Always has been. I remember the Christmas he swore up and down that mom said we could peek at our Christmas gifts. (we're not here today to discuss my naivety, we'll save that for another post). And the time he set up a boxing gym in our old chicken coop and duked it out with 15 of his elementary school friends, video camera in hand. I shudder to think of the infections that festered after getting cut or scraped in that old and rickety building. This was before hand-sanitizer--crazy, huh?
Confidence has never been a problem for Conrad.
When he was told he couldn't drive the antique John Deere tractor, he wouldn't take no for an answer, believing with certainty that he would change the world. And change the world...or tractor...he did when he maneuvered it straight down the steep gully. Being the brave boy he was, he bailed off before things got too crazy. While the tractor lay in a broken, sad heap, he was knick-free and off and running to his next adventure.
Conrad is also intuitive.
He once took me to see a new band he loved. He tried to convince me that they would be BIG one day. We, along with 11 other die-hard fans, screamed their names and offered to get their names tattooed on our skin. Today, Modest Mouse has gathered much success, and I now listen to my brother when he says that someone is going to be BIG.
My brother, Conrad, is also resourceful.
When we were in college, we headed out to Redfish Lake to camp amongst the elements, along with mutual friends. Our two versions of the same story don't necessarily jive, but what we both agree on is that he came completely prepared with sleeping bag, knife, and army fatigues. That is it. No food. No water. According to him, I told him not to bring food. In fact, I supposedly told him that my food was his food. He says I must have forgotten that I had told him that. I say he dreamt it. We're still not sure what exactly happened. I think I may have called him a mooch or a slimy brother and sent him on his way. Never mind that I didn't share or have any compassion on the poor soul. The stories you hear of him in the fetal position, singing "All by Myself" by Celine Dion, keeping beat by the steady drip from the branches of an enormous pine tree on his forehead on top of a wet, rainy, cold mountain may have just been fabricated to incite blame on his responsible sister. Even so, this sort of fasting/exercise spree was probably good for his character, and he did manage to escape with all his digits and only a few ribs protruding gauntly through his skin.
Speaking of classic musicians :o), he has a deep appreciation for them, and used to dream he was Ritchie Valens as he learned how to play Labamba on his guitar. He also wrote songs, and used his days as a parking garage attendant for inspiration. Moral: John Conrad makes big things out of the seemingly mundane.
Conrad also creates stunning works of art. You can check out his work here.
Somedays I thought my brother was a squirrel on caffeine. Other days, I knew he was just a boy. Today, he still has that hyper/motivated/excited take on all things creative and new. And when he attacks a new project, I tune in. His latest project: Wicked Idaho.
ENTER: Justin. I only officially met him about 13 years ago, but he is my brother's long lost twin brother, separated at birth. That's right, these guys could be identical. They even once dated the same girl. But not at the same time. His latest project: Wicked Idaho. These guys, using my brother's uber-preparedness whilst camping no doubt, (but also using their combined love for and experience with the outdoors) have developed a go-to site for exploring our beautiful Idaho.
Oh look! Here are the two hoodlums now. They are enjoying the outdoors, yes? Is it just me, or is my brother (left) looking a little malnourished?
Need to find out what other's are saying about a potential campsite? Visit Wickedidaho.com. Need to find out what wild animals have been seen on your favorite trail? Visit Wickedidaho.com. Need to find a used camper to purchase, or sell some of your climbing gear? Wickedidaho!
Check out their site description:
Enjoy reading posted trip reports - Ask questions and get answers about gear - Sell an old tent someone else may use - Look at pictures of the impressive views Idaho has to offer - Post a story and pictures of your last hiking or whitewater trip - Let others know where the fish were biting - Give away an old cook stove - Show off your best kayaking moments - Display the picture of the one that didnt get away - Give your opinions on the latest gear - Trade a fishing pole for a therma-rest - Share your favorite hikes... Tell your best stories, and relive your favorite memories
Sound fun? This may be your ticket to enjoying the outdoors a little more!
Have you met my brother, John Conrad and his partner in crime, Justin? Your life will get a bit more caffeinated if you do. Head over to Wickedidaho and get a jolt in your outdoor activities. Sign up, even, and share your own stories and advice. Be your own instigator! Sound like an infomercial? Yeah, my brother does that to me.
By the way, I love the logo Justin designed for The WickedIdaho site. (below) Reminds me of that one time, when that one fish....
well, you know!