Road Crew

Monday, April 11, 2016

Fort Bragg

The next brown sign had a slightly different flavor.

Here my brother and his colleagues train to be superheroes and we all pretend that we don’t know anything about it. I ran by blown up jeeps, burnt out tanks and a fake city that has seen a lot of bullets.  It goes by the cheery name of Freedom Village.  Trail running at its creepiest.  I had to scale a fence to break into the area so I may or may not have permission to see such things.  The threat of people chasing after you with guns encourages a fast tempo.  I think it will gain popularity as a new training method.
Given my recent predicaments with fire and propane, my brother, a survivor of survival school, took pity on his big sister (Ok, older.  I am not exactly bigger anymore).  Always a student, I was very excited to learn from an expert.
We, of course, started with fire.  This is easy, he promised me, and this is what I learned.  It takes about an hour to collect all the right materials, from the pine needles to the tiny little sticks to the slightly bigger sticks to the large pieces of wood.  Then it takes the perfect dead stump to find the right sap.  It also requires a knife but not a good knife to dig a hole.  It requires my brother’s flint and his assistance getting the spark just right.  But he is right, with all that, it is very easy to light a fire.  I then bought a Duralog and an extra lighter.
My brother then taught me to pick a lock.  This seems useless until you have spent a day with me and discovered how much of my life I spend looking for my keys.  This got much more complicated since buying my Jeep which has “keyless” entry.  I still have not sorted this out. As every other electronic device has gotten smaller, key fobs have only gotten larger.  You need to carry around a giant key fob that fits in no pocket discreetly but there is no actual key to open the door or start the car.  I regularly find myself driving down the highway wondering where I left my keys and being content with the fact that they must be somewhere in the car or I couldn’t be going anywhere.  This also has me leaving the door unlocked because locking the door would mean actually finding the key.  The key remains lost and I simply come and go.  This way I truly do have a keyless car.  Unfortunately, I did not pass the lock-picking lesson and, thus, must continue driving around with my lost keys.
I also learned to tie knots.  We discussed situations where I would use various knots.  For example, when I am repelling out of buildings, I can use a Bachmann knot.  I discovered bowlines for when I need to ascend a tree.  I learned about an alpine butterfly in case I am climbing and my rope is breaking.  I learned about a cow hitch in case I need to tie my horse to a post.  I can do a square knot for when I have to tie two ropes together.  I have never done any of these activities but when I finally buy a length of rope, I will be well prepared.

My shinning moment came when I learned to escape from handcuffs.  I really feel like I mastered this one.  As long as my captor hands me a bobby pin after placing the cuffs, I am a free bird.  Considering my new hobby of running in forbidden territory, I feel like this one could really come in handy.

In between lesions my sister-in-law fed me lasagna, chicken enchiladas, better-than-crack Kahlua brownies, and Lucky Charms.  I slept on a real mattress and took some very long, very hot showers.  It was a five star stop on the trip and I even considered moving in.  They welcomed me to be my niece’s new live-in nanny but I am allergic to poopy diapers so I am rolling on to Shenandoah with a full belly and well rested. I might have left town with the rest of the brownies.  Many thanks for their hospitality!


  1. You got all but two of the knots names wrong but we will work on the names of the knots next time. It was late and we had been drinking so I will let it slide. Be safe

  2. Happy to hear that you guys are helping each other. As a father you know that I know everything but it is nice to have you take some of the load of opening new horizons for each other. Love you guys. Sounds like you had fun.

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