Saturday, September 4, 2021

Forty Years

Jeff the fire builder. Door County 2019. 

Devil’s Lake 2018. 

Boundary Waters 1990…An week long trip where Jeff paddled solo. He and I did a few day trips together that were amazing. 

Jeff, Sara, and Luca. Madison 2012. 

Jeff and John Nash. Ruahine ranges. New Zealand. Maropea Forks hut, a week long trip. I was so happy to show these mountains to Jeff. In spite of a painful hip that was replaced later that year. Jeff’s patience, caring and understanding of my condition while on that trip still can bring me to tears. His words from this very blog below…
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yo Dobber! I have many things to say, nay, expound,nay, philosophize upon my trip into the Ruahines and indeed New Zealand as a whole. As I sit in the middle of the north american continent in the middle of winter, many thoughts of our trip burst into being. But first I have to say,nay,demand, it is fricking cold here! Sub zero cold! So cold that if I dipped one toe into a river with this cold I would not only lose my foot to gangrene within 3 hours, I would be at the mercy of fate from that point on. Please Dobber you must understand, when the temperature never gets above zero degrees F. it is way colder than anything you get on the north island. Please understand this, my sanity depends on it. We just had a week where the high was -2 degrees F. I went out x-country skiing and brrrrrrr. No comparison. None. Sorry. So I feel better now, wether you acknowedge or not, I have had my say. Now onto more important items. I loved hiking into the mountains with you. My only regret is that your hip kept us from the high country, because the glimpse that I did see looked and felt tremendous. I truly appreciate that you powered into the mountains anyway, I sensed a profound struggle, mentally and physically with the hip and I cannot imagine the pounding you endured. Thank you Brother. Though you write that my highlight of the trip must have been the beautiful Rainbow Trout, 26 inches and 8 pounds, that was only the icing on the cake, the exclamation point on a whole month of travels in New Zealand. Now do not get me wrong, I love icing, and I love Trout for breakfast, talk about powering up for the hike out! But there is much more to the wilderness than a trout, a riverwalk, a shot of whiskey or tequila with salt and lime. There is peace and tranquility, a purpose of being beyond the mundane of culture and other piffles and trifles. There are individual river riffles and songs of the mountains to consider. There are pools of hope and valleys unexplored, there are skies full of stars and wonders around every turn. These are the true prizes we seek when we go deep, and as long as we go unencumbered by preconceptions, and stay open to possibilities,we will achieve our own glory, huge in our own immediacy, knowingly minor in the scheme of the universe.
So Dobber the highlights of my Ruahines are:the night at top maopea hut under the stars with no dew dropping on me all night long, what a star show, a once in a decade no Moon, no cloouds, full on star show; arriving at maropea forks hut and realizing what a glorious spot to camp at despite the protestations of my bank manager(and cracking a can of Fosters in celebration); checking out the confluence of the forks after the all day rain; latching onto the the huge Trout and the epic battle that ensued, man versus beast in a thrilling match of wits and endurance and..............;and then a couple of brewkis in oopaloolangaloongalong or some town on the way back to Palmy. Yowser! More Thoughts will come later as they flood in somnambulatorally.Yowser!

January 30, 2009 at 3:51 PM


2018 Devils Lake…with Gyro on a long day trip led, of course, by Jeff. It involved many detours. Such a cool day! And evening. 

Boundary Waters. Food bag hung from bears. A persistent black bear came anyway. We won. 

The Ford LTD. San Francisco. Thanksgiving 1987,  

Door County 2019. Our last trip. I treasure each memory and moment. And my self enforced distance always made me appreciate such times. Jeff, in a very familiar position with a map. Rick in agreement. I just did what I was told. 

Jeff, Sara, Gyro, and Larry Hale. Madison 2018. I wrote earlier on what a cool day it was. The evening was as well. 

Milwaukee summer 1981. The earliest photo I have found with Jeff, and Mike Revan aka Iron Mike - so named because he so solid and dependable . I had left Ripon and moved to Madison here. I was in town for a wedding. 

