and have a laugh at the expense of the Nine-to-Fivers.  I realize buying the boat was a good idea.

May 3rd, 2008:  After two days of serious preparation, we sail the 60 miles up the Columbia River from Portland to Hood River.  Sailing upstream in Oregon as the spring snowmelt floods the river is a bad idea.  It’s slow going on account of the current: beneath the dams you’re occasionally going backwards.  I get seasick for the first of many times.  We piss off a whole lot of fisherman.  The motor breaks.  We get rained on.  We get snowed on.  Four stressful days later we pull into the Hood River Marina only to find they don’t have room for us.

May 10th, 2008: After a week on the guest dock, I’m kicked out of the Hood River Marina.  I’m here to kiteboard and Hood River is the Mecca, so I refuse to sail back to Portland.  A helpful young sailor informs me of a perfect little anchorage behind an island right outside of town.  With a line from the bow tied to a tree and two anchors off the stern, I can nuzzle the boat right up to the steep beach.  A five-minute kayak and a five-minute stroll bring me to work at the Big Winds Kiteboard School.  Thus begins a truly great summer.

June-August, 2008:  If I’m not at work, I’m kiteboarding or sailing.  If I am at work, I’m online studying sailing, weather, or plotting routes and probable anchorages on GoogleEarth.  Any money I make I put into styling out the boat or kiteboarding gear.  The more comfortable I get with the boat and the more I learn, the more attainable the dream of sailing out to sea and taking a left becomes.  I meet a bunch of crazy kiteboarders, one of whom decides he’d like to make the trip with me.

September 1st, 2008:  My partner in crime, Mack, and I really set out preparing the boat.  His uncle owns a boatyard so we’re able to get new batteries, a handheld GPS with nautical charts, a small generator, and other essentials for cost.  I also splurge on a new dinghy.  $3000 and a few weeks of lazy work later we’re “ready to go”.

September 21st, 2008:  I tear my knee to shreds while kiteboarding.  I can’t walk very well but this solidifies the desire to make the trip;: I certainly won’t be skiing this winter.  After a farewell party, my crewmember Mack and I pass out on the boat.  I discover he’s quite the snorer.  We set sail downriver an hour before dawn in hopes of making Portland by dusk.

From there, another 24 hours of sailing will bring us to the mouth of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, which is where the story starts to get interesting.  So tune in next time…

Have a good one!
Max
For the real story check out…
http://oilfreefun.blogspot.com




12.26.2009

Who's this on the plane...

We've got such short memories these daze we forget who we where last week.

I need to go for a walk.

12.23.2009

Climb On.

I can't get to sleep tonight.  So fuck it, here's a story.

Relax, Max.  Noone can label you a shameless self-promoter if you make yourself out a horse's ass.


Nothing's been handed to me, except by God.  I'm from a a great family, who are just supportive enough.

I didn't grow up hard.
Once I slimmed down in 7th grade, life came TOO easy.
Perhaps that's part of my problem.

Educational experiences just fall out the sky, and occasionally I'm paying attention.
My favorite book on AD/HD is titled "SCATTERED".

***

This is the 3rd time I've moved to the Tetons.

The first time I ran away from a culture that made no sense.

The second time, from a future that couldn't exist.

This third time...?

Once again, I'm powerless but to push it out in my own inconsequential way.


But I can tell you why I value what I do.
And maybe that's the consequential contribution I've got.

Follow my reasoning.

There's a whole grip of people on this planet and more everyday.
The problem's not the number however, but how they live.
An insane culture spreads a life both EXPENSIVE and HARD.
This is what's killing our planet.
How do I fight this?
Promote a life which is CHEAP...
...and EASY.
But by no definition LAZY.
See, they've got your emotions twisted up in consumerism.
But there's so much more out there.
If you break the cycle of WORK and SPEND.
Might as well get out before it breaks itself.
Put your faith in anything else.

So much for complete sentences, eh?
The walls are your own, and you can break out any time you'd like.

