The drive back to Blacksburg, VA from Northern Virginia can get old pretty fast. I stopped at JMU and walked around for a bit, and while I was at it... took some pictures :-) . I've only gone out in JMU once but it was a crazy night with my best friend Richard, and we ended up faking accents and going to multiple parties and all kinds of goodness.
Total Mileage From Home -> Home… 12,538.7
This included the following States:
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
And Canadian Providences:
- British Columbia
Last night I was surprised by Rich who pulled up at around 10pm at our house and asked if I wanted to go to the call of Duty Release shindig at Pentagon City. At that time I was through piece 47 of 162 pieces of mail that had accumulated during my trip, and had to pass. I would have loved to have gone and hung out with him, but I think this week will be mainly dedicated to making my room livable, considering I had just THROWN stuff in here before I left on my trip.
Anyways, here is what I missed… and of course, Rich titled the image “CODPinupgirls.jpg”, which I figured was “Cash on Delivery Pinup Girls”, and asked if it was a virus. It was not… it was this:
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”
My friend I almost sat on….
Carlsbad Cavern Spooking
HUGE Carlsbad Caverns
Offroading in the Guadalupes to Williams Ranch
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
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!
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.
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!)
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.
So, I headed out on my way to Roswell…
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.
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.
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
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…
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.
The Stanley Hotel is where The Shining was written and where the series was filmed, not the movie however.
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!
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!
“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.
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 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.
As recommened by Tom, my Grand Canyon Guide, I checked out Zion Adventure Company and got the gear I needed to do “The Narrows”. It is basically a river going through a REALLY tall canyon. I got:
-Dry Bag (For Camera and wallet)
Here is what I saw. Enjoy.
Before getting back on the shuttle down to the visitors center…
It was definitely a unique hike. I enjoyed it, and it wore me out. Hiking up a stream is more work than you’d think. I was able to recharge with a delicious Burrito and then put together these pics for you. Angel’s Landing tomorrow morning, and then off to Bryce Canyon National Park!
I finished the Grand Canyon Backpacking trip yesterday, and celebrated with two 8 minute showers. I was all lathered up when the shower cut off during the first one, and had to go get more quarters, was quite funny.
After being clean, I then proceeded to “We Cook Pizza and Pasta”, and bought a personal Hawaiian Pizza. It was sooo good. I was able then to relax and use the internet for a bit and put together my 20some panoramas from the Grand Canyon.
This morning I left the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and headed towards Zion National Park. On the way I went past Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam.
I then proceeded to go a little out of my way to hit up “Tuba City”. My brother is a AWESOME tuba player and I thought it might be cool. Well… it was a Navajo town, and it was small…. That’s about it. Then continued on and hit a Subway at somepoint with Wi-Fi where I was able to get up to date on all my handstands
Zion had an awesome tunnel, and so did Yosemite. I am so impressed with the National Park roads. They are really great.
I am staying at the Comfort Inn/RV Park-ish thing here just outside of the park for two nights. I rented some “canyoning” gear from the Zion Adventure Company across the street and tomorrow I will be doing “The Narrows”. Wednesday I will do Angel’s Landing before heading onto Bryce National Park.
Well, I have been doing a lot/driving a lot and haven’t got to post everything.
I still need to post about my Yosemite Backpacking Trip, Death Valley National Park, Las Vegas and to update my handstands, I’ve got a bunch more. But I have no more internet for today, and don’t know when the next time will be with a decent connection. Hopefully soon. Cheers!
So I went on another REI Adventures trip this week which was a blast. We hiked down the New Hanse Trail and hit the Colorado River, Tonto Plateau and finished up using Grandview Trail. 3 days down in a beautiful place. Check it out.
Well… ~16 miles round trip, and 4700 feet up, then 4700 feet down. Brutal? Awesome.
Pictures from the Napa Valley Wine tour are on a plane bound for South Carolina and will appear after a bit. We actually attempted a 12 of 12! I’ll post it after we get pictures.
Here are some pictures of the day after in San Fran!
Golden Gate couple shot
The windswept Guy
The Lovely Hotel, oh I mean Alcatraz
San Fran from Lombard Street
Looking up Lombard
Golden gate in the fog
The ferry building
Am I in L.A.?
“That’s what she said!”
Anyone out there?
one of the 7 hills of San Francisco
Soo… detour. I saw the sign along the highway, 138 was closed east of such and such due to brush fires. This sign was right next to where I was going to turn off, but was too busy on the phone to realize that 138 was still a ways away. Anyways, I felt smart when I thought I was beating the system, and took a 17 mile (oh my god, we might die by falling off, or hitting one of the deer I saw) road. Then after managing to make the “quickest” way over to 138… I realized, IT was the one with the brush fire… sooo, I scoured my maps, and there really was no way except backtracking at least 1.5 hours, and still having a ways after that, or just going way out of the way.
I decided to pick up a red bull, and head for the coast. Only had one deer in the incoming lane. The 3 others I saw along this “midnight” voyage were off the road to the right. I took 42 west, and took the 42S off to the coast where I pulled into a parking lot for the night. I was going to sleep in the front seat, but couldn’t get comfortable, and the streetlights kinda shined in, so somehow I squeezed into the back of the car, and slept “comfortably” crammed next to my mountain bike. I had a “red bull hangover” quality sleep for about 6 hours. Anyways, I’ll have to make it back to Crater Lake at somepoint.
For now… I’ll be “Driving down the 101, California here I come”…
Soo… Chinese Crested dogs are commonly voted as the “World’s Ugliest Dogs” time and time again. Mike and Kelly (my awesome Portland hosts) got one because of allergies, and it was at the pound. He is quite “different” and a little “neurotic” at times, but he’s pretty cool. Taking pictures of him was quite hard because he..
can get scared of camera flashes…
And make dinosaur faces…
But he’s pretty cool
if you suprise him…
you can get some
pretty decent pictures.