The Ugliness of Failure

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford\

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Big River above Leadwood.

I had posted that I was taking a seven day float on the Big River.  I planned everything except my physical abilities and the water level of the river.  Some time ago around the early 80’s I busted my right foot up pretty good.  Doctor said about the only thing I didn’t break was my toes.  He told me  he had some good news and some bad news.  I said lets start with the good news.  He said I might walk again but if I did it would be with a cane.  I said well now lay the bad news on me since you all ready PPed pretty good on my day.  He said I really don’t think you will walk again.  Well, he missed that one.  I do have a lot of pain from time to time with it though.  I didn’t expect the river to be so low and couple that with the the extra weight of supplies, there were a lot of places that I had to get out and pull the yaks.  By Sunday my ankle was swollen the size of a large grapefruit so I decided to call it quits.  I have all ready started working on a better plan.  I failed at what I started out to do and it makes me sick.

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My rig I used on the trip.

I did manage to leave Mounts on Saturday morning around 9 am.  It started out pretty well.  I met some folks along the way and the day was beautiful.  The back float was doing a great job.  Then, then, then, BAM!  The float was following right behind the yak when the current sucked into a tree and then a sudden stop.  It caused the front end of my yak to go under water and then the whole yak started taking water causing a 63 year old man, who looked like a beached whale, to eject himself from his kayak.  To make it worse there was an audience.  I was glad to see them though.  They helped me drain the kayak and get it back in the water however the tent and sleeping bag got soaked even though they were tucked into dry bags.

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Big River

I am not going to accept defeat.  I am all ready planning a new attempt sometime in August or September.  I have to get all my supplies in one boat.  I am thinking, lose the cooler and water.  I am going to do some research on water filters.  Secondly the only food I will carry is MREs and protein bars.  That will help a lot.  I am also going to have to find a good boot with support that will take the water.  I really believe I will be able to do the 7 day float then.

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My friend David concentrating on his fly fishing.

“Some of the best lessons we learn are learned from past mistakes.  The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.” – Dale Turner

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  It is deeply appreciated.  Be kind to one another.  Share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

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Big River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost There

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{Left to Right} Mark’s Grandson, David, Me and Mark

“Remember the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.”  – H. Jackson Brown Jr

I thought the above quote was quite appropriate however I can’t speak for David and Mark.  In the movie Wild Hogs four middle aged men hit the road for adventure on motorcycles.  So I guess for three guys hitting the open river for 7 days in kayaks and canoe, I guess we would be called the Wild Yaks.  Hopefully we wont hear banjos.

Some months back I had mentioned to them that I was going to do a seven day float on the river and they thought it was such a great idea that they wanted in, so on Saturday the Geritol Crew will begin a seven day journey down the beautiful Big River.  I guess we should call it the Rice Krispies float because every time we get out of the boats you can hear snap, crackle, pop.

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One of the places we will pass by.  I call it Rock of David,  because my friend David brought it to life in water color.

I hate to say it but this float trip was brought together by Facebook.  Mark, David and I graduated together and were reunited by Facebook.  I will let you know how many bottles of Geritol we go through.  Instead of butcher, baker and Indian Chief we have, retired teacher, bails bondsman and semi-retired horseshoer.  What a combination.  Well with three wild sixty-three year old men unsupervised on the river, I think the bails bondsman will be most beneficial.  I just hope I don’t overdose on Geritol.

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Another site we will see on the Big River

I have our trip planned to cover around 6 to 8 miles a day.  I hope we reach Cherokee Landing by Monday evening.  Our final destination is going to be Washington State Park south of De Soto, MO.   I figure it is about a forty-five mile float.  I hope to get lots of pics and fish.  My wish is to some day float the whole Big River and Bourbeuse River.

“Friends…they cherish one another’s hopes.  They are kind to one another’s dreams.” – Henry David Thoreau

As our time draws closer my mind wanders back to the times in school when life was so much simpler.  Then my mind rockets back to the present making me realize how much different things are today.  We all seem to have a little more snow on the roof.  Our step doesn’t have as much spring in it as it used to have.  I know some mornings I get up and notice that the “git” in my “git along” all ready got up and left without me.  Our friendship has endured a long time.  I am looking forward to taking a trip down memory lane this weekend, going back to a time when you all climbed into one car and dumped all your change out to get enough gas in the car to ride around all night.  Life was good.

