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Monday, December 16, 2013

MYSTIC MOTH HOME PAGE (The Next 1000 Days...)



Jeremy Jacobus

If you wound up on this blog hoping to find an awesome Hike - STOP!  You came to the right place!

For my next 1000 Days I have decided to write a book about a moth. Not just any moth; Mystic Moth.  Just as I did with my hikes, I will now write every single day for 1000 consecutive days.  Every time I complete a chapter I will share it on this blog.  I know, not nearly as exciting or demanding as my crazy hiking adventure was - or is it?!  Hiking may have been a physical testamate of will, strength and courage but writing a book is mentally grueling - just plain brutal; especially when you work a full time job, raise kids, own a frozen yogurt business, etc...

Enough excuses.  So, what or who is Mystic Moth?  Hmm, long story, hence read the book, lol.  I guess you can say that at some level, this is a children's book - but not really.  This story could be converted to a Disney Movie but I'm not necessarily writing it that way.  In fact, I'm closely taking facts, mixing them with the realities of nonfiction and then setting this story in an actual time and place.

It will all make sense in the end.  Have faith.  Meanwhile, save this blogpost page and check back weekly for newly added chapters.  Click the links below to follow along...


Chapter Three
Back Room

     Shields Up! -- Oh Myyy -- George... Voices in his head; where were they coming from?  He was on foreign soil, amongst aliens and other creatures.  An irritation tickled his face - it was an insect of sorts - bugging him.  He took his hands and swatted the pestering flying object away.  Wait!  He has hand hands?  They were light brown in color on the outside and plain white to the palm.
     "Nice to see you in action one more time", a man without a face said to him.
     Mystic tried to reply but no words were spoken.  His mind spun in circles as he thought to himself, "wasn't that my line at one point - in some point?  What's going on here?"
     Closing his eyes in hopes that it was all just a dream, he slowly raised his eyelids and noticed nothing of the same.  Confusing.  Where was Gypsy or Fruity?  He began to walk, yes walk, full strides, in search for them.  Ah, there's Nikolai, smoking a cigar - drinking vodka.  He was playing with hand painted nesting dolls and yelling for his babushka to bring him morozhenoe; Russian ice cream.  Mmm, that looked yummy.  Mystic approached his brother and asked him to share, but once again, no words came out.  Hmm, last time this happened to him he was being harassed by Sawtooth.
     Mystic slowly folded his eyes to darkness, elapsed a moment of peace, and when he restored his vision, Sawtooth was breathing down his neck with a jaggeder sneer.  His razor sharp teeth surrounded him like a barbed wire fence with no escape.  Fear shrilled panic through his spine...
     "Close your eyes", a blissful whisper from yonder haled to salvation.  "Shh", the soft blessedness of heaven calmed his pulse.
     "Gypsy", Mystic beckoned?  He followed her instructions and awoke at warp speed traveling through the universe embracing the helm of the USS Enterprise.  In a flash, he was transported to a gloomy marsh where it was cold, wet and the mist of fog restricted perception.  Snarling sounds of wallowing splashes lurked nearer.  Glowing red eyes penetrated like laser beams through the murk.  Closer, trepidation lingered.  Louder, a distressing pique shattered Mystic's veins.  Sawtooth! "Beam me up Scotti", Mystic screeched!

     ...And then nothing. Bitter cold, blankets of sweat, an awkwardness of realization.  Outside the Coliseum, Mystic awoke from under shredded strips of flour waste and particles of his own feces.  He lived like a vagrant succumbing to the balm of flatulism that he had created.
     Each day since the Clobberanium he met up with Gypsy and Fruity but he didn't let on to the verisimilitude of struggle.  He enjoyed their company immensely and hinted once to hang out with them after hours - a sleepover.  But, Fruity lived in a banana and explained to Mystic that he would not survive in this tropical fruit.  In fact, Mystic learned that the only reason Fruity was able to play with him in Flourville was because he carried bags of banana chips and munched on them all day.  Meanwhile, Gypsy lived with the girls and since Mystic was a boy, well...
     "I wish I were a girl", Mystic said to himself, or so he thought...
     "What was that sir", an Ant Patrolman asked?
     "Oh", Mystic startled.  "Oh myyy, umm... I think I need to hurl."
     The antman studied Mystic for a moment and determined that he was not inebriated.  Perhaps odd - eccentric, but definitely not intoxicated.  "Well", the ant said.  "There's nothing illegal about being strange.  That said, you are on the streets during curfew."  He writes something down on a small tablet and then hands it to Mystic.  "You'll need to take care of this infraction by Friday to avoid further penalty.  I suggest you go home, get some rest and <~whiff, whiff~>, take a shower!"  The police ant plugs his nose and strolls away.

