Survival Outdoors on the Journey

Daley Art 10 014

Risk vs Reward Is it worth it? Driving, flying, camping, hiking skiing, boating, the workplace and home all have dangers to be prepared for. A fall, accident, weather, wildlife, weird people, equipment failure, getting lost and any loss of money/ resources can threaten your health or even your life. Your awareness of the natural world around you, plus your attitude responding to that awareness is key to success, survival!
Planning a trip is essential. Know your route numbers, service stops and rest areas. Reduce the odds of getting lost by staying on the same through road, instead of exiting onto another road unnecessarily. Through Cleveland I had choices so I breezed through the city area on I-480 en route to Michigan. Seatbelts! Get enough sleep. Avoid confrontations with aggressive drivers. Be cooperative with the police. Keep to yourself, watch your money/personal security. A variety of interstate and smaller highways breaks the monotony. No GPS or high tech navigation here; I write out worksheets for my journeys.

Outdoor hazards: Winter brings cold wind chills and snow. Always equip your vehicle with clothing, sleeping bag, extra food and water plus the requisite shovel, a good flashlight and first aid kit. In any outdoor activity cold or hot a shelter, cooking source fire/ stove and access to water is a required routine. Wind can dehydrate you even in the cold. Don’t get stuck in mud, sand traps or flooding. Watch for rockslides. Clear the tailpipe of snow if stuck and STAY with your vehicle-it’s shelter until the storm abates. Summer lightning out in the open is very dangerous; crouch low away from trees, cliffs or towers of any kind.

Wildlife usually will be afraid of you retreating. But be wary in grizzly bear country; tie a bell onto your pack to avoid surprising a bear! Moose, bison and feral pig will charge, keep your distance. Elk, deer, and wild horses though more passive will kick if threatened. Be vigilant in snake country, the western diamondback rattlesnake injects 400mg venom more than fatal. Cottonmouth and coral snakes are also serious considerations. Watch your scorpions-keep your tent zipped closed and shoes off the ground. Nationwide Poison Hotline 1-800-222-1222 Southern states are alligator habitat; sharks, jelly fish stings and other fish species will bite while ocean swimming. Watch out for rip tide currents/ undertow.

Other dangers include high surf and rocks; using a axe or chainsaw, poking your eye in the woods, busy city streets with trolleys as in Munich or other urban distractions, pickpockets and petty theft. Know where you are, be observant of your surroundings, watch the sky, be outfitted for the occasion and be prepared. Enjoy the trip, you’ll get there. There is so much to see on the way!

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I’ve Flown Again!

Dallas, Bush Center 055 My latest news angle is the completion of my first flight in 14 years. I wanted to see the new Bush Center in Dallas with the Goya exhibit at nearby Meadows Museum-both on the SMU Campus. A lot of cynicism and anger, frustration prevails in our air transportation system; I wanted to go back to see for myself what it’s like to fly these days. I wisely took one carry-on only, a small knapsack from Boston Logan to the big D or Metroplex, DFW in North Texas. I thought the TSA screening went well, for security reasons I will not describe in detail. But I thought the authorities treated me with respect if neutral in their mission to look for trouble so we can fly safely! On American they did sell ear buds for a movie, the music channels; also the two shots of bourbon I had going out. Soft drinks, juice and water was provided free of charge. The take off was dramatic for me as the 757 lifted off the ground, roaring over East Boston. My four days in NW Dallas near my hotel room were highlighted by several taxi rides, my walk to a large pond of the Trinity River system bird watching, sampling the food and shopping at a western wear store off the LBJ freeway. The return 737 trip went well after the TSA screen, landing during a climatic golden sunset as darkness descended. My next plane hopefully will take me to Alaska in 2016. Now boarding!