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286 triplogs
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May 12 1991
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Chichen Itza Yucatan Mexico, YU 
Chichen Itza Yucatan Mexico, YU
 
Hiking avatar May 12 1991
Barrett
Hiking3.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After docking in Cancun, we boarded a bus to head toward the Yucatan interior. Our tour guide, a Mayan descendant, talked nonstop for 4 hours about the Mayan culture and the history of Chichen Itza, pausing every few minutes to add "So many things more!". His enthusiasm and depth of knowledge was great, and to this day my wife and I still use the phrase.
We arrived at the ruins and followed the basic tour before heading out on our own. The architecture was absolutely amazing, everywhere we looked was something that by itself would be a destination. We climbed the 365 steep steps of El Castillo (73 degrees) to enter the temple of the Jaguar Throne (now closed to tourists), and had the whole thing to ourselves for a while. I admit we were both uneasy in the unlit inner chamber, knowing the dark side of Mayan culture.
We returned to the light and spent time in the huge (551' x 230') ballcourt , and peering over the edge of the sinkhole the Mayans called the Well of Sacrifice. Knowing this was the exact spot where people had there hearts cut out while still beating gave us both the chills. Mayan culture led the world at it's zenith, and the beauty of the buildings was amazing, but the brutality was equally stunning. Our tour guide even said that after the ballgame tournament, it was the WINNERS who were sacrificed, usually by decapitation,as this was considered an honor. Heavy stuff.
One day was not enough to see this place, the number buildings, and the fascinating details of symbolism would take weeks to really appreciate - like our tour guide said,
"So many things more!"
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
May 10 1991
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Dunn's River Falls Ocho Rios Jamaica, WW 
Dunn's River Falls Ocho Rios Jamaica, WW
 
Climbing avatar May 10 1991
Barrett
Climbing0.20 Miles 180 AEG
Climbing0.20 Miles   1 Hour      0.20 mph
180 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After a bus ride that included a primer on the proper use and pronunciation of "Irie", my wife Karen and I were dropped off at the base of the falls. Technically a cascade, Dunn's River is formed by warm water flowing from travertine caves, and is similar to Havasu with its beautiful domes and dams of smooth stone. We started climbing, but it became obvious right away this was not for the timid. Fortunately, there are stairs in the hillside right next to the falls, and Karen wisely opted for this option. Several times the visibility was reduced to zero as I lowered my head against the flow and felt for the next holds to progress. What a blast! :y:
Soon I reached the top, where the vendors sold their Ganja paraphernalia and women braided the tourists hair in cornrows. (If you ever decide to get cornrows, and I know most of you probably will, remember to apply sunscreen to your freshly exposed scalp :doh: ).
We hopped back on the bus and returned to the ship, regretting we had to leave so soon. Perfect weather, friendly people, lush tropical vegetation, and a travertine cascade. :D
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
May 03 1986
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 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Chapel Rock -PRNL, MI 
Chapel Rock -PRNL, MI
 
Hiking avatar May 03 1986
Barrett
Hiking8.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   3 Hrs      2.67 mph
300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Growing up in southeastern Michigan and loving cool geology and scenic views simply meant you were going to do some driving. 4 hours north to the Mackinac Bridge got you to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and another 2 or 3 to the southern shore of Lake Superior usually did the job. The largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, the Ojibwe called it Gichigami, or "big water", which Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (The Song of Hiawatha) and Gordon Lightfoot (The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald) both changed to Gitche gumee for unknown reasons. It's rugged shoreline was a string of cliffs, waterfalls, sea caves and other points of interest lacking elsewhere in the state, and our destination on many trips.
My partner in adventure for most of my teen years was Mark L., who enjoyed trips to the Detroit Public Library's map collection as much as I. Poring over huge topos' we made notes and photocopied in those days before the internet. Putting together a string of fire towers, waterfalls, and anything else that looked interesting, we packed his Dad's old Volvo station wagon and headed north.
Chapel Rock had caught our eye, sitting on the lake's edge in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, north of the tiny town of Melstrand. We camped at large, avoiding campgrounds when we could, and hit the trail in the early morning. 2 miles in we reached Chapel Falls, which were "falls" only by the skin of their teeth. Just a steep section of stream through some boulders really - we were glad there was more to see ahead. 2 miles more and it arrived just as we could see the lake through the trees. An amazing formation of weathered Cambrain age sandstone stood on pillars with a giant conifer placed perfectly on top, connected to the rest of the shore by a bridge of roots high in the air. We both got our cameras out and started climbing all over the place, taking a break amidst the pillars for lunch before deciding to try the root-bridge. It was the only way to get to the top and the tree, the sandstone being too soft for climbing, and the overhangs way beyond our climbing abilities. I suppose one could walk across, but the exposure was pretty serious, so we basically straddled the roots and shimmied across. The breeze from the lake kept the bugs at bay, which is a rare pleasure in the north woods, and we had a great afternoon hanging out and enjoying the view of the big lake.
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Aug 02 1985
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 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Longs Peak - RMNP, CO 
Longs Peak - RMNP, CO
 