     A groggy start to yet another pointless morning - or was it still night?  No way to tell being cooped up in this cabinet between the Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour and the C & H All-Natural Sugar Cane.  Forced to vacate the streets, Mystic climbed back through the northern tunnel of the flour bag being sure to avoid Beetle Haven.  Whistling inconspicuously, he crept down a passageway and poked his head through various doorways.  Mostly everyone he encountered was sleeping, but there were a few who were not.
     "Go away you slug", one abhorrent larva irked!  The antisocial caterpillar was performing a covert ritual with candles and other paraphernalia.  Mystic took his advice and kept slugging along.  He passed through a narrow archway dressed with a pink privacy curtain leading to yet another corridor.  The fancy hallway was lined with several long wall tables displaying dozens of decorated knickknacks and pictures.  Faintly in the distance a murmuring croon of elation could be heard.  As he approached closer, the eloquent drone emanated from a concealed chamber.  Mystic tapped his cranium against the visible walls to help reveal where the sound was chanting from.  Frustration flustered the auspicious caterpillar because the discovery came to no avail.  Remembering how he chewed through the beetle tunnel, Mystic thought that perhaps he should attempt an equivalent movement.  He began chucking away at the flour where the sound infiltrated at its highest vibration.  Carefully prying the flour surface away, Mystic did not want to chip another tooth.
     Suddenly, a large female caterpillar caught him off guard which zaunted him into a shuddering convulsion.  "Just what do you think you are doing", she angered!?  This larva had a web like vale streaming over her face and was nearly fully bloomed - an adolescent soon to blossom.  She gawked at Mystic while he collected himself and as usual, Mystic was lost for words.
     Several other girls floundered about, joining this voluptuous teenager.  Mystic was backed into the corner of dread.  Ah, but to his delight, a majestic solvency of reason passioned through his heart.  His sister - the harmonious vex of Gypsy.  She was his Earth above deep waters and although one may fathom that all these caterpillars were of relation, none was greater than her.
     "Lady, it's okay", Gypsy said and then concerned her attention to Mystic.  "What are you doing here my lost brother?"
     Awe-struck like a lightening bolt on fire, Mystic pronounced, "Say hello to your next starting Streaker at the Clobberanium!"  It was true.  Mystic received the draft notice from the ant patrol.  Apparently living displaced as a vagabond without purpose warrants such extradition.  At least, that's what the ticket read.  If he did not voluntarily participate in the upcoming event come Friday he would be taken to the dungeon which would eliminate any chance he had of becoming a butterfly.
     "Oh My", Gypsy cried.
     'Hmm, isn't that my line', Mystic thought.  'Where is this all coming from?  Who am I - or what will I become?'
     "MYSTIC", Gypsy yelled!  "Come back to Flourville!"
     "Huh", Mystic found himself in a trance.  Bewildered, transparent - deja vu - or has it not happened yet?
     No doubt Mystic was suffering from insomnia.  Sleeping on the streets will do that.  The constant fear of the unknown - tragedies around the corner without shelter - Sawtooth!  Mystic had questions and as always, Gypsy had answers of reason.  She invited him in to the girl's nest. which by the way was obscured by a secret bookshelf.  With one yank of a book, Mystic was invited in.  Good thing for them he was not a vampire moth.
     Sitting around a soft cozy rug in the middle of the floor, Gypsy explained the history of the Sawtooth Beetles.  Unlike the flour beetles, and their Evil Weevil larvae, male sawtooths never learn to fly.  They are brown in color, feed off grain and have shark-like teeth.  Years ago one of the kitchen chefs left a bag of grain open which essentially invited the pests in for the harvest.  However ever since the infamous Back Room was constructed, the grain supply became limited,  forcing the sawtooth to the trenches.  Fortunately to their aid, the evil weevils paid top dollar to import the food source to help last the burly beetle relative.  No credit cards accepted - but payment in moth eggs was.  It has become quite the epidemic until the ants intervened.  If the truce of the Clobberanium was not implemented, devastation to the caterpillars would have been immanent - abomination to the point of extinction of the Pantry Moth; in these parts anyway.

     After the lecture, the girls rejoiced in celebration.  It was the graduation party for Lady who had begun pupating.  She was blatantly upset with Mystic's disruption but she found her way to cozy back to her nest for hibernation.  Unlike the males, who rush the process at the games, the girls took their time embellishing the precious moment with song and dance.
     "Want to help me Mystic", Gypsy asked as she began mixing a bowl?  It was a concentrate of flour, sugar, butter and eggs with a hint of vanilla extract.
     "Sure", Mystic replied.  Posturing as if he had hands on his hips, knee forward and chest out, Mystic lisped in a soprano tone, "Can I spread the frosting?"  They were indeed making a cake.  It was a glorious endeavor for Mystic to accomplish.
     The activities continued all through the morning and into the afternoon.  By the next evening, Mystic learned to knit and he weaved himself several new colorful outfits.  The absence of time was not present, nor did it phase him, at least, not until nightfall.  It dawned on him that he forgot to meet up with Fruity as promised.  He felt guilty with transgression for dissing his friend.
     Fruity and Mystic had plans to see the next show that day.  Together, with Gypsy, they had been exploring beyond the cabinet boundaries.  Discovering openings through the nooks and crannies, life led them to unknown terrains where others considered forbidden.  As each day passed, their courage and bravery strengthened and soon they realized that there was much more to life than just flour.
     On the day after the Clobberanium, they witnessed a most remarkable, astonishing phenomenon.  Like being on top a mountain overlooking the valley below, a zing of bright light casted ambiance of curiosity.  It was their Colorado rushing through the Grand Canyon.  In the distance, a kitchen island rose magnificently like the Channel Islands singing off the Oxnard Coast.  Upside down Clobberaniums along with other pots and pans hung from the heavens above like clouds in the sky.  Ant highways winded around the pass and formed a single lane mountain road to the foothills below.
     The first extraordinary happening they watched involved larger than life creatures - human beings - men.  They wore tall white hats fluffed with poof tops.  Vigorously assembling dish after dish, these aggressive insect slayers sifted through nearby cabinets and tossed various ingredients over a hot fire.  In some cases, bags of sugar and flour culminated for the sacrifice.  Fortunately, Flourville was spared on this day.
     On the following afternoon the young enthusiastic minds trekked off the cabinet summit and followed a ridge trail beyond the wall of disguise.  The long exhausting journey brought them to a dim lit cathedral where coughing smoke vaporized musk of cigar steam.  They made it to the Back Room where party goers lived up a social life with eats and drinks.  One distinguished gentleman with a caterpillar styled mustache attracted the center of attention.  He sported a black hat and cane yet ironically, the man could walk completely normal and used the handicap device to perform neat tricks.
     On their final escapade, the day before yesterday, the kids stretched their limits past a unique crescent shaped object with a dial.  They found it peculiar that these large beasts would speak to themselves while holding the instrument to their mouth and ears.  Bizarre!  Mystic led the charge and waltzed outside the restaurant to the stars of daylight.  They spotted the funny man with a cane on horseback racing down the boulevard against another. 
     The early evening sky began sectioning the blinds which gave way to an abundance of electric nightlife.  Just then, before Mystic's eyes, a monarch butterfly appeared out of nowhere.  His idol was living free without a care or worry above the metropolis.  In a glance, his inspiration swooped lower to establish contact.  Eye to eye, it was like looking in the mirror and reflecting his future.  Although the meeting was no longer than a flash of a camera, an eternal awakening had warmed Mystic within.  Life had purpose - He was ready to live...

***Check Back for Chapter Four...

DAYS (1015 - 1021)

 Thursday December 5, 2013 - Wednesday December 11, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

 1. Days 976 - 978: Mineral King Loop     Sequoia National Park - California
     30.25 Miles  +/- 8375 Feet
Mineral King may have been the hardest excursion I attempted, and accomplished, in my 1000 Day adventure.  The physical requirements were challenging, but going this one all alone required intense mental stamina.  Along the way you will pass more than a half dozen lakes.  You will trek beyond the comfort of others.  If you are looking for an escape to isolation, to test your will and courage, this journey is a must!

