The Unknown: The Red Line.

S ometimes when I am lying there, awake, fixated on the corpses of foreign wars, I hear the nearby church chiming three in the still of the icy night, and through the window I can see clouds rushing across a universe of unsurpassable beauty and mystery.

A day at the park is good for a man's constitution.Then I think of disc golf.

Disc golf is not so much a sport as it is an art: flight.

Oh sure, to you, disc golf may seem trivial, mundane, silly, but I assure you that it is in every way a sport whose degree of professionalism rivals that of even, say, racquetball. No, disc golf is no mere variation of darts for outdoorsmen. Though to believe that America has a sophisticated disc golf community, composed of athletically-minded people (as well as a few errant stoners), you'd have to see the disc golf courses in Cincinnati. No mere walk in the park, these courses are like hiking trails with baskets. This, my friends, is disc golf in the woods.

Scott and Dirk introduced me to disc golf at Mount Airy Forest.

And this is when I met Louis, who had played every course. Louis had inhaled mosquitoes rescuing his putters from the teeth of alligators in the Florida Everglades. He had endured dysentery on long disc golf expeditions in war-torn Kashmir. He had retrieved his putter from between the long, pointed, razorous spikes of cacti in Death Valley. He had wrestled an octopus at a coral reef in the Galapagos, to reclaim his driver from its tentacles.

When there came a break in our touring schedule, Louis caught up with us in Vegas, and we boarded his Lear jet to Hawaii. There was a disc golf course in Kanai, Louis said: Circle Park. One of the most beautiful—and brutal—disc golf courses in the Western hemisphere.

After landing in the Hawaiian islands, jet-lagged, we checked in to our bungalow, unpacked our drugs, and wound down with Mai Tais poolside, arguing about Guy de Maupassant until we had smoked all of Dirk's Te-Amos.

An hour before dawn, after a restive four hour nap, we breakfasted on coconut milk, espresso, and Hawaiian cigarettes, and took off for Circle Park, tearing through the winding mountain roads in a rented Ferrari. The morning was oddly warm and fragrant, expectant.

Proper footwear is essential, as is a complete collection of discs.We wondered what paradise would demand of us.

Louis brought the car to a sudden halt. We climbed out, checked our disc bags to make sure our discs were in order. Into our backpacks we stuffed kneepads, mining helmets, coils of ropes. Gear assembled, we set off toward the first hole, all of us silent soldiers walking into battle.

The ringing of distant chains as discs collided with baskets and the shouts of young people floated to us through the bamboo and palms.

We were walking up a narrow ravine toward a rushing of water.

We came upon a vista, and Louis put out his arms to stop us from walking over the cliff. The blue sky and ocean were stunning, surrounding us, and a distant whale blew a plume.

It was time to play disc golf with Louis. In Kanai.



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The Unknown at Spineless Books.