some new friends and I went adventuring <3
Callie: [00:00:00] Big shouts out to Carrie, Charlie, Patrick, and Allie for becoming new patrons this week. Thank you, friends. Love you lots. My name is Callie Wright and this is Queersplaining a few years ago. Celes and I were driving home from somewhere the grocery store. I think we were talking about our relationship as you do.
And she told me that she worried she was boring. That I might get tired of her at some point. Generally speaking people in need at least a little novelty in their lives, right. And Celes was worried that she wasn’t providing me with that. Now, aside from the fact that she did and does, she was leaving the other part of the equation out, I’m a person who definitely does need novelty in my life, but I also have a need for peace and security and stability.
And Celes does such a good job providing that for me. I know who she is day to day. I can count on her and that’s so super important. But that being said, I am a person who craves novelty. Now up until recently, I led a life that very much provided that for me. And that’s what I told Celes that day. I have plenty of novelty in my life, roller Derby, traveling for the podcast, all that stuff.
It was always out going new places, meeting new people and having amazing experiences. I have a deep need for that kind of thing. And I was fortunate enough to lead a life that provided lots of those kinds of things. I think that’s one thing that’s been especially torturous for me about this pandemic, you know, sticking to the same, very small groups of people only going familiar places, home, the grocery store, the essentials, some folks need routine more than they need novelty.
I am not one of those people and frankly, I’ve been jealous of those folks lately. As I’m writing this, actually I should be in Las Vegas doing a reporting trip for the show and gearing up for the big Star Trek convention for the third time. And I recognize that having these problems as a privilege, right?
Like I still have stable housing and access to food and so on. I get that. But. It’s still hard. The other day, I saw a Facebook book posts from my friend JR. They’re always posting pictures of these rad nature adventures. They’re going on. Neat pictures of bugs and leaves and trees. And I won’t lie.
I’ve had a friend crush on JRfor a while. They just seem like a super rad person. And so I fired off a Facebook message.
Hello friend, I’ve been so enjoying your nature adventures. And I would like to formally ask permission to one, join you for one and two, bring along a microphone, because I think a nature adventure would make for some good and wholesome content, heart emoji. No pressure and no hurt feelings, if you’d rather not.
And they said yes, and we made plans. Given what we know about how the virus transmits, it’s a safer and more calculated risk. If you stay outside, keep the number of people down. Stay distanced. Ultimately it was me JR, and another new friend of mine, Lex, I got up before the sun and headed out.
Our meeting point changed last minute, there was a Heron eating breakfast and JR and Lex thought that watching the bird do that would be a rad place to start the morning. And they let me know where they were. So I started down this bike trail heading toward a bridge. It’s pretty typical bike trail. As you get to the bridge, there’s a fence.
Of course, I don’t want people going off the side of the bridge. Pretty sure this used to be a bridge for cars though, because the infrastructure of the bridge was a lot wider than the bike trail. So there was this metal framing that extended out past the fence. When I came up on JR and Lex, they were sitting on the other side of that fence on top of that metal framing, their feet dangling 30 feet or so above the river.
JR asked me if I was afraid of heights and I was like, “No, I’m good!” And that’s mostly true. I actually don’t mind heights, as long as I feel like I’m secure behind a fence, something to hold my hand on it too. And that sort of thing, but climbing onto the part of the bridge, they were sitting on involved walking a good 50 feet or so on a piece of steel that was about three foot wide.
And, uh, sat about. 30 or 40 feet above a river. One side of the river was good and deep. So like, if you fell, probably wouldn’t have a good time, but you’d be okay. The other side, you could see the rocks, just like a few inches, maybe a foot below the surface. If you fall off that side, you’re just kind of fucked.
But today was about adventuring. So I went for it. As I climbed over the fence to get onto the bridge. My recorder actually fell out of my pocket. Great start. Thankfully, I was able to pull it up by the cord from my headphones, so I didn’t lose it, but this is why I don’t have audio from this part. It stopped recording when that happened.
