By way of an introduction, a story:
It was the first time I’d taken Jason into the backcountry to backpack. Certainly, it was an ambitious trek, some 38 miles in seven days and visits to several different lakes.
The backcountry does strange things to people (and yes, I’ve gotten him into some serious jams – without serious injury or harm).
For most, it is the absence of modern stimuli in the woods – television, traffic, work, the ebb and flow of a harried life – that really tweaks the mind.
Jason got a Christmas carol stuck in his head (I drew a blank at which one). It was like a CD got stuck on a constant one-song loop, repeating over and over again.
At camp that night, we were sitting on a couple of rocks, talking and cooking (I’m sure there was whiskey, too).
When Jason fell off his rock sideways, in a slow motion crumple that ended with him in a fetal position.
“Make it stop,” he said. “Make the pain stop. I can’t stand it.”
I laughed my ass off.
And so did he – until tears streamed down his face.
To look at Jason, a 28-year-old husband and father of two boys, you’d think “mild-mannered, small-town guy.”
He’s brilliant and humble, a talented musician (his mother likes to say he sings like an angel), a fantastic father and devoted husband – who is just bizarre enough to get along famously with the likes of me.
(We’ve know each other since I moved to California 10 years ago next month; he’s the one and only minor I have ever purchased adult beverages for, because I knew he’d be responsible with his under-age drinking).
Now inspired, he’s blogging.
I am positive it will be weird and wonderful and poignant and a place to stop by – daily.
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