Days 998 - 1001: Mount Whitney
    Lone Pine - California
    25 Miles  +/- 7000 Feet
Climbing the Highest Peak in the Contiguous United States.  Above 13,000 Feet I did get dizzy but with my team, we reached the summit!  It took me exactly 1000 days to prepare for this moment; it was well worth it! 
3.  Day 152: Green Sand Beach - Hawaii
4. Days 648 - 649: Santa Paula Punch Bowls



6.  Day 83: Tangerine Falls
7.  Day 929: Mt. Baldy
8. Day 576: Taft Point

9.  Day 915: Matilija Falls

10.  Day 418: Piedra Blanca

11.  Day 216: La Jolla Valley

12.  Day 852: Big Caliente Hot Springs - The Oasis

13.  Day 250: Fryman Canyon - Los Angeles Rainforest

14.  Day 750: Myakka River State Park

15.  Days 504 - 509: Pacific Northwest

16.  Day 243: Mary Jane Falls - Mt. Charleston


Thursday, December 5, 2013



     "That's not true", a familiar voice interjects.  "You are a Caterpillar now", Gypsy insisted.  "Soon you will go through metamorphosis and become anything you want to be!
     "Even a butterfly", Mystic excites?
     "Well...", she rolled her eyes, grinned and began to hum the lyrics, "One day you will fly..."
     "tsi-Shih-Nah", Nikolai pleads for quiet in Russian.  He marches over to Gypsy to prevent her from yet another verse of the Butterfly song.  "No more singing!  U menya bolit golova!"
     "Huh", Mystic puzzles?
     "I have a headache!  What is this - The Little Mermaid?  Oh, you wish you could fly, like a butterfly - just like Aerial dreamed to have legs!"
     "She did earn legs", Gypsy defends.
     "Yea, but at what price", Nikolai scolds?  "She lost her voice and reeked havoc for everyone that came in contact with her.  Personally, I don't need any of that blood shed on my hands.  You are who you are - don't medal around with fate."  He turns away and begins his crawl.  Looking back, Nikolai said, "That is all!"

     Mystic and Gypsy watch their older brother slide down the flour slalom until he veers off course eating his way underground towards his homeland.

     "Muy gordo", said a peculiar looking bug wiggling up the flour lift.  In his Latin accent, the diminuto insecto continued.  "He's eating like that because he thinks it will better him in the Clobbermanium."
     "The Clobbermanium", Mystic inquisitively inquires?
     "It's the competition", Gypsy states.  "You haven't been to one yet?"

     Like a marcescent flower, Mystic shrivels up feeling dumbfounded in embarrassment.  It occurred to him that during his brief existence, he was living without purpose.  Up until now, his daily chore was eating and surviving.  Meanwhile, his family members were growing, prospering and most importantly, experiencing life.  How did he miss the bus on this one?  Why did he wander all alone and wind up with the beetles?  Was something off kilter with him???

     "The event is held at the Coliseum every afternoon", the Hispanic insect said.  "Nikolai believes if he wins, then one day he'll become an Emperor Moth."
     "An Emperor Moth", Mystic questions?
     "Si", the bug explains.  "An Emperor Moth is the largest moth of them all."
     "But I thought Nikolai said we were all destined to be..."
     Gypsy cuts him off, "Hypocrite!"
     "Totally!  By the way, my name is Fruity", Fruity said and wagged his tail toward Mystic for the formal introduction.
     Mystic swung his back end around like humans do when they shake hands, well, some humans anyhow.  "Nice to meet you", Mystic acknowledged.  Looking at him with awkwardness, Mystic asked, "So, what kind of moth are you?"
     Fruity and Gypsy both chuckled as Fruity explained, "I'm not actually a moth at all.  I am a Maggot."
     "A maggot", Mystic astonished!  "My brother once called me that and I found it quite insulting!  Why would you put yourself down like that - low self-esteem?"
     "No you baboon", Fruity said.  "I'm a bonafide maggot and one day I will become a Fruit Fly, you know, just like the one you flew in on."
     "Ohhh", Mystic riddles.
     "Yeah, that was my mother.  She probably saved you from the Evil Weevils in Beetle Haven."
     Mystic began to blush as he attempted to divert the attention by looking at his sister.  With fake confidence, he signaled first down with his tentacles and shouted, "No more delay!  Onward to the Coliseum for the show!"
     Gypsy and Fruity giggled again and after his sister collected herself from hysteria, she said, "Mystic, you can't be seen in public like that."  She hesitated and then took her brother by the chin, stared him in the eyes and said, "You'll be sited for indecent exposure.  What happened to your clothes?"  Mystic's quick movement to sway the ref generated a small gust of wind.  <~sniff, sniff.  Gypsy grossed out, nearly ready to puke and baffled, "And what is that god awful retched smell?"
     She was referring to the stench leftover from when Mystic fell in the tunnel dung.  This triggered awareness upon his self conscious state like realizing the story of Adam and Eve for the very first time.  Reaching with pretension, Mystic fibbed, "Those Weevil Evils stripped me of my outerwear but just as I was beginning to clobber them in retaliation, a Fruit Fly, your mother, grabbed me from behind and flew me here."
     Using her antenna to scratch her head in disbelief, Gypsy said, "You mean the Evil Weevils?  Was it a Zyzzyva?"
     There was an uncomfortable pause from Mystic because he did not know how to reply.  Fortunately, Fruity suggested, "Probably not Gypsy.  Those reddish beetles are normally found in tropical regions.  My mother once told me about them when she was collecting apple peels in her youth."
     "Good point", Gypsy said.  "Nevertheless, we need to get this boy some clothes before the Ant Police arrest him for public nuisance."

     Gypsy flaunts her ultramarine toned scarf which was wrapped around her neck.  The blueish-purple colors were vibrant and appealing to most.  She broke out in a totutiloquent elocution and praised the glorification and glamor of style.  With Nikolai beyond the sounds of realm, she swaddled her shawl around Mystics head and broke out in a gospel.  In harmony with Fruity, they escorted Mystic around town like Julia Roberts in Pretty Women on Rodeo Drive.  Discovering a new found happiness in shopping like it was Black Friday, Mystic settled on a reddish-pink robe, topped off with a violet colored bonnet.  Like Tom Brady from the New England Patriots, he maintained Gypys's scarf, exhibiting it with pride and swagger.

