You may wonder what the heck a big ass spider has to do with anything? In 2012, I travelled, I wrote, I saw, I conquered, I was defeated….Well you may have read my Christmas letter but here is the real highlights from Olaf’s 2012….at least the ones I dare put in print, which is only about half of them.
- Biggest creepy crawly thing…..this 5 inch golden weaver spider, Florida
- Best near death moment…..My Delta flight getting hit by lightning over Salt Lake City.
- Biggest Good Samaritan experience, Liz from Frankfurt sending me my painting, thanks again.
- My Dumbest moment, tie: kicking a door jam in Austria and trying to unjam my garage door by pulling the cord really hard, it broke, my head still hurts.
- Most out of shape moment, climbing the cliffs out of Black’s Beach north of San Diego,
- Strangest person I met, The great granddaughter of John Selman, the man who in 1895 shot dead the fastest gunfighter of the west: John Wesley Hardin. She owned a ranch in Woodward Oklahoma and had eleven dogs…but liked birds.
- The worst meal was on an Austrian hiking trail where what I thought was sausage and bread turned out to be cold liverwurst, bathed in vinegar with a piece of hard bread.
- Best meal was also in Austria and was a sausage that I actually did order and recieved as expected.
- Best holiday party: Midsommar in Sweden, beautiful day sitting on a rock toasting the longest day of the year with local schnapps. SKOL!
- Best beer, the one I drank at an all nude swim up bar in Munich
- Biggest f$#@’n French moment, at the Avis rental car counter in Nantes, France and getting charged $160 for sand in the car.
- Best idea, our friend Stuart bringing a box of wine and Jan bringing plastic cups to a French beach.
- Memorable or forgetable ‘oh sh%t’ moment: The border agent south of Thunder Bay, Canada, asking “do you guys really live ‘here?’” Then he asked, “so what will I find when I search your truck?”
- Best 2012 effort in will power…..refusing to watch even one full inning of baseball and following through.
- Best effort in packing…..going to Europe for two weeks and fitting all you need in a backpack…..well it depends on where you go.
- Best birding trip…..Sacramento
- Worst birding trip…..Fergus Falls Minnesota without boots and walking a half mile through a marsh in April to see prairie Chickens.
- Best Bird: Boreal Owl. Christmas Eve, Wisconsin
- Worst end of a streak: Getting my first ticket in 23 straght highway stops.
- Best begining of a streak: 306 birds…
- Biggest waste of effort in 2012: Voting.
- Best effort: Climbing to the top of Alpine trail in Austria
Well that is enough about me for 2012, 2013…..now that the Mayan’s have punted, well, it will be a crazy year with eight months of birding glory until my world record. Maybe some of you can handle what I’m doing, some of you can’t.
I have long ago realized that my life is different than many. But it doesn’t have to be just me. You, too, can live an adventure. We only have one life and as such, it is all of our responsibilites to do what we can to live it to its fullest. I can’t tell you half of what I did last year and you wouldn’t beleive it or understand it anyhow. Last night at Papagayo in St Martin…..well you who know, well you know and understand, the rest well can’t. I need stories to tell when I’m old and can’t walk and dang it, I’m making them now.
But adventures awaits in Grantsburg, Minot, Braham….anywhere, and you don’t need money, usually having little money makes the adventure more of one. Think of something you’ve always wanted to do and do it in 2013. Make that your resolution. God won’t be punishing, he will be smiling.
Have a good 2013 my friends, I will