John Nash, me, and Jeff inside Maropea Forks hut. John is my finest NZ friend and to spend a week with both these men was a treasure. Both with the dry, witty, and observant quips I just sat back and watched. Mostly. 

My 30th birthday. Milwaukee. East side. Phils, Bob Revane, Jeff, me, Tim Revane, Todd Pollesch, abd Iron Mike eyeing up his shot. Bob, Tim, and now Jeff, are passed from our presence.

Jeff and Gyro. The Arboretum walk along Lake Monona. 2012. A stormy cold day. The company made all that trivial. 

Rick Parduhn, me, Jeff. Door County November 2019. As it turns out the last walk I ever did with Jeff. It was another fantastic day in the Peninsula State Park, we had the place to ourselves. My other hip was now in bad shape. I walked 10 miles that day. Led by Jeff. As aware of my pain this day as he had been in New Zealand 10 years prior. I love him for that. 

Madison 2018. Jeff, me, Larry Hale, and Gyro. Jeff soon put on Trampled by Turtles and the evening turned. 

Jeff, Gyro, me. West Bend Wisconsin 2012, Gyro’s 125 year old farmhouse he was living in and restoring at the time. Our spirits joined with the many that seemed to be around the place. After another cool day in the hills around Devil’s Lake. 

Jeff - Boundary Waters 1989. I learned so much just observing him that trip. 

Rick, Jeff, Gyro, Peninsula State Park, 2019. Our final walk. I lingered behind often to see moments like this. Almost as if I knew something. Really though, living in a country so far away, just trying to be cognizant of how special these moments can be. 

Gyro and Jeff walking ahead on a fall walk. On our way to Parfreys Glen. 2018.  

San Francisco Thanksgiving 1987. The Ford LTD Jeff had driven from Portland to San Fran. We were all glad to see one another. 

Devils Lake, fall 2018. 

Phil’s, Jeff, and me. My 30th birthday. Milwaukee. 

Jeff. In New Zealand. Along the Maropea river deep in the Ruahine mountains making us bagels. So at home. 

Cooper. Best dog. Ever. 

Rick and Jeff. Ice Age Walk 2015. 

Sunset. Door County. 2019. Who knew! 

Fishing for trout in the pool outside Maropea Forks hut. One was tempted but didn’t bite. Jeff was in Avery happy place. 

Milwaukee 1980. 

A long slow day hike in Peninsula State Park. Fall 2019. Had the place to ourselves. 

Madison. The Terrace. A visit was always required. 

Maropea river. Ruahine New Zealand. 2009. 

Devil’s Lake 2018. 

Boundary Waters. 1989. Just as a series of storms rolled in and we were rushing about tying down the camp. Jeff’s green canoe just visible. 

Jeff, Gyro, Rick. Door County 2019. 

Maropea fishing. A few pools later and Jeff had his trout. And we had breakfast. 

Madison. Fall 2012

Bad fish river. Classic Jeff. So at home. Summer 2015

Breakfast. Door County camping 2019. All I brought along was me. Jeff had gotten everything arranged and sorted. As he did. 

Setting up my tent for Jeff in the Ruahine. And I do believe it was time for a wee dram. 

Lingering behind Near Madison 2012. 

Ruahine cocktail hour. 

Stringer of pike. Boundary Waters day trip. 


Madison 1983. My 23rd birthday. 

Near Maropea Forks. One of my favourites. Just a very cool and memorable day. 

Sunset and Jeff. 

Devil’s Lake 2018. So at home and comfortable outside. 

Boundary Waters. 

San Francisco 1987. Thanksgiving. Another very interesting evening. 

La Fete de Marquette Music Festival. A hot summer evening in Madison. 

Post party same evening. 

Sunset San Francisco 1987. Love this moment. 

John Muir Redwood forest. Jeff took us way off the beaten tracks. What a day! 


La Fete de Marquette

The Mapster! 

Madison 1987 summer. 

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