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Another place on the river we will pass by.

Thank you for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Be kind to one another and share the love.  Don’t squat with your spurs on and God Bless you one and all.

 

 

Where Has Respect Gone?

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Sunset in Bonne Terre, MO

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” -Bryant H McGill

Respect is a way of treating or thinking about someone or something.  A person can show it by being polite, taking your hat off, standing or just agreeing to disagree and move on.  Just last year some football players decided not to show their respect and knelt for the National Anthem.  Freedom of Speech?

“Treat people the way you want to be treated.  Talk to people the way you want to be talked to.  Respect is earned not given.” – Hussein Nishah

News Flash: You don’t have to like someone to respect them.  I think there are a lot of people out there who really have a problem grasping this concept.  There are people who are nothing but egotistical, arseholes.  I had some teachers and bosses that fell into that category but I respected them because they were good at their jobs.

Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one.  Social media seems to be an avenue where people like to voice their opinions.  There is a certain group out there that believe their opinion is the only true one.  They believe it so much that they won’t even give your opinion any respect, listen to it or even acknowledge it.  I don’t believe I have seen so much arguing over a sitting President in my life.  Folks let us quit acting like a bunch of  high school kids.  It isn’t worth it.  Let it go.  There has been times I didn’t heed my own advice and it solved nothing and just caused hard feelings.  All it does is bring negativity into your world.   The main stream news media is all ready doing a great job of sewing the seeds of hate and discontent we don’t need to be doing it too.

The protesters that block the highways are the ones that blow me away.  They want me to respect their right to protest but they won’t respect my right to use that highway.  Really?  Did they ever stop to think that someone in that traffic could have a medical emergency, might be a doctor called into the hospital to save someone’s life, etc., so senseless.  Look at the Ferguson riots.  They couldn’t show respect to the businesses that served their community.  Protesters burned them to the ground demanding respect for their cause.

Parents used to respect teachers.  Some of the things I have heard from people mostly go like this, “I think the teacher has it out for Johnny”, the teacher just doesn’t understand my child, etc..  Pretty much the norm of the times.   One of my clients was livid because a teacher took her daughter’s cell phone from her for texting while taking a test.

Bottom line is parents need to teach their children respect.  We need to start getting along together.  Thanks for reading.  Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

What The World Needs Now……..

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Near Labadie, MO

“Words are singularly the most powerful available to humanity.  We can choose to use  this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair.  Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” – Yehunda Berg

What the world needs now is love sweet love……How many of you remember this song from 1965?  What does the world need now?  Compassion, understanding, love, peace, more happiness, less hate?  What does the world need now?

As I lay in my tent in the early morning hours I could hear the thunder created by the approaching storms.  It wasn’t long before the accompanying lightning started illuminating my tent.  It sounded so angry.  I imagined it was fed up with the human race and that it was here to unleash its rain to cleanse the earth of hate, racism, murder etc..

I think that people need to learn how powerful words can be.  They can cut like a knife or sooth one’s pain.  If you call your child an idiot or stupid you sure aren’t helping that child’s self esteem.  If you want them to succeed use words of encouragement.  If you are a bitter person then keep it at bay when you are with your children and friends.  Don’t poison them with your bitterness.  Learn to be pleasant.  As I have grown older I have started heeding the words of my paternal grandmother, “If you can’t say something nice about someone then don’t say anything.”

“If we lose love and self respect for each other. this is how we finally die.” – Maya Angelou

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Sunset near Bonne Terre, MO

Respect seems pretty hard to find anymore also.  I hardly ever hear children say yes sir/ma’am or no sir sir/ma’am.  You go to a restaurant and children are up and running around while the parents sit there completely oblivious of what is happening.  Parents please, there are other patrons in there eating, make your children behave.  I remember one time at a Dennys a child about 5 or 6 ran right in to the server and caused her to drop a whole tray of food.  Parents didn’t say a word.  Respect those around you, it goes along way.  The big area today that is lacking respect  is opinions.  Every individual is entitled to their opinion whether you agree with it or not and the right thing to do is to respect that person’s opinion.  We seem to have a group of people today that think you should respect their opinion but it will be a cold day in hell before they will respect yours because in their mind you are wrong and that is that.

