Adventure, The Great Adventure, Travel

An Overdue Update on the Rogue Priest

I publish here every Wednesday or Thursday. Last week, that didn’t happen—possibly for the first time in Rogue Priest history. While I announced the delay by Twitter, I think it’s time for an update on what’s going on.

First, for those of you who asked, all is fine. I went back to New Orleans for a final one week visit before the trek to Mexico, although I had still intended to publish here as normal. I arrived in time for Krewe du Vieux, the first parade of Mardi Gras (which is not what you think it’s like). It was a weird reprise of last year, more fun because we took an easier pace, but a different kind of thrill when you’re not the newbie.

Also during this trip, I managed to come down with a severe stomach flu (not related to Krewe du Vieux). I’m going to blame that for the lack of posting, although there may have been some vacationitis in the mix as well. I always want to have three, four weeks of posts written in advance so that I never fall behind, but I rarely pull it off.

The stomach flu also delayed my departure from NOLA back to Texas, which I don’t mind. I’ve just gotten final word that my sole kayaking partner has bailed, so if I paddle 160 miles from Corpus to the border I will be doing so alone. I’ll need to have a final talk with Ken about that and make some decisions. If I don’t paddle it I’ll be bicycling it, which is an easy three days but sounds so depressing after months of training on a kayak.

Either way, in a fortnight I should be on my way across the Mexican border and on to rendezvous with my esteemed Mexican colleague the Wandering Dragon. After resting my feet at his estate I’ll have to decide where I’ll live for my Mexican sabbatical, my last chance to perfect my Spanish before I bike or walk one end of their country to the other.

It’s an exciting time, in many ways, and although it’s a whirlwind of uncertainty I’ve learned to embrace the confusion. As so many of you wonderful readers have pointed out, the unknown is a huge part of what I’m doing, even why I’m doing it. And while some people who know me may say I’m not a planner, accepting that level of unknown has often pushed me far beyond my comfort level—I do, in the end, like a plan. But more and more my confidence grows in the adventure itself, and I gain a better compass of my capabilities and needs, and that makes it easier—so, so much easier—to embrace just jumping into a new experiment.

And that’s what’s going on with me. What’s going on with you? What new adventures or experiments are you undertaking?


15 thoughts on “An Overdue Update on the Rogue Priest

  1. Jim Peterson says:

    I’m 20 months from retirement or I’d join you. Between now and then, I’ve designed and built a scale model of what I’ve been calling my Camper Greenhouse Sunspace Thing. It’s all constructed on a 30′ RV-style fifth wheel frame that I stripped down to the metal and painted primer gray. With a brush! The 8′ long elevated portion and 10′ of the lower level adjacent to it will be my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and dining area. This portion will remain permanently attached to the trailer frame.
    Behind that is a 14′ long greenouse and the rear 4′ of it is a covered deck with screened walls and the future location of my hammock. The plan is to back this affair into a calm lake somewhere and float that section up and OFF the trailer. Then I’ll tow it to a remote cove with my 9′ cataraft (on a very calm day) powered by a MinnKota 30 electric trolling motor. The big plan is to spend the whole summer in and around my greenhouse, growing food in elevated containers with at least two hens providing nutrient for my fertigation (all irrigation water includes diluted nutrient which I make myself from fermented chicken poo). The money I save in the summer months (living very close to FREE) will be used to finance winter adventures that I otherwise couldn’t afford. Until then, I adventure — vicariously — through people like you!

    • Jim, I LOVE this plan!! I can picture your CGST perfectly. I love that it’s like a multi-stage rocket. Or something.

      Just last week I was dreaming up a scheme for taking a fruit truck and turning it into the world’s best caravaning wagon. Translucent greenhouse roof panels is a big part of my vision. Maybe some day, after my body-powered adventure, this will be a reality.

      Do you know where your winter adventures will be taking you? You’re someone I would love to meet up with.

      • ===========
        Per my winter adventures (once I retire in Oct 2015), I’ve no firm plans aside from making my way back to Thailand. I haven’t been there since 1975 (military) but enjoyed my year there immensely . . . I’m sure a lot has changed . . . hopefully I can still recognize something familiar? I’m inspired by one guy who rode his bike 6500 miles (West coast of the U.S. to East coast and back!) to celebrate his 65th birthday. I’ve also contemplated riding the ridge trail from Canada to Mexico — thought that will be more like an ultimate ‘summer’ adventure. I have long lists of places to go — things to see — may have to start getting them a little more organized!

