Tuesday stories of adventure? [WARNING: Long and rambling content] [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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07-20-2004, 11:18 AM
Hey, where's the weekly rotation thread? I'm doing a short tale of adventure but feel free to post your weekly rotation instead. Just to give it a musical tie-in, this tale was concocted while listening to Depeche Mode <i>Exciter</i>.

My first "real" bicycle was a Nishiki, but not just any Nishiki, it was their first aluminum frame racing bike, all polished tig-welded joints - super strong with great fit and finish. Cool bike and I loved it, especially the Mondrian inspired color scheme. Anyway, that bike and a few riding buddies led to a lot of fondly remembered adventures, including a couple rides down the California coast, from Santa Clara down to San Luis Obispo. And you don't know what a harrowing ride is until you're racing down a steep hill along the California coast with rain hitting you in the face, on a twitchy lightweight racing bike with about 40 pounds of supplies in panniers that were never really intended to be mounted on such a short wheelbase frame, with a big truck barrelling down the road behind you and no room for it to safely pass or you to get out of the way!

So on the first trip down the coast we head out over the Santa Cruz mountains through the mist and start dropping down until we find the traffic stopped, waiting until a wreck up ahead is cleared. The three of us are in front of all the cars, talking to the flagman who finally tells us to go ahead and he'll let the cars go a little after us since we pleaded with him to give us a break. So we're blasting down the rain-slick road but smiling like big idiots cause we're all alone with no cars to get in the way, and then we round a corner and my smile turns to a look of panic because there's a railroad track running diagonally across the asphalt dead ahead, with slick-as-snot rails glistening in the morning light. And way, way too late I catch the sign warning bicycle riders to WALK their bikes across the tracks! Yeah right, at about 40 mph. So we're headed across in single-file with me in the middle. My buddy in front makes it OK but I must've held the brake too long cause I was sliding down the road on my side before I even knew what had happened. And even worse, I take out my other buddy behind me. So I jump up all worried about my bike, especially since the handlebars seemed to be headed off in the wrong directions, and started to yank them back around, oblivious to the tortured lycra threads that have given way to expose a big raspberry on my right hip, when all our heads snap around at once to that unmistakeable sound of a jake brake on a big truck being applied way too close. So we hustle over to the side of the road trying to get out of the way of the angry drivers, as they mouth insults at us from inside their cars, and assess the damage and make repairs. And it's not too bad once I get the handlebars back in the right position and realize that the big raspberry on my hip isn't really all that bad, even though my shorts were kinda trashed. So it's back on the bikes and on down to Santa Cruz for some lunch, except at a safer pace this time. Cause the day was still young and there were many more miles to ride before getting to our first night stop at Big Sur.......

