Posted on 16 September 2014
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Posted on 18 March 2014
So a good friend of mine from up north finally moved down to my town on the gulf coast of Florida. Since I had last seen him, he's gotten into kayak fishing and through subsequent trips, has gotten me into kayak fishing. he has a 2012 14' Hobie ProAngler (for those of you not familiar, these things are more like one-man boats and less like a traditional kayak) Here's a link to paint a better picture:http://www.hobiefishing.com/mirage/mirage-pro-angler-14/.
I have fallen in love with this hobby (and Hobie) and attempted to find a used lesser model on EBay until I can afford to get the Pro Angler. Used models are tough to find as most buyers hold on to theirs and actually use them.
After searching Craigslist and EBay for a few months, I came across an auction about an hour from my hometown. I have exactly 6 transactions on EBay and all of them had been "buy it now" and had never been through the auction process up until this point.
Hobie Mirage Outback, no reserve starting at $800. I paid no attention to the auction (as I was out fishing with said buddy on the Sunday it ended) and returned to the office Monday morning to find that I had won for $890.
I paid the seller through PayPal and awaited location details for me to pick up. The seller contacted me stating that he hadn't received payment, while on my end, it was "awaiting" acceptance from the seller. Turns out that he linked the wrong PayPal email address after I had tried to resubmit payment. he contacted me with the right address and I tried to tender payment to the proper account to find that I had overdrawn my BoA account. I waited two days for the cancelled payments (2) to be returned to my account, remitted payment to the second account and drove an hour last Friday morning to pick up the kayak.
I arrived at the seller's rental property (as he made mention) to find an older model kayak (disclosed) in pretty good shape. The hull looked great. The pedal propulsion system seemed smooth and snag free with little to no rust. I gladly secured to the bed of my truck and headed for the office.
I met with my fishing buddy the following morning and excitedly drove out to the beach for my new/used kayak's maiden voyage. I was in the water for less than 2 minutes before the sinking feeling in my stomach told me that I had been ripped off.
The rudder up/down control snapped as soon as I tried to lift it out of the water. I had tried this on land when I picked up and had noticed that the seller has ran twine instead of cabling for the rudder controls and I had planned on repairing myself. Not a big deal, I thought as I still had left/right for steering.
I slide the pedal drive (Mirage drive as it's called) into place and didn't get 10-12 strokes in the water before I heard an odd noise. I went to disengage the drive from the mounting clamps (in order to pull up and inspect) and the left clamp immediately shifted upwards about 1"-2". Clearly it had been stripped at some point and had been repaired enough to hold the drive in place for mere minutes.
Once removed the pedal drive propulsion fins were both glues to the drive and had started to fall apart immediately once placed in the water. As I was planning on upgrading to larger turbo fins, I was still trying to stay optimistic. And then I paddled back to shore (I hadn't gotten more than 20 yards).
I needed a beer at this point, (yes, it was early) and as I reached into one of the "water tight" holds, I saw that in the mere minutes that the kayak was in the water it had taken on 1/3" - 1/2" of water. Closer examination to the hull and the opening around the mounting port for the Mirage drive showed that what I thought was a "wear point" was actually a breech in the hull and a caulked area at the north point for where the Mirage drive sits in it's plastic recess during use.
Loaded up the kayaks, went to buddy's for a cookout and after a few minutes to regain composure, drove to a nearby authorized Hobie dealer to see if the kayak could be repaired.
While the store owner clearly had an agenda to sell me a new kayak, he quickly told me that any Hobie Mirage drive kayak with a hole in the hull anywhere near the Mirage drive is a complete scrap. Since it is in a high stress area that will constantly have pressure on it, there isn't a product out there that could effectively repair it.
He then said, "You got a good deal on that kayak, didn't you?" "A great deal on that kayak", I replied. "Well, that's because the seller knew that it was worthless and he fucked you on it". That did not help my mood.
Filed a complaint stating that the product was not as it was listed. The description said "Used. May show signs of cosmetic wear and tear but is otherwise fully functional and operational". Clearly this was not the case.
I offered to take the hit on time and gas money to return (lesson learned) and the seller is (of course) fighting me on it. We still have a few days to go before anything can be escalated through the EBay Resolution Center, but does anyone out there have an experience like this and/or some advice?
Let the noob-shaming begin. Thanks in advance.
Posted on 19 March 2014
Our landlord is turning our unit of a quadplex into a vacation rental unit, and we have until the last day of April to move. We have a dog and two cats and it is nearly impossible to find somewhere that allows pets in the Orange Beach, Perdido Key, Gulf Shores area. Reddit, if you have any leads for us, please let me know! Thank you!
