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Archive for October, 2008

New Mexico/Guadalupe Mtns Recap

I had an awesome time in New Mexico, “The land of enchantment”. I liked how open it was, and how pretty the desert could be. I think I also just had a good time hanging out, but yeah, good times and here are a few pics from it!

Hiking in the Guadalupe Mountains… “Top of Texas”

McKittrick Canyon

My friend I almost sat on….

Shotgun Shootin’

Carlsbad Cavern Spooking

Caverns Handstanding

HUGE Carlsbad Caverns

Offroading in the Guadalupes to Williams Ranch


Coffee?

Working from Kristen’s place poses one problem… No coffee.

No problem. I’ve got grounds and filters, and I can make hot water.

Our Yosemite backpacking trip was even more “ghetto-fied” where we used a mosquito head net as a coffee strainer.


The End of an Era

Well, This past Thursday I arrived at Kristen’s place in Greenville, SC and was officially back on Eastern Standard Time. I had a package when I arrived that contained my away ballot, and my official Private Pilot Certificate.

I’m mailing off my ballot today and my Pilots “License” is pretty sweeet.

NOTE: This is not MY license. It is a picture from someone else’s website of theirs.

It’s nice to be “home”, but I am so very thankful that I was able to do this trip and so many people that were nice to this kid living out of his car :-p

Woo hoo!


Update – Made it to Oklahoma!

New Mexico was tons of fun and I am now with family in Oklahoma. I will make a post about all my cool shotgun shooting, four wheel driving, caving, hiking and more when I can!


Guadalupe Mountains National Park

I’m on my way, leaving Carlsbad, NM right now after updating my site :-)

Today: Guadalupe Peak which is the HIGHEST point in the State of Texas. Go big when in Texas I am told.

Tomorrow: McKittric Canyon and then off to Wade’s in Hobbs, NM.


The Truth is Out There (Roswell, NM)

My friend Kelly is kinda? obsessed with the X-Files and even met Gillian Anderson (Scully) on the set of the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.

So I looked around for anything X-Files and didn’t find too much. Just 4 posters in the UFO museum.

I did however find a green blow up martian at the car dealership.

Street Lamps with Alien Heads

And a real alien


Into New Mexico and White Sands

I went over “Raton Pass” on I-25 from Colorado into New Mexico, and I was welcomed to bright, hot and sunny New Mexico?

Well, Raton Pass is actually 7800 feet above sea level, and they forecasted another 1-3 inches of snow the day I was driving through. Crazy!

Anyways, I drove from 8am to just before 4 when I arrived in Alamogordo, NM and stayed for a hotel for the first time on this trip. It was the price of 2 nights at a nice campsite, but hey, it was gloomy, cold and wet.

The next morning I headed off to White Sands National Monument.

It got Jumped (this one is for Jill who I’ll be seeing in Greenville, SC along with Kristen)

Handstanded (with only 1 hand!)

Car-Reflected

Crazy Planes probably with bombs

And I headed out of the park at about 1215 because at 1230 the park was closed…

Official notice I got and I quote:

“On occasion, White Sands Missile Range conducts test which include flights of missiles ver the park. For this reason, and for your safety, we must evacuate the area today.

YOU MUST EVACUATE THE PARK BY 12:30PM
The Missile test is scheduled from 1300HRS. to 1400HRS.

The Visitor Center will be open for your enjoyment during the missile test. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation.

Kevin Schneider
Superintendent

So, I headed out on my way to Roswell…


Colorado Wrap-up

Colorado was great, although I don’t think I could fall in love with it until I could hit the slopes and ride some powder. It was cool, but it seemed like other places I have been on my trip and after over 2 months, and without much of a plan now, it had started to take a toll on my psyche. I mean, being on the trip is awesome, but I wasn’t doing much, and just felt I was wasting my time just sitting around. On a good note I did learn more about current college and professional football (in HD), touch up on my Beer Pong skills, and a little guitar hero.

I stayed with Mr. Cheato and got to recharge after exploring California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. I bought a childs fishing poll and tied a mouse on the end for endless fun with his two cats. After a while they were more interested in the fishing line though.

After 9 days of chilling (including my one day in Rocky Mountain National Park), I departed Lafayette, Colorado and headed down to Colorado Springs. I had a rough plan, but was really ready to head home. I had had enough. I was being very “cranky” to say the least because I just didn’t see the point to all this anymore. The reason I had been streching it out was so I could see my friend Wade in Hobbs, NM on the 18th of October when he was off of work.

Turning Point…

This the the picture that cost me nearly 100 dollars. Read here.

From that moment on, when I got my wallet back… Everything was good. I mean seriously, that would have been SUCKY if it had happened. No ID, no Money, no Credit Cards… duude…

So, I enjoyed that night hanging out with Mr. French and then hit the road bright and early with a smile.


Case of the Mondays

I got a handstand at the “Garden of the Gods” in Colorado Springs and then pulled onto CO-24 and took off at 50mph. A lady signaled me over. I thought gas cap? window?

Well, it was my wallet that I had on my bumper after my handstand… soo it had flown out with all my cash falling out too. I thanked her and quickly did a uturn as fast as possible, raced back and luckily GOT my wallet. Well… with the money gone. (About 80? 100? bucks) I saw a Waste Management driver picking it up when I got there so I know he didn’t take the money. Just SO glad I have my credit cards and ID though, phew!

