Surf Taco Challenge 2016

October 31, 2016 § Leave a comment

I am not sure who had the first thought regarding this event, but it was Andrea Brennan who created the event, and it was an invitation from her in my Facebook notifications to ride this inaugural 2016 event. The original date and I had a conflict, and as it turned out, so did the weather, so rescheduled it was, and as luck would have it, Andrea was treated to a terrific warm and sunny late October Saturday for this event. (video here)

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Never Got Warm

October 31, 2016 § 1 Comment

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar; 
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: "Please close that door. 
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm— 
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."

From “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert W. Service.

I thought about poor Sam McGee often during this day. It was to be one of those days where I knew ahead of time it was never going to get too warm. We were not going to find ourselves in the midst of a late October “Native American” summer day. No, that wouldn’t come until the next day. This day was going to start out in the low high 30’s low 40’s and it would never get out of the 40’s. For that matter we wouldn’t even see the sun until it could clear the Kittatinny Ridge to our east.

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When a Fall Backpacking Trip Becomes a Winter Adventure

October 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

The 14 day forecast for Banff looked like the following when we checked 2 days before our 10 day hiking excursion: Sun ————— Sun. You couldn’t ask for better conditions. Sun in the valley doesn’t necessarily mean sun in the high country, but it shouldn’t differ by much. Typically weather can be highly localized in the mountains, and an afternoon shower or snow shower should be expected in the middle of September. I had chosen this time of year for two reasons. The first being cold temperatures means NO BUGS, and second, cold temperatures means fewer humans. It was two weeks past the normal season end, and we should enjoy a certain level of isolation once we got far enough into the back country.

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Banff – Drew Butler

October 17, 2016 § Leave a comment

It could be argued (successfully) that I have have known Drew all his life, and that would be true, but you don’t really know someone until you have spent some time in the back-country hiking with them.

Drew and I made up (along with Jim Kirby) Bear Team 1, and together we almost always found the trail to keep moving forward. Almost? Well, we both failed to pursue the apparent loss of the trail heading East out of Wildflower, but no harm done, and we all had fun and were content with the decision made.

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Banff – Larry Butler

October 14, 2016 § Leave a comment

“Holy Fuck Larry T Butler!”
“Holy Holy Fuck!!!”

When I climbed out of the Grand Canyon on Bright Angel Trail that day in April 2010, I walked over to a nearby bench that had a comprehensive view of the BAT exit and I sat down to wait for my compatriots, and to call my friend Larry T Butler. I had just had the most fantastic backpacking trip ever, and I was letting Larry know that we were coming back in two years, he, myself and whoever else from our crowd that we could bring along.
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Banff – Scott Hellier

October 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

Scotty is the person I have known the least amount of time, though I suppose you could argue that though I have knownDrew Butler all his life, I didn’t really get to know him until we started hiking together, and by that standard, Scotty is next to last.

Anyway, I first met Scotty in Phoenix when I came out to accompany Marty on this last excursion into the Grand Canyon. A trip that would enter at Hermits Rest, and emerge at The Bright Angel Trail in the Village.

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Banff 2016 – The Next Adventure

October 10, 2016 § Leave a comment

Upon returning from Utah in September 2014 (See Albums High Uintas) I immediately began thinking about my next adventure, and I can assure you that at that time, the Canadian Rockies were not on my radar. I have the National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps for Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Grand Tetons, and Glacier and I pored over them looking for circuits that could be done in 6-8 days of reasonable mileage. A circuit is best, as the logistics of shuttling don’t factor into the planning, but if there are no circuits, then how to make a point to point work. Personally I prefer a point to point over an in and out, as I would rather have fresh scenery each day vs a different angle on scenery already seen.

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