Common Sense is not so common anymore.  Just yesterday an elected governor made the statement that 93 million people die form gun violence.  Really?  Common sense has left the building.  Americans are holding grudges against each other because of the election.  Families have been splintered and divided. Again, really?   Why?  Common sense tells you friends and family will be there to help you before some politician will.  Common sense tells you guns don’t kill people.  People do and they have to be carrying an awful lot of hate in their heart to do it.

In this country we seem to be in a downward spiral that is rapidly becoming faster.  What can be done to stop it, learn to love one another and get along.  Stop fighting with each other.  Why is it so important to be right and someone has to be wrong?

Thanks for reading,  Share the love, be kind to each other and don’t squat with your spurs on.  God Bless you one and all.

Preparation

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Near Bonne Terre, MO

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” – Confucius

Preparation – Something done to get ready for an event or undertaking.  I have always believed that success will never happen without preparation.  I know, I hear all the groans out there.  Yeah there have been those times that I have succeeded without preparing but I am here to tell ya that a blind hog will find an acorn every now and then.

Two friends of mine from high school and I are going to do a 7 day float on the Big River.  We are going to camp on sandbars and all three of us are over 60.  I am a firm believer in being prepared, especially for an event like this.  I bought a one man tent, summer sleeping bag and a few other things for the trip and I want to know they will perform well for me.  Tonight we were supposed to get some heavy rain and storms so I wanted to see how the tent is going to hold up in this situation soooooooo, I am camping in the backyard tonight.  I started the fire with what ever materials I could find and used the old trusty ax and steel.  I have had people laugh at me for doing this but the way I see it is if I NEED to start a fire to be able to survive I want to know I can do it and the only way to have enough confidence in yourself to get it done, is by being prepared for anything.

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Fire I started using by using ax and steel.

I guess I am to the point of being a fanatic because I have been known to take off into the woods when it is raining cats and dogs and I see if I can start a fire.  I am not batting a thousand I can tell you that much.  I do feel confident in surviving if anything major happens.  I really feel that confidence is a major part of success and you gain confidence as you prepare.  For example, as you were flying over the Rockies the jet engines fail and you crash land in the mountains.  No one has any idea how to start a fire.  You think, well I have read about it but never done it.  I don’t care who you are, you are going to fail unless the good Lord has decided to make you the survivors savior.  Now let us think about this scenario, your plane has crashed and you have discovered that you are the only one that has any idea on how to start a fire.  You think to yourself, well I have started over 40 fires in various conditions, I got this,  Prepared=Confidence.

There was a time when our children were prepared for life.  Then some know it all came up with this idea that we shouldn’t spank our children and that everyone is a winner, no losers and everyone gets a trophy.  Really?  This is ok I guess if we lived in a perfect world but for those of you who think we do pardon me as I slap you.  We don’t live in a perfect world so it behooves you to realize that some day you will fail and you will lose, so put on your big boy/girl panties and suck it up buttercup.  It is part of life’s learning cycle.  Now for those of you who think I might have been a little harsh here all I can tell you is that I care about people and I want to see them succeed.  I want to help them and you can’t do that by telling them no one loses.

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My home for six nights on the Big River

This will be home for tonight.  They are calling for storms but it doesn’t look like it is going to happen.  I really want to see how it fairs in the storms.  It is going to be my home for 6 nights and I want to be sure it will perform to what I need it to do,  Maybe tomorrow night.

Thanks for reading.  It is very much appreciated.  Remember to be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

Oh, The Memories

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My grandparents home in Lafe, Arkansas

“Take care of all your memories.  For you cannot relive them.” – Bob Dylan

During Memorial Day weekend I headed to Lafe, Arkansas for the yearly family reunion. Driving south on  67 was a real treat.  It has been quite a while since I had made that trip. As I traveled down the highway my memory drifted back to when I was a child and we use to make that trip as a family.  I could hear my sister saying, “mom Wayne touched me” or “mom Wayne is sitting too close to me”.

After some time I came upon a place in the road that really stirred memories inside of me.  My grandpa had got me a pup and helped me get it in the car.  I named the pup Penny. We made it about an hour up the road before Penny began to whine.  It didn’t sit well with my dad, no siree.