Posted on 9 March 2014
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|How do avoid the larger river traffic (barges, ships, etc..) that might not be looking out for something as small as a kayak? Any close encounters?||The barges stay in their marked channel well and are not a huge problem. I was in a few large pools this last weekend when everybody took out their motor boats. A bunch of drunks in speedboats are scarier to me. I had a guy Sunday come within a few feet of me. I almost threw my paddle at him.|
|When I was passing through Burlington Iowa 2 boats collided a few miles down from where I was camping. 4 people died and I have been much more cautious since then.|
|I had a barge sneak up on me from behind near the Wisconsin, Illinois border. I about pooped my self when it blew it's horn at me. Stupid Iowa NPR had a segment called "steamboat stories" that had that sound every time it started and would send shivers up my spine.|
|Not that I'd be pulling rank with a barge, but don't you technically have the right of way being that you have no motor? At least sail boats always have the right of way.||Barges stay in their channel that is well marked by bouys. I might have the right of way but that means nothing if they can't see me.|
|Simple question- Why are you doing this? Also, any pics to share?||Generic answer I give - "Because life is short and I wouldn't want to live it without having paddled the Mississippi"|
|Personal answer - "I need to get back to nature to figure out some stuff after Iraq"|
|Reason Now - "I want to come back next year and help a wounded warrior to become the first paraplegic to paddle the entire river. The amount of freedom I feel everyday is breath taking and I want to share it with someone who deserves it"|
|*edit - I am uploading an album to imgur now.|
|I want to come back next year and help a wounded warrior to become the first paraplegic to paddle the entire river. Please let us know when you get to the planning phase of this. I'll gladly kick in some money towards it.||First thing when I get back. This is my new biggest priority besides not dying on the river.|
|Personal answer - "I need to get back to nature to figure out some stuff after Iraq" If you find yourself in New Orleans next Saturday, I will buy the booze.||I will be there in 4 weeks.|
|The first answer is good enough for me, but each one after gets better and better. Best of luck to you :o)||The ups is that I go as far as I want everyday, stop when I want and have time to really discover myself. I also can sing as loud as I want to a Kesha or Pink song on the radio while I am paddling.|
|Another question if you will? - What are the ups and downs to doing this solo? (Note: Solo, not alone)||The downside is it is very lonely. When I first started out I would not see people for days and was alone which was ok and I felt fine. Now that I am somewhere where I see people all the time I feel lonely. Every person I meet asks me the same 3 or 4 questions.|
|Where do you jerk off?||In my tent, the hammock makes it hard to maneuver.|
|When will you pass through Memphis? I ||In about 8 days.|
|1) What are the expected total costs (gear included)?||1) The boat and gear ran me about 2000 dollars. 400 dollars for the ticket to Minneapolis, 300 to the guy who took me to Itasca. Then about 20 dollars per day I was on the river.|
|If you ever need a ride from Minneapolis to Itasca again, please just come to /r/twincitiessocial or PM me. $300 is ridiculous and I know that we could find someone to tote you up there for much less.||I gave him 300$ because while I was waiting to go up I was bumming around the Mall of America, killing time. A cute girl asked me if I wanted to go to a casino and I said yes, because I love buffets and knew I could eat whatever I wanted. Waiting for the bus back to the mall so I could catch the shuttle back to my hotel I put 20 dollars in the Ghostbusters slot. I won 600 dollars. I don't really gamble and so I bought a nice hat and some nicer sunglasses for my trip. The guy who gave me a ride would have done it for free but I felt he deserved more and so gave him half of my winnings.|
|Is your name Huck or Jim?||I am glad you did not write out Jim's name like Mark Twain did.|
|Would that even be possible? You'd exert so much energy per mile compared to going downstream...||Everything from Minneapolis to St. Louis is flat because of the 29 locks and dams. It makes the river more like a staircase than a slope.|
|I noticed there was a picture of you inside a lock. Do they actually let a tiny boat like yours through the locks? Do they open and close the locks just for your little kayak?||It seems a bit excessive but they send me through all by myself. The people at the locks are the only people I regularly talk to and are usually cool guys. In the locks with the bigger drops it feels like Star Wars with the giant gates opening.|
|But I mean you're going against the current regardless. Do kayaks skim the water so it wouldn't be too difficult? I guess I imagine paddling downstream somewhat like tubing down a river. Am I wrong?||Back when the river was small and shallow there are sections that are class 2 rapids that would be very very difficult to paddle upstream. Also Saulk Rapids a couple of days north of Minneapolis would be almost impossible to paddle through. I think a rowing skiff would work best on most of it.|
|Pool 26 represent. FYI, St. Louis's sewer company, MSD, dumps raw sewage into the Mississippi. Hows the water quality now that you've come to our fine city?||It has been nasty since Minneapolis. Everybody's poo goes into the river.|
|How do you get on reddit?||I am at a hotel today. I have a smartphone and reddit is fun on it.|
|1) how are you going to paddle to pensacola? is it safe to take your boat through the gulf?||1) I plan on paddling the inter coastal most of the way from the mouth to Pensacola, my boat is very stable and can handle the gulf if I need it to.|
|2) do you like living in pensacola? do you consider it part of the deep south?||2) I do not like living in Pensacola, I plan on moving back to SLC. Pensacola is a great place to visit but not so much to live in, and yes it is very deep South.|
