In the past week, in the span of 7 days, I managed to strand myself on a new shore, lose a drone (yeah, it's gone), break my sunglasses, bust a pair of sandals and slice my foot on an oyster (wasn't bad, luckily). All separate incidents too. All of which has led me to the conclusion that it's the perfect time for a break. Which is exactly what I have planned. One Hundred Shores has me in deep, but I'm happy I can look back on everything with brevity and share that's it not all inspiring sunsets and resilient shorelines.
The stranded story stems from a pitfall of push-button ignition switches (and forgetful drivers). Most vehicles have an alarm when the keys are removed from the vehicle while the vehicle is still running. My truck is not one of those vehicles. So when I start my truck, then decide to drop a bag in my tent which happens to have my keys in it, and then drive away to a Rappahannock shoreline 10 miles down river, my only hope would be to leave the truck running. Unfortunately, I didn't do that. It's no wonder I usually just leave my keys in the truck. After spending 20 minutes panicking and popping the hood to try and diagnose the reason my truck wouldn't even turn over (like that would help), the idiocy of the moment set in. So I started walking (phone/ gps was charged, at least). Luckily for me, within 10 minutes of starting to hoof it, the kind folks in Virginia let me bum a ride back to my tent to set me on my way. In those 10 minutes of walking though, I started to think about some of the other not so glamorous moments (so far!) of One Hundred Shores.
Number of times I've left without collecting water:
4, at least. The realization of this has led to a few different responses which ranged from "well, it wasn't that cool anyways", to having to turn the truck around. The worst of these offenses was on the Eastern Shore, adding ~an hour to the trip.
Things I've lost in the Water:
Keys (again, this time off the kayak, miraculously recovered in 5 ft of water)
Camera Lens (gone)
Cell phone (gone)
Flipflops: Two Pairs
Sunglasses: Two Pairs (c'mon Rheos)
Fishing Rods: Two broken rods (someone else broke one... no names...)
One Fish hook lodged in the palm
On the plus side, no sunburns- yet! Summer is just getting started though.
Number of times I've slipped and gone in:
Let's be honest. When the signs say slippery rocks, sometimes it's true, sometimes they just don't want us on the rocks. We've all been there. There's only one way to find out.
Luckily only once, with me in it. I'm always wearing a life jacket too, fyi. My keys were not wearing a life jacket, but they were recovered amazingly.
Number of times legal action has been threatened:
Let's just say once on the Eastern Shore and once on the Western Shore. Both for relatively the same reason. As you might guess, the"incidents" (I'm overselling how dramatic they really were) involved me stopping briefly at a "private" location to collect water where I wasn't explicitly welcome. Once it happened in a private community, and once in a private marina, and both times was basically told "we call the authorities on uninvited guests". Some people just don't like a cool story (or sharing, it would seem). On the flip side, I have run into at least half a dozen DNR officers over the course of the journey. They've been much friendlier and more accommodating.
Fish I've Caught:
Thousands, at least.
Gallons of Gas:
We don't discuss those things.
Back in the studio, production mode has been at full steam. Over 60 shirts and charts have been sent out over the past two weeks. I'll be taking the next few weeks to catch up on Shore Stories and taking a break from water collecting. If you're a new One Hundred Shores shirt owner, I hope you can take it out to the shore with you!