Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cape Cod... Drink or Destination?

Cape Cod

Pour 1oz. Vodka
Mix Cranberry Juice
add Lime Wedge


Spend seven days languishing in a lounge chair on the tip of the outer Cape with your entire immediate family minus 1 brother and 2 nieces, 525 miles from the politically charged, manic chaos that has come to define Washington, DC.

"I'll take the latter, extra heavy on the family please."

One to two weeks out of the summer in Cape Cod while growing up was a staple of my childhood. While I've finally come of age to appreciate it, this opportunity will be more than cherished. This will be the first time for many, many years that my entire family will all be vacationing there together.

Next week, you may be able to find me combing the local sea shore in a dire attempt to fetch the perfect sand dollar, carelessly strolling through Provincetown watching the hedonistic circus atmosphere take place, or sipping a Bloody Mary and gazing off into the horizon.

Cape Cod... one of the few places where an "anything goes" mindset is not just the norm, it's a constitutional requirement precedented by decades of overtly liberal, entertaining and outlandish folk.

Whether you go to the Cape to relax, body surf, fish, or engage in sexual libidinous behavior on the beach as identified in this article, it's a great place to be.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Everything is NOT All Good

Not too far beyond the precipice of the "mid-summer", an unwanted anxiety slowly begins to find its way into my well being.

Flashbacks to 30 degree temperatures, impending snow storm warnings, and complete incarceration for four months bring out my gag reflex.

Slowly but methodically, one day at a time, the later the summer gets the more my seasonal anxiety begins to strengthen its grip on my conscious.

That being said, last winter I made a pact to myself that I would get out and into the wild in order to spend as much time as I could attending festivals, hiking and camping. I'm confident that if some sort of audit was conducted at this very moment my progress report would reflect a modest B-. Had I not gone to Alaska and done some pretty arduous hiking and fishing I think I'd coast by with a simple C.

Which brings me to why everything is not All Good...

All Good festival - Martins Mountain Top, Masontown, WV the apex of all that summarizes my summers objectives and goals. Held annually, All Good festival brings about 30,000 jamsters from all over the states, as well as top notch talent consisting of the likes of Dark Star Orchestra, Perpetual Groove, Phil Lesh, etc... the list goes on.

Unfortunately for me, this year I've decided not to attend. It's not the three and half hour drive out to West Virginia, it's not the $150 ticket price, ok... well that may have something to do with it. It's the cost of everything god damn it! (230 miles x 2 = 460 total miles), assuming 20 miles per gallon in my truck comes out to approximately 23 gallons of fuel burned. 23 x $4.09 gass = ~$100.

Now take into account food and beverage (of which are also completely inflated) and you end up with a $400 dollar-2 day weekend. Good times or not, I just can't bring myself to do it. I can think of many other "good times" to be had that come in the shape of a 4o ounce cold dark bottle, a good book and a poolside lounge chair.

So, suffice it to say, with my spirits slightly dampened and my summer report card floundering, I'm going to try to make the best of my weekend out on the river again! My show must go on.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Moo Moo's First Swim

Meet Miss Emma, allegedly the fastest, strongest, most talented brindled pit bull terrier to ever traverse the volatile, treacherous and sometimes deadly waters of the upper Occoquan Reservoir.

Local legend has it that Miss Emma once pulled three burly sailors to safety after the vessel they were in had stumbled upon an iceberg and capsized.

Yup... I know what you're thinking, "Icebergs in the Occoquan?", "A 30 pound mongrel Pit Bull mixed breed mutt pulling men to safety?".

What can I say? I heard about it from a friends cousin's sister's boyfriends brother in-law! He said it happened to his best friend and that his wife's uncle saw it all happen.

Anyways, here she is with her doggy vest on all jazzed up to swim in the Occoquan. We took her out there Saturday.

What a stunningly gorgeous day. The optimal temperature, moderately sunny, and a private cove just a stones throw from my house made it feel like a sliver of our own paradise for a day.

Believe it or not, for as small a dog as she is, she kicked ass! I'm so proud of little muttsy. I didn't even have to coax her into the water at first. She chased a few sticks up to her shoulders.
Then after a few confidence boosters I dragged her about 100 ft out into the water and watched her swim back to shore. I thought I might have even seen a few tail wags in there.

At one point, like a receiver showing off by spiking a football, she grabbed a piece of floating Styrofoam and brought it into shore.

Not only do I have the best swimming pit bull this side of the Mississippi, I've also got a dog that is more environmentally conscious than myself.

My dog is green. How about yours?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's Good to be King

This by far is indisputably my most favorite picture that I took throughout my brief travel to Alaska.

Proudly perched on the top of his own self declared throne, located somewhere in the vicinity of 90 miles out in the Prince William Sound of southern Alaska, it was more than obvious that "King" owned this jagged, inhospitable rock sculpture as well as the two accompanying islands found near by.

While his harem of female sea lions engrossed themselves in barking in a primal attempt to protect their fertile breading grounds (at Kings behest of course) King barely exerted enough energy to pretend to care.

While female sea lions would fight tooth to flipper in order to defend the smallest nook of serrated, jagged, sharp rock, comparatively speaking, Kings domain consisted of a wide swath of flat welcoming rock exclusively reserved for the upper echelon of seal kingdom.

With his insatiable mass and domineering presence, not one junior sea lion in the local vicinity dared to challenge him.

We circled around this random rock formation in a twenty two foot aluminum fishing boat, gawking at this unreal environment. While we exchanged fleeting glances amongst each other, I felt that we were all thinking the same thing and discretely wondering if we were really in the United States proper.

Later on in the afternoon we witnessed two humpback whales performing their mating rituals while we circled around several gregarious porpoises swimming curiously around the boat.

Although fishing was a bit slow that day, I did manage to convince a small halibut to bite my hook. Please excuse the red faced look of utter constipation on my face as I had just gaffed a fish half the size of my body in a proud moment.

Later on, we decided to stop by one of the many islands in the Prince William Sound. These islands had the inviting look of paradise (as seen on TV). But after stepping off the boat with our waiters on, the bone chilling coldness of the salty water penetrated right through the neoprene protection and rested itself directly into my inner core . It was a startling realization that this environment played well on the eyes but was inhabitable. In any case, it was absolutely surreal.

This was undeniably the best part of my trip! I hope everyone in their life time gets to see something this amazing!!!