|Do you stop and visit some places you pass? If so, did you stop in the quad cities? (that's my hometown)||I paddled through the quad cities at night. Your hometown is probably the most polluted area on the Mississippi. The water smelled like paint. I broke my paddle in the quad cities and was not very happy there.|
|How did you break your paddle?||Going through the last lock in the quad cities I had to pee very bad. There is a rocky area just left of the locks when you exit. A lock can take 30 minutes and I had to go really bad. When I was paddling into that rocky area my paddle hit a rock and the blade broke.|
|Twin cities resident here! Did you see all the dogs along the shore chasing balls and having a merry time just before passing Fort Snelling?||I did. They were on my left as I paddled by. Dogs love to come to the banks and bark at me. *edit - I keep a detailed journal while I am out here but you just reminded me of something I might have never remembered had you not asked. Thanks.|
|Had I been there that day this may have greeted you. Link to imgur.com I do have a serious question though: how has gear weight played a part in your selection of gear? How much does all of your gear weigh sans kayak? How often do you stop to resupply food and how much food and water do you carry with you?||I do not have to worry about weight like I do when I backpack. My kayak alone weighs around 65 pounds. My gear is probably around 45 pounds now and I have about 15 pounds of food. I carry usually a weeks supply of food that is mostly mac and cheese and stovetop stuffing for dinner with pop tarts and candy bars for the day. Water is more difficult than food. I have a 10 liter MSR water bag and a 4 liter platypus bag. I have not been able to filter or treat my water since Minneapolis, and usually fill it up with a hose.|
|Do you not have a good enough filter & treatment for the water or just don't trust it given the water quality?||You can't filter water from an oil slick.|
|So yeah, antiseptic. Hand sanitizer would be cheap and relatively light.||I worked in Yellowstone after college at the Snow Lodge. Fly fishing is an art I will never master. If you ever have a chance to go out there and fish the Snake River or the Yellowstone River, take it. I am glad your eye is ok now.|
|I have plenty of other questions as well: when it's time to sleep do you simply pull off and sleep on shore? I know there has been some torrential rain lately, how has this effected your trip? Any weather situations that have forced you to stop for the day/had you scared shitless?||When I was crossing Lake Cass it began sleeting on my and the winds were causing 3 foot waves. I fell in. I had a bag with fleece pants a fleece jacket and a pak-towel in case of this. After I got into dry clothes I paddled upriver to a lodge I saw earlier. I went into the shower and could not touch the water with my hands without intense pain. Without having been prepared I could have died that day, but luckily I didn't.|
|I usually just find an island on the river and set up there.|
|Do you have it setup so things stay in the kayak if it tips?||Yes everything is strapped down and in waterproof bags.|
|What is this monkey swing you speak of?||I take one arm and grab a tree branch then swing way back so my poo does not hit my feet. I call it the Monkey Swing because I feel like a monkey swinging from branch to branch.|
|How was La Crosse? Did you stop there by any chance?||I did. A beautiful girl at the awesome river park recommended a pizza place and I ate four very large slices. La Crosse was a beautiful town with a great river front.|
|What did you do with your boat while you went to get the pizza?||The rocks up to the park are pretty steep and it was such a nice clean place I felt like it was safe there.|
|Awesome! It's my hometown. (I'm in Ohio right now for school.) I'm glad you enjoyed it! What pizza place was it, do you recall? Good luck on the rest of your journey, sir!||It was across from a bar called the library.|
|Beautiful women, recommending pizza? I must go to this place.||She had just come from a food co-op also.|
|Australian cricket legend and World War II fighter pilot Keith Miller put things into perspective when he was asked how he handled the pressure of international cricket. His reply: "Pressure? A Messerschmitt up your arse is pressure. Playing cricket is not." My question: Does your currrent undertaking feel like a walk in the park compared to your time in Iraq? Do you think that this challenge is made (or feels) easier in some way by the experiences you made during your service?||Apples and Oranges. We relied on each other a ton over there and it was a shared experience. I feel that my time in the service gave me the confidence to try to achieve something that might seem impossible.|
|Are you going through the locks when you come to them? Or are you going around on foot?||I am going through the locks. I pull a little cord right before them that signals the lockmaster and they put me through just like a barge. I sometimes have to wait upwards of an hour and a half for the barges to go through first. Before Minneapolis I would have to carry my boat around the dams, sometimes up to a mile.|
|How do you carry the kayak? I've found them a lot harder to portage than canoes.||I usually take 2 trips. First I carry all my gear then I use a handle on the side of my kayak to carry it.|
|Once you conquer the Mississippi what will be your next adventure?||I want to come back and help a paraplegic be the first to paddle the entire river. I have had this on my mind for the last month and I think it could be done. The biggest obstacle is portaging around all the dams in Minnesota.|
|Someday I would like to ride a bike from Coney Island, NY to Chicago then take route 66 to LA. Then I will have done my personal triple crown. Walk up the country, float down then peddle across.|
|Are you worried about how violent the river becomes in Louisiana? That undercurrent is a killer, literally.||Yes I am. 5 people have died on the river within a few miles of me since I have been out here. 4 in Burlington Iowa and one near Hannibal, MO. I stay very near the shore to avoid barges and to be safe. I am very aware that it will be dangerous but will continue anyways.|
