Off-Trail: 7.24.1996

July 24, 1996: Twenty years ago today. A day that altered the course of my life, though I’ll never remember it - only seven years old at the time. It was the day my Dad died.

He had been battling cancer for several years and his body ultimately rejected a transplanted liver.  He had just turned forty.  Forty fucking years old.

It’s wild - I have friends I met in college who I’ve known longer than I knew my Dad. Honestly, I don’t know if any of my remaining memories of him are real or if they are just mental constructions, pieced together from family stories and home videos. I’ve heard he was an incredible guy - loving, sharp, charming, and positive - always positive.

Most people’s lives are directly impacted by the presence of their father – the lessons passed down, the times together, the camping trips, the laughs. My story is different, though. My life was largely shaped by the absence of my father.

     At an early age, I learned that life is short. I realized that our days are finite and they
could come to an end at any moment.  It was a morbid realization, but it was
a damn powerful one.

And that is why I choose to live the way that I do - traveling, adventuring, pursuing my passions.  I don’t know if I’ll be here tomorrow, I don’t know if I’ll be here 50 years from now. But I know that I’m here now. And so, I’m living.

This website is both a representation and a metaphor of my life. It has no true plan or direction yet. I don’t know where I want it to go, but I’ll have fun with it.  As I share these adventures, may it gain direction. As I write these stories, may it gain insight. 

And so I present, Spork & Flask: A collection of stories, photos, and musings from a life drifting west.