Anyway, the story.


MaƱana... I'm finally tired.

Sweet Dreams.

Max

All Over the World Hearts Pound

I'm not overtly hip hop but I know a good thing when I hear it.

This stuff's 10 years old and even if we heard it, odds are we missed most of the point

Even if you got it, another listen will only make you better off.

So listen to the mighty Mos Def.





And even the Gringos...







No Doubt.


A female friend  recently wrote the following.

I think she captured the essence of living in Playa Gigante...

***

In Nicaragua, I love...
bathing in the ocean, not needing lotion, moving in slow motion
knowing my neighbors, opportunities for labors, no high profile fakers
rice and beans, living dreams, building things
pioneering a town, blasting my sound, dancing around
traveling faster by boat, never wearing a coat, walking with goats
bare feet, no need for meat, in the captain’s seat
full service gas, no freeway crash, an absence of flash
having a maid, cash is paid, others are afraid
jumping on a truck, meals for a buck, not having to pluck
everyone knows your name, love is the same, endless summer games
beach bon fires, stoked surf riders, kids aren’t criers
simple mind smiles, cheap ceramic tiles, no strip malls for miles
hitching a ride,  living by the tide, fat melting from my side
outdoor showers, no looming towers, seldom found cowards
mango by the slice, overcoming strife, changing a life
creating a vibe, teaching a tribe, and feeling alive!

***


C'est la vie.  Moving on...


Max

12.22.2009

STOKED OUT.



The mountains do it for me. 


***
I always pick up the SkyMall catalog as soon as I sit down on the plane.  I figure it gives a pretty good idea of what dumb shit people are wasting their money on these daze.  This sort of thing is worth knowing.


After that, I always glance through the scarcely-veiled advertisement called an "in flight magazine".  This generally gets my righteous indignation boiling.  Media Literacy: it works.


Anyway, flying Frontier Airlines from MSP to JAC I had to laugh when I pulled the "in flight magazine" out of the pocket.  The cover of the mag showed a skier hucking a cliff.   I immediately knew exactly where he was.


I opened to page two and laughed again.  It was a picture taken from within the trees looking out on a tent with two surfboards next to it.  A perfect beach with a decent wave beckons out front.  A conspicuous cobblestone point sits to looker's right.


Too easy.  Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica.


I swam four Canadian's luggage in a half-dead dinghy through the breakers to that very point and had the Sin Fin anchored out front for a week.  Good waves there.  Good people too.  Sparsely populated.  Old growth.  Lots of crabs.  Good fishing.   Big sharks.  Plenty of cocos.  Hell of a mango grove too.


The funniest part of this particular page of this particular "in flight magazine" was the quote they'd superimposed over this pristine beach's picture.


Now I see the secret
of making the best person:
it is to grow
in the open air and to eat and sleep
with the earth.


-Walt Whitman


Wise words kicking off a scarcely-veiled advertisement.


There's plenty of smart fuckers trying to sell you something these daze.


Hell, just about everyone I went to school with works in marketing, advertising, or PR.  Paid to perpetuate the BIG LIE.


What's the BIG LIE?!  Figure it out for yourself.


I won't try to sell you a fucking thing.  Well maybe some beat to shit skis or some beat to shit kites or a beat to shit boat or a beat to shit van...


...or a beat to shit lifestyle.


I may also refer you to friends for yer and their mutual benefit, but that's about it.


My heart's in it.


***


Here's some good shit.  I can give you that.  Just came across it in last year's edition of...





Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine.


Hell of a cover, eh?


***


A Hopi Elder Speaks


You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.

 And there are things to be considered . . .

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
 What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, "This could be a good time!"

There is a river flowing now very fast.  It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore.   They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.

Know the river has its destination.  The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.   And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves.  For the moment that we do,  our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time for the lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves!  Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary.  All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we've been waiting for.

-- attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder
Hopi Nation
Oraibi, Arizona

***
Wow.  Get there.

12.21.2009


See, it's not what it looks like.

I promise.

***
None can be an impartial or wise observer of human life but
from the vantage ground of what we should call voluntary poverty.
-Thoreau
***


I've got a bit of writer's block on account of the culture shock.  Fuck, I've got liver's block, a liver being one who LIVES.

I wake up late still tired.

Pounding water.  Pissing clear.

I look at my shed and feel like a crazy, especially in a community of so many well-adjusted individuals.

I'm able to write about the contradictions I see in myself, but I can hardly live em' down.

Ignorance is bliss.
Awareness is an occasionally sweet bitch.

Anyway, the mountains are amazing and so's the skiing.  It's that time of year when everyone thinks its dangerous or shitty but really you just gotta know.

And you never know until you go... so I'm scrounging together a crew of experienced ski buddies.

I've got my second guinea pig kite lesson lined up tomorrow... actually gonna get paid a little... and we'll get to ski some good lines before and after.

Can't complain.  You?

Max

12.19.2009

YIP YIP

My shed is blangin'.

I can make it TOO HOT.

"White Lung" is no longer an issue since my big proyecto yesterday was covering all the insulation with plastic sheeting... and schussing all chalk dust out the door.

I've got a desk, a computer, a comfy bed, a couch, a bouldering cave, and all the space I need to dry out my gear.

It's perfectly quiet.

And it's pretty much free.

Any time I need a friend I just have to stroll around the corner.

***

I think I'll get some writing done.

It's coming along.

***

Today Wayne showed me some epic snowkite terrain near Togwotee Pass.

It was kind of like this...




...but better.

Clouds hung at 10,000 feet today but we climbed above them to a sparkling world of snow, rock, wind, and sky... rekindling a love affair with the hills.

The Sea is Great.
The Mountains are Great.
I'm Small.
And so are you.

***

My buddy Bagga-Donutz....



...tagged along and got a complimentary kite lesson.

See, I'd forgotten that I'm a kiting instructor and it turns out the only job I'll need this winter is teaching people to fly kites.  Everybody I talk to is stoked on the kite and they all want to learn.  I'm happy to teach.

And it's all good once again...

***

There's a big party tonight and I'm formally pledging not to make an ass of myself.

Two years ago I attended a similar party in the throes of Post-Patagonian culture shock and a family visit.  I made a royal ass of myself... and countless old friends will remind me of that tonight.

Which, I guess, is a good thing.

Time to get in costume...

Behave Max.

12.18.2009

Boom Town

FYI:



HA HA HA HA HA.  Ahwwwwwww...... shit.

One of several frustrating aspects of my trip was witnessing the gringo colonization of coastal Mexico and Central America.  I rarely encountered an anchorage where the real estate signs weren't already up, where folks bent on making a buck weren't already taking advantage.  Where locals weren't understandably taking offense.

Other problems included lower back pain, being broke as hell, and heartache.

Been there?

Apparently, as we delve deeper into the 21st century, humanity needs beach houses, and lots of them.

We also apparently need a whole shitload of condos flanking every accessible mountainside.

Particleboard masoleums dedicated to the most gullible motherfuckers in history who came close but just never quite figured it out.

We were in denial.  Awful short-sighted.  All the while standing behind whitewashed intentions...

You can't stop progess, but progress could stop itself. 

Unless we figure out a new way to rein in human desire, it probably will.

Giddy up!

Max

I'm In Miami, B...


Miami from above...
A wall of skyscrapers abuts the ocean  for as far as I can see.
Human vanity hopes to hold back the rising tide.
Good luck with that.

***

CLEARING CUSTOMS

I knew I'd chosen the wrong line as soon as I saw Rodriguez, but it was too late.  Nothing to do but wait and act casual.

