The Neil Blog: Edited for the first time in six years. First time. Why? I don’t understand but I did it.
The ultimate change: Back to where I’m from. Gave up being a fishing guide. Gave up on Florida. Restarted in Arizona. A good change, I escaped the calamity of Red Tide. A new start at an old place. It is somewhat odd. But, I bought property. The work has to be done but I am a mountain man. No more camping: I have my place.
So, I got here, it was hot. Overall, Florida is hotter. But I like it. I haven’t even gotten to where I want to be yet but I’m happier here than I was in Florida. IDeleted: My ex girlfriend is demented.
My time in the mountains has been delayed. Seasonal wildfires, the campgrounds are closed. I haven’t found out if I can get in there if I don’t have a fire. I need to get up there to look at properties. How fast will all of that happen? I’m not sure. But I will be working on it. My new home will eventually be in “Greer.” Or near it. I will be getting up there any time now. (Update: I’ve been nearly everywhere. Also, broke up with Leah. That ate up two days getting stuff out of her house. But I’m back in Mountain Man Mode).
I will continue doing things like I did in Florida. I have already gotten things started. My past efforts mean something here. I’ll see what I can do in this part of the world. A lifetime in pictures, now, it’s going to be Arizona freshwater fish. A change. Maybe I was never really that important? It doesn’t matter. The people who won’t be happy to read it: I know what I did. My father tipped his hat. It’s just “over.” I’m out. I don’t even live there anymore. The lakes, so much water gone, my effort will be to see if wells can be dug and ground water can assist. It’s the rainy season but some of the lakes haven’t been getting nearly enough water. Water issues are a constant here.
June 25th, closing date. The house: In the past. That money comes in and I buy a vehicle. I’ve been without a vehicle for two weeks, first time since I was 15 years old. The new vehicle: Red. Unreal the features on these newer vehicles. It is going to take me a month to understand everything that I can do with it. A 2019, it should last me a long time. Awaiting my belongings to arrive. When they do, life goes back to normal. Update: It arrived. I have all my stuff. At my girlfriends, I had to get it out of there so my life is in storage.
Being in Arizona is somewhat surreal. Watching the news and seeing all this stuff about my hometown and that surrounding area. I have to get out and look around. I have to learn the new roads. I have to reconnect with who is still here. Mountains. Not used to having mountains as scenery. It is a throwback for me. All these things I grew up with, I have them back again. The forecast: Five days of rain. I don’t remember five days of rain when I lived here before. My hopes are that it kills the fire danger. With the rain, getting better. You are allowed to cook and have fires in the White Mountains again. It was OK down at Parker Canyon but they have now opened it back up in the north country.
Up north: My youth. Down south, my college years. Spent considerable time both places. Going back north again for a longer period of time. Meeting with the realtor. Making some progress on that.
Roxana was worried I was homeless. With the breakup with Leah, I guess I kind of am. Jim Stone doesn’t care how much I stay with him. But, I’m a mountain man now. I took him down to experience it. He liked it. It was almost cold at night. Right next to the Mexico border. Now, with negotiations, if I get the property I’m looking at it becomes a project. There electricity. I’d have to figure out the water. I would have to figure out the house part.
Parking places where Dad took me: I sat in those locations for hours. Hands over my head. He loved it at those places. It was how he spent his off time. A break from the hospital, he enjoyed the fishing but the beauty did not escape him. He had his time. It is a shame he couldn’t have had better quality of life and had five more years but that just wasn’t the way it worked out.
Facebook: The biggest celebrity death that affected you? Prince?? Don’t walk into traffic.
Making progress: Not easy. No place in Tucson could put a trailer hitch on for me. Roof rack for the van: Dealers in Tucson didn’t have the parts. I finally found them on my own. When it arrives, I will have a kayak back on my van. I haven’t gone this long without one up there for over 20 years.
Progress: A phone charger for the van. Best phone I have ever had. Got the charger in Nogales. Hooked it up on the drive back to Parker Canyon: Didn’t work. Fiddled with it for two days. Nothing. Got back to Tucson, Jim stopped at a T Mobile store and I traded it for the cigarette lighter one and now all is good.
No progress. I still haven’t found a Z Ray lure. I owned 200 of them when I lived here. Back when fishing was an overkill thing with me. Before it was a profession. Anyway, on that note: How can you be a tackle shop and be out of trout bait? Not naming names. I’m just saying, along with the trailer hitches and roof racks of this country: How are these companies staying in business?
1993: I followed the Phoenix Suns. Getting here now, the Suns were in the Conference finals and advanced to the NBA Finals. I have a hard time becoming a fan again. Ayton, the University of Arizona, that’s the good part. They went up two games to zero. Then dropped two.
The annoyances and disappointments are gone. It was the right move. Plain and simple: I made the right move. Life got better. Life got easier. My accomplishments, in the past. I built a great business. I have passed it on. Deleted: My ex girlfriend thinks this website is “social media.” Her first name being mentioned, chaos. Her dog being mentioned, also unexpected chaos. Fits in the category “I give up.”
I look brilliant. It is a catastrophe there now. Hearing from everyone there, it is shaping up to easily be the worst Red Tide in history. It is approaching calamity level and it’s mid July. It’s bad. Everyone I hear from: The stories are bad. I got out of there just in time. It was starting but it has gotten 20 times worse since I left.
And then: It started to rain. Best few days of rain I have ever seen in Arizona. Parker Canyon Lake rose significantly and it has been raining more since I was there two days ago. Now if I can get the farmers to stop using lake water. And then: It rained some more. This place needed it. It’s happening and if you ask me: Monsoon season is August. And we’re not there yet.
I’d like to have dams built. Make the creeks create reservoirs. Put pumps in the reservoirs and move that water to the lakes.
Annoyances in Arizona. The flies are obnoxious. That’s the only one I can think of. I mix up my dish detergent water and have it in spray bottles. I can knock the flies down pretty quickly. They are just so much more relentless here than any other place I have ever been and they have been everywhere I have gone. Mosquitos were even bad one night.
Fishing in Florida: Jeff will take you. He took over the Strike Three Kayak Fishing property and is keeping things going. Fighting Red Tide: Another thing I have left behind.