Friday, October 3, 2014

Review of what I've done so far

Woke up early this morning.  Early for me, that is.  Okay, for some people, it is late in the evening, still.  For me, it is early in the morning.

I started to think about my trips out to Sierra Blanca and how they have been disappointing in the sense of how little I got done.  But that's being too hard on myself.  After some thought about how many things could have gone wrong and did go wrong, I'd have to say that I got about as much done as I was going to get done.  The need therefore is to have realistic expectations.  It is a challenging environment and nothing much is going to get done beyond just getting there.

Considering everything that can go wrong, there could be a nightmare scenario on every trip I take out there.  That it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean that it can't happen.  As a matter of fact, it is probably going to happen on one of these trips one of these days.  I haven't thought about that enough, and I don't want to think about it.  It is not a pleasant thing to think about that I just might get myself into a survival situation on one of these trips.

Examples?  First trip could have resulted in getting stuck in the soft dirt or mud that was in the road.  If I had pushed just a little bit harder, it would have been a nightmare scenario.  It would have been because I just wasn't prepared for the nightmare scenario.  No communication, no food, no water.  Miles away from help.  That would have been big trouble.

Second trip?  Too much dust.  It is conceivable that this could cause a mechanical breakdown.

Third trip?  Mesquite thorn went through my shoe, but did not stick into my foot.  There's nothing but dumb luck there that I didn't have a medical situation.  What then if that had happened?  A story here about something similar that did happen:  My brother "Worf" liked to go around barefoot.  He stepped on something once and cut his foot.  He arrived ( "home" because we were out of town) bleeding all over the place.  Whatever he had stepped on had struck an artery and he was bleeding profusely.  He was taken to a doctor and he was fixed up okay, but a doctor was nearby on that occasion.  Compared to that real life scenario, mine could have been a whole lot worse if that thorn had gone into my foot and struck an artery.

It may seem like I'm trying to hype things a bit while discussing these risks.  However, I am thinking at the moment that I'm not taking things seriously enough as it is.

This realization will have to go into my thinking in terms of making my plans.  That's only one thing.  The other is how to get more things done, which is what is concerning me now.  These trips are expensive.  I need a lot to show for them, because there are limited resources here to be devoted to this.

I understood this and made a detailed plan of what I wanted to do when I made that last trip.  But so many things went wrong, that I abandoned the list and didn't refer to it at all once I got there.  That's another warning right there.  Detailed lists of activities probably won't work.

No.  But there needs to be something.  A short list of objectives to refer to and the list should be short.

That means whatever reason I have in going will have to be high on the priority list and it must be kept in mind at all times.

Of course the highest priority is safety.  It just won't do to go out there and get hurt or worse.  Beyond that, it will have be according to discretion.  Anything high risk must be balanced off against safety concerns.

Reviewing what I did on these trips, I was probably following this because I probably am going to behave that way anyway without rehearsal.  The thing I need to do better is what do I do when I do have the opportunity to do something.  This is what I am trying to address.

But the situation is fluid.  Anything can happen out there and this could affect what you can do.

On that last trip, I didn't have any way to rest up.  I didn't pay attention enough to the fact that I could indeed have significant time out there and I could stay for quite awhile.  I ended up staying only a few hours.  An opportunity was missed because I got too tired and there was no way to rest up.  I didn't take food along either.  Nor did I provide for a toilet or cleaning up.  The reason I didn't do this was that I figured I could get in and out of there okay.  But there was that mudhole and that was unexpected.  Then there were the other things that were unexpected and went wrong.  The mesquite thorns and the scooter not working.  The shoes bothering my feet.  The tent that I couldn't get up.  And so forth.

My decision was to drive my way on through all the way home.  Once I got home, I was definitely wasted.

That decision was probably the big mistake.  It may have been possible to just go back to town, get a room, and try again the next day.  There may have been an opportunity to do more.

The problem here, therefore, is the tendency to make rash decisions on the fly.  There may not be much I can do about that.  It is a tendency of mine to rush things and I knew that going in, yet I did it anyway.

The biggest problem therefore, is to overcome being your own worst enemy.  Hopefully, I'm not doing that with all of this criticism.

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