|Most people who die on the river do so because they leave their life vests and brains on the dock to make room for more beer.||I have never been or will be on this river without my life vest. I keep a small drybag on my vest with my phone and wallet in case I get separated from my boat.|
|Are you doing your ama from a mobile device on the water or are you taking a break right now?||I am taking the day off. I am at a holliday inn with a business center. I do check reddit every couple of nights from my phone but have to conserve my battery in case I need my phone for an emergency. I stay in a hotel about once every 10 days and this is the second time I took an entire day off. I woke up today and was unable to close my fingers in a fist without a ton of pain and thought it would be a good idea to rest.|
|Where is your kayak while you are in the hotel room? Did you take it in with you?||A marina here is letting me keep it there overnight. Sometimes I hide it among the trees on the shore when I run into town.|
|How much gear have you ditched so far because you overpacked?||Haven't ditched any gear but have lost or broken; solar panel, gps, laptop, gloves, knit hat, kayak paddle and a fleece.|
|What piece of gear do you wish you had that you don't? What piece of gear has surprised you most? What piece of gear has disappointed you most?||I wish I had a spare kayak paddle. My kayak paddle dissapointed me when it broke but the worst piece of gear I had was a Brunton Solar charger. It just straight up did not work even with 12 hours of direct sunlight.|
|Cat can stove?||Cat Can Stove! I don't think anything inflatable could make it down this river because of all the debris.|
|Do you have any plans for future excursions?||I want to do the river again but to act as a guide for a paraplegic and help him/her around the dams and such. It has become clear to me out here that life is better when you stop worrying about yourself and start helping others. If I could share this freedom with someone who might feel confined by their chair then that is a pretty good life.|
|One day I want to ride a bicycle across the country to complete my triple crown. Walk up, paddle down and ride across. I want to touch the South Pole before I die.|
|Ehat do you mean by "walk up"? Can you elaborate?||When I hiked the Appalachian trail I walked up the country from Georgia to Maine.|
|When you camp on the side of the river, do you just do it wherever? did you have to organize/reserve locations, or do you just hobo-style it? any problems with authorities ever?||I usually stay on islands and pull my boat all the way off the water. No one can really see me.|
|What kind of wildlife do you see??||At the start there was an amazing amount of wildlife. My favorite was a small furry wolf that was drinking from the riverside. I have seen a ton of deer, ducks, geese, loons, herons and beavers. I also saw a whooping crane. I have a picture of it.|
|How enormous are the whirlpools? I heard the Mississippi gets massive whirlpools, if so, have you ever gotten stuck in one?||They can be upwards of 20 feet. They can be frustrating because there seems to be no good way to paddle around them without being spun around a bit. The more speed you have when skirting by them the less effect they have.|
|How fast does the Mississippi move? Like, you say you're paddling down it, but could you conceivably just float down it?||From Minneapolis to St. Louis the river is controlled by locks and dams. Usually the wind comes from the South and if I do not paddle it pushes me upstream. The current picks up a ton after St. Louis because there are no more dams and floating becomes an option.|
|Tell us about the stuff you need to figure out about Iraq. What have you been doing since you came back, and why the need for adventure right now?||The weight of being responsible for other people's deaths weighs heavy on my heart. I worked for the company that made the drone I flew for a while until they told me I would have to go to Afghanistan. I went back to school for a bit and waited tables. I knew in my heart that I was an adventurer and the only way to get back to that is to dive in.|
|How polluted is the Mississip?||Outside of the cities it is not too bad. I have been by probably 25 coal power plants and tons of factories. The quad cities treats the river like a dump. The water is polluted beyond belief but local groups keep the shoreline decently clean, except in Minneapolis.|
|As someone who is looking at the filthy bastard right now, (Muscatine, Iowa) what made you choose the Mississippi?||I grew up in Memphis and used to hang out at the river. I am just one of those people that when they see a mountain they want to climb it.|
|Ever read the story "Big Two-Hearted River" by Hemingway? You sound a bit like the character in that. Enjoy your journey and thanks for sharing.||No I did read The River Why, Down the River, Huck Finn, and A River Runs Through it though.|
|How swole are your arms?||I lifted a while before this and my arms have actually gotten smaller but more toned.|
|Any close calls with shady people? Any times where you feared for your safety? Thank you for your military service.||Whenever I go through a larger town or city there are people who hang out under the bridges. I avoid them.|
|Once you get to the mouth in Venice, Louisiana. Would you like to have a beer with me?||Sure.|
|How often do you listen to Black Water by the Doobie Brothers?||I heard it on the radio about two weeks ago and sang along. The stroke by Billy Squire and Drift Away are 2 good paddlin songs too. You can usually find me singing along to Brittney Spears and Ke$ha to be honest.|
|How easy would it be to do this? Like how much experience do you recommend having before you set out on this journey?||You need a decent amount of paddling experience for this and must know how to read a river.|
