This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



December 2006

The James Kim Situation

I’m still a bit late on the blog punch, but while it was happening my eye was drawn to the James Kim events as they played out. I really didn’t want to pay attention. I wanted to ignore it. But it resonated because of these days:

And some others that were not on random vacations and so I don’t have the full story with pictures and dates and times posted… but more things like that… where I have gotten myself into potentially sticky situations… have happened, as I tend to really enjoy exploring areas off the beaten path, and it just happens sometimes when you do that. What James Kim did… take a interesting looking back road as a potential shortcut… is definately somehting I would do.

Now, I’d like to think that in each of those cases I was actually prepared and knew the risks and made sure that while I was in situations that if they went wrong could get unpleasant, would not actually become life threatening. That I was always close enough to help that if I got stranded I could easily get to somewhere and get appropriate help. I’d like to think that I’d not take that interesting back road through the mountains in the middle of the winter… that I’d know not to do that, even if it looked tempting. But… I could see myself maybe tempting fate.

The reality is that on any of those days I listed above, or on a few others, even on those trips, had the right series of things gone wrong, I would have been in deep trouble. Even aside from getting the car stuck in a ditch and such… for instance 19 May 2002.

Nothing went wrong. No bad things happened. But for the majority of the time I was alone, out of cellphone coverage, and over 40 miles from the nearest (tiny) town and fairly far from any roads that had regular traffic. If I had a flat tire or run out of gas (as almost happened), I would have been in trouble, but I know I could have gotten to help, as unpleasant and inconvienant as it would have been. I knew the way out, and it was walkable. And it was spring and I had a tent and a sleeping bag, so I probably wasn’t going to freeze, even if I had to camp overnight (as I’d done earlier that trip when I got the truck stuck).

But… if while climbing the step hill/mountain my random spot was on I had sprained my ankle or broken my leg or something… then I would have been screwed. It would have been bad. And just a couple more bad pieces of luck on top of that could make it REALLY bad in a hurry. OK, several bad things would have had to happen, not just one… but still… those things do happen. The Kim’s are proof of that. On any number of occations, things could have gotten to the point where my life was in danger.

I thought I was being slightly reckless enough to make it fun, but not so reckless as to actually make it dangerous. And every one of my random trips WAS very fun. I had a blast and miss doing that. But more carefullness is clearly in order.

I haven’t done a random trip in awhile. And the presense of Brandy and Amy most likely being with me will certainly make the next trip a bit tamer, and we’re a bit less likely to go trooping off into the jungle in search of the exact random spot as I might well do if I was alone or with Chad or something, but still…

Next time we do a trip… hopefully in 2007 to Quintana Roo… I think we are going to need to rent (or buy) one of these or perhaps one of these. Or maybe even both. They are expensive, but if one is going to be going off somewhere where if something happens someone isn’t going to find you right away and you might not be able to call for help in normal ways… I’m thinking they might be good investments.