     His desired curiosity in respect to the Evil Weevils was answered.  Fruity explained that these minor beetles competed with the caterpillar moths by feeding in the flour to gain strength.  Like Mystic, the Evil Weevils hatched from eggs, became larvae and would eventually go through the pupa stage of metamorphosis to become adults; Beetles.  Because a single host of each species literally drops hundreds of eggs, the beetles become territorially and attempt to vanquish the moth's existence to ensure their own survival.

     The weevils have a particular way about them by sticking cobweb like strings together, hence the beetle tunnel structure that Mystic traveled through to enter Flourville.  But why did the beetle tolerate the fruit fly?  Easy.  First, maggots don't threaten their food supply.  But the main reason is because fruit flies can take to flight and although adult male beetles do as well, they only have one thing on their mind; fertilizing eggs.  Male beetles do not eat and as a result, their mere existence in adulthood is brief.  This could explain their belligerent attitude.  Fortunately, the female crawlers agreed to a treaty with the fruit flies to help escort their younglings around town.  Therefore, the maggots are spared.

     Mystic felt safe in the camaraderie with Fruity.  Together, they scoped out all the unique shops in town, killing time before the Clobberanium began.

     "It's about that time", Gypsy said.
     "Indeed", Fruity agreed.  "Due to all the violence I am not especially fond of the event, but since this will be your first visit, I'd be glad to join in."

     The trio hitched a ride from some cab flies to the center of town where all the different species traveling ways intersected.  Made out of stainless steel, the massive bowl shaped Coliseum stood proud.  There were hundreds of tiny holes on the outside where spectators could view the action looking in.  To humans, this arena was nothing more than a spaghetti strainer.  To the caterpillars, this utensil was used to separate the men from the boys.

     "Tickets", a scalper across Stadium Way solicited.  "Get your tickets", the beetle larva slapped a stack of etched flour bag paper with his tentacles against his head.  Before Mystic could rush for the swap, Gypsy forewarned him that reselling tickets in the streets was illegal.  Not a minute later, a squad of ants harassed the panhandler and took him into custody.

     Standing in line with all the other moth and beetle caterpillars, the normally neutral bound territory disrupted in several antagonistic brawls like an Ohio State vs. michigan game.  To the dismay of Mystic, the fans were rowdy and obnoxious.  The violent atmosphere was not to his liking, especially in the companionship with a maggot and petite female.  He noticed that the eager gatherers were dressed to support their teams.  The beetle larvae wore brown or black which blended in with their body and speckled spots on their thorax whereas the moth caterpillars wore bright white which enhanced their fuzzy coating to create a white out effect as if they were at Beaver Stadium cheering for the Nittany Lions.

     At the ticket booth, Fruity exchanged grain for his seats, Gypsy donated a dime bag of pure flower and Mystic, who had nothing but the clothes on his back, was turned away when he offered his colorful hat.  Fortunately, Fruity had a wheat shaving from a bowl of Cheerios and the ticket attendant obliged for the exchange.

     Like climbrockers, Mystic Gypsy and Fruity crawled nearly upside down at a vertical angle to reach their seats.  Cliff hanging through the punched out holes, they took spot just in time for the first action.  Glowworms imported from New Zealand were strung from the shelf above, high over the bowl.  These unique creatures originated from the Waitomo Caves south of Hamilton and went through a complicated recruiting process to eventually reach the States.  Their luminosity brought the open air atmosphere to life.

     "Welcome to the 132nd Generation of the Clobberanium Championship Series", the broadcaster announced to the excitement of the crowd.  Situated in the upper deck, Mystic complained that he could barely see the field.
     "What do you expect", Fruity spoke with a lisp.  "Our tickets were cheap - stale cereal, really?  To sit at field level, you'll need to pay up."
     "Like with Beetle Eggs", Mystic suggests?
     "Oh no", Gypsy concerned.  "The whole point of these games is to settle the wars diplomatically - well somewhat peacefully anyhow."
     "Ya", Fruity confirmed.  "If you bring eggs to the event they'll throw you to the lions."
     "Really", Mystic frightens?!
     "No", Gypsy laughs relieving Mystic's anxiety.  "But the Ant Police would probably lock you up and you'll never be given the chance of becoming a butterfly."
     "Shish - This is it", Fruity said.  He pulled out a pair of binoculars, self made from broken glass bits.  On the field, female beetle larvae were dressed in black and golden brown cheer costumes.  They formed a tunnel for their male combatants and shook pompoms from their antennas as the team stormed the field.
     "Give it up for your Evil Weevils" the broadcaster roars!  Nearly two-thirds of the coliseum raised their flags and erupted in cheers!  Since many adult female beetles support their youth, the Weevils earned home field advantage.  The same was not true for the Caterpillars because adult moths rarely fit through the crevices to enter Flourville. 
     "And now for your Caterpillars", the announcer broadcasts!  The section Mystic was sitting in blasted in hoorays, but immediately the leashing of boos from the overwhelming majority vibrated the stands as the Moth Larvae squad took to the turf.

On opposite sides of the field, the Caterpillars and Weevils lined up with their respective groups and stood tall in respect for the National Anthem. A lone female singing beetle took center stage as all the onlookers embraced for the magical moment. Bellowing honorable echoes for all to appraise, the humbling moment reflected the courage and strength of all. The melody was soothing to the soul and enlightening to the mind. Many of the fans shimmered tears of joy and peace along with several warriors on the field relinquishing self-control to succumb to their surrendered hearts. The breathtaking inspiration was reinforcement on why these games were so important, so special.
The chilling demonstration transitioned to a reality of what was to come. The game, a fight, a war! A battle of the brave! The heroes of this day would soon meet at gridlock to decide the worthy.
A solid yellow stripe of cheese wiz was pressed and painted down the center of the metal field. Three captains of each team joined five large black ants at the frontier line. One ant dressed in pinstripes flipped a hardened butter coin into the air to determine sides of play. The Caterpillars and Weevils shook their opponent’s antennas to declare the start of the Clobberanium.
Mystic’s eyes were glued on the field as the squads lined up in formation for the ten on ten match up. “Let me see that”, Mystic asked Fruity as he grabbed his field glasses. “That’s Nikolai”, he electrifies! “Why is he lining up near the back?”
“Because he’s a Rumbler”, Gypsy explains. “He’s far too slow to be a Streaker so he stages in the back as the last line of defense.”
“Horrible strategy”, Fruity perturbs. “A Rumbler still needs to be fast otherwise the rival Streakers will blast through and smear the queer.

