So I wrote this thing over hereabout hammocks because, well, I love hammocks. No, I mean I LOVE hammocks. Turns out I'm not alone. Shortly after my summer bucket list came out in the paper I received an email from Andy Gallagher, whom you might know from his band Trains Across the Sea, titled "Hooray for Hammocks!" Andy described himself as a hammock enthusiast and pointed me to his website, operationhamacas.org, where he documents his attempts to place as many hammock eyehooks in as many public parks as possible. As his "About" page tells it:
"OperationHamacas.org is nothing more than a catalogue of all (?) the known destinations in your city where there are eyehooks waiting for you to hook in your hammock. They are optimized for the Latin-American style nylon hammocks, but with a little rope any hammock will do. The idea was born in Columbus, OH, but nap enthusiasts around the globe are encouraged to find the most alluring destinations in their hometowns and share them with the world. Nap safely, leave no trace, and travel your own damn city."
Obviously, this called for some hard-hitting investigative journalism. Are there really eyehooks for hammocks in Columbus parks? Are they waiting for me and my hammock? Are hammocks really optimal for napping? As you can see, I had a lot of questions that needed answering.
So Andy and I met up this afternoon during a lull in my schedule. He took me to a hammock a few hundred yards from the corner of W. Third Ave. and Olentangy River Road, off the bike trail and along the river banks. There two hammocks were set up, and we conducted an "interview" wherein I asked him questions like, "How did you come up with this idea?" "Do you regularly nap in these spots?" "Are you worried about breaking laws?" Obviously hard-hitting stuff.
Andy said he got the idea about four years while traveling in Mexico and seeing eyehooks everywhere. Currently, his project to spread the love of hammocks is ongoing in three states -- Ohio, obviously, but also North Carolina and Pennsylvania, with Maine set to come on board this summer. There are seventeen known locations, too.
"There's nothing that says vacation and looks relaxing more than hammocks," he told me. "People travel all over the place for this, with this [idea] of I can't be happy till I'm elsewhere. The idea [with Operation Hamacas] is there are beautiful places to sit down and relax in your town, so you don't have to separate your life and your relaxation. Plus, these are great for dates."
I can't vouch for that, but I'm definitely looking forward to checking out some more hammock destinations.