And I didn’t think to check it because I was a little more focused on the whole, not falling off a bridge into the rocks thing, but eventually I did. Get situated. I was looking at a river and a forest. It was just after sunrise. The world was waking up. You could hear the water in the river, the bugs, the birds, the occasional sound of bikes riding by on the trail behind them.
Yes. And it was just so peaceful.
JR: [00:05:48] Well, the goal is to jump today.
Callie: [00:05:50] Oh, I’m in.
JR: [00:05:51] Fuck. Yeah. It’s going to rain around noon. So once it gets warm enough and whatever, and then just like explore nature until then.
Callie: [00:06:02] Hell yeah.
That’s JR. And by jumping, they mean jumping off of the bridge were sitting on. Remember. I said there was one side of the river where the water was good and deep.
The plan was to climb out onto the part of the bridge over that part of the river and jumped the 30 feet or so into the water.
It’s been fucking forever since I’ve done anything adventurous.
JR: [00:06:26] Oh, you need it then. Even I think people who don’t as venture as much as I do need it. And the only reason I started doing it so often again is because Corona.
Yeah. But before that, I pretty much missed out on all the nature, except for like, I come here once a year, which that’s depressing.
Callie: [00:06:52] Right.
JR: [00:06:53] This is my spot. And I love being here. I want to be here every day.
Callie: [00:06:58] Well, adventuring for me is usually just like, I’m kind of novel experience. It doesn’t even really matter what it is, but like so much of that is unavailable right now.
Of course, in the world we live in now there’s really no such thing as totally safe around other people. But outside socially distance hanging out is pretty low risk and there were only three of us and I just. Needed something like this so badly.
JR: [00:07:21] And like, I grew up here, but there’s a lot of it. I still haven’t seen because I would always go to the same places.
So like, I’ll start out here, but then there’s a trail over there that I found with my friend, Jason, just like for the first time. And we followed that trail for like two or three miles and it was amazing. And I kinda want to go there again. That would be cool. And we found bones. There’s like a. Coyote dumping spot, which is like super illegal, but it’s got good bones there I guess.
Callie: [00:08:00] I hear you friend. I hear you.
JR: [00:08:03] Same bro.
Callie: [00:08:04] That was the heron we were watching, I guess they were done with breakfast and wanted to celebrate.
Lex: [00:08:09] I love this texture.
Callie: [00:08:13] That’s Lex, they’re a super rad watercolor artists and they were excited about this neat texture that they’d painted.
Lex: [00:08:20] Like, get up to show you. It’s very good.
Callie: [00:08:28] Well, I can kind of see it from here. It does look good.
JR: [00:08:30] It looks like painting on stone. It looks like this or stone metal.
Lex: [00:08:37] I painted on my jewel once and it looked like kind of like that, but uglier, cause you couldn’t really see the paint.
Callie: [00:08:46] I’m just like bad at visual art generally.
Lex: [00:08:51] I used to think I was, but it turns out I just can’t draw. And once I kind of accepted that, I’m just not gonna draw anything ever pretty much, unless it’s like an ugly schedule on purpose.
Like I started doing ugly on purpose art, and then I was like, Oh, maybe I’m not actually that bad. And I like it because it’s not actually ugly. It was just trying to be.
Now my most favorite thing I’ve ever painted is this.
JR: [00:09:22] That’s beautiful. That’s fucking cool.
Callie: [00:09:25] And he showed us this watercolor painting that I’m actually sort of at a loss to describe. It was textured shades of green, uh, reminded me of a forest and it just kind of made me feel feelings.
Lex: [00:09:41] Yeah. Just doing like, just paint what I see fucking around with shit. Way that it doesn’t physically look, but the way that I feel, yeah.
Callie: [00:09:51] I don’t know. I feel like I’m in this stage of my life where I’m trying to get past being pretentious about stuff like that. And like, like thinking that I’m bad at something, because I can’t do it in a way that like, quote unquote looks cool or sounds cool.
