Along the Ray

Along the Ray

An alien from a different plane wandering the universe in a tiny camper

September 18, 2022

Bear stand-off in Canada

Note: This happened a few years ago while I was camped at Boylston Provincial Park near Guysborough, Nova Scotia. I wrote it down for my dad who wanted to know what happened and then I buried it because I didn’t want to relive it. Thankfully enough time has passed to share.

I took my usual morning hike from the campsite with my coffee… Walked up an abandoned logging road that was overgrown. It slopes straightly up the mountain, I figured it looped around the lake in the area since it bordered it.

About half-way up my spidey sense went off and nudged me to turn around and look down the slope. At that very moment I saw a Black bear cross onto the path about a half-mile where I was earlier and it was sniffing around. I figured it would move on once it smelled a human as most usually do.

Only thing I could really do was keep walking to put distance between us and since I was up a slope, it hadn’t seen me yet. I kept going, turning now and then to keep an eye on it. After looking back a couple more times, it became obvious it was following my scent and closing the distance between us.

With a sickening thud in my heart I knew it was tracking me down.

I quickened my pace to get further away… until I hit an unexpected dead end on the logging road. The forest is very thick and brambly, so there was no other way out except back. I turned around to assess where the bear was.

By then it was about a couple hundred yards away down the slope and could finally see me… it started running towards me.

That’s when I knew I was in trouble so I tried to quickly contact the relay service for the deaf via my phone and it didn’t work. I texted a 911 to close friend and gave her the number of the ranger to call and come and scare the bear away on his quad vehicle he roams around on.

By then the bear was about 20-30 feet away so I put the phone away to focus. I looked around and saw a huge branch — almost the size of a small log — I grabbed and raised it above my head to make myself look bigger and stood firm.

That did the trick; the bear suddenly stopped and we were at a standoff. Up close, I could tell it was scrawny and had yellow patches on its fur and something was wrong or off about it.

I talked in a firm voice, shooing it away, go on, get outta here.

After a minute of the standoff with no leeway, I got pissed and told the bear to get the hell out of here and leave me alone. The anger in my voice apparently got through — the bear stopped swaying and melted into the woods.

I slowly made my way back down the trail right by where he went into the woods, all the while talking loudly saying go away, etc. still holding the branch up, etc.

Eventually I made it out. The ranger finally came around and I told him what happened. He let out a low whistle, saying that wasn’t good and it was unusual; he would likely have to find and kill it. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police soon pulled up to my campsite to make sure I was okay so that was nice (and interesting if a tad too late). Obviously my close friend had gotten in touch with Canada’s version of 911 after I put my phone away.

He was initially smirking and shaking his head, probably thinking a silly American got spooked by a bear. After I told him what happened, his smile was gone and he thought I was lucky to get away.

Told them both I wasn’t going back on abandoned trails or such until I had a good supply of bear mace!

And if you were wondering, YES, I was scared shitless seeing that bear running at me. There is no other feeling like it — a primal awareness of an apex predator charging you and with your life in the balance. Was I gonna make it or not?

Time stopped and space morphed into a singular moment of extraordinary clarity.

Everything in the world fell away and it was just me and the bear. I distinctly remember how super sharp everything was in focus and how the air felt crystal clear.1

In a way it was an intensely spiritual moment.

After I left camp I stopped at a hunting goods store to get bear mace. A bear expert happened to be there and I shared what happened to get his thoughts. He said there was clearly something wrong with the bear or it was sick; it was highly unusual for bears in the area to come after humans. I told him about the bear swaying during the standoff and he said it was a sign of aggression. Ugh.

I remember it taking awhile to process what happened and I didn’t feel too good. I must have compartmentalized the whole thing and shunted off to the side and it wasn’t healthy.

it wasn’t until a few days later when I was at a different (and very relaxing) campground that I was able to truly unwind and process what happened. I ended up vomiting as if expunging the fear embedded within.

After that I started feeling better. So very strange.

(It’s interesting how I still get this sick feeling in my stomach whenever I reflect back on this even years later…)


  1. Later I found out in fight-or-flight mode, physiological changes in the body include enhanced vision, clarity, etc. which would explain why everything was so damned sharp and slow-motion in that moment.↩︎

Just saw a post saying blogging is dying. It’s not in its hey-day but it’s far from dead. These posts do disservice to the small web by discouraging others from blogging or seeking blogs. They’re out there, just harder to find cuz of the crud Google prioritizes. Blog on!

September 13, 2022

The day draws nearer

Despite some delays, work on the camper is moving apace. I should have her back by the end of this week, fingers crossed.

After that, perhaps another week of prepping and loading her up with the usual provisions of wandering life then I’m free to go!

