a river, a beer, and a plan.

15 February 2012 § 2 Comments

In an inflatable ducky – essentially a two-person, sit-in kayak – I just ran the Chiriqui River for the second time in two days. In front was another Sean, though I didn’t ask him how he spelled it – he was a Vancouver Islandian who, judging by his swagger and comments about his family and habits back home, came up with money and a good support system for his football-playing, car mechanic tendencies. We worked well together, eventually, the two Seans in the orange raft, with the beat up Werner paddles I could never afford back when I had a packraft. It was a good day. Jim, a friend and owner of Boquete Outdoor Adventures, had enough confidence in me and my experience to ask me to help out with the clients, as opposed to trying to sell me a spot on the tour. I was honored, and of course, gladly accepted.

All of this makes me miss my packraft even more. I put off getting on a river in Turrialba, Costa Rica, possibly for sentimental purposes, and missed the entire rainy season and good flow for months. I’d like to think I’m making up for it, but it doesn’t change the ironic fact that in order to get to Central America, I had to sell my beloved Denali Llama and the rest of my water gear, though rivers were one major reason I came here. Good job, right?

Not knowing if this was a one-time gig, or if it could be a consistent opportunity to get serious guiding experience (in the States, I’d have to give up fishing in te summers to do this), it could very well keep me here, right when I’m in the midst of figuring out what I want to do with my life for the next couple of years. Now, I’m all about living in the present, and not committing to anything or anyone more than I can commit to myself, but when I travel long enough and far enough, certain ideas come along, and sometimes they sound like good ones, regardless of whether or not they actually happen. I don’t need them to happen, but I want to keep this list somewhere other than my head, just to see how it evolves:

what’s next for sean the ancient:

1. Leave Boquete. As much as I love it and do not want to travel through the blaring heat of Central America in February, I made a promise to be at a wedding in Miami, that of an old and dear friend, one of the only of that sort I have left, and I will be there. But I’m getting the itch to move, entonces…

2. Go North. I have a plane ticket out of San Jose, Costa Rica for middle of April. However, I don’t want to boomerang Central America, so if I go north, I’m going to keep going. Hitch through Mexico? Fly from Mexico City, or continue on and when I get to the States, ramshackle my way through the deep and humid South to a deeper and humider South Florida.

3. Get back to Alaska for commercial fishing. Of course. I need to pay for my travels somehow, and what better way than by doing what I love?.

4. Continue university. I found Evergreen College in Olympia, WA, which I wish I found many years ago, incredibly interesting – they provide to opportunity to create your own degree, your own education, the works. And their catalog is second to none that I’ve ever seen. So, with a saltshaker in one hand, I’m applying with the other for this coming autumn.

5. This one’s big, and more will come about it, and soon: Circumnavigate North America by motorcycle. Once upon a time (in the grand obituary of summer 2001), four friends made a plan to get motorcycles and ride them around the States, right after graduating high school. I was one of them. Ten years after it was supposed to happen, it finally will, in summer 2014, as long as the world hasn’t ended yet. I just have to learn how to ride first!

There it is, in all of my uncertainty, written out, or at least typed, for your entertainment. And mine. Lest we become roasted potatoes who watch Fox News and the Travel Channel, make more promises than we can keep, and proceed to say we Live Happily.

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