|Cool.... Where would you get started for all of this?||Join a local paddling club. I went through the Memphis canoe and kayak club's courses on whitewater canoeing and kayaking in the 90's growing up. Even if you don't own a boat your local club will probably help you find something to paddle. When I am on my kayak it moves like another limb of my body. When you can paddle and not think about it you are golden. I used to work for an Outdoors shop in memphis. After work every day I would go to a small public lake at shelby farms and paddle for 2-3 hours. I did it because I loved it, even though I just went around in small circles. I did not know at the time that it would lead to this. Start small and dream big. I love the feeling of being on the water. Some people love climbing rocks. If it is el Cap, Everest, a solo sail around the world or maybe a float of the Mississippi that is your calling you will know.|
|Have you been smacked by any Asian carp yet?||Yes they do hit my boat daily. Since lock 19 in Iowa they have been everywhere.|
|Very cool, I think it is very cool to see someone actively crossing things off a bucket list! Too many people just talk about doing those things but are never serious. Thank you for your service as well!||I was paddling north of Minneapolis when I saw a couple of kayaks in front of me. I paddled to catch up and there were about 40 people paddling down the river. I had not seen anyone else paddling before and I was excited. They were a river club from Minneapolis that was out for a day paddle. One of the nice older ladies offered me a place to stay but I did not take the offer and paddled another 10 miles after they got out.|
|Just curious, how did you get by the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota? I imagine you just pulled out some where and put back in down river but I'd be interested to hear how anyway.||There is a ridiculously long trail that goes up and down over 2 old rail beds, across a concrete path, down a steep hill, across a 2 foot wide bridge, up a hill with a tree fallen in the middle, then down a long path, that turns into another long path, that finally goes down a hill into a parking lot and then down another steep hill. The path was covered in ticks and there was dicarded panties and broken liquor bottles the whole way. I described it in another response as "rapey". It was not a good time.|
|How long do you plan on this trip taking? And did you do anything special to prepare for a journey of this magnitude?||70-80 days Nothing too special to be honest. Having gone through SERE-C in the Army helped as well as a lifetime of trips in the outdoors.|
|Welcome to St. Louis! Just wondering if the river's as muddy everywhere else as it is here? We even have a cake named Mississippi Mud Cake, so, yeah... lol.||I used to drink the water and see down 6 feet. Since Iowa it has been bad. Remember playing "hot lava" as a kid. It is like that but with cancer.|
|Why?||I once heard that the afterlife might be a separation from time and you live your life over and over again. Do yo measure life in dollars or in sunsets?|
|To an alien my life has purpose. What do you have. If it is kids and love you win. If not . . .|
|Because I own things that money could never buy.|
|Did I miss the imgur link to OP's pictures?||The link is in my comments.|
|I work at a kayak rental shop in Cleveland, on lake Erie. Im assuming the boat is about 17 feet because you are obviously an experience paddler. Is that right?||It is 14 feet.|
|Did you bring any weed?||No :(|
|Bummer man.||I might find a stealth grow on the banks one of these days but I wouldn't want to steal it. I will keep on looking though.|
|Real men paddle FROM Pensacola TO Minneapolis.||If I could find someone to fund it I would turn around and paddle back when I am done.|
|I'd love a brief overview of the gear you're using.||The kayak is a Jackson Cuda Sit on top. I was using an Accent kayak paddle until the blade snapped in the quad cities. I use an Accent paddle board paddle now. I sleep in either my REI 2 man tent or on my ENO hammock. I cook with a denatured alcohol stove. I always wear my life jacket which I have a dry bag attached to hold my phone and wallet. I have a rather large river knife attached to my vest also. I use a Marmot 30 degree sleeping bag with a Thermarest Z-rest for my bed. I had a solar panel and a gps but the river took those from me a month ago.|
|LOVE my ENO hammock! Slept in it all weekend... Good luck brotha!||The ENO hammock is my favorite piece of gear.|
|As would I! I can't imagine using a sit on top for expedition paddling...a sea kayak feels so much more cozy to me.||I picked the Jackson Cuda because I can stand and paddle it like a paddle board. I didn't go with a traditional kayak because I was afraid my legs would not be able to handle months inside a regular kayak.|
|Good luck, sir. I hope you find what it is you're looking for.||You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first... first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. Mm-hmm. You shall see thangs, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... a cow... on the roof of a cotton house, ha. And, oh, so many startlements. I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.|
|Post that shit everywhere :D Maybe our numbers will swell abit.||And the trivia team will grow.|
|Please tell me that's not a fishing pole. I hope you don't plan on eating any fish from that river. Polluted nasty poop fish! That's my poop you are kayaking with! (I live in STL)||I would not eat anything south of the quad cities.|
|You are still north of myself - but when you reach Cairo to Caruthersville (spelling) anthing along that stretch - Basically the Convergance of Ohio and Miss - to where I44 crosses the River.||Thanks. I will be passing by probably Friday. I could definitely use a new kayak paddle but I think my mom in Memphis has a spare she will lend me. Mine broke in the quad cities and I have been using a paddleboard paddle like a canoe paddle. It is a mess and I can't close my hands fully anymore but I kind of like it.|
|You need anything because I could probably get it to you.||You can come out and we can high five if you want.|
|So - regarding Paddle and whatever - looks like I can swing heading North along the river on Thursday - so we are not constrained to a Friday crossing timeline. So outside of the Paddle - any "inland" favorites you desire let me know and we will try and work this out.||I talked to my mom and I have an old paddle of mine at her place in Memphis. If you just want to come say hi that would be nice.|