My grandparents lived in this house for as long as I can remember.  When I was a yung -un I thought that house was so big.  After I became an adult I realized it wasn’t as big as I thought it was.  One of the things I remember is that when we had family get togethers my grandma would put the desserts on her bed just outside the kitchen door.  We called it the “dessert bed”.  We had a well on the porch that we pulled water up in a well bucket. All the kids got together and drilled them a well in 1970.  They now had running water.  Then in 1973 my uncle and I put an inside bathroom in for them,  That summer my grandma refused to use it because in her words it was too pretty to mess up.  That winter when the temps dropped and the snow flew grandma decided it wasn’t as pretty as she thought because she began using it.

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Grandparents house in Lafe, Arkansas

My grandpa had 3 ponds on the place.  I remember one day while fishing with two of my cousins and my cousin Billy Jean hooked my cousin Clois’s eye lid.  Man my cousin could scream.  My grandma had an old root cellar off the back porch where she kept the food she canned.

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Front door to grandparent’s house

As I stood there looking at the front door my mind was drawn back into time remembering all the warm times we enjoyed in their home.  The front porch used to be screened in and there was a porch swing on each end.  They had a wood stove for heat so we slept in feather beds with so many covers on you, it was almost impossible to turn over.  As I stood there I could smell the coffee and bacon like it was real.  When I was young these smells woke me up and I would run to the wood stove to try and get warm.  Oh the memories.  I could go on for ever.

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Headstone of Great Grandparents

In closing I would like to mention that my ancestors fought on the side of the South.  My great grandfather’s name was Robert E Lee White.  That should suffice as to which side my family supported.  Since the new mayor of St. Louis is removing a confederate statue I will never spend any money in the city.  The mayor can believe that the Civil War was about slavery.  I remind her that over 200,000 African Americans fought on the side of the Confederates.  I would also like to remind her how racist the American flag is to the Native Americans.  It is a symbol of lies, murder and of the people who took their land away from them.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed reading it.  Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Safety First

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Bourbeuse River near Union, MO

My story starts on Friday, June 2, 2017.  David Tripp, Mark Nelson and myself are planning a week long float on the Big River the last week in June.  This float was a preview of our planned float.

 

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My Kayak on the Bourbeuse River

I put in on the Bourbeuse around 5 pm on June 2,  planning to have a great weekend. Friday night went pretty well.  I set out 10 limb lines and baited them for catfish.  I set up camp on a gravel bar and then went on up river and tight line fished.  I caught some nice cat and drum that night.   The river was falling and very muddy so I was a little surprised that I caught anything at all.  I did catch 2 channel cat on the limb lines.  I ran the limb lines at 11 pm and 3 am then daybreak.  I heated up some beans and weenies for breakfast  about 4 am Saturday morning.

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Heating up beans and weenies on the river bank.
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Fish I caught early Saturday morning,

Saturday was like any other day on the river.  I spent it bass fishing and fishing for pan fish.  About dark I began baiting the limb lines that I had out,   When all the lines were baited I headed to my spot that I tight line fished at night.

Dawn came and my fish basket had 6 nice channels in it that I  had caught.  I started working my way back down river, bass fishing as I went.  I managed to get hung up and losing my hook so I tied a new one on.  I had been pulled into the shallow water and instead of paddling back up and securing everything before I started through the swift water i made a bad decision to just go ahead and shoot the shallow fast water.

I had been through this spot 4 times since Friday.  Water was really swift so away I went. Then all of a sudden the yak hits something, comes to a stop then the rushing water hit it in the rear,  forced it side ways and over I went.  I was flung head first into the water then the swift water carried me to the end of the shallow into a deep hole.  The current surrounding the hole began to push me to the bottom.  The water was so muddy I couldn’t see anything.  I don’t know how long I had been in the river but my lungs began to hurt so i knew I had to make a decision so I relaxed and let my life jacket do its job and sure enough it started pulling me to the top so I immediately began helping it.  When I broke the top I was gasping for breath,

I looked around and I saw the yak and it was heading down river pretty fast so I headed for it.  Once I snagged it I had to swim it about 40 yards to the bank.  Now if you have ever lifted a ten foot kayak full of water you realize at this point that Preparation H is really man’s best friend.  I finally got everything rounded up and I just crashed on a gravel bar as what just happened started sinking into my mind.

I want to thank you for reading my blog.  Just a reminder about safety and how important it is.  Please wear your life jacket when you are on the river.  Be kind to one another,   Share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.  God Bless you one and all.