This is where time begins to compress and accelerate exponentially. Things slip into overdrive as I gather wits n stuff. The mind starts mentally recalibrating to a different mode of living and the uncertainty that comes with it.

Old fears of the past bubble up — do I still have what it takes to live this at-times-harsh lifestyle? Do I have everything I need to be self-sufficient? Have I gained enough strength post-Lyme for the required physical endurance? Will I get sick in the middle of nowhere?

And the biggest — will there be enough places to continue randomly camping whenever and whenever I desire despite the explosion of camping life the past few years?

Only one way to find out — hit the road and make the best of it as when I first embarked upon this wandering life several years ago. All said, I’m more excited than worried because worries are either adapted to or fall away.

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When I first hit the road I didn’t document or journal the journey other than occasional videos and photos. Maybe I should have but I wanted to be purely in the now of every wandering moment of my maiden journey without being in documentation” mode.

This time around I have enough mileage and experience (and pure moments) under my belt so I’ll be more inclined to share parts of where I am and thoughts in those moments.

I say parts” because I’ll still have solitary moments of unfettered and unknown wandering. It feels most pure when I fade off the grid physically and mentally to where only my soul knows where I am.

Those moments and places of vanishment are secret slices of life to cherish and enjoy alone similar to monks who wander into remote sanctuaries far from civilization.

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I was looking into using something like the Day One app with its built in location tracking, calendaring, etc. to journal with. But it just didn’t fit — not only was there friction; I would be locked into yet another app/medium, further splintering my attention.

I’ve always felt one’s blog ought to be the central hub for all things — a sole focus of entry for all your life.

So the question became — could I do the things in Day One on Blot, where this blog is hosted?

After some tinkerin’ and muckin’ around I can say the answer is yes. Location check-ins? Ayup. Photos? Naturally. Dynamic maps? Check (and routes!). Calendar archive? Indedy. Private entries? Already there.

iOS shortcuts are also leveraged for quick n easy updates straight to the blog in a couple blinks. I’m stoked because it works and minimizes the need for using a computer.

If this stokes your interest too, stay tuned — I’ll share the how n such in a post of its own soon.

September 12, 2022

Electric Wanderings.3

…things n such of interest from my e-wanderings afoot…

Not only do I wander the land, I also wander the small web and come across stories n such to share now and then in case you might find em interesting?

Free Shipping
Brilliant idea by a small tea company to let their customers decide how much they’ll pay for shipping upon checkout. They can choose from free to a pay-it-forward amount to help others. It’s exceeding their expectations and they don’t have to worry about competing against Amazon’s free shipping empire.

What real people look like
Heart warming message from a massage therapist on what people really look like on his massage table. At that first long sigh, at that first thought that I can stop hanging on now, I’m safe” — a luminosity, a glow, begins.

Put it on the Crazy Pile: Ideas and Creativity
Excellent idea to store all your crazy ideas somewhere just in case they become relevant or even brilliant later. You never know.

A Non-Compete Clause with your Phone
He gave up on asking people to put their phones away. I haven’t given up by making it mandatory for friends/family to keep phones pocketed if they want to hang out. It’s soul-sucking to see more and more people at dining tables staring into their phones and not each other.

The state of South Africa, 28ish years post-apartheid
A sobering look at where South Africa is today and why from the perspective of a South African. Brings to mind the phrase absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Writing advice I would tattoo on my body
Last but not least - beautiful quotes on writing from a freelance journalist. Be a luminous poetic eye.”


September 6, 2022

WANDER 📺 SHORTS: “Ice Cave” waterfall @ Taos, New Mexico

I stumbled on this by accident when exploring a trail that went right by my campsite.

It was a delight to come across near the end and later I found out it’s called the Ice Cave” waterfall because in the winter the waterfall freezes in place like an ice sculpture. Very cool.

The trail runs a half mile from the last campsite at Capulin Campground in Carson National Forest.

The campsite itself was beautiful with a creek running right by it but some may find it being near the road a bit noisy at times. At least it’s a short trip to Taos from there.

I found out the hard way it sits a bit over 8,000 feet in altitude because I was a little dizzy later that night. Gotta remember to ease my way up next time.

I’ve deliberately muted these videos so you can experience it as I do as a deaf person in the wild. I know some of you will miss hearing the surrounding audio but think of total silence as different auditory experience.

It’s a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might get swept off to.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

September 5, 2022

Shifting into wandering mode

Today I felt a slow, intangible shift deep within — something finally slipping into place. It’s a familiar feeling I’ve had before. An energetic shifting back to the wandering life.

I may have spent the past couple months working on and getting the camper ready but all this time I knew inside I wasn’t ready until now.

Like the squirrel that senses fall’s on the way, I’ve begun packing up nuts n such for the long haul ahead. The process of folding myself and my possessions back into the camper begins anew in preparation for the Great Move-ing where I go back to a life of constant and joyful movement.