Before the whistle sounded, the largest larva from each team crawled to the outermost end of their zone and positioned themselves on silky platforms hoisted by several small twigs. When the Official Ant signaled the start, two Caterpillar Streakers flanked to the right ran a crossing pattern into Weevil territory. The Weevils protected this edge with four linemen, but one of them was a streaker in disguise as he bumped and released to for a delayed run into Caterpillar terrain. One mothman wearing number 86 was crushed at the line but the other escaped to midzone where he approached a Weevil Rumbler.
Using trickery, the Weevils only released one player on the offensive. By rule, up to two Streakers are allowed to cross the border for Stage One. On the far side of the field, away from this abrupt action, three weevils and three caterpillars faced each other but did not intersect. They just stood there for a while like pawns stuck in the middle of a chess board, unable to move. Eventually, two weevils retreated to the back to help their rumblers deal with the infiltrating adversary. Only one caterpillar dropped back in similar fashion, which left two at the line just in case the lone future beetle had any ideas.
The delayed runner for the weevils encountered Nikolai near the red zone. The weevil extended two sharpened spears which he held with his antennas. These weapons of choice were toothpicks which were broken to size and whittled razor shear. Fortunately, Nikolai was prepared for this type of attack as he boosted a small circular object for defense. It was the backing of a magnetic and at strike point, Nikolai deflected the attack. Coming to his aid, another caterpillar rumbler along with the retreating lineman raised their antennas and began catapulting beetle eggs. The unborn embryo shells were not hard enough to knock out the foe but it did distract him long enough to allow Nikolai to displace his swords. With one grand thrust Nikolai steamrolled the beetle larva into oblivion!
Meanwhile, #86 for the Caterpillars was, well, eighty-sixed. The poor guy never had a chance to regain his balance as several beetle larvae intensified around him and pummeled the warrior into squash.
“This is horrible”, Mystic distraught as he witnessed the casualties!
“It’s the suicide sacrifice”, Fruity explains. “One can only hope that the streaker will take out at least one of the rumblers as he goes down.”
“What’s the point of all this? Why is everyone applauding this behavior?”
With a disheartened expression, Gypsy chimes in, “Better to expend a few versus the slaughter of millions.” Her lack of passion and thrill for these games was evident based on the emotional wounded expression on her face. She understood this ritual was the only way that the two larvae species could coexist in the same bag of flour. Without the games, life would be a massacre of relentless pandemonium and turmoil.
Back on the field of play, the caterpillar streaker made a nifty move to avoid collision with the weevil rumbler. Exhibiting keen agility and dexterity, the soldier willed his way toward the pupating larva in the spotlight.   Armed with a single enigmatic ball of poison, the streaker launched the chemical weapon to impede the process. His ephemeral victory did not last long as the other rumblers and linemen adjoined to put out his fury.
The Ants motioned for Stage Two to begin. Although the Weevils were up one player, they were forced to deal with the ailing problem created by the martyr. This allowed four new Caterpillars to eke out a gain across the frontier line as the rumblers and linemen were putting out the flames. Meanwhile, the moth caterpillar was defended splendidly by Nikolai and well under way creating its exoskeleton shell.
Sword to sword, tentacle to tentacle, the battle royale shifted to Stage Three where all the remaining warriors could roam without restriction.  The scene became catastrophic - cataclysmic.  It was bloody, gory, profound and down right despicable to Mystic and his friends.  In the end, the Caterpillars destroyed the Weevil before it could pupate.  Two remaining Weevils raised white flags to give way as the Caterpillar Messiah completed its cocoon!  Soon, a new Moth would be born.  A caterpillar larva has graduated to the next stage of metamorphosis.  The ants lifted the stretcher and escorted the sacred winner to a safe and undisclosed location.   

***Check Back for Chapter Three...

DAYS (1007 - 1014)
 Wednesday November 27, 2013 - Wednesday December 4, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Chapter One

     <~Achoo! Fluffy light powder beneath his reddish brown nose erupts like a volcano into the air. The residue gently settles, dusting him like a gentle snow fall.

     <~Achoo, the baby larva releases again as he blows the white sprinkle coating away from his face. Trillions of microscopic whitish-blue dots flashed brilliantly in front of his face. It’s akin to rubbing your eyes vigorously and then opening them to see nothing but darkness and electrons. When the glazing blindness twinkled to a tranquil calm, a glare of dim light could be seen in the far off distance. Lacking the strength other than a sneeze of movement, the young soul could not muster a mite. The microorganism was born, first sight; welcome to your new world!

     “Where am I”, the tiny grub wonders? All of a sudden an earthquake tremble shook the soft soil that he was lolling in. A thunderous boom echoed within until he realizes that it was his empty stomach hungering for food. Extending his tongue to full-mast, which was no longer than the tip of a fine needle, the minuscule worm like bug licks the powder off his face.

     “Yum”, he celebrates in jubilation! He rapidly began divulging the excess flakes surrounding his body until finally, Mystic was free!

     <~Wah, a disturbing sound disrupts his nurturing. <~Wah, the pestering sound escalates and multiplies relentlessly! Crackling sounds of eggs bursting in unification with many new cries of life torment Mystic the larvae worm.

     Mystic desperately tries covering his ears to muffle the annoyance but quickly realizes that he has no ears. Moreover, he has no hands! His slightly pudgy yet feeble body could not maneuver fully to shield the ringing shrieks of his brothers and sisters.

