I've been hooked on coffee since final exams at the end of spring quarter. I usually drink coffee to study for finals, then get unhooked afterward. This year I stayed "on" coffee because I was traveling and my friends in many of the places I visited are coffee addicts. I love coffee, so I partake and share with them. I also know that it runs down my adrenals, and having burned myself out entirely once, I know the risk in that. Coffee extracts a burst of cortisol from the adrenals, increasing your blood sugar and decreasing your appetite. It's a wonderful drug with a price that many people never grasp.
Tomorrow I'm leaving for a 3 or 4 day kayak self support trip on the Klikitat River. I have never been there. As usual, travel to rivers is my main way of exploring the region. I feel conflicted about burning the gas, but happy to get out of this urban prison, happy to go where the birds sing louder than the traffic rumbles. I'm going with two kayakers that I have paddled with a fair bit, Kathy and Dick. I met Kathy when she lived in North Carolina for a few years. She's originally from Oregon. Dick is a local as well, sort of a cranky man who doesn't always play well with others. I like him, and I know that if he gets impatient with me, he will ditch me on the river. I will have to take care of myself. I am OK with that, but I'd be happier to boat with people who were more cooperative as a group. It seems hard to find. So I take what I can get; this promises to be a fine adventure.
I'm using my Wildwasser Embudo for the trip. I bought this boat years ago for the express purpose of kayak self support, and this will be the first time I've used it for that. The boat is made of rigid linear-linked polyethylene, so it does not require the bulkheads that support the decks of cross-linked boats. It is orange. My last four kayaks have all been orange. By accident. I wouldn't have chosen orange. "Big Orange" is the school color of my alma mater, University of Tennessee. They're big into football there and everything is orange during the fall season. It's seriously obnoxious. I used to hate the color. I think I have made my peace.
It's not easy to fit everything into a river kayak. Sea kayaks have tons of room. River kayaks are short and generally don't handle as much weight. I also don't have modern backpacking equipment. My gear is all big and heavy. I'm bringing a 5 pound winter sleeping bag because it's the smallest bag I have. I'm going to strap my sleeping pads (yes, two) on top of the rear deck, inside of their own drybag. My tarp and cord fit in the bow. Clothing and food and sleeping bag in the stern. Day use drybag and a gallon of water will probably sit between my legs. A few other water bottles scattered around. I'm bringing iodine for water, as I don't have a filter. This is definitely a rough start for self-support kayaking on a river; I could get a lot better geared up for this. At least I do have cone-shaped "sto-floats"---storage floatation bags that will hold all my clothing, bedding and food and fit nicely into the stern.
OK, on to my next project. I'm going to start work on the outline for a book, and pulling in sources for each chapter. I'd like to have a rough draft done by Thanksgiving. After that I'll have a much heavier load at school and probably not be able to give it much attention, but taking a break from a writing project gives me time to reflect and gather more factoids to support my points. It is a good thing.
I've been remembering my dreams a little bit again. During my summer travels I never remembered my dreams, I guess because I was waking up so early in strange and exciting places. This morning when Bill called me back (about getting a bolt out of a kayak) I was still asleep. My housemate stays up until midnight and my schedule creeps toward her schedule when I have no other constraints. I need to get to bed earlier tonight as we are supposed to meet at Dick's house at 9am tomorrow, and his place is probably an hour from here.
I haven't been writing down my dreams because they are pretty scrambled and hard to remember. I am glad to be remembering bits and pieces, though. Perhaps soon I'll get another bold message from my unconscious self, clear enough to be worth writing. I invite such dreams.