Monthly Archives: April 2011

Trail Vs. Mall

Thanks to plenty of crappy weather lately, and my procrastination in buying a proper rain jacket, I’ve had to take some of my practice walks in everyone’s beloved gathering place, the mall. Not my favorite thing, but not wholly terrible either. Here, a comparison of my mall experiences and my trail experiences:

Trail: Creepy-looking but probably benign culverts

Mall: Creepy-looking but probably benign lurkers

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Trail: A muskrat swimming in a pond

Mall: An environment swimming with marketing ploys

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Trail: Nearly bare tree branches with the first buds of spring just appearing

Mall: Huge pictures of nearly naked Abercrombie and Fitch models

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Trail: A biker I don’t know giving me a high-five

Mall: A custodian I don’t know giving me a friendly greeting

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Trail: A deer eating grass

Mall: People eating enormous cinnamon rolls that I want to grab out of their hands and devour because I’ve been walking for two and a half hours now

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Trail: Pitch-black crows

Mall: Prom dresses in every color of the rainbow, and then some, and then still more, and I want to hang out with the girl cuckoo enough to wear that dress

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Trail: So much natural beauty worth protecting

Mall: So much pointless merchandise worth rejecting

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And on that sanctimonious note, I wish you good walking of your own, wherever it takes place.


You too can write a nodaiku! It’s a Nodaiku Contest!

Do you like haiku?  

Have you ever heard of North Dakota?  

Maybe you too can write a Nodaiku!

Gather round, all ye of steady hand and sharp wit: The Blank Rectangle wants you to create your own North Dakota-themed haiku!   See details below:

  • Poems should follow the basic form of haiku: 3 lines consisting of syllables 5, 7 and 5, respectively.  Since the haiku form in English is not necessarily restricted to just 17 syllables, we’ll accept anything shorter than 17 syllables, but 17 us the max.  (Hint: a good haiku is one that can be spoken with one breath.)
  • The poem should be paired with the below photo in the Badlands outside of Medora, ND, taken by our very own Tyler Bold.  (Want to see some samples of the photo nodaiku combo?  Take a look at our collection so far.)
  • Poems should be submitted to theblankrectangle@gmail.com with your name and your hometown and state by May 4, 2011.  No more than one entry per person, please.

We’ll feature the poems of some of the finalists on the blog here, but one lucky winner will have their poem featured with this photograph in The WAND Chronicles, the record of our walk across the western half of North Dakota!  We know you’ve been itching to try your hand at this super-cool new form of haiku.  Heck, it could even make you famous!  (Well, maybe just North Dakota-famous…)

BTW, we’ve collected over $1000 in pledges on our Kickstarter fund drive – awesome!  THANK YOU so much to all who have contributed so far.  But we could still use help covering the rising costs of making/documenting the trip (including eating dinner and staying a night with the monks at Assumption Abbey near Richardton, ND).  And it doesn’t take much: a $10 donation will get you a personalized nodaiku postcard from the road, and only $15 for a digital copy of the WAND Chronicles!  So capture a little piece of the most unknown state in America by supporting “The Walk Across North Dakota” — make your pledge here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1317185340/the-walk-across-north-dakota?ref=email  (Tell your friends!  Tell your enemies!  Tell complete strangers you’ve never met before!)

THANK YOU!!!

Photo by Tyler Bold


Nodaiku: “the fence post pierces”

From April 15, 2011, "Fence Post Blue Sky" by Jessie Veeder Scofield

the fence post pierces
tufts of cloud in bright blue sky —
Spring leaps out of bed

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The Nodaiku Project is a weekly series featuring one of Jeremy Bold’s haiku compositions based on Jessie Veeder Scofield’s photographs from her ranch way out in western North Dakota (Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Daily Photos).  Find more of The Blank Rectangle’s nodaiku poems by following us on Twitter (@blankrectangle) or here at The Blank Rectangle: Nodaiku and be sure to click the “Sign me up!” button in the sidebar to get notified each time there’s a new nodaiku or other post from The Blank Rectangle!


Nodaiku: “a small rut opened”

From April 11, 2011, "Water Rut" by Jessie Veeder Scofield

a small rut opened
into the salted grey earth–
Water leads to Past

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The Nodaiku Project is a weekly series featuring one of Jeremy Bold’s haiku compositions based on Jessie Veeder Scofield’s photographs from her ranch way out in western North Dakota (Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Daily Photos).  Find more of The Blank Rectangle’s nodaiku poems by following us on Twitter (@blankrectangle) or here at The Blank Rectangle: Nodaiku and be sure to click the “Sign me up!” button in the sidebar to get notified each time there’s a new nodaiku or other post from The Blank Rectangle!


Random Pictures

Here are some pictures from my recent practice walks, and one relating to WAND gear.

When I saw this same owl last fall, I was thrilled- it’s so rare to see an owl perched out in the open during the day, no? Yeah…it’s fake. To whoever put it up there: it’s not very nice to trick people like that.

From afar, I thought this object might be a turtle sunning itself on the side of the road. As I cautiously approached, I saw that it was actually a candy bar wrapper. But then, up close, I realized I had been half right to begin with!

Trailer parks usually aren’t the cheeriest places for a stroll, although I’m sure there are some that are well-groomed and inviting. This one had plenty of garbage strewn about. Maybe it’s patronizing of me, but I’ve been making a point of including the town trailer parks on my walks. They’re part of the community, too, even though many of the homes leave a lot to be desired aesthetically.

And now for a very important question: should I take this gold lamé headband on the WAND? Cons: scratchy, won’t absorb sweat, impractical. Pros: bling, fun, flair. What do YOU think??

