The Salad Days

I apologize for the poor quality of these photos of photos.

Yup, just a babe in the woods back then.  It was my second year of solo wilderness tripping – about eight days canoeing the North Woods.  I would have been twenty-four… but even long before then, as a little boy already, I knew what was important to me. Warriors & wilderness.  I grabbed an old bayonet as, believe it or not, bear protection.  I was brash and stupid figuring if one stuck his head inside my tent, I’d stick ‘im.  Nothing to it, right?  Ah, crazy kids…

You can see the bayonet hanging off my belt which I’m wearing over athletic shorts for that express purpose.  I’d just been dropped off with canoe and gear. A stranger from the general store was shuttling my car the 40+ miles of logging roads to my extraction point. Check out those colored socks we wore back in the Eighties! I kept my hair far shorter then.

IMG_9704In the photo below, I’ve looped a rope over a tree branch and am swinging towards the camera bayonet in my teeth.  Forever the pretend pirate.  The weapon dates from 1900.  No tattoos yet!IMG_9705I was pretty solid then, but I’d torn an extensive chunk of spinal erectors off my lumbar vertebrae so competitive powerlifting was already finished for me. In those days I’d deliberately bulked up in hopes of entering professional wrestling.

A riverside campsite.  I had a brand new Eureka Sentinel tent at home but pulled this wreck from a dumpster the week of departure for the previous year’s trip to see if I could make it work.  I had to bail it out after a rain storm.  I think it lasted three trips. I’m wearing a muscular Viking warrior on my shirt.  Like I said, some things never change.
IMG_9708Days later and just before sunset, I took a dip in this 17 mile long lake (and at this point about a mile wide) to cool off from the day’s paddle.  Good times. Looking at the photos makes me realize how well I’ve spent my time on Earth.IMG_9707

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