The journey jitters. I've got them. Well, I did. It comes in waves. This mad crazy heat doesn't help when the jitters hit. Excitement feels like panic feels like anxiety attack feels like hurry gulp a shitton of cold water and breath breath breath slowly dammit calm the fuck down omfg.
But the rest of the time I'm good.
I successfully turned this crazy pile of shit
into something organized and sensible.
Pretty much ready to head out, just gotta load it all into the orange rocketship. The original plan was to do that over the next two days, but seeing as it's planning on being 100 degrees F (as in fuuuuuuuuck it's hot) the next two days and/or what feels like the rest of our lives and I have items like camp stove fuel and chocolate and bear spray and bug spray and rubbing alcohol and important medications and supplements, we have to wait until Friday morning before work to load up. Even then we still gotta wait to load the fuel and sprays and cooler until after work. I say we, but Pilot never helps me load anything into the car except himself. Still, the pre-travel jitters have been a group effort so I'll include him in the planning.
Pilot definitely did not help me with this, though.
He's too short and thumbless for such tasks.
Assembly went surprisingly well. I thought it might be a hassle but it was pretty straightforward.
The quality grade grease was not included, but fortunately I have a vat of very high quality stuff.
After a considerable amount of grunting, shoving, swearing, and sweating, plus one surprise trip to the hardware store at 9pm to make it work, the rooftop basket now has a full-sized spare tire inside it. But by the time I had that installed it was dark and I was sweaty and thirsty and tired and as a result neglected to take a picture that would have turned out blurry and been otherwise pointless other than the point of proving something that doesn't need proving. I know I did it so that's all that matters. I also know what big fucking pain in the ass it will be if I need to get that tire down to swap it out and what a bigger pain in the ass it will be to get a floppy deflated tire back up there, but it's better than being stranded in the Arctic and getting eaten by a polar grizzly hybrid.
That does have a bit of a romantic ring to it, though.
This is the crow perch I installed prior to installing the roof basket. I also installed one temporary crow named Junior to confirm that the perch could hold the weight. You gotta test these things out. Make sure they work.
Outside of the business of getting ready and working extra hours to try and float me through the next month without getting evicted or having my car impounded, things have been all right. One of my regular clients at work gave me the coolest send-off tip:
One quarter cup of Canadian currency.
I know my Canadian friends are saying uh, ok, Canadian dollar coins, BFD, but it's super rad if you aren't a Canadian and this isn't your currency but it will be for a good part of the coming month on the road. US dollars are cool, too. I got a few generous tips in those as well. But this tip was by far the neato-est.
I'm going to miss the fuck out of my crow friends. I haven't been taking many pictures or videos this past week because I want to be present with them.
Bo and Lorena still have a fledgling. Junior's babies are about to leave the nest. The Chicken Family's babies are fledging now and I got to meet one of them today and didn't get a single scolding from any of the parents because they trust me and Pilot completely.
It's hard to miss this time of the year with them. And it's easy. Lots of babies die, and I always get attached and it always hurts when they disappear forever or when I drive down the road and see a smear of blood and black feathers that used to be someone's baby. At least this way I won't get a chance to get attached until I get back. Except for the fact that I already named this kid Roamie and spent five minutes cooing to them until they fell asleep in a weird baby crow neck contortion that looked both freakish and adorable.
Baby crows are definitely not the cutest baby birds in the world. They may even be some of the ugliest. That's why they grow up to be so incredibly beautiful.
Always good to end a blog on a crow note.
All pictures and words copyright Anna Horvitz (me) and cannot be used without my consent.