     “Get out of my way”, a perturbing voice sounded beneath his belly.
     “Hello stomach”, Mystic asked with curiosity? “Is that you begging for more food?”
     “No you maggot”, the voice beleaguers. “It’s Nikolai, your older brother.“ Rendering the odor of cigar smoke and slurring with a thick Russian accent, Nikolai continued... “You’ve been on top of me since I hatched over ten minutes ago; that’s like ten months in moth years! I was starting to wonder if you were ever going to break out of that shell. I fed off your feces and it’s making me sick! At first I thought it was flour dipped in barbecue sauce but then I quickly realized”, he paused with a moaning tone, “it was not.” Reenergizing with conviction, Nikolai roars, “Now get out of my way you fuzzy fairy and let me get some of that pure white powder!”

     Mystified, Mystic didn’t know what to think of his older brother. Before he could rationalize his thoughts he was abruptly lifted and tossed to the side. His brother swerved around and then took a grazing position where he had been stationed. Mystic’s whole world was turned upside down, literally. He was stuck on his back like a rolie-polie-olie and he could not counter pivot his body to engage in a new feeding posture. However, he noticed more and more eggs hatching free and it was a feeding frenzy on the white pastures.

     “I’ll help you brother”, voiced the soft tone of his young sister Gypsy. “One day I’m going to become a Gypsy Moth and I’ll be working on the hardwood trees in the forest”.
     “A Gypsy Moth”, Mystic replies? “That’s impossible! We are all doomed to be Pantry Moths, Indianmeal Moths if you want to get technical.”
     “Not true”, Gypsy exclaimed. “When my mother dropped me off here she told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be when I grow up.”
     “Well your mother is the same as my mother and she never mentioned anything like that to me.”
     Giggling to his response, Gypsy mocks, “That’s because you are a male moth and you have a shorter lifespan compared to us females. By the time you finally figure out who you want to be, well, you know…”
     Mystic ponders the notion but doesn’t give it too much thought. He notices his sister’s pretty red nose and wonders why his had an uglier brown tone? “Did I poop on myself”, he intended to think to himself but spoke out loud?
     “No you didn’t poop on yourself silly”, Gypsy laughed. “Now do you want me to help you or not?”

     Mystic blushed and his cheeks momentarily turned brighter tomato red than his sister’s nose. She surged to his rescue and wiggled him back to his feet. “Oh great”, Mystic sighs. He was now facing the butt of Nikolai. His body was still too frail to shift direction. “Sister”, he cried out to no avail. She scooted off and began burrowing through a fresh mound of flour. “Well”, Mystic exhales, “I guess it will be a barbecued flavor meal until sundown.”

     The next morning Mystic awoke to a machine gun blaze of chomping creepy-crawlies. The summit where he took rest overnight had sunken down like the Jackson Hole. No doubt, his sister Gypsy had something to do with this. Although he was somewhat bullied by his older brother Nikolai, Mystic felt awe-inspired by what Gypsy had told him. What if?! What if he wasn’t destined to be a Pantry Moth? What if he became something more magnificent; like a magical butterfly!!! He mused with the idea that this new found optimism could become reality. But first, he needed to eat! Energy was the requiring element essential to build strength which would inevitably give him the oomph to spin a cocoon.

     Several hours later, which seemed like a week of grueling hunting expeditions, Mystic followed the convoy to build up his protein base. None of the brothers or sisters acknowledged one another in communication, or so he thought. It was a competition of nutrition, to eat in full to the bottom of the bag. Mystic ultimately learned how to maneuver around and he even passed by Gypsy who ambiguously acknowledged him. He offered up a hello and thank you, she gave him a head nod and persisted past. Her signal sufficed Mystic’s ambition as he continued gnawing in his sequestered state.

     Tunneling down a new trek off the beaten path, Mystic slammed head first into a wall. This was strange, he thought. Up until now every step of the way was easy gliding and nutritionally satisfying. The mystical wall mystified Mystic. He was intrigued with curiosity. He began chomping on the dead-end and in doing so, he cracked a tooth. The barrier began to give way so Mystic persistently fought through the blockade and did not quit. He spit out excess dried powder mixed with a web coating until finally he broke through the barricade and plummeted nearly a whole millimeter to a dark cavern.

     Bamboozled from the fall, Mystic gathered his senses, checked his vitals and conclusively deemed that he was fine. The ground surface was compacted like a shelf of a kitchen cabinet. Torn paper was used to reinforce the lair’s walls and a spider web type coating was strung high above, doming the cathedral ceiling miraculously.

     The labyrinth edges were aligned by a collection of bug waste. His intuition suggested that speedy objects had been darting down this channel swooshing debris to the curb. As he was envisioning this premonition a boisterous object zoomed by dunking Mystic into a pile of larva manure.

     "Where am I", Mystic wondered? The evidence suggested that he found himself on the highway of life. The only question was, "Hmm... Which way shall I go?"

     The decision led him to the north where there was a higher concentration of litter. Working with barely any light, he instinctively used night vision to sense and guide his way down the route. Along his journey several more speedy bugs on wheels on the war path flew by in a flash. Mystic quickly learned to hop and skip to dodge the dredge.

     Luminous light soon began to radiate as he approached the arched grand opening to a monstrous chaos of congestion. It was a city; Welcome to Flourville!

     Buildings had been meticulously constructed out of hard compounded flour and various other materials. A red Wesson oil cap was placed on top of one structure where an adult Doctor Ant stood proudly holding a stethoscope waiting for his next patient.

     "Hmm," Mystic thought. "I better be careful."

     Vehicles from the zoom tunnel slowed down and Mystic realized that they were actually beetles and other insects of sorts. There was much diversity congregating around the city streets. Young larva's were riding horseback on adult female beetles and many maggots were being hovered by young adult fruit flies.

     Overwhelmed, Mystic stood in the middle of the street struck in awe from all the dazzling spectacles. Next to the Ant Hospital was a corner store made out of nothing but dry spaghetti noodles. A sign created with chocolate frosting carved the name of this establishment, Red Flour Beetle Mini Mart. Within the pasta window, a smaller advertisement read, Sale! Grain Soda 12-Pack for 6 Moth Eggs.

     "Yikes", Mystic frenzied. "I think I'm on the wrong side of town."
     "Moth larva", a bass toned voice projected in his direction! "Aren't you on the wrong side of town?" The creature was a large adult Sawtooth Grain Beetle.

     Stuttering in sheer terror over his words, Mystic trembled and was too frightened to muster speech. The gnarly looking pest extended his elbowed bent antennas and gleamed at him with his bloodshot red eyes. Shocked like a possum, Mystic nearly fainted -- until -- the drone of wings buzzing approached from behind. It was an unfamiliar insect who refereed between them and pronounced, "He's with me."

