A week or so back Annie started getting this craving for salads—breakfast, lunch, dinner, in between. It was compulsory. Fringing on the neurotic. After a few days of this, it occurred to me her subconscious was likely instigating the salad binge, a reaction to the fact that, for the next give-or-take 12 weeks, as she section-hikes over 550 miles of Virginia’s Appalachian Trail, she will be living predominantly off tofu jerky, ramen noodles, homemade trail-mix, protein shakes, bags of tuna fish, dehydrated fruits and meals of the just-add-water variety.Thus, up until Friday, August 16 when, after years of consideration and umpteen overnight, weekend, and week-long getaways, she trucked it down to the southwestern-most tip of the state, setting out from Damascus on her trek to cover every mile of the Virginia quarter of the Appalachian Trail, she was milking the veggie bender for all it was worth.Hiking the AT, it’s one of those things lots of people talk about doing—that is, if it wasn’t for the kids, job, mortgage, automobiles, in short, the so-called myriad responsibilities binding them to the concrete geographical realities of hearth and home. Similarly, having saved the money, gotten herself mentally fortified, arranged her business obligations in such a way as to enable her to make the trip, still Laura was wavering. However, upon paying a visit to her 92 year old grandmother, waxing into a somewhat worried explanation of what it was she (Annie) was considering, with a curt and dismissive wave, Grandmother responded: “You should go. It would likely be the best thing you could do in your life.”Matriarch and homemaker for almost three-quarters of a century, Grandmother—Minerva Torrence—had devoted her life to serving as a pillar of domestic stability. Confronted by this unexpected blessing, a deep calm fell over Laura.“As I face my 34th birthday,” she told me, “I’m trying to accept and come to terms with my infertility. That moment, sitting at the kitchen table with my grandmother, something clicked. Section-hiking the Appalachian Trail felt like the best thing I could possibly do for myself.”“As with many a walk in the woods,” she went on, “I see this trip as a spiritual journey. A cleansing journey to rid myself of toxins—”after years of being a smoker, with the help of the abundant fresh air, Laura plans on quitting cold-turkey. “And it’s professional as well. On the one hand, I’ve committed myself to carrying my camera and working with you on this weekly column for Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, and will have a photo essay featured in AT Journeys Magazine. On the other, artistically speaking, I’ll be taking numerous self-portraits, and meeting with models along the way, hopefully having that culminate in a gallery event sometime in January or February of 2015.”But back to logistics:For the first week, she will be traveling without a tent, “Thereby lightening my load, enabling me to build a tolerance, and ease into the strain of walking with my photography gear.”What she means is: Rather than a traditional backpacking setup, inspired by the Blue Ridge’s ripening apples, the solitude of the season (this time of year thru-hiker traffic will have slowed to a trickle), historic sights, and iconic summits, she’ll be tucking her Canon DSLR Mark II (affectionately known as ‘Mark’) inside her Lowepro Dry Zone—a high-end, waterproof camera bag designed for brief and intensive excursions—composing photos all along the way. In order to pull this off, she will basically be repurposing the bag—storing her water bladder in the pack’s laptop compartment; instead of additional lenses, carrying a homemade aluminum burner, denatured alcohol, quick-dry towel, and a change of clothes; rather than a tripod, when her tent arrives (at the end of week one), it will be strapped to the face of her pack.“For the next twelve weeks,” she explains, her eyes reflecting the shimmering blues of the Damascus horizon, “my only job is to walk, stay dry, hydrated, and sane. To take pictures. To carry a journal. Each step will be rooted and stabilized in the simple act of breathing. I’m looking forward to waking to the misty sunrises, to fellowship with the trees and the wind, to scaling the ancient peaks, to staring down into valleys, to hiking in the moonlight.”From Damascus to Harperʼs Ferry, she’s purchased her ticket. Now comes The Ride.–Eric J. Wallace is a freelance writer and journalist roaming the state of Virginia. For more info, email him at [email protected]–To follow Annie’s adventure more closely, visit www.instagram.com/621_studios where, each morning, she will be posting a photo, documenting her progress, and offering behind the scenes shots of the self-portrait project she will be undertaking along the way. For additional info., bookings, print-sales, upcoming projects, newsletters, or just to say hello, visit 621studios.com.
