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By: David OKeefe

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Saturday, 30-Jul-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Woe is me

Let the nightly festivities begin
Summer is in full swing here in the great northwest. This is the time of year that the naïve come to visit, fall in love with the area, and decide to move here. Months later, when the rains start to fall and won’t let up for weeks at a time, the newly transplanted can be found standing in the darkness of night, (at 4:00 PM), with their fists in the air, heads turned up to the dark, soggy, sky shouting obscenities. But for now, this is truly paradise.

I have not moved camp for weeks. I like this spot. The days are a pleasant 80+ degrees. Here in the mountains it still cools down to the high 30’s at night. The sky does not get dark until after 10:00.

I am seeing summer flying by at mind-numbing speeds. The wild strawberries that I was feasting on just a couple of weeks ago have been mostly devoured by me and the rest of the wild animals. What funky specimens are left are withering away and being grown over by the trailing raspberries that now fill my gullet. Down the mountain, the blackberries are plump and begging to be picked.

Soon come, the wild huckleberries will stain my fingers, teeth, and clothes. The needles of the Western Larch, and the leaves of the Alder and Cottonwood trees will admit defeat to the blistering sun and yellow or, as is the case with the gaudy Maple trees, turn blood red in an overdramatic mock death. And life as we now know it will fade into the dark cold days, and darker, colder nights.

Speaking of overdramatic!

Anyways, this summer has been quite an experience for me. I had a complete meltdown a week or so ago. Financial woes, missing my friends, missing my girlfriend of 2+ years (a lot!) and the realization that I am leading an existence that few trippers in this world can relate too, all came to a head at once and I wept like a baby for the first time in years. In the words of my good friend Dave Freidland, “I may look like I’m made of steel, but I bleed too”.

Luckily, Pops helped me out some with the finances and some fatherly advice, (which to my surprise did not include the phrase, “get your shit together!”). It is quite humbling at the ripe old age of 31 to have to ask my dad for money but I (and a number of financial institutions) am very grateful that he was there for me.

On another front, I can now often be seen on my knees groveling to my girlfriend begging her to take me back. I don’t understand why after I broke up with her twice she is not jumping to the idea….Women!

As for my friends, what the hell is your problem? Why are you people not showing up at camp with cold beers and fishing poles? It’s not that I no longer enjoy my solitude. I just want some folks to share it with. (???)

Doing much better this week, (thanks for asking). I made some good eBay inventory investments (thanks again dad), and sales are once again through the roof (the way god intended it). Let me know if you need any military surplus 30 degree below zero, goose down sleeping bags. I think I now have about 100 left.

It is safe to say that I am in the waning days of being a full time E-Bayer. No regrets. This experience will make for good stories to share with grandkids when I am drunk off of generous helpings of eggnog many Thanksgiving from now.

Of course things did not work out as smoothly as I had planned. It takes a lot of hours of work to make a living at eBay. My plan for traveling around with a truck load full of wares to sell relied too heavily on having small and profitable items to sell. Hence I rarely got to wander too far from my storage units and steady inventory supplies.

The loneliness factor was probably the biggest shocker for me. I have been a hermit for a good portion of my life. But I guess my hermitage within the confines of society were “light-sauce” compared to the hermitage that I am faced with out here.

The plan from here is evolving as we speak. I would really like to get back with my girlfriend and make it work out. That could very well be the only thing that would keep me in Washington. Should the gods fart on my desire for love, I will seriously consider planting myself in warmer climes and starting this “productive member of society” crap from scratch. Pretty sure nursing school is in my future. That is the way I see thing at this point, but stranger things could happen...


Wednesday, 13-Jul-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Insert favorite title here

Working hard, or hardly working?
Greetings from sunny (yes, sunny) Washington! My god the weather has been shit here this summer. This sun is a rare treat. I am truly a terrible candidate for western Washington residency. I know that everyone loves a sunny day but I think that my mood is more affected by the weather than the average Joe.

I am sitting in the sun soaking up the rays at my camp at this very moment, (gota love Wi-Fi!). Forecast is for more sun and warmer weather. My anxieties and stress level is ready for the thaw.