     Sawtooth maintained his intimidating glare -- for a moment, licked the drool from his slobbery mouth and then finally released, "Oh." He paused. "Very well then." Sawtooth snouted a bickering grunt, grabbed his satchel full of eggs and crawled away toward the Mini Mart.

     “Grab hold”, the noble insect instructed. “I need to fly you away from here before they feed you to the Evil Weevils.”

     Taking a leap of faith, Mystic did not hesitate. The gracious winged bug cradled Mystic’s cumbersome wormy body and glided him above a conurbation of several underground confluences of insect layers. Releasing his trepidation to enjoy the serenity of the heavens, melodies of elation funneled through Mystic’s soul. In a cheerful, yet meddlesomeness of emotion, he began to hum in a peaceful tone…

          “La, la, la, la”, Mystic sang as his savior rounded the broken bag of flour, passed through the sugar cane and whipped into a backdoor opening of a Bisquick box.

          One day I will flyyyy…
          To the tip of the skyyyy…
          Breaking through the clouds, like a rain-bowwww.

          Then I will seeeeee…
          meant to beeee…
          A beautiful butterfly, outside a win-dowwww.

          But for now I am this.
          A larva needing a kiss.
          From my motherrrr – or anotherrrr...
          Who will help guide me?
          Hold me?
          Love me?

     With drips of sorrowfulness drowning off his face into the batter below, a Confused Flour Beetle bellowed, “Hey watch it bub! You’re liable to turn my house into pancakes with those tears!”

     “Sorry”, Mystic smiled with a skittish sulk. Soaring over the suburbia of Evil Weezels playing trumpets, they harmonized together and serenaded…

          This, you, should knowwww…
          There is nooo, place, to goooo…
          Because you are a mealll-moth.
          We’ll wipe you like a din-ner cloth.

          But if you are luckyyyy…
          To escape from our stuckyyyy…
          You’ll never amount to any-thing.
          Because you are a ding-dong-ding.

          So fly, fly, awayyyy…
          Search, for, your dayyyy…
          And beware!
          Because we are here!
          Our eyes are on you!

     The jingle continues as the beetles perform a luau. Mystic pleads, “Get me out of here!” His beholder darts past a bag of loose straws, fumbling and rumbling them like a double bass boom. One straw taps the top of a mac-n-cheese box like a snare while the others racket a tin can like a symbol.

     Out of the beetle hell, the music exuberates over a school of marching band ants dressed in full college attire parading down a large sugar mound. Mystic was flown to the far ends of town where they passed through the vapors off smoke and ash. “Hey, it’s Nikolai”, Mystic delights!

Gawping up at his younger brother, his full bodied stocky brother tenors in a surprise falsetto…

          One day you will flyyyy…
          Way up in the skyyyy…
          Like an aero-plane,
          Over the sew-wer drain.
          Then you will seeeee…
          Who you were meant to beeeee…

     <~He pauses and switches to a deep bass tone~>

          A Pantry Moth – Just like me!

     Mystic’s guiding angel finally rests down on the foothills of flour where he is met by dozens of his own kind dancing in the streets. Performing circus tricks and celebrating in jubilee, Mystic slows the beat down to a weeping depressed acapella…

          I wish I could know…
          Which way I should go…
          To become a butterfly --- a butter-fly.
          I guess as for now…
          I just won’t know how…
          Because I’m a larva, just a dull larvae…

DAYS (1001 - 1006)
 Thursday November 21, 2013 - Tuesday November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 1004

This is a sample of how I am writing this story.  A little here, there, between phone calls, customers at the shop, with my son asking me questions - TOTAL DISTRACTION, lol :)

No matter how crazy the circumstances are, I will be writing every day and will share one chapter at a time when complete (unedited)...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 1003:

This page has been deleted...

Hmm, if that is the case, then why is it still here?

Are you lost on my blog???  Are you looking for a Hike???

Day 1002:

This Page does not exist - Or does it???

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 1001: Mystic Moth * Chapter 1 * Flourville (Pages 1 -4)





Jeremy Jacobus


- Chapter One -



...To Be Continued (On my way to work the night shift at

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Hello All!

It's been a while since I've been on here.  I'm actually shocked and flattered that random people are still navigating to this blog.  Based on the stats, there have been 167,691 Pageviews since this blogpost inception - Awesome!  This blog is still generating approximately 400 Pageviews a day...

In the past I've tried monetizing the blog; Epic Fail!  So, I've taken 100 Days off of Hiking, sort of.  If you count my final hike down Mt. Whitney which was Day #1001, I suppose today actually represents 99 days off, but who's counting.

Over the last three months I've been mostly lazy; well deserved.  That said, I was coaching on my son's cross country team again and ran many of the familiar trails in Arroyo Verde.  Other than that, I have not hit any new trails to entice this blog.  Well, with the exception of one.  We drove up the coast to San Francisco and picked a random spot to hike down to the beach.  The overall trek was under a mile in distance so based on my standards, it was not really a hike.  However, it was a very beautiful sight.  Perhaps a top ten spot!

I was fortunate to have my camera on me and one of these days I will share and write a post about it.  But for now, a new adventure begins.  I said to myself that after 100 days of breathing I would be back.  I've been contemplating many different ideas but to make such a commitment again...  Not fair to me or the family.  I honestly don't think I can hold up for another 1000 days, unless I were to just write... Hmm...

I have many visions in mind but for the next 1000 Days, I'm going to write every single day.  I'm not going to write about just anything; I'm going to write a story, a children's story to be exact.  I'm picturing a plot that could one day become a Disney Pixar Production.  Maybe this is far fetched, but I have the vision in mind so I'm going for it!

This all came about when I was tossing up some ideas to develop a new website for some crazy ideas circling around my head.  Unfortunately, every name that I chose through the GoDaddy website was taken or up for bid at some ridiculous price.

I was stuck on the word Mystic and just then, a Moth flew into my store, Chill Out Frozen Yogurt.  I was working the night shift and scrambled to find that moth.  I chased him around the back until he vanished, just disappeared.  Quite mystical.  And then the name hit me; Mystic Moth!

