"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Sunday, August 13, 2006

there, and there, and back again

Wednesday, August 9: Left Chico at 7:00 pm, starting to feel like we'd never get away. Good thing I got off work early. Arrived at the house in Westport about 5 hours later at midnight. It shouldn't take that long but there was a layover for construction on Hwy 20, and I think my driving slows down considerably at night. I'm tired and I feel like I can't see that well. Ok, it's dark, no wonder. I always take Hwy 20 all the way to Fort Bragg rather than heading up to Laytonville when traveling after dark; I need a road that has shiny lines down the middle under those circumstances.

Our Sponsor and his fine catch, best we could do with the cellphone camThursday, August 10: Rose at 5:00 am, with just a little prompting from Mom, to get down to the harbor for the fishing expedition. The boat with its crewmembers and cargo of sport fishing enthusiasts, including me, Ce, Dad, Uncle G, cousins, and several strangers took off over into choppy waters and roller coaster swells, heading northwest for about an hour until we arrived in the happy fishing grounds near Westport. Ce & I held up fine during the ride out but some of the other passengers fared not so well. They brought new meaning to the word "wretched," with their tormented moans and no apparent relief until we pulled back into Noyo harbor four or five hours later. I was hugely proud of Ce; though she would surreptitiously dash to the other side of the boat now and then, she continued to fish with gusto and reported feeling pretty good between episodes. Even I, who have never before been seasick, barfed once. Otherwise the trip was very successful; our freezer will be restocked with rockfish fillets.

I have debated in the last few minutes whether the barfing scenes in this story are TMI or not. However, Dean Karnazes discusses barfing in considerably greater detail in his book. Yep, we endurance fisherpeople / athletes, we barf now and then. It's just the right involuntary thing to do.

By Thursday night our appetites had recovered sufficiently to devour some of the catch. Big family chow-down at the campground. Uncle G at the grill did justice to those fillets.

Friday, August 11: The Team Fisher photo shoot. Followed by a bike ride from the house down to Ft. Bragg, just over 19 miles of riding bliss down Hwy 1. I understand now why so many people will play chicken with the logging trucks to bike that road. For the most part all the passing vehicles, big trucks included, were cautious and respectful. But it's not something you'd want to bet on. Being on the road without a steel and glass cage around you is as close to flying as you can get without leaving the ground. Motorcycles must feel the same way traveling the clifftops of the 1. I have found motor - bikers to be very friendly even if they are secretly (or not) shaking their heads and laughing at me as I toil up a long grade. It's us vs. the cagers, except that my bike runs on fish fillets, spaghetti, peanut butter sandwiches and homemade granola (in addition to numerous other renewable fuels).

Meanwhile...Ce discovered that she was quite interested in my Dean Karnazes book so she picked up reading it aloud where I had left off. In the book, "Karno" was running the entire Providian Relay (Calistoga to Santa Cruz, 200 miles) by himself as we ourselves drove down to Santa Cruz on Friday night to attend the wedding of our friends Darcy & Aimen. I think the point Karnazes tries to make finally sank in; it really isn't that he has superman powers or anything. Maybe some good running genes and biomechanics, yes, but mostly it's sheer will that keeps him going. We decided that his story has made us think about whether the limits we set for ourselves aren't a bit, well, too limited.

NEXT: Visiting the "Land of Medicine Buddha" in Soquel, and a debate on the efficacy of prayer-sending technologies.

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