Rodriguez (looking at my customs form): You visited all these countries?
Me: Yep.
Rodriguez:  How long have you been out of the country?
Me: 15 months.
Rodriguez: 15 months?  How do you afford travel like that?
Me: I was on a boat.
Rodriguez: Whose boat?
Me: My boat.  A small sailboat.
Rodriguez: How do you afford a sailboat?
Me: I bought it for five grand in Oregon and sailed it to Columbia.
Rodriguez: What do you do for work?
Me: I've had a lot of jobs.  I funded my trip by making friends and taking them sailing.
Rodriguez: People paid you to sail them around?
Me: Yep, I think they call it "CHARTERING A BOAT".
Rodriguez: Please follow her into that room...
Me: Thanks.

25 minutes of blah blah blah later I'm welcomed into the homeland.

***

The Miami airport is 90% glass.
A very large aquarium full of exotic fish.
A sea of alien creatures.
Freaks, Geeks, Tweaks, and Chics
but mostly just bored frowners
Direct Observation:
Happy Faces: 22
Sad Faces: 365
...that's enough of that little experiment.
Most of the smilers are Eastern Europeans on vacation.
What do they know that I don't?
Probably lots.

***



Don't give up the ship.

Max

12.16.2009

Boring the Tranny

In all matters of the heart,
across the spectrum between
the love of money
and the love of love,
the same simple saying keeps popping to mind...

Don't hate the player. Hate the game.

But that ain't right. Don't hate anything.

Understand it. Overstand it.

Accept your own impermanence and laugh on through.

Moving on...

***

Being back in Minnesota has been a trip all its own.


I'm flying to Wyoming today, hopeful that Jig'll let me set up a tent in the climbing shed. I hope the speakers and heater are still in there. I need to monkey around and that's just the spot.

I'd really prefer not to get some degrading job bussing tables or tending bar. I think that'd set me back... ummmm... spiritually.

Perhaps I can score a night auditor gig, keep my days wide open, and get my own work done in the wee hours.

Ideally, I'm working for myself... an unpaid internship that involves mustering the self-control to live like a monk... water, rice, beans, oatmeal, peanut butter, bananas, and such... $3 a day budget once the initial festivities abate.

Friends are crucial.


Frankly, I need a group of cheerleaders busting that old chant...
ALL YOU GOTTA DO
IS SET YOUR MIND TO IT
BUCKLE DOWN. BUCKLE DOWN.
DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!


Alright. Easy as pie.  Sorta.
Smooches,
Max



12.14.2009

SPOTS SURFED




Only worth anything to me and those I surfed with...

***

San Quintin, Baja
La Ventana


Chacahua, Mexico
Huatulco
Puerto Chiapas


Veracruz, Nicaragua
Popoyo
Playa Santana
Playa Colorado
El Rosado
Panga Drops
Playa Amarillo
Hongo's Reef
Playa Gigante
Pie Gigante Point
Manzanillo
Playa Maderas
Playa Remanso
Playa Tamarindo
Playa Yankee
Playa Hermosa

Potrero Grande, Costa Rica
Roca Bruja
Playa Grande
Playa Tamarindo
Playa Langosta
Playa Avellanas
Playa Negra
Mal Pais
Santa Teresa
Punta Roca
Jaco
Hermosa
Domincal
Bahia Drake
Cabo Matapalo
Pavones

Santa Catalina, Panama
Playa Venao
Morro Negrito
Leftovers
Chapels
Rachels
411
Corto Circuito
Somewhere in the Darien

And so many more to catch next time...

STATESIDE

They say the two happiest days of boat ownership are...
the day you buy your boat
AND
the day you sell your boat.

This was NOT my experience.
Even though it was time to move on,
even though I had begun to hate being bound to it,
selling Sin Fin wasn't any fun.

All told, Sinful and I had about 500 days better than either the day we met or the day we parted.

Examples Abound....


Heading Home from a Surf Charter in Playa Gigante


Gearing up in San Diego


The Only Ones Dumb Enough, Trinidad, NORCAL


Losing it and then finding it somewhere off Baja.