|Because of the width and the height of the Cuda, a 240cm paddle would be best if you're going to provide a replacement. Maybe the Bending Branches infusion with the soft grips...||I was using a 240 before because of the cuda's height. When you set the chair in the low position it is actually not that tall. It is an amazing vessel.|
|You should launch a Kickstarter campaign to write/document your travels. Perhaps when you do the trip again with a Wounded Warrior. The Wounded Warrior project could perhaps help too.||If I could raise money I might. I am well read and well educated but I feel no need to share this. If I could help someone by being popular that would be good. I would rather just die with this than let someone sell it.|
|I plan on writing a book but I do not like attention while I am doing it. I have already written over 120 pages in my journal but I feel the river is the true story, not some asshole like me going down it If I do ever publish a book about this I want it to be like cannery row, a bit of the wild slipping on the knife. Some days I just wish I was like the kid in into the wild and if I die out here it is worth writing about.|
|I'm pretty sure I recall you posting your "ride wanted" ad in the r/twinscitiessocial subreddit or something of the like. Glad to see you found your ride! I recently traveled alongside the river just in Minnesota alone and am really jealous of your trip. No questions here, just good luck!||Give some love to mn_redditor. Without him I would not be here.|
|When you come through Vicksburg, Mississippi, let me know!||I will send you a message when I am close.|
|Did you get bitten by a snake. I fear most bodies of water because of this T_T.||I have only seen two snakes in the water, both while waiting for locks. There will be more.|
|Oh my gosh HEY, i know you! I work at the Four Points you stayed at in MPLS and drove you around in the shuttle :) So fun to see your post on here and see the pictures of where you've been!||Hey thanks for the radio station advice. You were a cool chick.|
|I admire your exercise in Zen. I find mine climbing rock walls. Enjoy the solidarity, risk, and enlightenment. The process of present moments is what matters.||The best days are the ones where the hours melt like minutes.|
|When you get back the zombie contamination will be over.||I always wanted to be patient zero in the zombie apocalypse. Maybe the foul waters of lousiana will cause this.|
Last updated: 2012-06-03 02:11 UTC
This post was generated by a robot! Send all complaints to epsy.
Posted on 29 May 2012
$4500. I’d run the numbers, and among the cruise ticket itself, a plane ride, one night in a hotel, rental of a boat and driver, and various things I’d need for survival purposes, I’d need $4500. I didn’t quite have $4500. But it wouldn’t be long before I did, and after I did, well. I’d work something out from there.
Planning was the only thing that kept me going for the next few weeks. I worked a horrible job. I had been saving for almost two years as it was, and it was a testament both to my lack of commitment and my lack of money that I hadn’t hit what I need yet. I’d gone through periods of intense motivation like I did for any kind of project, then it would always fall to the back of my mind. But I kept coming back to it. So I took inventory almost every day.
FAKING MY DEATH
One (1) ticket to a cruise that moves near enough to the shore to be picked up by a small boat in the Gulf of Mexico
One (1) such small boat, along with a driver, reserved for the date and time wherein the cruise ship passes, no questions asked
One (1) M1911A1 pistol with suppressor
One (1) plane ticket and hotel reservation to get to the cruise
One (1) bank account with minimal savings under a fake name
Three (3) not-identical waterproof survival packs containing, each:
Six (6) forms of false ID, including driver’s license, boating license, health insurance, etc.
Two (2) boxes of matches
One (1) simple water purifier and one dozen (12) plastic water bottles
Three hundred (300) dollars in cash
One (1) cell phone with one (1) month’s worth of calling for contingencies
One (1) flashlight with six (6) extra packs of batteries
One (1) copy of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves
Two (2) rolls of duct tape
One (1) multi-tool
One (1) 80-foot bungee cord with rigging equipment and carabiners.
Four (4) phone numbers of prospective apartment owners in the general South Florida area
And that was all. It seems like a short list looking back, but the vast majority of this took a long time to acquire. The worst being the boat-driver combo and the pistol. The boat-driver because they kept asking me why I needed to be picked up in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, and the pistol because it takes time to get a gun and even more so for a suppressor.
Every day I confirmed that I had all of it. The only things I hadn’t packed from my apartment were my computer (I’d replace it eventually) and my bed. I didn’t entertain guests at all in this time, even less than I normally would have, on the off-chance that one asked me what I was packing for, because I couldn’t half tell them.
Then the day came.
I gave the guy who drove my cab to the airport $30.
Once on the boat, I had two days. Most of the guests had five. I did my share of cruise-type things while I was there—played shuffleboard, drank a little too much. Honestly I didn’t see what the big deal about all of it was. It was fun, sure, but all of it was fun I could have had somewhere else without the crowds and the children.
The boat passed close the coast at 7 PM. I stood on the upper deck watching the shoreline for probably 20 minutes waiting on my guy and his boat. He got there at 7:13. I had dropped two of my bags with him and had my third.
He pulled the boat up to the side of our ship. I dropped a quarter off the side, and whether it hit his deck or not, it got close enough that he got the signal. He lit his lighter twice. I had ten minutes.
I got as fast as I could down to the maintenance deck without calling too much attention to myself. Eight.
The bungee cord took a few seconds unaccounted for to unravel. Six. I took a few moments to gather up my nerve enough to jump off of the edge of the ship. Two.