Lex: [00:10:05] Yeah. I think once I realized that I liked what was. People thought would be like ugly art, not Keith Herring, but there’s another like famous artist that does just, it’s not good, but it’s, I like it a lot. And I was like, well, I could do that. Actually wait a minute. And maybe I would like it if I did it, maybe I could just be ugly on purpose because that’s what it’s supposed to be.
And then I would just start fucking around with shit and being like, okay.
Callie: [00:10:47] For me, it’s it’s been writing. Cause I. Obviously like podcasting is what I do with my life and for a living. And, uh, like I’m always really jealous of people that I think are super, super good with words. And then like, I try to do something like that. That’s like less literal and maybe a little more poetic and descriptive. And then I’m like, that’s silly. That sounds dumb. I don’t like that.
JR: [00:11:12] Gay!.
Callie: [00:11:13] Right! But then I listen and I’m like, I wonder if that person thought that when they wrote that, like maybe I should just write what comes out and just let it be what it is.
Lex: [00:11:25] That’s yeah, I’m really jealous of my older siblings, because they are like the best poet of the entire world. And I. Occasionally will like write poetry, but I don’t think it’s good and I never want to share it kind of thing. And I, I feel that is I’ll read what I write. And I’m like, no, there’s one poem ever that I will share.
And like, They’re like a published author or a published poet.
Callie: [00:12:03] But that’s like the thing that I learned about like all of the people that I think are really, really good, none of them think they are as good as they are. Yeah.
Lex: [00:12:11] Yeah. William’s like, no, I I’m still not that great. Like I’m like, But you’re getting your master’s in poetry. Like currently you have, I mean, you wouldn’t be accepted into the school if I hadn’t, if you weren’t good.
So yeah, maybe everybody just feels like they’re not. Oh, okay. Although I do like my art now.
Callie: [00:12:44] That’s good.
Lex: [00:12:45] Not all of it. And I don’t think it’s amazing.
Callie: [00:12:51] I think that’s healthy. I feel like it’s, it’s like one of those things, like everybody, everybody gets grace in the benefit of the doubt, but me, like, I want everyone else to love the things that they make. But if I love the things I make, that makes me pretentious and —
Lex: [00:13:03] Yeah.
Callie: [00:13:03] Egotistical.
Lex: [00:13:07] I can assure you that you are not. I want to go down and, um, balance rocks. Do you want to go stack rocks?
JR: [00:13:24] Okay. I’m okay with sitting here.
Lex: [00:13:26] We don’t have to though. We can go down. I’m just, I’m very much in. I like,
JR: [00:13:31] I like it up here, so it’s okay. I feel like planting myself on the spot. Yeah.
Lex: [00:13:38] I very much just had an ADHD moment just looking at the rocks. And I was like, Ooh, I can ADHD anywhere right now. So I’ll look at other stuff.
JR: [00:13:49] Oh, there’s a fish, a fish. I don’t know how well you can see. Oh yeah. Yeah. That’s it. In a little way. I detail having breakfast. I got one with my bare hands once here, but I didn’t catch it all the way because I saw it had a giant head hole in it too.
Callie: [00:14:10] Oh no.
JR: [00:14:11] Yeah. And it was weird. It almost looked like when animals get taken over by a fungus, but this was a fish.
So I don’t know. It had like this bright red and even like on its own. Then, and it was really, it was so strange and I just felt so bad that I was like, you know what? I’m not going to catch you for fun because you look like you’re having a hard time. Anyway,
Callie: [00:14:32] You go fishy friend.
JR: [00:14:34] Wiggle out of my hands and live today.
Callie: [00:14:37] You go live your life. Fishy friend,
JR: [00:14:44] I want to swim. It’s too early.
Lex: [00:14:46] Now it’s too cold.
