Yes my friends, this summer Susan and I will have enjoyed 40 years of marital bliss. Well, there was that one day…….but maybe now is not the time. I count myself lucky in many ways, have always enjoyed the good fortune that continues to bestow itself upon me and consider myself luckiest when I met, wooed and convinced the love of my life that we could have a life together. She in turn has brought me even more luck.
As anniversaries go, the ruby is the gem with which custom dictates one celebrate a 40th. Forty years have allowed me to take note that it is not the possession of jewels that claws at Susan’s heart, nor does she covet a romantic trip to some exotic tropical island. No, characteristic of the nature of my good fortune, I have harnessed myself to a woman who’s flames of passion are ignited by spending four days and four nights (maybe five ) camping and back-packing roughly 26 miles in search of a lost trail……or coast……. somewhere in Northern California.
This excursion upon which we will shortly embark is called by its promoters simply “The Lost Coast Trail.” So my confusion begins…??…. Is there a trail to a lost coast or is it the coast trail that is lost. If it’s a trail that leads to a lost coast, this trip can only end in disappointment because there will be no coast, it is lost! If it’s the trail that’s lost – – and we find one, how will we know it’s the one we were looking for and if we do find it, it won’t be lost………. but we will. Maybe it wants to be lost. Not the worst option for either a trail or a coast
The plot thickens. Let’s ponder this over a Snickers Bar….. This trail or coast, did somebody find it once and then lose it or is it just rumored to exist and be lost? If it’s never been discovered and we find it, can I quickly plant a Florida flag on it?…… Which would add an interesting twist to that coast’s politics! So perhaps we find the coast and/or trail. What will our hosts, the good people from REI, call this trip next month? All suggestions are welcome. Moving on.
This is a group trip with guides – who apparently know their way to this lost place- and apart from the guides I believe there are eight to ten adventurers signed on. I aroused a modicum of nervousness amongst the guides right off the bat by erroneously checking the box on the form that said I was in poor health. A hailstorm of e-mails followed but Susan cleared it all up by explaining that I was quite adept at traversing relatively rough terrain with my walker while juggling an EpiPen and bag of Saline. There was also much discussion over trip insurance in case the necessity arose that I should be medivacked out but again Susan assured them that it would not be an issue……….. 40 years was quite enough!
Those of you who have participated in group travel are well aware that In every group trip like this there always seems to be one person who is a total pain in the ass. The one who knows more than the guides, the one with the special food requirements, the one who knows a better way to put up a tent, the one who can’t carry his share of the common equipment because his pack is stuffed with booze and Snicker bars. You know the guy. They say, if you’re lucky enough to be on trip where everyone seems pleasant and accomodating and well adjusted then you’re probably that guy! Hmmm…….may explain the eagerness to medivack a certain camper. Let’s move on again.
When venturing forth into the wild, beyond cell-phone service, where everyone carries their own bear canister there are certain survival aids that are paramount. Thus my lack of astonishment at the arrival one evening of one such item. Upon pulling away from our house two weeks ago we were stopped by Sarah, our local Amazon delivery driver – almost one of the family now – and she delivered unto us a medium sized parcel. One of those heavy, brown paper, plastic bubble reinforced mailers of which I’m sure you are all familiar. The ones that require a chain saw to open and are used to protect valuable and easily broken keepsakes. Well, safely secured inside the one we received was, a plastic bag which protected a cardboard box which protected a small plastic bottle of ………………….biodegradable soap………..! Yup, somebody made soap out of the bi-product of an heirloom goat, redundantly packaged it in materials that will long outlast us, fossil fueled it by air from somewhere and had it personally delivered by a carbon belching truck into our hot little hands so that we could protect the environment!! Good plan! Lather up! Save the whales……..!! Actually, that soap doesn’t even lather. It kind of slimes, But what do you want from a goat? Tomorrow they pick up recycling so they can deliver our packaging by truck to our recycling center – unless that packaging was all ready recycled – in which case it’s ours forever. We are a strange yet interesting tribe.
Come fall, Susan and I will be planting a small forest of trees to get carbon neutral in compensation for saving the world by soap. Gets me in the mood for Scotch and a Snickers Bar. It gets worse…..just got a text message that my daughter is trying to buy an organic mattress for her son. Who knew you could eat a mattress? Do you suppose that mattress was raised as a “free range” mattress or that other kind that’s kept in the dark in a cage? Puzzling, guess I’ll have to sleep on that one! Ha! Life was much more simple 40 years ago – but then, so were we . More Scotch!
Well my friends. Hope you cracked a smile and enjoyed the time away from more intellectual stimulation.
OK, since we’re talking marriage and you insist: I asked my wife if she ever fantasizes about me, she said yes – about me taking out the trash, mowing the lawn and doing the dishes. Ha!
Living the Dream! Grumpa.