DAY 317

DAY 317
02.15.08
TREE 43

I worked at a very nice house today off Speed Avenue by Bardstown Road.  The gated backyard is filled with metal and stone sculptures.  I was tempted to ask the owner to give me a little sculptural tour during my break or lunch but he never showed his face after we first arrived.  So we went on with the laborious task of clearing brush in the slushy melting snow.  At one point, as I was shoving brush into the chipper, a severely curved and craggy limb reached around and hooked my mouth as it was getting chewed into the blades.  It busted my lip and got bark in my teeth.  The right side of my mouth was numb from the impact and when I touched my lip a little blood was on my hand.  I shut down the chipper and went to get some water.  I have got to get out of this job before I get really injured. 

After work I went straight home, showered, packed, and my parents and I left for West Virginia to see my sister and her family.  I had suggested this idea a few weeks earlier with an ulterior motive.  I never got a picture of the tree I climbed the last time I went to West Virginia.  With this trip I was going to be able to reclimb and photograph the tree at the rest stop in eastern Kentucky.  I will also be able to reclimb and photograph a tree I had climbed at a rest stop in West Virginia.  I will have to skip the tree I climbed at Tygart Lake.  Of course I want to see Amy, Sean, and Mitchell but it just works out I can do all this in one trip.

I was tired all week and slept for the first part of the ride.  Luckily I woke before we passed the rest stop with my tree.  We pulled off just after mile marker 98 on I-64 at sunset. 

I jumped out of the car and headed around the back of the building. 

I went right to my tree but couldn’t find the blue ribbon.  I checked the other tree just in case I was wrong but I it was just gone.  The maintenance people (or nature) must have taken it down.  I think they (the staff) saw me tie the ribbon those many months before.  I hopped up and began to climb this tree once again.  I was moving quickly, looking up often to check for the ribbon.  Nothing.  I got to about my previous height, which wasn’t very high. 

I looked down towards the building and saw my dad watching me. 

Then I looked within the tree for a path further up.  One was quickly found.  Up and around to multiple different leader limbs till I ran out of options. 

Light was fading fast so I took pictures quickly. 

When I was done I scrambled down the branches on a different path to mix it up.  On the ground I ran back to the building to go to the bathroom.

I’m glad I was able to get back here to reclimb this tree.  It is a perfect exercise break during a long car ride.  Heart rate rises, muscles are stretched, and fun is had.  

2-24-09:  Another confusing adjustment in the reclimbing schedule that makes no sense but to me alone.  I’ll try to explain quickly here:  I first climbed the tree above on May 11th of 2007 on my way to West Virginia to celebrate my sister’s first Mother’s Day, her birthday, and her receiving her PhD in Physics.  I should have reclimbed that tree about 3 months later, but never went back to WV then and did not get the chance till the entry above.  Got it?  Moving on…

I do feel that I should explain about the limb catching my mouth.  When it started to pull me into the chipper my leg hit the edge of the chute and triggered the safety bar which stopped the chipper blades.  There are many safety measures taken to prevent a most horrible and certain bloody death. 

So behind, 10 days of entries to catch up on here.  I knew it was going to happen but I never like the way it feels. 

I believe I am on Saturday, February 14th 2009, Valentine’s Day.  My brother and I met up with a friend of his who lives in his building, Megan.  We went to get brunch then headed to get coffee in a little place in my brother s neighborhood (which is the West Village).  On the way to the coffee shop Megan was saying how she really wanted to see me climb.  I explained how hard it is to find a tree to climb around all these apartments and not feel like I might get accused of being a peeping tom. 

But we found a treenext to a basketball court and they talked me into it. 

The street wasn’t too crowded but I waited for a few old women to walk by since I know they always disapprove, and one woman with her dog since I hate it when they bark at me. There were two old guys across the street but I figured they wouldn’t give a shit.

So up I went, shimmying the 8 or 10 foot trunk to the first limb.  I pulled myself to my feet and climbed up a few branches higher.  The tree isn’t huge and it wasn’t much of a challenge but the views were pretty cool.  I could see all different levels of buildings that surrounded me. 

At one point a woman and her dog paused below me and I don’t even think they knew I was up there. 

My brother and Megan watched from below

and so did the two guys across the street. 

No one really seemed to care and it just made me feel more comfortable to have two people with me for support.  I finished shooting then climbed back down. 

I’m not really sure what Megan thought.  I think she said she was impressed, but that’s about it.  I think that is why I want people to try it themselves more than just watch me.  The fun is in experiencing it yourself.  And like I said in the above bold entry, it is a great activity at rest stops to stretch the muscles.  Seriously, when it warms up, I highly recommend you all go out and climb a tree. 

3 Replies to “DAY 317”

  1. What Megan Thought

    Megan thought it was cool but would never have the discipline to climb everyday. And before she tries it herself, she wants that special outfit Todd wears so she doesn’t scrape herself to bits.

    Megan also likes to refer to herself in the 3rd person. But who doesn’t these days.

  2. Re: What Megan Thought

    Todd thinks he didn’t have the discipline either but tried it anyway and then became obsessed and can’t stop even if he wanted to. Todd also thinks you could easily get the same outfit. Really it’s just his pants which are Wranglers with RipStop fabric (patent pending).

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