07-20-2004, 02:43 PM
Took up scuba diving in the ninety’s to scratch that adventure itch. After a few
trips diving the Bahamas and Jamaica, thought I’d get a bit more exotic. Loved Belize and developed an appetite for more of Central America. Saw an ad in one of the underwater rags for a discount diving week at a just being completed resort called ‘Inn of the last Resort’ in Roatan Honduras, one of the bay islands off the coast of nowhere. Thinking I’d get some Mayan ruin exploring in as well, I enlisted two cronies, Joe and Mary Ann. My sidekicks show up at the airport toting a five gallon container of water, that’s been aged under a pyramid thingie since they don’t trust our destination’s reputation. Ten hours later we land in the main Honduras airport, San Juan. We wait in this Disney long line, administered by a chico that’s about 5 feet tall with a huge gun on his hip. Others line dancers that have done this trip before say it’s almost impossible to get to Roatan from the states in one day since the airport doesn’t have lights, you have to ensure the landing is well before sunset. Fortunately this is mid June longest days of the year so they can’t pull the ‘you have to stay here tonight’ routine on us. The flight from the mainland to the island is scenic, lots of dark green jungle with snaking rivers, very pristine and wild looking, lots of big fires where the peasants are clearing the jungle to farm. We land and are picked by Donna, in a truck with Glock handgun bumper stickers. She’s one of the propieters of the resort, which is situated on it’s own peninsula. Next resort north is Anthony’s key - a dolphin research center where you can cavort with the critters.. Over a scrumpious meal we meet Andy, Donna’s husband , his interesting history comes out when I ask him about the black rose he has tattooed on his forearm. Seems Andy is in military covert operations, was a sniper in Vietnam (the black rose gang), was in Iran for the fall of the shah and in Panama for the Noriega clam bake.
Honduras is a big friend to the US military and they use it for staging lots of stuff in that region. Second day, two black Chinook jet powered helicopters land on the property and 20 US special forces gonzo’s unload for a supposed week of training, which is also partly R + R. So it’s me, Joe, Mary Ann and twenty dangerous looking dudes are the only guests that week.. They had these black rubber rafts with 90 hp motors that were as quiet as an electric razor. They were always zipping around on these training things, swimming 2 miles in full uniform with rifle and junk like that. We dined with them every night and one evening a power failure hit. The dining room looked out across a 500 yard wide lagoon with jungle on the other side. It’s pitch black on the water and the opposite shore is a darker shade of black. They hand me their infa red binoculars and I spot coconuts on the floor of that black jungle. Great toy’s. The sniper of the group proceeds to tell me, with these great scopes, how he can shoot somebody from ½ mile away at night and the details of how that’s done. Mental note to myself to give him a wide berth. Another evening after much drinking, they all decide we’re going to the only disco on the island, Bolongo’s. I couldn’t refuse them and pile into a jeep with these maniac’s , just before we pull out, Andy comes over and say’s ‘nobody but chief carry’s tonight’ and fifteen handguns are passed to him. Gulp! The disco is a sedate affair and fortunately nobody gets into a fight, most of these guys are 6'4" and 225 pounds. Interesting they all had nipple rings, Andy said it's better than a tattoo, if you're captured you can take it off, otherwise you'd be identified and tortured for being in these killer units. When the special forces were leaving, one of the guys says to me ‘we’ll be back, we left a lot of ammunition here’ .. Then covers his mouth and says ‘oops ..wasn’t supposed to say that’. I suddenly understand why there was an armed guard patrolling the resort at night.
Anywave, the diving was kaladascopic, I saw an octopus, an eel garden and ton’s of other fishies, diving 4 times a day for a week with the reefs 10 minutes away. You can’t dive for 24 hours before flying, so on our last day we book an all day adventure with a local Mayan Indian guide ‘Tito’. We toured this town that’s completely water centered, you boat from house to house, store to store. We also boated to St. Helena island which has extensive caves, these islands are volcanic and have hills and such. One of the resident’s of St Helena is this wacko who claims he’s the minister of tourism and collects $20 from each visitor, but shows you around for a while. His dog is named Que Sera Sera and chases lizards like rabbits. They eat iguana’s there. The cave is hot, tight, buggy and scary and I chicken out after 500 yards or so. Supposidly, the wack job got all juiced up one evening and went into the cave, since you can find Mayan ruins sometimes and make some money. Well he passes out after a while and his flashlight burned out. Took him a week to get out which is partly why he’s so loony. I ask him how you find something to eat and he says ‘you don’t find it - it finds you!’ ‘You sit still and when something crawls on you, you snatch it and munch.’ He also took us to this area where the Paya Indians used to live and dug up an artifact for me, a clay jug foot with decorations – these things are called ‘yaba ding ding’s’ … I’m not making this up, still have the spooky looking thing. We also visit a uninhabited island Barberetta where we snorkel beneath a Jade cliff and I collect some jade pieces that I also still have. On the flight back to the mainland, I sat behind Miss Honduras who wasn’t interested in chatting with any gringos. Never did get to the Mayan ruins – it was too complicated to get to the mainland. I think that whole week cost me 1300 clams.

07-20-2004, 02:56 PM
There was a private cove that had great snorkeling, that was reached by a 10 minute hike through the jungle. You could also watch the sunsets from the cove and was a nice place to hang out, read and so on. Merrily bopping along one day, I hear the sound of little feet running through the underbrush and spot what looks like an evil little man disapearing into the undergrowth. Scared the bejezus outta me and several more flash by. Turns out they're basilik lizards, the ones that can walk on water with two webbed feet. It was swampy there so they could do their thing. Also known as Jesus lizards for this capability. Never did get used to the buggers, they were prehistoric looking and always startled me.

07-20-2004, 04:31 PM
I ask him how you find something to eat and he says ‘you don’t find it - it finds you!’
Hehehe, now that's what I'm talking about! A true adventure! Cool story and thanks for sharing. It's hard NOT to have an adventure when you head south based on my experience - but the memories are always fun :)

07-20-2004, 05:07 PM
I t-boned a collie on a Honda S-90 once.

07-20-2004, 07:39 PM
I t-boned a collie on a Honda S-90 once.
Hehehe, don't get me started on motorcycle accidents! I probably shouldn't even be allowed to drive anything with less than 4 wheels, especially if it has a motor. I've actually been pretty lucky on bicycles with only minor scrapes and nothing serious. Not quite as lucky on the motorized ones, but no lasting damage to my body, only to the bike and my helmet. Some of the motorcycles you can buy today are just plain scary, though.

Doesn't look like my adventure thread idea is gonna be a very big seller. Oh well, there'll be something else to talk about tomorrow :)

07-20-2004, 08:18 PM
As an aside, damn shame that Tuesday went by with no one doing a Tuesday rotation thread.