I checked on GoDaddy and the domain name was available.  However, this didn't really fit my idea so I did not purchase the name.  If you want it, go get it.  It's for sale for just $9.99.  Hey, that could be a real bargain if this book pans out!

As for now, I will begin writing this story tomorrow.  I will enter all writings, unedited, in this blog.  I will write slowly, condensed, so it doesn't run on like this blogpost that I am posting now.  I have faith in Mystic Moth.  It will in sorts be an edumacted way to learn about moths but moreover, there will be humor and a serious plot. 

Spoilers???  Nope, not giving you a clue. 

No matter what day it is, even if I am camping and I have to write on a piece of bark, I will write on with this story every single day without skipping a beat.  My goal will be to share each paragraph daily but obviously some days I will not be able to get to my home computer to publish it.  Therefore, I will copy, paste, send myself an email, whatever.

To the viewer, unless you keep up daily, the story will be read, well, backwards.  I will solve this problem by organizing a tab, copy paste and sort it neatly by chapters.  I'm not going to get a lot of time on any given day to write much, but my goal is to achieve at least 30 minutes a day.  Of course, with often suffering from writer's block when it comes to choosing the right words and direction, 30 minutes may only muster up a sentence or two.  Who knows, we'll see what happens.

Stay tuned; Mystic Moth will begin tomorrow and maybe one day I'll find an illustrator (and an editor) to bring this novel to life.  I do have plans to submit the idea to Kickstarter, along with my 1000 Hikes.  I figure that I should complete Mystic Moth before my 1000 Days is complete so if that does happen, I will begin something else.

You can also look forward to new Hiking Blog Posts here as well, as, this is a Hiking Blog, is it not?

Thanks again for your support and always feel free to contact me or write a comment if you have any suggestions, ideas or, comments...

Yours Truly,

Jeremy Jacobus

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 1000 - 1001: Descending Mount Whitney

Waterfall outside of Outpost Camp

Day #1000 * Hike #1297 * New Track #999
Descending from the Mount Whitney Summit - Mount Whitney Trail
Monday August 12, 2013
My Tripometer: 4.25 Hours * 8.5 Miles * -4800 Feet +250 Feet

Daring Hikers take the Mountaineers Trail

The bases of this being a "New Track" comes later when I hike down past trail camp in the day light to Lone Pine Lake.  It was like a whole new track, hence the Waterfalls seen in the pic at the top of this post.  We all heard the falls on our way up but the water system including Mirror Lake was invisible at the time.

After our hour pit stop at the top, we began our journey off the rock.  To the right is an optional rugged trail, the Mountaineers Trail.  It was marked by Cairns but we weren't about to follow these guys.  Furthermore, according to the map it would not rejoin the Whitney Trail until after Lone Pine Lake (our destination for the night).

Backpacks at the John Muir Trail Junction

Lakes below, we were dropping elevation fast to clear our heads!

Heading down the switchbacks towards Trail Camp

Fresh Water!

This water was ice cold.  If you look around on the mountainside there was still some left over snow drifts from last winter.  If you are heading up, this water source will be your last chance to fill water en route to the summit.  Ahhh, so fresh...



We were here in the dark, trying to beat the sun back

Ah, Mirror Lake...

The Trail

Waterfalls just over Outpost Camp

Passing Outpost Camp

Following the stream towards Lone Pine Lake

Lone Pine Lake in the near distance

You can actually see this lake from the 97 switchbacks and it becomes more clear by Trail Camp but the trail swerves away before finally coming back to.

Day #1001 * Hike #1298 * Duplicate Track
Lone Pine Lake to Whitney Portal - Mount Whitney Trail
Tuesday August 13, 2013
My Tripometer: 1 Hour *  2.5 Miles * -1800 Feet +50 Feet

Rescue Units

We camped Monday night at Lone Pine Lake.  It was such a relief being back at 10000 Feet were the elevation was not sickening our heads.  However, the elevation was not so kind to others.

We met a group before our accent and one lady did not acclimate well.  Her group challenged themselves with the 22 mile day hike and one of their members separated from the pack.  She accused one of her companions of trying to kill her?!  She was completely delirious and ran off?  She spent the night somewhere off the trail but was found early that morning.  It was a could night and I could only imagine that she felt completely miserable.

Other than Adam forming some gnarly blisters on his feet from wearing bulky boots and heavy wool socks, our trip was a great success without injury or set back.

Well, this concludes my 1000 Hikes in 1000 Days.  Only problem is that I can only account for 999 New Tracks.  I did hike every single day for 1001 Days in a Row and by my count, I managed at least a mile per track on 1298 total adventures.  That said, only 999 New Locations!  Ugh, close enough...

It's been several weeks since Mt. Whitney.  Wednesday August 14th was my hardest day.  I lived it without setting foot on a trail!  Strangely, I was not sore at all from Whitney.  I walked normal this day and could have easily kept my streak alive.  But, I think I pushed my family enough and I respected my wife's wishes by not going off on a hike that day.

I had many ideas of things to do for my next 1000 Days but elected to put everything on hold for 100 Days.  Recently Ayden rejoined the VC Express Cross Country Team.  Just as last year, I am volunteering to be a coach on the team. This means that I am jogging "hiking" on the Arroyo Verde Trails 4 times a week.  So, I'm still getting out there; just not quite as much and not looking for new spots.  Ahh, what a relief to some degree but honestly, I do miss the adventure.

Today was a FunRaiser for the club.  I participated in the 2k run.  It doesn't sound like much but when you add hills to the mix, it's anything but easy.  I believe I finished about 10th in this easy competition.  The better runs ran in the 3k and 5k.  I clocked in at 11:47.  This is a very slow time but I don't think I could have gone much faster.  I'm still holding a weight of 220 pounds but hopefully by the end of the season I will cut some of that out.  Of course, it doesn't help that I ate wings and drank beer at B-Dubs today.  But it was the first full day of the NFL Season and as I write this, I'm watching the Cowboys game.  I have Demarco Murray on my fantasy team, so let's go!

Ayden ran in the 2k event as well.  He started off faster than me but I caught him on the big hill.  He only finished 20 seconds behind me so good job little buddy!

***So what's next?  Not sure.  I still need my 1000th New Track so stayed tuned.  I'll probably organize the blog a bit and figure something out.  Any suggestions???


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