 

This last picture is the only one I didn’t take, but I had to include it because I had such a wonderful time walking through this area. The Munsinger Gardens in St. Cloud, MN, must be gorgeous in the summer, when this picture was obviously taken. When I walked through them on Monday, there were no blooms or even green leaves yet, but the intertwining cobblestone pathways, the tall trees, and the layout of the gardens still made it a lovely place to pass through. There are several swing benches nearby, a wishing well, and a fountain. I hope to return there this summer.


Nodaiku “some geese pause, some go”

From April 9, 2011, "Geese Fly" by Jessie Veeder Scofield

some geese pause, some go
washing all snow from the earth
worms dig in deeper

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The Nodaiku Project is a weekly series featuring one of Jeremy Bold’s haiku compositions based on Jessie Veeder Scofield’s photographs from her ranch way out in western North Dakota (Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Daily Photos).  Find more of The Blank Rectangle’s nodaiku poems by following us on Twitter (@blankrectangle) or here at The Blank Rectangle: Nodaiku and be sure to click the “Sign me up!” button in the sidebar to be notified each time there’s a new nodaiku or other post from The Blank Rectangle!

 


Nodaiku: “between ice and sky”

from March 29, 2011 "Crow in sunrise" by Jessie Veeder Scofield

between ice and sky
crow stopped, pondered, picked the ground —
sun goes slow to rise

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The Nodaiku Project is a weekly series featuring one of Jeremy Bold’s haiku compositions based on Jessie Veeder Scofield’s photographs from her ranch way out in western North Dakota (Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Daily Photos).  Find more of The Blank Rectangle’s nodaiku poems by following us on Twitter (@blankrectangle) or here at The Blank Rectangle: Nodaiku and be sure to click the “Sign me up!” button in the sidebar to get notified each time there’s a new nodaiku or other post from The Blank Rectangle!


The Monkey on my Back

I’ve found it, the thing that’s going to be my greatest hardship relating to the WAND. It’s not aching muscles, thirst, insect bites, sore feet, sweaty feet, blistery feet, or anything that would qualify as enemy number one for a reasonable person.

It’s sleeping on my back.

I am a natural side sleeper. I HATE sleeping on my back. A few years ago, I tried to make the switch because it’s supposed to be the healthiest way to sleep. After many miserable nights, I more or less adjusted, but I never got fully comfortable with it. So I fell back into sleeping on my side, which may not be ideal health-wise or beauty-wise, but feels so heavenly on my memory foam bed.

On the WAND, however, there will be no memory foam. I will be sleeping on the hard ground, with only a relatively thin foam pad as cushioning. If I sleep on my side, my hip bone and arm will not thank me – they will make me regret it. So I’ve decided to switch once again to sleeping on my back, until our journey is over.

Last night I only lasted twenty minutes or so on my back before rolling over to one side, feeling like a failure despite what was genuinely a good faith effort. Trying to fall asleep on my back just feels so awful. I feel like I’m lying in a coffin or on a slab at the morgue, or like I’m about to do the Pilates 100. And what do I do with my arms? When I rest them at my sides, it increases the coffin/morgue sensation. When I put them on my stomach, they annoy me by going up and down with my breathing. The more I tried to relax, the more a panicky feeling welled up inside me. My body, almost in physical pain, cried out to make a quarter turn, and eventually I couldn’t stand it any more.

Will tonight be better? Does anyone out there have tips, or words of sympathy? Although I may seem like a whiner, making a big deal out of something small, even those twenty minutes didn’t feel small at all. But relearning to sleep on my back seems be a necessary ordeal. I simply won’t have space in my pack for a pad thick enough to allow me to sleep on my side night after night. I have no choice but to bite the bullet on this one.

 


Help us Kickstart the WAND!

Well, we’ve been talking about it for a while…and it seemed like we would never actually do it…but we finally made it.  What?  Oh, our Kickstarter page to help raise funds to support and document the Walk Across North Dakota, of course!  Follow the link below to see our page and pledge to contribute — we are even offering some nice rewards for various levels of support, including copies of the WAND Chronicles, our book to be based on the trip…

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1317185340/the-walk-across-north-dakota

Here’s a little teaser… it’s our official trailer for the WAND!

And be sure to tell your friends!  Thanks for all your support!


What might the WAND look like…ND in photos

As we’ve been gearing up for the WAND — in June, 2 months and counting! – we’ve been reminiscing over old photos from our salad days in NoDak.  Also, we’ve decided to create a calendar from photos taken on the WAND and include it as part of our rewards for raising funds to support the trip.  Here’s a few of our favorites, in order of the potential sights to be seen…

by Tyler Bold

Lands so beautiful they tried to hide them by calling ’em bad. This seems pretty likely to be the most dynamic and exciting part of our adventure, hiking through the Badlands of Theodore Roosevelt State Park.  Probably a lot of other great photo-ops out here…

by Tyler Bold

The open road. It’ll go on for miles and miles.  There are lots more stunning road photos of North Dakota out there – just do a Google Image search for them, they’re easy to find.  Of course, there probably won’t be snow on the ground for us this time around, so that will be nice.

by Jeremy Bold

Really “big sky” country. It takes forever for the sun to set in North Dakota, and it gives you some of the most amazing sunsets you will ever see.  Definitely looking forward to this.

by Jeremy Bold

Where the sidewalk begins. Even though I know 2+ weeks is a long time, I expect that it’ll go past much faster than we even expect.  We’ll be arriving back in Bismarck sooner than we imagine.

Wow.  SO psyched to get out there and take some more photos this summer.  And be sure to look out for our announcement of the opening of our Kickstarter page this week!  We’ll also be posting the trailer for the WAND very soon now…be on the lookout!


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