Mine would be:

Jesse Sykes and the Sweeet Hereafter, Oh, My Girl- as good as anything I've heard since WGC.

A. C. Newman's latest, The Slow Wonder, much better than the New Pornographer's latest one. Thanks, Stone.

Davey's latest 1/2 gone comp- sorry, but it had me reaching for the skip button through much of it- I'll listen again to make sure it wasn't a bad mood, but , hmmmmmmmmmm.

And gobs of other stuff that won't get read...........

07-20-2004, 08:53 PM
Davey's latest 1/2 gone comp- sorry, but it had me reaching for the skip button through much of it- I'll listen again to make sure it wasn't a bad mood, but , hmmmmmmmmmm.
Don't worry, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't (and besides, you didn't even ask for it). I wouldn't be at all surprised if yours was close to the consensus on this one. It was kind of an oddball comp from the beginning, but I grew to really like it, as I usually do with my own comps. It's kind of like with bad breath, the person closest to it is the only one that doesn't know it stinks :).

Dusty Chalk
07-20-2004, 09:54 PM
I "accidentally" went 13 miles yesterday. I did pretty good time for a beginner. No mountain ranges, but lots of hills. Besides, I don't have an aluminum bike, I have this iron momentum monster (an ancient 70's Kia Sport -- no relation to the Sportage, I don't believe).

07-21-2004, 07:15 AM

I have had a bunch, kind of.

My biggest one is probably when I was about 12 and went to the Grand Canyon with Boy Scouts. I hated being a boy scout because most of the kids were nerd geek type, but lucking there were also a few adventerous types as well.

Anyway, we hiked in probably three miles and had lunch and a snack then started to hear out. On the rim, a sign advised that a flash flood could happen if the conditions are right. Seems as tho when it rains, it collects on the walls of the canyon and then when the walls can't hold any more water it all gushes out at once and viola! Instant flood.

Sure enough we got caught in one of these things. The switchbacks were filled with deep fast flowing water with rock and debris and who knows what in the nasty liquid, and it was hammering. I was scared. Bad scared. The temperature plummeted, we were soaked and in shorts and totally unprepared for this.

Somehow we found a turn that had a ledge/overhang, and a few of us huddled under there while all hell was breaking loose around us. After a while it stopped and we were able to climb out. A couple got hit by debris and had to be flown out by helicopter.

I'm not much of a writer so this adventure is being relayed in simple terms, it was a lot worse than I can pen.

Other adventures mainy surround my passion with fire and M-80's and cherry bombs. One day, me and this kid in my neighborhood built a big raft and piled it high with pinestraw and all and started it on fire and floated it down the creek to startle this other group of kids and their parents. It was hilarious and worked perfectly.

We also used to make "tittie torches", where you get dead pine tree limbs (full of sap = gasoline basically) and light them and thro them and twirl them and all - big fun, big hot flame, real quick. Plus we would gather christmas trees and burn them - ever burn one of these pups? They burn like all hell. We also started a fire in this huge field and couldn't put it out so we ran. I saw the details that evening on the local news on the TV. My mom was appaled that someone did that!

I rode a Nishiki bike too for a long time, it was a road bike and I rode it a zillion miles. I also raced BMX bikes for 2 years as a kid, then got into tennis. I have tennis stories too, mainly dealing with fighting during tournaments, cussing, and alcohol. Fun, fun!

Since I am always requesting that some music content is in every post, I listened to some Pete Townshend this morning.


07-21-2004, 08:56 AM
......Somehow we found a turn that had a ledge/overhang, and a few of us huddled under there while all hell was breaking loose around us. After a while it stopped and we were able to climb out. A couple got hit by debris and had to be flown out by helicopter.
Wow, that does sound kind of scary, especially at only 12 years old. I was with a couple buddies doing some crosscountry backpacking in the Sierras in June one year and we got caught in a blizzard which turned into quite an adventure, especially after we got off course because of all the snow. My name even turned up in a UP wire story reporting about the storm since my girlfriend had called in and reported us missing as we hadn't gotten home the day we said we would. Later found out that a family friend saw the story and called my grandmother who in turn called my mom and asked her if she knew what kind of trouble "her son" had gotten into this time. Hehehe, gave them a little scare I guess, but we eventually found our way back to where we started and were met by a chopper checking to see who we were and if we had seen any of the others on their list, and then the sheriff asked us to follow us to their headquarters to question us about a couple other people we had seen and hiked with for awhile. Which was a bit disconcerting because they had this search and rescue room downstairs with pictures on the wall and descriptions and a bunch of people asking us questions about these other people and where all we had been and how we had managed and stuff like that since we weren't very well prepared for the conditions. My buddies did wind up with a little mild frostbite on their toes, but other than that and our bruised egos, we made it out in pretty good shape :)