A Look Ahead

Mount Rainier viewed from White Pass.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

As you can see, my switchover to my new domain name, river-song.com, did not take very long. I contacted my hosting service earlier today during my lunch hour, and they had it switched for me in about 15 minutes, including reissuing my SSL certificate and forwarding the other two domains to this one. Woohoo! We’re all set to go!

Now that’s done, I thought I’d take the opportunity to lay out my plans for the year.

Avalanche trainingFirst, I’ve signed up to take a number of classes through the Mountaineers. I’ve already finished one class, Basic Snowshoeing, and I have another this Saturday and next–Wilderness Skills. I took a Wilderness Survival Basics class this past May through one of the local wilderness schools, but this one through Mountaineers is required as a prerequisite for the Essentials of Backpacking class, which I also want to take. In addition, I plan to take the Basic Navigation class to build on the skills I learned through classes I took at REI. And, of course, the Basic Sea Kayak Skills class. Lots of classes! This should give me a good foundation for my outdoor adventures.

Second, of course, is River Song itself. I have a number of projects I’d like to complete this year, including putting in a driveway, building a small dry cabin, removing the old zip line and repurposing the cable into a barrier of some kind across the top of the bluff, and building some kind of river access, either a switchback down the bluff, or steps, or something. I think I will take off a week early this summer and spend it out there, working on my projects.

I’ve been burning a lot of gasRiver Song running back and forth to River Song on the weekends. I have a big truck. It has a 5.4 liter V8 that sucks down gasoline like you wouldn’t believe. On a good day, I can get 15 mph. (I’m also a lead foot.) It’s just not cost effective to day trip out to River Song on a regular basis, especially since the work is so hard, I’ve been finding I can put in only four to six hours at a time.

Having a permanent structure will enable me to stay out there regardless of the weather (River Song is in a rain forest!), and I’ll be able to rest and split up the work day, which will be more efficient and enjoyable. Moreover, it will give me a good jumping off point for hiking the nearby wilderness and possibly even kayaking the river in Dragonfly. I know I could pitch a tent, but my neighbors are really close, as is the highway, so it just seems a little weird. Plus–and I know this is weird–I don’t feel comfortable leaving my truck parked by the side of the highway, as it is now when I go out there. I’m very protective of my trucks; I like having them where I can keep an eye on them and make sure they’re safe. I really need that driveway.

My little tentThird, I want to do more backpacking this summer, and I want to get in, at the very least, one kayak camping trip, if not more. In fact, I want to spend nearly every weekend camping in some form, either backpacking in the mountains, or kayaking on a lake, river, or even in Puget Sound. Taking classes isn’t sufficient. I need to regularly practice the skills I learn so that I can become proficient at them.

And lastly, I want to start filming again and get my YouTube channel up and running. I took a lot of video during my camping and kayaking trips in 2018, and I even made four videos for YouTube, but I never posted them. I just didn’t like them, but I learned a lot in the process, both in filming and in production. However, I took a lot of video during my trip to Mongolia, and I should be able to create at least two videos from that. I just need to set some time aside and do it. I will try to have something up by the end of February, and then I plan to video my work at River Song. So far, I’ve done a lot of brush clearing, which isn’t very interesting, but people might be interested in watching my little cabin go up, as well as building the river access. And, once that is done, I’ll video my trips.

It’s a big list, and I may not accomplish everything I want to do this year, and that’s OK. I have the rest of my life in front of me. I will accomplish as much as I can, and that will be enough. Anything else can wait until next year.

Stay tuned!

My dream kayak
My dream kayak, trying it out on the showroom floor.