JR: [00:14:50] Let’s check the weather again. Please don’t be a higher percent. Oh, Oh, Oh, not 11 o’clock anymore. It’s noon.
Callie: [00:14:58] They moved the weather forecast back an hour,
JR: [00:15:00] But it’s a 90% chance at noon.
Lex: [00:15:03] But we got til noon.
JR: [00:15:04] Yep. It’ll be 75 degrees. Is that warm enough?
Lex: [00:15:07] Yeah.
JR: [00:15:09] It’s not, we can do it. I like to swim at 82 or higher, but we can do it.
Callie: [00:15:17] It’s after sitting and talking for a while, we get a little restless and decide to get moving,
JR: [00:15:22] Go somewhere? Go trail, go nature, preserve, go down to the bridge spot. Either I’m to stretch a little, suddenly my back is kind of sore. Actually. I want to like stretch like big body stretch.
Callie: [00:15:44] Yeah. All right. Let’s see if I can get up without dying.
Remember, we’re sitting on a platform that’s about three feet wide. My balance is great. Thanks to skating. It’s just kind of disorienting to only have that much space to move around in and nothing but a river below you.
JR: [00:16:03] Okay.
Callie: [00:16:07] Oh, I’m good.
So we get off the bridge and back onto land jr. Points out where we’ll climb out onto the bridge to jump later.
JR: [00:16:22] And then we climbed over and then we’re done.
Callie: [00:16:26] Yeah, that looks doable.
Oh Shit. I’m bad at that too!
JR: [00:16:47] Trail or preserve? Okay.
Callie: [00:16:50] We come up on this gravel road that leads off to a construction site in one direction and into the woods and another, and of course we’re headed into the woods, but not before we check our bed.
JR: [00:17:02] So it’s been spray, painted over. But that sign says. Or said, stop check your bed and it meant check your truck bed.
Callie: [00:17:14] Oh.
Lex: [00:17:15] Stop, check your bed?
Callie: [00:17:17] I was gonna say that like, like I understand the words. I’m just not sure what the context for that is.
JR: [00:17:23] Check your bed. I have a picture of it on my Instagram and it’s beautiful. I love that fucking sign. And I’m, I’m pissed that people spray painted it honestly, like, can, do you not realize that the beautiful sign? I had dreams of stealing it growing up?
Oh, come on it’s around here. There it is. Nice. And this is the trail.
Lex: [00:18:05] There’s a spiderweb on my entire face.
JR: [00:18:10] Oh, I see it in your hair. I think it’s gone.
Lex: [00:18:20] Please hold this. It’s on my glasses!
JR: [00:18:21] It’s on your glasses for sure. Oh wow. wait a second, I can take a picture. Beautiful. That’s amazing. Can I get it?
Lex: [00:18:36] I just walked right into it. It was probably very pretty. And the spider was in my hair and I grabbed it and I think I accidentally squished it.
Callie: [00:18:44] Aww.
Lex: [00:18:46] But it was in my hair.
Callie: [00:18:47] Well, right.
Lex: [00:18:48] I like bugs. I don’t want them in my head.
Callie: [00:18:51] I feel that.
JR: [00:18:51] I got really good pictures.
So we traipse through the woods for who knows how long. It was actually really nice to lose track of time. In that way. There were all sorts of interesting bugs and pretty plants, even a fireplace and a chimney, just kind of standing there all on its own, I guess. Had been attached to a house at some point in history?
Then we came up on this cute little creek.
Welcome to my favorite place in the world.
Callie: [00:19:20] This is fucking awesome.
Lex: [00:19:22] This whole Miami-ville. Oh, there’s a mammal of some sort. A bunny or a Beaver, or what’s the other thing? Not a Beaver, but a groundhog? Groundhog..
How does it?
Callie: [00:19:43] Oh wow.
Lex: [00:19:43] How does a plant grow in play with strengthened [inaudible] there.
Callie: [00:19:51] Nutrients in clay.