Yes, that is right, anxiety and stress. I am sure that I have said this before but it bears repeating: As much as I would like to believe that I am on an extended camping trip, that just is not the case. I am trying my dammedest to make a living and keep my head above water. The long term outlook of my “Ebay from the road” venture is fairly grim.

For starters, I am having to work a lot more than I had thought I would. I am working more than I was as a teacher and I thought that was ridiculous! I have had the mindset that I am just a few auctions away from getting in the groove but the more that time goes by, I am starting to think that I am kidding myself.

As I have at many times in my life, I am constantly asking myself, “What are you going to be when you grow up?”. So what to do? I am still thinking serious about getting myself educated as a nurse. However, since I managed to skate through college without taking a single math class or much science, (a fact that I was quite proud of when I was a student), I have a number of prerequisites that I would have to go through before even starting a nursing program.

I was looking last night at culinary schools as well. I now have more respect for the dues that chefs must pay before making a descent wage. Screw that! Of course I could get a teaching job fairly easily. Not to toot my own horn, (TOOT! Fuckin TOOT!), but I am an award winning teacher with excellent references. But, oh yeah, now I remember; Teaching was a huge pain in the ass! That said, I think that I could dig teaching in some environmental or outdoor school program or something of the sort. Nothing is off the table as of now. I hear the military is looking for a few good men. Ok, so almost nothing is off the table.

Sunday, 10-Jul-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
...meanwhile in the woods...

Same home, new yard
Meadow creek
Meadow crick
View all 4 photos...
I have moved camp. Though I am only about 8 miles (as the pterodactyl flies) from my old camp, it took me almost 2 weeks to move here.

I packed up my trailer at the beginning of July and parked it by my storage unit. I needed to move because I had long overstayed the 14 day camping limit set by the Forest Circus and I was just ready for a change of scenery. Finances and other factors have made it so I needed to stay close to my storage units (the Womb) and my PO Box again, hence the short trip to the new base camp.

I had planned on sleeping in my truck on some forest roads closer to town in order to get some town stuff done (the never ending tasks of cleaning out storage units, packaging and shipping ebay sold items, selling at the swap meet, etc) before setting the trailer up in a new location. Driving 45 minutes back and forth from camp just didn’t make sense. Also, I wanted to avoid the masses of Weekend Warriors who take to the woods to blow shit up over the 4th of July weekend.

Camping in my truck was not half bad but the romance and exhilaration that it had when I used to spend many weeks at a time car camping between rafting seasons when I was a young buck was mostly absent. It was nice to get away from all the distractions that I surround myself with in my trailer (at least for a short period of time) but the thrill wore off after about day 7. I did get some nice camp spots on the south fork of the Snoqualmie River and spent some quality afternoons fishing on the days that the weather wasn’t crap, (it is truly asking too much for the weather to be sunny more than on day in a row this summer).

Anyways, my well planned out days did not always go as smoothly or as quickly as they would have if everything were right in the world and the planets were aligned properly. My several days of work turned into a week of work which turned into 10 days or work and so on. Actually, I never got all of the work done that I wanted to but I missed my home and town life getting to be to overwhelming for this hillbilly.

Damn glad to be back in the luxurious confines of my trailer. New camp is good but buggy. Mosquitoes are just loving me right now. If there is indeed West Nile Virus here in Washington, I will find it!

Trailer is starting to fall apart on me. Chances of being able to someday sell this rig for a fraction of what I paid for it are dropping daily. I would love to be able to design my own trailer set up. The dumb-ass who designed this thing for certain was not thinking about some sap like me living in it for an extended period of time. If I could go back in time and pick out a trailer and the other toys necessary for this venture, I would have made some other choices. But what can you do?

Saturday, 2-Jul-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Critters and such

Shooting Star (I think)
Tiger Lily
Monster size cutthroat trout
View all 5 photos...

Friday, 1-Jul-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
If your into that nature crap

Box Canyon Creek
Wet and wild
Alpine Lakes Wilderness
View all 4 photos...

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