– Ramraj, Seepersaud spin Demerara to nine-wicket winBOTH the Select Under-15 and Demerara registered first round wins in the Rubis Bel Air U-17 Inter-County 50-over cricket tournament, which commenced yesterday.The Select Under-15 beat Essequibo by 45 runs at Enmore Community Center while Demerara whipped Berbice by nine wickets at the Georgetown Cricket Club groundThis years’ tournament is being played under the Rubis Bel Air brand and managed through Cricket Guyana Inc., following the High Court ruling last Wednesday whereby the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) was deemed illegal.The tournament was made possible through the personal contributions of Lalta Gainda, Nazimul Drepaul, Anand Sanasie, Rahaman Khan and Richard Jodah.Earlier, at Enmore, Mavendra Dindyal struck a fighting 104, and single-handedly dominated the inning. Despite been dropped four times, the right-hander effort with the bat has been instrumental in taking the Select Under-15 side to 188-7.Thereafter off-spinners Krsna Singh (4-26) and Alvin Mohabir (3-13), then created the damage, restricting the Essequibo side to 144 all out in 42.3 overs.However, it was the 14-year-old Dindyal, who stood firm at one end to ensure the challenging total.After opting to bat, the Under-15s were left gasping for breath, at 44-3 inside the first 15 overs. Medium pacer Sheldon Charles (2-19), removed both openers, Jadon Campbelle (2), and Rampertab Ramnauth (10) before Tameshwar Mahadeo was stumped off left-arm spinner Ryan Alkinson (2-39), without scoring.Off-spinners Krsna Singh at left (4-26) and Alvin Mohabir (3-13), created the damage in the run chase.However, the right-handed pair of Dindyal and Mohabir then manufactured a salvage operation after they had been thrust together. They added 67 runs for the fourth-wicket during which the Diamond Secondary School student, Dindyal reached his fifty and his side passed the 100-run mark.Soon after off-spinner Abdul Nadir (1-18), bowled Mohabir for 29 but Dindyal who was joined by Captain Zachary Jodah, combined for a fifth-wicket stand of 49 runs before the latter was run out for 13. Dindyal, who toured with the West Indies Under-15 team last year to England, then brought up his hundred with his ninth boundary, but the innings lost some momentum towards the end with a couple of wickets, including the centurion.In the run chase, Essequibo lost opener Nadir, leg before to Isai Thorne without scoring before Charles and Scouten added 30 runs for the second wicket. Matthew Pattaya then broke the stand with the wicket of Scouten for 14.At that point the right-handed Charles dominated a third-wicket stand with Azizi Christian worth 58 runs.But Singh and Mohabir wreaked the havoc thereafter including the wickets of Charles, who made 52 and Christian (24).Meanwhile, Berbice were routed for just 66 in 29.1 overs with left-arm spinner Chanderpaul Ramraj (4-7) and off-spinner Andre Seepersaud (3-6), did the damage. Only Captain Marvan Prashad (31), managed double figures.In reply, Demerara raced to the winning target, reaching 67-1 in 28 overs. Seepersaud mane an unbeaten 31 while Reynaldo Mohamed contributed 14 not out.The second round is billed for today with Essequibo playing Demerara at GCC while Berbice take on the Select Under-15 at Everest.The third and final round is scheduled for tomorrow. Berbice will clash with Essequibo at GCC while the Select Under-15 will oppose Demerara at Everest ground.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly still doesn’t know whose name he’ll write in for two spots on the playoff roster for Monday’s Game 3 of the NLCS.It’s disconcerting to be sure. Andre Ethier didn’t play in Game 2 because he didn’t feel he could play defense at the level that’s required in center field, and shortstop Hanley Ramirez hopes a CT scan of the bruised ribs on his left side turns out in his favor and that the pain he’s experiencing lessens.If neither Ethier (ankle) nor Ramirez can play, the Dodgers likely would play Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto, respectively. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I didn’t feel I could give the effort to play center field (that’s required) in a game with this much importance,” Ethier said. “Being in the lineup and hitting and running the bases (is fine).”If he feels the same today, he’d still be available to pinch hit. He was unable to catch a ball at the wall in Game 1 that, when healthy, he would’ve gotten to and he was out of the Game 2 lineup.“We haven’t made that decision,” Ethier said of his status for Game 3. “We have to get to that point where it’s no a question mark on the defensive side.”Pitching optionsRicky Nolasco is scheduled to be the Game 4 starter, but Nolasco was bumped from his start in Game 4 of the NLDS in favor of Clayton Kershaw pitching on three days’ rest. Kershaw and Zack Greinke could conceivably both pitch on three days’ rest in this series. Mattingly fielded a question over whether Kershaw could pitch out of the bullpen if necessary. “We haven’t talked about Kershaw out of the bullpen,” Mattingly said. “We haven’t talked about anybody on three days’ rest.”Keep in mind Mattingly downplayed questions about the prospect of pitching Kershaw on three days’ rest, and then, five hours before Game 4 against the Braves, the Dodgers announced Kershaw would pitch on three days’ rest.“It always makes sense any time you mention those two guys’ names (Kershaw and Greinke),” Mattingly said. “But, it’s something as I said, we haven’t talked about at this point.”Friendly commish?Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright and Schumaker are former teammates, and they still play on the same fantasy football league. Wainwright is the commissioner.“I’m his fantasy football commissioner in one league, so within the last two minutes, I had to make a last-second adjustment to his roster,” Wainwright said on Sunday.Schumaker retorted: “I asked (for that change) a week ago.”Schumaker touted Wainwright’s abilities on the mound but not as commissioner of fantasy football.“He’s one of the worst commissioners,” Schumaker playfully said. “He’s always late for the draft. Brian McCann is in it. He’ll be able to tell you.”Struggling PuigYasiel Puig is showing his rookie colors, as he’s 0 for 10 with six strikeouts in the first two games of the NLCS. He was more than fine at the plate in the NLDS, where he had eight hits in four games. Teammate Hanley Ramirez said he’s talked to Puig. “He said he’s going to get it (today),” Ramirez said. “He’s learning. (Today) he’s going to play and maybe do some damage.”Said Mattingly: “I don’t think anything’s going to change the way they pitch him. … We’ll continue to talk to him and as much as anything else, for him to get himself good pitches to hit and just to keep going. Can’t let those two (games) turn into a third.“He had a good series against Atlanta. His thinking was good. He’s been fairly patient in the sense of getting good counts. He’s just got to settle down, be himself and keep going.”