My Most Recent QSO's

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Up the Creek Without a Paddle

I've heard this expression many times but actually found myself here a few days ago. Here's what I found while overturning a few rocks in the creek. The "claws" in these rascals can "pinch" very hard so it's important to grab them at "exactly" the right spot. That means just behind the "eyes" where he can't reach back and pinch you with his claws.

I've heard it said they're "tasty" little morsels but I've always been content to take another persons word on that. Some woodsy people thrive off "stuff under the rocks" or "wild game" they can catch and cook for a small meal. I've always gone for the "roots and berry's" myself.

Although I live within a 10 minute walk of the State Capitol, I can be in Kanawha State Forest
in less than half an hour. That's one of the great things about living a rural state. Although Charleston is the State Capitol, there's barely 50,000 people living here.

Within an hours drive, I can also be in the New River Gorge. That's a 60 mile stretch of river that is one of the oldest rivers in the world. (the New River) It's also the best "white water" East of the Mississippi. There are some class 7 rapids there.

I've rafted and kayaked a few stretches of this gorge.

I usually do it alone but keep within sight of someone most of the time. I love the freedom that only comes when you're by yourself. One of the reasons I'm able to be by myself is my two meter radio. I keep this in the "dry bag" of the kayak or in my day pack when hiking.

Note the size of the quarter in this picture. The red package is a "roll up J-pole" and the other item (at the bottom right) is an external "tone generator". The small battery pack allows me to up the power from 300 mw to 2 watts. There's VERY few places in this state where I can't connect with a repeater for help.

A few years ago, I was paddling under one of the largest "Span Arch" bridges in the world when I slipped on the rocks and tore a ligament in my left shoulder. Wow...that really hurt but I was able to set up the camera and take a picture before I drifted back downstream towards the car.
It took a year and a half to heal totally.
I'm glad I had a radio with me....


Adam said...

Those little critters look nasty! Yep, I too am a roots & berries guy! Actually been vegetarian for a few years now and when I see those creatures I know why!! The open spaces in America constantly amaze me. As Bill Bryson has pointed out before, Britian is terribly cramped. There are a few open places: especially up North and of course in Scotland. I am starting to feel the pull towards places more open and wild like that as I get a little older. I know practically nothing about West Virginia and am interested to hear you talk about it. That old river and 60 miles of walks sounds idyllic. I used to live in the Tamar valley, a river separating the counties of Devon and Cornwall. It was exceptionally beautiful in every season and in all weather. Bye for now, Adam

Jspiker said...

Yes...I've read several of his books and laugh everytime I think about it. Great sense of humor!

I can realate to both his books about the Appalachian Trail and the one about driving around the US in that old car. (I've hiked a couple hundred miles of the AT and also drove across the US pulling a travel trailer).

The New River Gorge is my favorite hiking area in the state. I have a "geocache" hidden there. LOT's of people have found my "cache" there. (it's a virtual cache because it's on park service land). I require "finders" to take a picture of themselves and post it on the web. I hope to set up the rig and operate from there sometime.

In October (I think the 12th thru the 17th?) I will be operating as "N8A" for the North American QRP CW Club (NAQCC).

This would be a good place to transmit for an afternoon.