Lex: [00:19:52] Yes. Yeah. I liked my answer better.
Callie: [00:19:55] I think I do too. I love right after I said that I was like, that’s significantly less meat.
JR: [00:20:00] I mean, You’re right. Check out the chairs people made, people made fucking chairs
Callie: [00:20:10] Oh that’s the shit
Someone had spent quite a bit of time arranging some rocks into a bench. There were four seats and they even had armrests.
JR: [00:20:19] That’s so cool. Left arm nature arm.
Callie: [00:20:23] And there’s there’s armrests.
JR: [00:20:28] Honestly, this is what’s it called? Anti homeless infrastructure, like violent, but not violent. I’m — god dammit. This happens.
Trying to think of the word,
but it’s something.
Callie: [00:20:52] Yeah.
JR: [00:20:54] That’s the table. Stairs, stairs! I’m amazed. Can we live out here?
Lex: [00:21:15] I want to move in.
Ready? One two three
Callie: [00:21:30] Oh my God, Hi friend.
Hold still? Oh my God. You can, hold still for the camera. Have you ever thought about a career in modeling? Oh, he said, Nope, I’m out.
Lex: [00:21:52] He really just waited until I was done.
Callie: [00:21:57] I’m going to let you get your photo.
JR: [00:21:58] Like, no, I don’t want a career. I’m sort of saying —
Callie: [00:22:01] And then it’s time to GTFO.
Lex: [00:22:03] This is so exciting! It’s beautiful!
JR: [00:22:08] Spider face. Am hot. Am swim?
Lex: [00:22:14] Yes.
JR: [00:22:16] Am jump?
Lex: [00:22:17] Yes.
JR: [00:22:18] That’s what I’m saying.
Callie: [00:22:21] That’s what I’m mortally terrified of, but I’m going to do anyways.
JR: [00:22:25] Yes, there’s no desert ball.
Callie: [00:22:32] So let’s be real. There actually was a nonzero chance of death, slightly higher chance of injury. But listen, I injured my knee grilling a few weeks ago, and while I love grilling, I really don’t think that compares to the thrill of jumping off a bridge into a river.
So trade offs, you know, but actually, no, because that’s not a thing I’ve ever done before. So the climb down to the side of the river to get changed and leave our electronics and stuff behind.
JR: [00:23:00] Yeah, it was really windy yesterday. That’s what I was missing. [inaudible]
Callie: [00:23:20] And so of course this means I left my recorder behind you. It’s a nice piece of gear, but it’s not waterproof. So we climbed back up the Hill. Jr. And I were barefoot. Lex was smart enough to bring swimming shoes to wear, and we climbed out onto the bridge. I was terrified, but I was determined. JR had done this a bunch of times before Lex had done it a few times, I was with seasoned pros.
They wouldn’t steer me wrong, so I trusted them and I trusted myself to stay cool and make good decisions. Well, as good as you can possibly make when you’re. Climbing a bridge to jump off it. We made our way out over the river. And I was doing okay. I actually feel pretty secure as long as my hands and feet both have something to hold onto.
And there was this steel rebar that ran across the whole thing and the, you know, like X crossbeams or whatever. So I was doing okay. And we got to the spot where we would jump from. We sat there for about 10 minutes or so we figured out that for some reason, it looked more scary when you were sitting down on the bridge, then when you were standing up that didn’t make a lot of sense.
Okay. JR went first and it was pretty routine. They climbed out of the water and I volunteered to go next.
JR: [00:24:36] Whenever you’re ready.
Callie: [00:24:42] I’m standing with my feet, half over the edge facing out toward the water.
JR: [00:24:46] Step off, eat yourself. Don’t think about it.
Callie: [00:24:49] My hands are holding onto the rebar that spans the length of the bridge. I frankly have no idea. What I was thinking about here
JR: [00:24:57] Do the action without the thought.
Callie: [00:24:58] I think it was more just like when you do something like this, you kind of just hit a point where you decide to go
JR: [00:25:03] You’ve got to let go with your hands and just, step.