Handstanding ain’t just another day in the office folks, it is hard work!

Thank you soo much to that lady that told me though, she is my hero :-)

Cheers!


Rocky Mountain National Park

I got outside, and I felt sane again!!!

I was told to check out the “Bear Lake” area of Rocky Mountain National Park. I did, and I went approximately 8 miles in this direction…


View Larger Map

I saw Mills Lake…

Awesome Views of Rocky Mountain National Park

And Elk on the way out.

After my hike I went and got a handstand at _____ hotel.

Booyah!

The Stanley Hotel is where The Shining was written and where the series was filmed, not the movie however.


Back on track

Oil changed, car cleaned, sick of CNN and debates. I’m ready to smell some mountain air again :-) Will post some pictures of Rocky Mountain National Park!


On an AWESOME note, I am proud to celebrate the 1.5 years Kristen and I have “officially” been dating! Woo hoo, go us! :-)


Lafayette Colorado – Downtime

I am in Lafayette, Colorado and am currently not up to much.

I have got to play lots of guitar hero, watch Casino Royale, Go out a few times, sleep in, be woken up by 2 different solicitors. This was my delicious lunch today…

Cheato and HP are awesome hosts and tomorrow I start to get back to business… maybe. Need an oil change on my baby, to watch the debates tomorrow night, then head off to rocky mountain national park for wed/thurs.


Congrats Becky and BU!


Bryce Canyon National Park

“Boo-yah-ka-sha! Check it.” We’z be alls up in Bryce Canyon. I be taken da pictures and postin them fresh.

I’z be handstanding.

I’ze be panoramaing up in da canyon.


Angels Landing at Zion National Park

I woke up yesterday and spoiled myself to a Bacon, Egg and Cheddar on Sesame sandwitch, along with a nice ice white chocolate mocha.

On the Zion shuttle, I had two elderly women talk to me. One was overexcited that I was going hiking and the other was enchanted in the smell of my sunscreen…

Angels Landing is nearly all paved… until you get to the top. So out of the 2.5 miles, 2 of it is paved, but uphill. The last .5 miles takes you along a rockface that can get narrow at times, and there are metal chains there for your confidence in hiking. I got to the top and met a “tour”. They were nice enough to take my picture. I don’t know why someone would pay for a day hike? Who knows. I did pay for my Yosemite and Grand Canyon hikes but they were in the backcountry and food and permits were provided :-)

The view was spectacular. Definitely the best I saw in the park. I think I’m definitely a mountain man, because “The Narrows” are supposed to be the greatest, but I am always more impressed by summiting something.

Anyways, on the way down met another older guy, think he said he was 63, and we talked about how he had hiked down into the Grand Canyon before. He did it when he was 19 and did it all in one day which is one hell of a hike. He, along with tons of other people I met were very happy for me to get out and do these things while I can still enjoy them physically. Now hopefully I’ll still be hiking when I am 63 like him, but maybe in better shape too?

Maybe this is just an elderly person day, but I talked to 2 more from a different tour bus group when i was down getting ice cream at the Zion Lodge after my hike. They tried to tell me some joke about real estate and buying a “lot” (get it?). I just didn’t get the pun, and it wasn’t funny at first. haha.

Anyways, great hike, and made it onto Bryce Canyon National Park where I peeked around a little last night. I am going to go look at it a bit more this morning and then head onto Capitol Reef, and depending, maybe onto Arches? I just don’t know. Cheers!


Yosemite Backpacking Trip (Sept 18-21st)

Yosemite National Park is like a “Grand Central Station” as my friend Paul put it. That is because of its close proximity to San Francisco, and it’s amazingness. In any case, this backpacking trip was in “The High Country” which meant we stayed around 9,000 ft elevation most of the trip, and we started it in the Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers site on the eastern side of the park, away from the zoo of people.

Our guides made sure we weren’t hiking with War and Peace, and made sure we had warm enough gear. The next morning we headed out on the Cathedral Lakes trailhead and had an easy hike to Lower Cathedral Lake.

Lower Cathedral Lake

I had to hike up to the highest point around of course, and got this panoramic

We laid out and watched the stars until we were nearly frozen and they were ABSOULTELY incredible. I was thinking about how much I wish I could share that experience because I’ve never seen stars so bright and clear. Saw tons of shooting stars, satellites, and this REALLY bright thing which we could only guess that it was the international space station because it flew the speed of a satellite, but was 20x as bright.

The next day we headed over to the Upper Sunrise Lake and did a decent amount of off trail hiking which was pretty neat. Our guides Karen and Mike wanted us to become more familiar with Map and Compass, so it was a good exercise.

Going “off trail”

This night at Sunrise lake seemed like it would be warmer but it wasn’t. It was so cold, that we had frost in our tent, and my swimsuit froze.

The good thing was though that we had a fire that night.

You gotta love my support of Hokie Nation with all my Orange/Maroon gear

Our final day we hiked out past Tenaya lake and got the shuttle back to the Cathedral Lakes Trailhead. That was that and I definitely like the Yosemite backcountry. My guide Karen convinced me to do Half Dome the next day which I have posted about.