Backpack avatar Aug 02 1985
Barrett
Backpack24.50 Miles 6,500 AEG
Backpack24.50 Miles5 Days         
6,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
An article in a magazine titled "The Ten Best Walk-ups in the World" was the seed. I had never taken a plane flight by myself, nor had I climbed a real mountain yet. I was almost 20 and it was time.
Longs Peak, the only Fourteener in Rocky Mountain National Park, was first officially summited by John Wesley Powell and his surveying crew in 1868, though Native Americans claim to have used it's 14,259' peak to gather Ceremonial Eagle Feathers for generations. It's Keyhole Route is considered a Class 3 scramble, but narrow ledges and serious exposure claim an average of 2 lives a year - something I neglected to tell my parents at the airport.
I arrived in Denver, taking a bus to Estes Park, where I wandered around a bit, poking my head in the Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for the fictional Overlook Hotel in Stephen King's The Shining. Very cool.
I returned to the bus stop, thinking I could take a bus further into the park, which I found I could not. Fortunately, one of the drivers assured me it was safe to hitch hike, which I did (sorry Mom). An older couple took me to the campground near the Glacier Gorge Trailhead and wished me luck. I set up my tiny single-wall Boy Scout tent in the dark and tried to sleep, but the excitement of the day and what tomorrow would bring kept me up all night.
At dawn I took the shuttle to the trailhead and set off, amazed at the size of the mountains all around me. The weather was cool and the skies were clear and I soon reached Alberta Falls, a torrent of white crashing down from boulder to boulder. Soon after I came to a split in the trail that didn't seem to fit. I must have looked confused, because a beautiful girl in a black Steelers T-shirt cut off about 10 inches above her navel with amazing muscular legs asked me if I was lost and we ended up talking for a while. She had once done Longs Peak before going to work, and knew the area like the back of her hand. She pointed me in the right direction and we parted ways, leaving me totally Lovestruck. :GB:
In a daze, I wandered higher on the trail, making it about 4 miles before taking a break as the daily afternoon thunderstorm rolled in. I was just below tree line, and huddled under a downed pine in my poncho until it passed. I made it another 2 miles before the thin air started taking it's toll. Then 1 mile. Then about one half. At mile 8 or 9 I could see the boulder field where I would camp at 13,000', but could only walk about 50 yards at a time before putting my hands on my knees and sucking wind. It was dark when I arrived and set up camp, boiling water with my clunky Optimus 8R and eating dinner - noticing the other mountaineering tents with my flashlight. I crawled into my tent and was out like a light. :zzz:
Until the winds arrived for real. My 2 pole didn't stand a chance, collapsing with little resistance. I gathered rocks to anchor the stakes, but that only lasted for a while, and once again my tent collapsed and pounded me with each flap. ](*,) After a third attempt, I gave up, putting tissue in my ears and curling up in the thrashing orange nylon until the wind finally subsided in the morning. I emerged exhausted, but after clearing my eyes the morning sun illuminated where I was and the adrenaline started to flow. The views were huge, above and below, I already felt like I was on top of the world.
I ate breakfast and made my way across the boulder field following the "Eggs" (a red dot of paint inside a larger yellow dot that act as trail markers) to the Keyhole, a dramatic rock flake that is the namesake of the route. Passing through, I then made my way up the Trough, a 600 foot couloir, followed by the Narrows, where things got wild. The trail clung to the edge of sheer rock, with a lethal fall one false step away. I watched a few others first, and saw how they did it, taking my time but still breathing hard. Finally I reached the Homestretch, steep but not quite as deadly, and I was on top! I had read you see an area the size of Ohio from the top, and I believed it, what a view!
I knew it was important to get down as quickly as possible before the afternoon storms, so I took a few pictures and made my way back, flying down the Trough in no time. I was at the Keyhole well before the storm, so I decided to bop over to the Chasm Lake Overlook, where I had an amazing view of the Diamond, Longs Peak's 900' vertical rock face. The clouds moved in and I found a huge boulder for shelter, huddling underneath as rain, hail and thunder crashed all around. I was loving every minute. :D
When it was clear I returned to camp, where I improved the circular rock windbreak and piled about 200 pounds of rocks on my tent guy lines. I ate dinner and was out cold. Somehow my tent survived the night's gale, and I actually slept through most of it as well.
In the morning I decided to try the old Cables Route, which looked reasonable from where I stood. The European-style cables had been removed due to lightning hazard years ago, but the anchor points remained, and I had heard it could be free-climbed. Higher and higher I climbed, youthful ignorance blinding me to the ever increasing danger. I was climbing at the edge of my ability, thinking that just because the slope was not completely vertical I was O.K. I had done so little climbing I wasn't even aware of how much harder it would be to down climb if I needed to back down. Dumb.
Fortunately, the slope eased and I scrambled to the summit once again, returning wisely via the Keyhole Route and crashing at camp for the rest of the afternoon and evening, enjoying the Marmots, who seemed oblivious to humans.
Once again my tent survived the night and I packed up camp in the morning. The hike down was a breeze, and I spent the night below tree line, where I shared a campfire with a rather friendly group from Denver. We finished the last of the freeze-dried, and then passed around a sticky dessert. The sunset bathed the mountains above us in a golden glow as we recounted our adventures, the flames sending sparks in a swirling dance into the deepening blue above.
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Vintage Hikers
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
May 08 1983
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 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Copper Peak Ski Flying Hill, MI 
Copper Peak Ski Flying Hill, MI
 