I was on the boat, with three survival packs, flying at 35 mph across the open Gulf, after those two minutes had passed. This was what I always imagined when people talked about cruising. That’s a boat. Not a giant, floating city, that’s just a city.
I had the pistol in the bag that I had on me.
I had to use it.
I had to use it. Otherwise there’d be no body.
The owner was paying no attention. I didn’t even have to watch, just set up my shot. I could look away.
Then pull the trigger.
That trigger would be the event horizon. All of this, I could just turn back. Go home. Live the rest of my life as me, having just returned from a cruise that I went on for no apparent reason.
Until I pulled that trigger.
I had about fifteen minutes until the boat got back to the coast. That would be the end of it.
Fifteen minutes to work up the nerve to kill a man.
I didn’t even know the guy’s name. He meant nothing to me, his death wouldn’t either.
But it would to someone.
“Hey, how much fuel have you got in her? Is there enough for me to take her for a bit of a joyride? I’m really in no hurry to get back to the coast, you know.”
“Probably 20 minutes’ worth? I wouldn’t take more than five off-course if I wanted to be sure of it. You got a license?”
As a matter of fact, I had three, none of which were my real name. I flashed one at him.
“Sure. Just make it quick.”
The boat wasn’t hard to drive. I could still see the cruise ship on the horizon. The bungee cord was still hanging off the side. If I really wanted to I could go back and get back on. Or I could ram the boat into the side. Kill both of us.
But I didn’t really want to die. Yet. Just a chance to start over. I had bought myself a few extra minutes by driving.
How long had it been? I hadn’t been keeping track. Nor had I been watching the compass.
The gun was feeling heavier in my bag every second.
“You can have the wheel back. Go ahead and take her ashore now.”
I took it out. The thing was as heavy as it had seemed. I had practiced shooting both suppressed and unsuppressed quite a bit, and there was no way I was missing at this range anyway. But my hands hadn’t been sweating, and the pulse in my fingers hadn’t been quite so strong, and the pulse in the target hadn’t been at all.
He was paying no attention. This was my moment.
I raised the gun. I aimed down the sight, arms extended.
I held my breath.
I turned the safety off.
I held my breath.
I squeezed the trigger.
It’s interesting how little sounds will reverberate on the open sea. I had practiced in a small, enclosed firing range. The sound had a different overtone. Sharper, almost.
Then a thud. The driver hit the deck of the boat.
I caught the shell in my right hand then promptly dropped it. It rolled off the deck and into the ocean. I did the same with his body. I took out my boating license and glanced at it.
I drove on towards the shore.
Posted on 6 March 2012
Posted on 21 November 2011
Growing up in Pensacola I found it to be a bit dry and dusty in the culture department until I was old enough to go out and explore. I was pleased to find some real gems and I really would love to share my experiences.
Please note. I do not live in Pensacola. I grew up there, currently residing in Chicago. I get down there every few months to visit family. Some places have closed / moved / or been morphed together. Keep that in mind when viewing this list. I'm just trying to give something back to all my fellow Redditors who may be slightly bored in Pensacola. I will be moving back in a few months and will be editing this post or resubmitting it after that time.
[EDIT: I am resubmitting because it didn't show up the first time so sorry in advance if this is a double post]
If looking for additional info about upcoming events be sure to check out the IN weekly newspaper, it is the only "independent" newspaper in the area. They provide pretty good coverage of local events for the indie community. You can read whole issues of the paper online at http://inweekly.net/wordpress/
Additions / Edits / Alterations will be done upon request and anything you have to add will be appreciated, Enjoy!
Revolver A great selection of everything from acoustic folk to speed metal. Also a pretty good selection of indie hip hop, neo-soul, and jazz. Run by Eric, former owner of East Hill CD exchange. No website found 9 East Gregory St. (in the old Subterranean Book store)
Tom's Records & Tapes A ridiculous and absurd junk-pile of fantastic. Apparently this place has been taken over by the good folks from the Music Box (formerly on the corner of main & E street). I have not had the chance to check it out but from what I remember, Tom was not always known for his ability to handle his LP's and CD's with any kind of care. However you can still catch some amazing finds for practically pennies. 3960 West Navy Blvd
Sluggo's This place has existed in one for or fashion since I can remember. The newest incarnation is in an old restaurant on Cervantes. The place fashions itself to be a Vegan cafe, offering up tasty food and drinks during the day and transforming into a music venue after the kitchen closes. They have shows 2-3 times per week of various types of music. They have a website that has a listing of upcoming events as well as a menu. 2403 W. Cervantes St. Sluggo's
Vinyl Music Hall This place is brand spankin new and is located in the heart of the new downtown Pensacola. The building is actually the old masonic lodge from the 1920's. I have yet to attend a show here but they have booked some pretty major acts to come through (Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings / the Ying Yang twins / the Psychadelic Furs). If they keep it up this may well be the great music venue that this area has so desperately needed. They have a website with upcoming shows / contact info / etc. 2 S. Palafox Place Vinyl Music Hall