I’ve waited a very long time to feel this subtle shift within. The road ahead looks clear because I’m truly ready.

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Being out there in a state of constant and uncertain wandering might seem an empty life to some?

On the contrary it’s deeply and spiritually fulfilling. Those moments alone out in the wild are a long root back to who we were millennia ago.

It’s where you free yourself.

Noises and distractions fall away, slowly revealing the universe within and outin’.

You begin to remember who you are not and your mind loses its unholy grip on you.

Mirrors fall away and there you aren’t — the universe in an infinite and inseparable embrace.

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The wandering and dwelling within doesn’t mean being alone all the time. There’s whole galaxies of kindred spirits out there roaming too.

If you’ve been at the wandering life long enough you’ll sense the difference between the weekend campers and those who are full-timers.” It’s a different resonance of energy that draws us together at just the right moments.

We are a different breed and know it.

And when we cross paths, it’s a meeting of souls. Instant kinship and a knowing of shared past lives together that bring deep familiarity within.

I now have a handful of soul-brothers and soul-sisters across the continent that’ll always be an extended family no matter the miles between us.

To think that there are beautiful souls out there and not to have ever met them is a bit scary because how would I ever had such light brought into my life?

It was all preordained by simply following my heart.

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I wonder what else have I lost in this life by not following my heart all those other times I felt its pull and ignored it?

September 4, 2022
(click date for larger photo)
Abandoned farm storage building - Barn owls and vultures like to hang out here
Abandoned farm storage building - Barn owls and vultures like to hang out here
September 3, 2022

We’re on the cusp of another revolution

💬 Replied to Will good enough” AI beat human artists? — Tracy Durnell

I’d say AI is not good enough yet for most use cases, but it will get better over time. In the long run there will be less work for creatives actually producing their own renderings (linework, painting, photoshoots) and more the art direction angle of knowing what prompts to give the AI to get what you want, plus correction of obvious rendering errors.”

Agreed, its not good enough -yet- as you say…

I’ve witnessed the internet evolve since its birth and saw it spawn several revolutions. AI Art is going to be another one that’s a paradigm shift.1

The art coming out is astounding and I’m amazed at how folks are pushing boundaries by applying it to videos, comic books, creating worlds, wall-art, etc. And paving new entrepreneurial avenues with prompt markets, visual search engines and more.

What’s stunning is it’s ordinary people creating all these things. People who haven’t lifted a paintbrush or even know how to draw.

Finally we have a wild and crazy tool that leverages our imaginations. It’s as if we were given a magic wand to make our dreams come to literal life. That’s the breathtaking part of it all.

I do worry how this affects artists. I’m hoping it has little impact on traditional artists since they have their unique voices, creative styles (imaginations!) and their own clients/market.

It’s the more mainstream ones that might struggle, i.e. those who cater to stock art/photo, clip-art, fashion, merchandizing, etc. general type services. Could these artists can evolve and leverage AI to expand their portfolios further?

There’s always going to be a need for Visualizers” (Imagineers?) — folks who have an ability to take a client’s vision and transliterate it to reality. Their expertise will be valuable because most people won’t have the ability or time to figure ways to generate the AI art they’re looking for.

I can see these Art Whisperers forging a new / supplementary career sector in art that will become commonplace.

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This is only the early dawn we’re seeing… Art will be the bridge where AI spills into reality and begins to manifest physically… then biologically.

Should we be scared? I’m not sure yet. I do know the speed of how all this evolves is going to make our heads spin even faster.


  1. Especially now that it’s being open sourced (i.e. Stable Diffusion) and therefore more accessible to the masses.↩︎

September 1, 2022

WANDER 📺 SHORTS: “Gopher”ing home

On a hike the other day, I came across Mr. Gopher headed home after a long day’s work:

I come across Gopher turtles fairly often on my hikes and it’s always a delight to see em!

Do be careful when approaching Gopher turtle homes — in the south rattlesnakes are known to co-habituate in the same holes.

BTW, did you know Gopher turtles are considered a keystone species?

In the States, they’re also designated as a threatened species, one step away from endangered status.

Despite that, a few years ago the State of Florida allowed developers to pay a permit” fee to pave over gopher turtle’s homes, suffocating them. The eventual outrage stopped it, fortunately.

Those buggers can live close up to a hundred years. Amazing.

I’ve deliberately muted these videos so you can experience it as I do as a deaf person in the wild. I know some of you will miss hearing the surrounding audio but think of total silence as different auditory experience.

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https://alongtheray.com Along the Ray

An alien from a different plane wandering the universe in a tiny camper

Along the Ray

Somewhere on a river...

North American continent usually

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