        • I’ve heard of that guy! There was also a gent who walked all the way around the world (ships over oceans obviously) when he retired in his 60s. He was from Canada, but I don’t remember any other details. I think you’ll really enjoy bicycling… I met a lot of older men on the trails who were often handling it much better than I was (typically they had better equipment and lighter, faster bikes).

          I’d love to hear how Thailand has changed since 1975 and what you find to be the same. I really enjoyed northern Thailand. Everyone raves about Chiang Mai but I would only use it as a landing place/staging ground and then stick more to the villages… it’s not the “big village” feel that backpackers say it once was.

  2. Living in Jakmel, Haiti for Kanaval 2014? Yeah! My big adventure this time is that I will be on my own next month without a net and I’m still Haitian Kreyol poor. Here’s to the lovely people I’m randomly helping with their English, deciding to take pity and helping me with my Kreyol!

    • Ecstatic, that sounds amazing! Having no Kreyol was the hardest part of my time in Haiti. I never made it to Jakmel, though it came with high recommendations. What is Kanaval like down there? I’m so excited for you!

  3. Ha, I just read this post and had just made my own post update on what’s going too. In summary I’ve an article that will be printed in a magazine, studying and hopefully soon posting on how we ended up with the civil calendar we have, Going from a few years long No-Poo (shampoo) method to trialing the Water-Only Method (a week into it so far), Getting involved with the SCA (Society of Creative Anachronism) and will be going to one of their events this summer and at the same time meeting with some old friends there, Working out some details on felting mitts and articles of clothing, joined the local Food Network to promote local, yard, community and school gardens, for supplying the island with healthy food, it’ll be the first spring for my permaculture food forest pilot project on clover hill farm, I’ve already got some folks interested in having me do some food forests in the area (I have to figure out what I should charge for my work), and working on publishing a website as a Saegoah Resource for the island in which all sustainable resources and activities on the island will be found there.

    You can read all the details here:

    Glad to hear you’re doing well and hope you all the best in what ever direction you decide on going with.

    • I’m really excited for your permaculture pilot!

      How does your hair smell with No-Poo? I’ve heard from other people who tried it that their hair looked fine, but ended up with a “wet dog” smell, especially when wet.

      • I had been using dove soap for a full head to toe wash and didn’t smell like anything in particular from what I could tell. I think your diet would have a lot to do with how you smell and I’ve been having the majority of my meals be vegetarian. Canines and other carnivores have a meat heavy diet and all smell similar. The traditional hunting methods here used to incorporate being a strict vegetarian for over a week or so and having a lot of sweat lodges to “cleanse” before the hunt – which is likely done because you don’t smell as much like a predator. So I wouldn’t be surprised if that is why you’d smell like wet dog – you likely have a meat heavy diet.

        So far I’m into my 3rd week of Water Only. I’m well past the oily phase (which I think was quick thanks to already having done the No-Poo) and am now getting past the waxy build-up phase in which you do a lot of preening (brushing) from the scalp to the tips to remove the excess. I’m told that eventually you’re hair reaches an equilibrium and all you need to do is preen (brush a lot) and continue to ensure you rub from scalp to tips thoroughly ever time you wash. I’ve been doing the Water Only Method for the whole body (with the exceptions of hand washing and if you’re covered in dirt – soap is still of great benefit). I’ve found that I don’t miss the deodorant and learned that the yellow staining you get at the armpits of your shirts is the sweat reacting to the application on your armpit. With Water-Only you just need to wash your pits with a damp cloth now and then, usually daily minimum, and likely more often in hotter weather. I’ve also found that I’m not having acne break outs anymore. On top of all that I’m saving money and avoiding polluting with conventional products (the harvesting practices, manufacturing, shipping, end of product use garbage etc.). Thus far, I’m sold.

        • Fascinating. Thank you Rua. And yes, I’ve definitely noticed the difference in how wildlife react to me when I’m eating meat vs. not…. it’s stunning what a difference it makes.

  4. I’m grappling with loneliness… probably the most intense, complex, and potentially life-threatening episode ever (one can hope). I am also waiting for a certain email… :P
    Glad to hear you’re still coming, my friend and brother and “esteemed colleague”. San Luis Potosi and the Palace of the Emerald Gates await you. Looking forward to it! :)

  5. Pingback: Riding the wind from Texas to Mexico |   Rogue Priest

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