There are millions of choices for a reader to select while browsing in a book store. I hope that the title Life Isn't Always Good . . . Sometimes It's CRAP caught your eye and sparked your interest to leaf through the contents of this book. When the book has been read in its entirety, you will realize that I do not believe "Life is Crap". On the contrary, I believe that "Life is Good". In the wilderness, Crap can creep in when least expected. At that very moment it can make you feel that "Life is Crap". Trapped on a mountain during a lightning storm is one of those moments. Tossed out of a kayak into a raging river alone and paddle less, qualifies as a "Life is Crap" moment. Driving along on an ATV can go from great to Crap in the blink of an eye. These are true events that have happened along the way. They are funny, sad, and some of them are blatantly dangerous. If you are planning an outdoor excursion, be aware that there are risks. Prepare yourself as well as possible, and hopefully you have planned out the CRAP.
From the story "Is That Banjos I Hear" The sun vanished and that is when the quandary began. The Boogie men emerged. I was alone, weaponless, and in the dark. Maybe I wasn’t alone; there was still the matter of “No Shoulders Jr.” I still had no idea if he was around or not, but I kept an eye out for him as I stoked the fire and added more wood. Everything around me was pitch black except the piercing light made by the camp fire. I started getting a peculiar sensation that someone or something was staring at me. The focal point was coming from the woods. If my suspicion was accurate, it had unobstructed vision of me because I was illuminated like a light bulb from the light of the fire. Shadows of my body were reflecting off the leaves of the nearby trees. Whenever I moved, it appeared something was moving in the brush. Was it me or was there an apparition stalking me? Close by, but out of good visibility, was a tree that had long branches and resembled gorilla arms. The arms reached out toward me whenever the wind blew. Abruptly, because of the sudden increase in wind, it seemed the arms were trying to wrap themselves around me. Then I began to mumble to myself. “Did I say gorilla arms? Bigfoot has gorilla arms doesn’t he? Wait! Are those eyes glaring at me off in the distance? No silly that is only a rock. You are crazy man! But wait! Bigfoot has been known to frequent this area. You know that because you’ve read every reported event since 1890. Trust your gut! Prepare yourself for something big and bad.” To take my mind off all the craziness, I started humming a verse from the song “The War of my Life” by John Mayer. Come out Angels Come out Ghosts Come out Darkness Bring everyone you know I’m not running I’m not scared I am waiting And well prepared Unexpectedly, there was a loud noise that interrupted my rhythm.
Ray (Papa Bear) Murray was born in El Paso, Texas in 1954 at Biggs Air Force Base hospital. His father was a retired sergeant in the U.S. Army so he spent his school days in many different parts of the world. Ray has worked for a tire manufacturing company in Oklahoma for 38 years (and counting). He spent three years active duty in the United States Army and another 10 years in the reserves. As an Ordnance Officer (major) he was called back to active duty after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was on duty as part of Operation Desert Shield for ten months stationed at Rock Island Arsenal in Moline, Illinois. Backpacking became his passion after a trip to the Grand Canyon was coordinated by a great friend and fellow soldier that Ray met while stationed at Rock Island Arsenal. Ray’s love for nature and the great outdoors is obvious in the enthusiastic manner in which he writes. Ray loves to tell stories about his adventures and CRAP that happens along the way. Photo