To Popa on his 100th Birthday

Lex Nason in Vermont reading a birthday greeting today, his 100th birthday.

My mom’s dad turned 100 today. I want to give him a shout-out here because, along with both my parents, Popa had no small part in turning me into an outdoors-loving, adventure-loving person. No coincidence I just happen to be departing in the morning on a 6-day trek around the Yorkshire Dales!

Popa was, among other things, a wooden canoe builder. (Other things included his day job as a continent-hopping geologist, and in his retirement, a volunteer restorer of the paddlewheel steamboat Ticonderoga and supermodel for a garden supply company.)

You could sell me anything.

I have fond memories of hiking with Pop up Mount Wantastiquet overlooking Brattleboro, Vermont, or paddling down the Connecticut River in one of his canoes. On one of our adventures circa 1985 I gave him a minute-by-minute recounting of the plot of Back to the Future. It’s crazy to think that the +/- 30 year jumps back to 1955 or forward to 2015 don’t even begin to cover my grandfather’s experience on this green and blue planet. Who needs a DeLorean with a flux capacitor when you’ve got a Volvo and above-average health?

As Seth and I set out hiking in Grassington tomorrow morning, I’ll try to imagine what life might be like in the year 2075, and whether in the meantime I might have a chance to inspire someone’s lifetime love for the great outdoors. Happy 100th, Popa. This hike’s for you. ❤️

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