Hike & Climb avatar May 08 1983
Barrett
Hike & Climb0.50 Miles 606 AEG
Hike & Climb0.50 Miles   1 Hour      0.50 mph
606 ft AEG
Onsight I G  • Sport • 3rd Other Good • 606 Feet 
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Copper Peak Ski Flying Hill, a 241 foot cantilevered steel structure sitting atop a 365 foot copper bearing outcrop in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, is the only ski flying hill in the western hemisphere. There are a few ski jumping hills (less than 120 meters) but at a 145 meter jump length, it's all by itself. Located in a remote area 10 miles outside the town of Bessemer, it makes for an awesome off-season adventure.
Mark L. and I arrived and parked at the end of the landing bowl, no locked gates or signage telling us not to. We hiked straight toward the landing hill, held together with telephone poles tethered horizontally to lessen erosion. There were wooden steps on the side, but they were in bad shape so we stuck to the dirt. At a 41 degree pitch, it is also famous for the snowmobilers who try to climb it.
Soon we arrived at the base of the tower, which has an elevator and stairs, but we found them to be locked. Fortunately, the lowest part of the ramp is an easy bit of buildering, and we proceeded right up the wooden chute. At 35 degrees, it wasn't as steep as the hill, and there were horizontal slats of wood that provided traction. The trees below grew smaller, and we reached the cantilever point, beyond which the tower noticeably began to bounce with our movement. Reaching the top, we turned around and looked down the ramp. Holy ****. :o The idea of leaning forward with a pair of skis on your feet looked suicidal. Serious gonads.
The views were amazing, Lake Superior to the north, and the rolling green of the UP cloaked in a light mist below.
A short exercise in how-much-should-we-make-it-bounce followed a photo session, and we headed back down. We decided we should haul a tire up here next time for a roll.
I returned with others years later, and we forgot all about the tire. Looks like I have an excuse to go back.
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
Jul 05 1978
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 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,371
 Triplogs 286

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Indian Gardens Grand Canyon, AZ 
Indian Gardens Grand Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 05 1978
Barrett
Hiking9.60 Miles 3,060 AEG
Hiking9.60 Miles   8 Hrs      1.20 mph
3,060 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
After arriving at the North Rim and checking out the views, my Dad piloted the Galaxy 500 station wagon to the South Rim to spend the night. The rear side window was half covered now with the stickers of all the states we had passed through on our way from Michigan. We had seen a number of National Parks already, including Devil's Tower and Zion, but this was the big one. None of us had ever seen anything like it.
We rose early and headed down the Bright Angel, taking in the view before us. Mom and Dad saw a Bighorn Sheep that unfortunately disappeared by the time my brother and I came running. Indian Gardens seemed to arrive pretty quickly, and we took a three hour break in the shade, as it was quite hot. There were some hippies relaxing there, and I envied their freedom. I was only 13, but couldn't wait to come back to places like this and hang out with what looked like really cool people. 8)
The return was rough - it was fairly hot out, and we really crept along. Did I mention Michigan is REALLY FLAT?
My older brother, who kept a journal of our trip that is my source for this Triplog from the distant past, noted that we slept 11 hours that night. I believe it.
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Vintage Hikers
_____________________
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
average hiking speed 1.46 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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