Monday, October 27, 2008

Theory of the little engine that could

Sherry at Queen's River bridge

Sea meets land in Shoal Bay

The "Little Engine That Could" is a moralistic story of trying anything optimistically. As we all know, the little engine did. For me, its not so much about success but about trying and giving it an honest effort. Without trying nothing is sure to be accomplished.

On Sunday my wife Sherry and I decided to hike to The Thoroughfare on the East Coast Trail to pick cranberries. I've done it before but I really had to step on it to do it in 2 hours. Sherry wasn't sure but decided to give it a go. There were numerous places along the Shoal Bay trail with standing water that we had to scoot around. In one place the trail was a river and we had to bushwack around it for a few hundred metres. This and stepping on stones to cross streams are not one of Sherry's strong points, but she did it.

It took longer than expected as it wasn't a straight hike. We reached the saltwater after 2.5 hours and decided that the cranberries would have to wait. We had lunch and enjoyed the fantastic scenery and headed back. It was a great day even though we didn't get what we came for, but we tried. I was so proud of my wife because I knew it wasn't easy for her. She did it to spend the day together.

Tony :-)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Theory of barnacles

Stan trying out Malcolm's Nordkapp

Barnacles are encrusters, that is, they attach themselves to hard surfaces. They are immobile except when they're lucky enough to attach themselves to a ship's hull; then they become world travellers. Otherwise, they're lot in life is set, unable to do anything for themselves and no chance to expand their horizons. Some people I think are like barnacles. They get comfortable in their situation and just can't get out of the rut and try new things and new challenges.

Not Stan. Today, in Torbay, Stan tried on Malcolm's Nordkapp in the company of Malcolm, Ian, Jonathan and myself. There was a bit of apprehension - how would it handle compared to the poly boat? What about stability? Stan has been paddling for about 10 years, so this might not be such a big challenge ;-) and it showed. No problem and Nordkapp has a convert.

And I get a chance to put a pic of Stan on my blog, which of course is a change!

Tony :-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Theory of rust and dust

RIP in Tickles

I took this picture at Tickles in June where a group of Kayak Newfoundland and Labrador members completed an overnight camping trip. Tickles is an abandoned community that has one house left standing. The old rusted truck looked like an interesting subject.

The picture came back to mind after the recent passing of my Dad.

At the time I took the picture, I thought how handsome the truck must have been when it was new. It must have been a source of immense pride for the owner. And, I wondered how much work it had done for its owner. Now it sits in Tickles rusting away, returning to nature.

That rusty old truck struck me as such a metaphor for human life. When you're young there's so much promise and vitality. Hard work and the passage of time takes its toll over the years. Before you realize it, as the clock ticks on, you're the truck. Dad passed away on October 18 at 83 years of age.

There is of course a difference; Dad won't be forgotten and left adandoned to rust. And, this rust and dust will be part of another world after our sun goes supernova.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Theory of friends

Tent city at Tickles

Friends are sometimes like stars. Stars form from interstellar dust and gas clouds. Some clouds coalesce into stars that don't have enough mass to start nuclear fusion and don't fire up. Some clouds form stars that are white (hot) to supergiant reds (cooler).

I've met a lot of people over the years. Some have become life-long friends, friends that I can count on come hell or high water. Some never became friends and others range between good friends (hot) and acquaintences (cool).

I've been lucky to have met a lot of great people through Kayak Newfoundland and Labrador. At the outset they were people I'd see on paddles or club meetings. A lot of them I've gotten to know better and now count as friends. Friends are people I'm comfortable associating with.

A group of us paddled to Tickles, a resettled community in St. Mary's Bay, Newfoundland, for an overnight kayak camping trip in June. There was lots of room at Tickles for people to set up their tents apart from each other but most people staked out campsites close together. A friendly act by friends with common interests.

Tony :-)