Callie: [00:25:06] So that’s what I did. I let go with my hands and took a big step forward. A lot of people say time slows down for them when they do stuff like this, it definitely didn’t for me. I actually noticed the water rushing up to meet me pretty quickly. You hit the water. My first thought was actually how glad I was the water wasn’t super cold.
My next thought was, Oh my God. That was fucking amazing. Fucking amazing. Look, I know this kind of thrill seeking and risk taking isn’t for everyone. It’s not even always for me, but I felt something that day and whatever that thing is, I think everyone should have the chance to chase what that thing is for them.
I felt so alive. I’ve been reading. All of those jokes on social media about feeling dead inside. And those have resonated with me. I don’t know if I was exactly there, but I definitely started to feel like I was going through the motions and then, you know, new meds getting back on hormones, a global pandemic.
Bad mental health is all just kind of a perfect storm. And honestly, it had me pretty beat down and of course, jumping off a bridge, isn’t going to solve my problems, but damn, it was nice to focus on something outside my own problems and the problems of the world for a few hours and few things will focus, a person like a 30 foot drop into a running river.
So we got dressed after we got out of the water and we hung out for a bit. And then we climbed up the hill back to where the bridge was.
JR: [00:26:48] I’m glad we did that.
Callie: [00:26:49] I am too.
JR: [00:26:50] You do it. It’ll be hot. And it’ll be okay. That didn’t feel like a summer jump. It felt like a spring jump.
Lex: [00:27:02] I’ve never got one of those.
Callie: [00:27:04] And then we climbed the fence to get back onto the bike trail. But before we did that, we noticed something.
JR: [00:27:16] I did that when I jumped with the kids.
Callie: [00:27:18] Oh, that’s so sweet.
JR had written on the fence and big permanent marker. “You are worthy and deserving of love.” Are you getting the sense of what a wholesome person they are yet?
JR: [00:27:30] I write that everywhere. It’s in bar bathrooms and random Starbucks bathrooms.
Callie: [00:27:35] Well, like I said, I’ve never really fancied myself an outdoors type person I’ve never been afraid of or avoided it.
It’s just not usually the first thing I think of when I think like, Hey, I want to go do something fun and adventurous. But this is something that pandemic has changed for me. I love going to my friend’s houses, having them come over to mine, going to bars, going to movies, but that’s not safe right now.
Being outside with your friends though, it’s not no risk, but it’s low risk. And so being with people I care about in the outdoors feels like the safe and secure thing to do. And so, so good to me that day in a way it might not have before. Of course being in the company of amazing people helps. It was just one long parade of us talking about stuff we’re vulnerable about and then encouraging and affirming one another.
You heard some of it in this episode, but I have like four or five hours of tape and there’s seriously like a dozen times where someone says something and the others are all like, Oh, that’s awesome. And good. And you’re good. Everyone deserves friends like that. Everyone. Yes. That includes you. Thanks so much to JR and Lex for letting me tag along in our fun queer adventure.
And thank you, my friend for listening. If you want to help keep this thing going, please consider heading to patreon.com/queersplaining and making a per episode donation to help keep the lights on. This week, I’m actually going to post a deleted scene from this episode for patrons only that didn’t quite fit into the overall narrative of the show, but it’s kind of cool, nonetheless.
So head over and check it out. If patreon isn’t an option and you still want to help. Another thing you can do is sharing the show around on your social media platform of choice. Most folks find new podcasts from their friends nowadays. So it’s really, really helpful when you shout the show out there. Before I go, I want you to know that if you’re lost.
You’re hurting. You’re scared. If you feel like no one cares and no one understands, you need to know there’s a community out here that loves you cares for you knows that you’re capable of amazing things and that you are worthy of love. If you’re struggling, please, don’t be afraid to reach out. And so next time, friend, my name is Callie Wright
And this is Queersplaining.