Dawn, Day One of "El Viaje", Leaving Hood River


Scavenged Lobster Trap.  Mack in the thick of it.


"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God."
-Vonnegut, A Man Without A Country


Pretty Standard Baja


Finally, A Semi-Safe Anchorage, Channel Islands, CA


First Time In San Fran, Passing Through the GG at Dawn.  That's a Full Moon.


Finally Dawn, Day 3, Small Craft Advisory Sailing, NORCAL


As Good As It Gets.


Learning From Maestra


Paid to Sail and Surf.


Cruising C.R. with Tu Laki and The HughMon.


Training in Travis


Crusing with Chavez, My First (and Most Fearless) Surf Instructor


Locking Through For the First Time.


Plenty of Time for Self-Reflection.


The Embudo.


Ummm... yeah.

And on and on and on...

The day I bought Sin Fin was one of the loneliest and most uncertain of my life.  My brother Ben dropped me and all my stuff at a dock in Portland, Oregon.  I had no job, no car, two friends nearby, and all my world floating in a boat I was scared to untie from the dock.

The first two weeks it pissed drizzle and snow.
Fighter jets on routine patrol boomed overhead twice daily.
I'd bike to a grocery store every few days but otherwise I sat there wondering "What the FUCK am I doing?"
I didn't muster the will to cast off until an old salt showed up and ridiculed me out of my funk.

The day I sold Sin Fin found me much improved.  I'd gained a bit of perspective, overcome a bit of my innate gullibility, firmed up a bit, and had one hell of a trip.

Selling came easy since all that awaited me in Gigante was the same shit day in and day out... good shit, no doubt... but the same shit.

The boat was in no shape to go adventuring in with any semblance of safety or comfort.  I'd known that since halfway down Baja.  It hadn't been designed to be anything but a daysailer and it was all beat to shit after 17 months under my "maintenance".

Less than a week after transferring the title, I'm already trolling CRAIGSLIST for a new boat.

There are a lot of good ones out there... screamin' deals too... so my goal is to come across some money.

And if that doesn't pan out I'm going back here...



Life is short.  Live it up.

Love,

Max

12.09.2009

SPUN.


 
Lyric of the Day

***

in my life I have been blessed
in my life I have been cursed
I have lived the best of times
I have suffered the worst
do you know which road you're travelling?
do you know where you want to be?
with so many roads to travel
there's just one can set you free

there's just one road
one road to freedom

-Ben Harper

***

Roads are on my mind these days because I haven't needed em' for the last 15 months.



 I realize my motivations for this trip arose when I took Vonnegut's unintentional advice hard to heart.

"Get out of the road, you dumb mutherfucker."



Good call, Oprah.

I find myself scrabbling a lot of gibberish lately...

***

If life's a GIFT,
why am I perpetually
apologizing for my existence?

***

Dreams lost.
Flags furled.
Welcome to your new world.

***

Let go.
Let go.
Let go.

***

But my current situation really ain't bad.


I'm just hypersensitive.
I'm just too "smart" for my own good.
I'm just heartbroken.
I just overanalyze the meaninglessness.

If life made sense it'd be too easy.  It'd be boring.

If I always got what I wanted I wouldn't want anything.

I've got $6660 in my pocket and suitcases full of toys.
I've got Maestra's paperwork and a free ride to the airport.
I've got my loving family waiting stateside.
I've got the Teton Range full of friends and adventures.
 I've got a strong, healthy body.
I've got my sense of humor.



Now that the boat's gone this little trip can get going again...

First order of business... plop balls in the snow.

Second order of business... sober up.

Third order of business... enjoy family and friends.

Fourth order of business... reconnect with the mountains.

Fifth order of business...
take what you've gathered and piece together a new dream.

Chuck away all the bullshit.
Hold on to the sacred.
Keep searching.
Keep writing.

Right now?  Greet the dawn.

Hasta La Vista,

Max