I was walking up Yosemite Creek with my friend Camera Jim and I was recalling an event there with some of my friends, some snow and, I suspect, a few beers, or some Jack Daniels (this was many years ago), where I was challenged and convinced by one of my friends to fully immerse my bragging hiney into the previously mentioned, same said 32 degree creek. It was obviously 32 degrees, because it was in many places covered with ice.
Anyway, I did and took his $100. The rules were that I had to get wet to my neck, and stripping to the skin was my idea (let's keep in mind that this was a long time before that crazy Bear Grills was around encouraging unknowing people to do stupid life threatening things while alone and far from help in the wild).
I told Jim another story too, in the morning when we were camped at Camp 4. I told him a story about an Indian (native) I met in Camp 4 years before. His name was Norman. Norman was from Los Angeles and was returning to nature. He was going to live off the land. In Yosemite Valley. He told me he was going to shoot a deer with a bow and arrow, cook it and eat it. I was really suprised when the next night Norman had a rack of ribs over the fire ... deer ribs.
He offered to share, but I declined ... " I have stuff to eat."
The following day when I returned from a hike my other companions in the camp told me that the Rangers had come for Norman ... and that they had defended my gear ... "It's not Normans" ...
Apparently Norman had gone down to Merced River to bathe. His nudity provoked a response from the Rangers, and they arrested him. Apparently it's ok to shoot a deer in the NP but not to be naked.
I've been unemployed for a while, and I've been sketching out a new catchier resume. I thought maybe a photo of myself and a few photos I've taken might liven it up. During the process, I began to realize that things like being a 7th grade volunteer lunch time recreation advisor for the 3rd-5th grade playground at the neighboring school might be an indicator of a serious life long commitment to leadership in recreation. And that more recent events in my life may also be indicating same, I started making lists of the "important" things I'd been doing. Volunteer photo work for environmental groups, Photo workshops I'd attended and helped with, workshops I'd conducted on my own, certifications like these:
ScrumMaster, Certified by the Scrum Alliance.
Wilderness First Responder, Certified by Northern Arizona University Rescue Medicine thru 01/2012
Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (CPR and AED), Certified by the American Heart Association thru 01/2011
Basic Plus CPR, AED, and First Aid for Adults, Certified by Medic First Aid International thru 10-1-2010
And suddenly I was thinking of the wilderness training I 'd had, you know, Indian guides at 5 yrs, old. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Webelos, Eagle Scouts, my knot tying badge, 8th grade wilderness first aid, vision quest, shaman training ... and then I started thinking about my more recent and important training:
Intro to Sea Kayaking, Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking Center, Sausalito, CA
Kayak Roll, Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking Center, Sausalito, CA
Sea Kayak Surf Zone, Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking Center, Sausalito, CA
Climbing Belay, Mission Cliffs (Touchstone Climbing), San Francisco, CA
Basic Climbing Skills, Mission Cliffs (Touchstone Climbing), San Francisco, CA
Then I really started thinking how all this training doesn't really cover what I actually know. Ironically, this is true in many aspects of my life. Things like:
Backcountry Safety and Hygiene
And how none of it even comes close to suggesting the way that my very presence in a workplace improves the general health of the workplace be my being a constant advocate for fitness, health, good diet, and ongoing exercise. How do you write that in your resume? Maybe a list of your climbing skill level, combined with all the adventures:
Yosemite – Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Little Yosemite Valley, Badger (Winter).
Canyonlands – Chesler Park, The Needles
Desert Tortoise Conservation Area
Olympic National Park
Missisippi River Headwaters
Prarielands National Park
Saguaro National Park
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Memphis Blues Festival
Well, I am thinking ... It's all pretty ridiculous at this point. There's no way that list will ever demonstrate any thing about what actually happened. The not getting lost. Navigating in the dark without a flashlight. Hiking with my father. The trails found, rattlesnakes not biting me, falling into the river, or not ... the crossings, the photos, the traveling companions passing out in the shower, plane flights, gear issues ... eating raw octopus and drinking soju in Choung Ju, South Korea. The companionship, leadership, following, friendship, the teaching, the stories told, or not ... a sandwich in a two table cafe in the alps, or life without mushrooms ... or just something as simple as not being stripped of my possessions by the gypsies on a bridge over the river in Paris.
There's so much of what I am that I can't possibly explain. Especially not in a resume or Curriculum Vitae format. There haven't actually been that many people that have bothered to really know. Maybe there's 5 or 6. One was my (umm -- ex) wife, who I never really talk about in my blog. Another is my daughter, who I don't talk about that much, either. Another is one of my lifelong friends that I studied art with early in my life. More signifigantly is the woman who liked to hit the road and swim (naked) in every backwater puddle we could find. So I said ... maybe my resume needs to be a list of the waters that I've been naked in:
Salmon River, Idaho
Clearwater River, Idaho
St. Joe River, Idaho
Weir Creek, Idaho
Lochsa River, Idaho
Coeur D’Alene River, Idaho
Snake River, Washington
Columbia River, Washington
Illinois River, Oregon
Mokelumne River, California
Stanislaus River, California
Eagle Creek, California
Tuolumne River, California
Keough Hot Springs, California
Hot Creek, California
Mono Lake, California
Crystal Springs Lake (shhh!), California
Little Yosemite Creek, California
Russian River, California
Rock Creek, California
Cottonwood Spring, California
Colorado River, Arizona
That's 22. I think that's pretty impressive. How many places wet have you been naked in?
Other waters I’ve been in or on.
Lake Berryessa, California
Lake Mendocino, California
East Walker River, California
San Francisco Bay, California
Eel River, California
Truckee River, California
Sacramento River, California
Seal Slough, California
Pacific Ocean, California
Sherman Island (SF Bay Delta), California
Puget Sound, Washington
San Juan River, Colorado
Lake Minona, Wisconsin
Huron River, Michigan
Missisippi River, Minnesota
Atlantic Ocean, Florida
Lake Kanasatka, New Hampshire
Pemigewasset River, New Hampshire
Some frozen lake near Whistler Mountain, British Columbia
Mediterranean Sea. Marseilles, France
That's 20 ... Once I met this woman on line and she accused me of not being a water person, because I don't much like boats. I think the truth is ... I'd rather be naked in the water than in a boat.