The Handlebar This is a bar. A great indie hangout that serves PBR and other types of alcohol. I haven't been inside in a number of years but last I remember they have a pretty good juke box. They have shows 2-3 times week and have a history of bringing in some real talent. I suggest that if you enjoy drinking PBR and listening to old punk records on a jukebox, this is your new favorite bar. They have a website but it appears to be down or under construction, it has a list of shows up until the end of March. 319 N. Tarragona St. The Handlebar
Seville Quarter Well I said this was an indie post but this place is a pretty trendy club. They play alot of booty music, they have a piano bar and some country stuff. However they do occasionally have bands like AFI come through and kick the doors off the place. Just keep an eye on them because they might surprise you every once in a while. 130 E. Government Street, Seville Quarter
End of the Line Cafe Not sure if this place is still open but it was once a great venue for shows as well as the only vegan gig in town. Website is unclear. When you drive by it does appear to be open. Keep an eye out for events at this space. 610 E. Wright St. End of the Line Cafe
American Legion Hall This old hall occassionally has live music, but as far as I can tell there is no organized website or system for finding upcoming events. I will edit if I find this information. 1401 West Intendencia Street, Pensacola, FL
Baileys Farmers Market The best locally grown produce available in Pensacola (in my humble opinion). This store is owned by a co-op of local farmers and the business shows the ups and downs of the agriculture market (ie. they have had to close from time to time due to changes in crop prices). However their latest establishment is a large open air building that lets the sun shine on the fresh produce. Not sure about the "organic-ness" of the food but I doubt you will find anything as fresh as this. Go in the morning to get the best selection of ingredients (they offload the trucks at like 4am I think). No website found 4301 N. Davis Highway
City Grocery Another great market filled with artesinal foods / wines / and snacks. They have all types of prepared foods and a great wine selection. People rave about their sandwiches, which are made to order by energetic young folks. A very neighborhood feel, they host a BBQ roast on the weekend with the big smoker out front going all day. No website found 2050 North 12th Avenue
Ever'man's Natural Foods The best organic / natural foods market. They have been around since the early 90's and have established themselves as the ultimate authority on all things natural in the area. All your vitamins and granola needs are met here. Website lists products, directions, info on membership, etc. 315 West Garden Street Ever'man
Photography / Art / Film stores
Pensacola Photo Supply Carries a bunch of industrial type equipment if you need it. They have a new location and I have not been inside of it, but I did go in a few times at their old location. Website shows the products they sell, hours, location, etc. 410 E. Wright St. Pensacola Photo Supply
Rob's Camera I have not been into this store, but from the looks of the website they cater to the more amatuer photographers. Almost seems like a Ritz camera affiliate. Website lists products, studio rentals, events, etc. 6895 N. 9th Ave. Rob's Camera
Action Film Supply Not sure if this business is still open but its where I bought a Canon AE-1 for $75. They had a great selection of refurbished cameras / film and various equipment. No website found or other information. 3048 W. Scott St.
Gulf Breeze Cinema 4 Pretty much the only game in town for documentaries and indie movies. Located in Gulf Breeze, they often show movies that have been out for a while, get alot of critical acclaim, or seem interesting. As I can determine ticket prices are pretty reasonable as well. Website lists current movies / showtimes / contact info and all that jazz. 1175 Gulf Breeze Parkway (Gulf Breeze) Gulf Breeze Cinema 4
A & E Fabric Variety I have not been into this store. However, from yelp reviews and google info, it seems this place is a real gem for those into knitting / quilting / fabric work. No website. 923 N. New Warrington Rd.
Bobe's Hobby House I have not been into this store since I was a very small boy. From what I can find / remember they specialize in models, railroad, puzzles and the like. I know this store has been around for a long time. The website had to be designed around 1996 but it lists contact info, hours and location. 5719 North W Street Bobe's Hobby House
Sports / Other
Deepsouth Skatepark I have not been into this place / Do not skate / know nothing about this type of place. However I have heard good things about it. Website found is for a clothing company? 3951 Meldum Ave. Deepsouth
Liberty Lanes / Phoenix Crossing It is a bowling alley that hosts the occasional show and has a skate/bike park that is outside. They do midnight bowling and all kind of different events. Website doesnt go into much detail. 3200 N. Palafox St. Liberty Lanes / Phoenix Crossing
Waterboyz I have not been into this place / Do not surf / know nothing about this type of place. I know it is a locally owned surf shop. They sponsor local skaters and surfers and provide a surf report. Website lists prducts sold, surf report, photos, events, contact, info, etc. 380 N. 9th Ave. Waterboyz
Innerlight The old standby for all things surf/skate. This place basically brought surfring to the area and has probably the biggest following. They have 4 locations and have tons of equipment, boards, clothes, etc. Website has all the product info, the most reliable surf report (or so I am told) and contact info and events. The founder of this store recently passed away and there are lots of wonderful memorials to his life on the website. 203 Gulf Breeze Parkway (Gulf Breeze) 6307 North 9th Avenue (Pensacola) 862-A Highway 98 East (Destin) 3800 Gulf Shores Parkway, Suite 146 (Gulf Shores) Innerlight
Well I hope you found this helpful. Now go out and explore that beautiful city, it has alot to offer!
Posted on 30 March 2011