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Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #255 on: March 20, 2018, 12:59:26 AM »
This weekend I was home by myself and looking for something to read. I have a stack of books and magazines on my nightstand, but I chose to re-read this trip report (I read it when you first published it but did not comment ... maybe because I was at a loss for words.)

I enjoyed it even more the second time ... so much nuance, humor, pain, frustration and details that I missed the first time.

So, two words to you:

1. Wow.
2. Thanks.

Thanks, Congahead. You know I love your writing, too. I can barely stand to re-read mine; it's amazing (and gratifying) to me that someone else would do so willingly. Looking back on the river portion of this trip, I'm struck by how much fun - and what a crazy, bold adventure - it was.  Additionally, it's clear to me now that during the subsequent land portion of the trip, I simply wasn't consuming enough calories and that directly led to the catastrophes that prematurely ended my trip.  Ahh, well.....live and learn.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Meadows8903

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Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #256 on: March 26, 2018, 05:53:15 AM »
I have been on the board for a few years, but when I'm between my yearly trips to the park, I tend to lose touch. So, I'm arriving late to the party.

I stumbled onto your trip report among the hundreds of unread posts and decided to read it. Even though I stayed up several hours into the night and will undoubtably suffer today at work, it was worth it. Your report was truly captivating and I could not stop reading until I had finished.

As a fairly accomplished, 36 year old hiker who has completed many of the trails in Big Bend, I cannot even imagine undertaking such a trip as yours.

Here's to many more.

Cheers!!!


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"Bend-ing since 1992"

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #257 on: March 27, 2018, 12:13:58 AM »
Thanks for the kind words, Meadows. I hit Big Bend for the first time in the mid-90's when I was in my late thirties. Looks like you got there way ahead of me!
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Meadows8903

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Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #258 on: March 27, 2018, 07:34:12 AM »
I first laid eyes on Big Bend at eleven years old. My dad was an avid hiker and Big Bend (specifically the South Rim) was his favorite spot on the Earth. He first came as a junior in high school in 1965 (I have the pictures from
their first trip) and it quickly became an almost yearly pilgrimage for him.

On my first trip in 1992, he, myself and my 9 year old sister made the South Rim dayhike and I was hooked. During the 90's, we
came out just about every year and did many of the major trails. He also loved to drive the back roads and camp in the primitive camp sites around the park. His only regret was that he was never able to finish an OML. After one failed attempt in the 90's, he never was able to try again.

Unfortunately, he passed away in December of 2014. I decided then that I was going to make it a point to come to the park every year and honor his memory. Also, I am trying to build up the gumption and skills to ready myself to complete an OML in his memory sometime in the next year or two.

So, Big Bend is in my blood. I've done a lot of traveling but have never felt the pull back to any other place like I do to Big Bend.


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"Bend-ing since 1992"

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #259 on: March 27, 2018, 09:08:59 AM »
That is a beautiful story, Meadows. Your father sounds like an amazing man and an amazing father. I hope my kids inherit the same love of Big Bend that you did from your father. You are in good company here on Big Bend Chat. We get it. Best of luck on all your future trips to the Bend. Especially the OML. You can do it.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #260 on: September 13, 2018, 10:19:33 AM »
Well, well...look what I found in the August newsletter from Alpacka packrafts. I think somebody's punking me.

https://www.alpackaraft.com/rafting/packraft-innovation-cargo-fly-tizip-zipper/
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #261 on: September 13, 2018, 11:35:31 AM »
I wish she hadn't mentioned Copper Canyon.  Now I have all sorts of ideas.....

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #262 on: September 13, 2018, 11:51:47 AM »
I wish she hadn't mentioned Copper Canyon.  Now I have all sorts of ideas.....

I say go for it, Jalco. And do it in a packraft. That way, if you find any kittens along the way, all you have to do is stow them in your stern cargo fly!

"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #263 on: September 13, 2018, 03:12:41 PM »
I say go for it, Jalco. And do it in a packraft. That way, if you find any kittens along the way, all you have to do is stow them in your stern cargo fly!

Kitten claws + enclosed space = one sunk raft

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #264 on: September 13, 2018, 03:27:02 PM »
I say go for it, Jalco. And do it in a packraft. That way, if you find any kittens along the way, all you have to do is stow them in your stern cargo fly!

Kitten claws + enclosed space = one sunk raft

:great: Well THAT'S what I thought. If you look real, real closely at the last line in the article, in tiny font at the bottom with the photo credit, it says, "Do not try this at home."  Uh.....yeah.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline rocketman

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #265 on: September 13, 2018, 07:43:53 PM »
Hello, Mr. Dawn. Long time no see.  :039:
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

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Offline Quatro

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #266 on: September 13, 2018, 09:22:09 PM »
Very glad to see you posting here again, HMOD.  Your presence was missed.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #267 on: September 13, 2018, 09:23:12 PM »
Hello, Mr. Dawn. Long time no see.  :039:

Thanks, Rocketman. Bad summer; had my hands full. Capped it off with a case of West Nile Virus. Today is the first day Iíve been out of bed in three weeks. Whatís the first thing I do? BBC, of course!


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"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline iCe

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #268 on: September 13, 2018, 09:53:51 PM »

West Nile... A friend and coworker managed to catch the first case of WNV in NM almost a month ago. It dang near killed him...

Hello, Mr. Dawn. Long time no see.  :039:

Thanks, Rocketman. Bad summer; had my hands full. Capped it off with a case of West Nile Virus. Today is the first day Iíve been out of bed in three weeks. Whatís the first thing I do? BBC, of course!


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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Round the Bend in 16 Days: There and Not-Quite Back Again
« Reply #269 on: September 14, 2018, 10:21:30 AM »

West Nile... A friend and coworker managed to catch the first case of WNV in NM almost a month ago. It dang near killed him...


It's a kick in the behind, that's for sure. Sounds like your friend had one of the neuroinvasive forms of the disease. The vast majority of people infected with the virus show no symptoms at all. About 4% of those infected show flu-like symptoms ranging from mild to severe. In less than 1% of victims, the virus jumps the blood-brain barrier and attacks the brain, spinal cord or other parts of central nervous system resulting in symptoms that resemble meningitis, encephalitis, polio or a few more arcane diseases. That's probably what he had. The kicker is: there is currently ABSOLUTELY NO medical cure for any of the forms of WNV. You just ride it out. In the case of the neuroinvasive forms, hospitals can offer supportive care to attenuate the worst symptoms but they can't end the infection. Only your own immune system can do that for you. Apparently, I have a severe form of the febrile version of the disease (confirmed by IgM blood test). It's still an open question as to whether it'll wind up jumping my blood-brain barrier. 1 in 10 of neuroinvasive WNV patients die. I'm watching my symptoms carefully and have so far declined a spinal tap which is the only way to conclusively confirm neurological involvement.  Confirmation doesn't necessarily improve survival chances. A key risk factor is males age 60+ :icon_eek:. But I've been fever-free for four days now, though I'm still utterly exhausted, with lingering joint pain, mild photophobia, and slight hand tremors - which isn't exactly encouraging. The good news is I've lost 10lbs. The bad news is, even in the best of cases, I probably won't be back to full strength for another month, maybe two. That'll probably kill any chance of me returning to the Bend this year.

The irony is, back in the early 2000's I did some work identifying and tracking the spread of WNV in Texas, especially in Corvid populations (crows, jays, etc.). I was frequently in the middle of high incidence areas and, as far as I know, never contracted the disease.  Now I'm no longer in the field and.....BOOM!

I intend to be back in the Bend, but it may take awhile.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

 


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