Monday, May 19, 2008

05/17/08 Bishop


Sixth year out here and it still looks amazingly beautiful!

We were pretty warm at the 6:00am start so we knew it was going to be a hot day.

Beautiful scenery in every direction!

Angela = 3:20 (1st female), Lisa = 3:25 (2nd female)!

Lisa's foot.

Not root beer.

The girls display their awards in front of our hosts' lovely home.
Thank you and thank you Carl & Kay!

Carl, Kay, Edward, Angela, Lorenzo, & Aaron.

Aaron works up an appetite for lunch at Schat's.

Boys on toys.

After lunch, we went to the Buttermilk area to wrestle with some giant pebbles.

Kevin tries to score a take-down.

Everyone enjoyed rocking out in the sunshine.


In order to get out of the heat, we went to Clark Canyon near Yosemite.

Every time we reached the top of a climb, we were treated to an incredible view!
Lorenzo finds some peace and quiet.

Some other climbers told us about the "Gourmet Restaurant" at a Mobil Station near the Tioga Pass. You've got to try the Whoa Nellie Deli!

Angela & Edward dance for their dinner with Mono Lake in the background.
When's the last time you saw people this excited about paying $4.59 per gallon?
Angela & Edward were exceptionally hungry & thirsty.

On the way back through Bishop, we made the traditional stop at Baskin Robbins.

Aaron is a very alert driver.

The moon tried to lure us into staying longer. We didn't get home until almost 2am, but we are already anxious to return soon!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

05/10/08 Malibu Creek Trail Challenge

Erick the Weatherman predicts a partly cloudy course full of cool runners.

Fellow Mountain Goat runner Lon and I try to keep warm at the start.

During the race itself, I wished for the ten-thousandth time that I had a camera with me. The purple wildflowers were amazing! Every time I saw them, I told myself that they were giving me "Purple Power!" At the top of a particularly grueling hill, just when I thought I was pretty much out of gas, I looked down the back side and saw an entire valley of purple flowering bushes that literally gave me the strength to finish.

2:14:26 - Thanks Purple Power!

Coach John, myself and Erick representing west, east, and south.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

05/03/08 Rafting & 05/04/08 Climbing in Kernville

The superheros get ready for action.

Super-Puffy-Arm Woman wants to go rafting NOW!

My arms only look juiced, but here's Jack & Rebecca getting juiced.
Rafting was great, but the river is freezing (well, not quite, just 36 degrees or so) thanks to the melt from Mt. Whitney. The rafting company required everyone doing Class Five rapids to pass a "swim test" which unfortunately was NOT in a swimming pool. Basically, just jump in, float downstream through some Class Two rapids, then prove that you can make it back to shore, even though the water was like Kryptonite and sucked away all your powers. Miserable. Of course, it was a great way to start the experience because it certainly couldn't get worse than that!
Instructor James explains that even superhero powers are no match against the river.
My very cold life was flashing before my very cold eyes.
Jack & Rebecca making it look easy.
Once inside the raft, we thawed out and our strength returned. The morning was Class 3 & 4 stuff, then they served a really good lunch, perfect for tasting a second time when we went to the Class 5 stuff in the afternoon. When we got to the first Class 5 rapid, everyone got out of the boats and had to walk downstream to check it out first. That's when I tasted Lunch, Version 2.0. The guides showed us which "line" to take, but if you saw it, you would realize water that strong pretty much has a mind of its own. And regardless of which "line" you intend to take, it's up to the river as to whether or not you actually take it. All I remember is a bunch of water, very cold water everywhere, a few paddles being tossed about, a lot of yelling, then an eerie quiet when we made it through. Once we realized that no one came out of our boat and we were all relatively unharmed and accounted for, we started whooping and cheering. Later, we went through another Class 5 section and it was just as thrilling. Like being inside a washing machine strapped to a roller coaster, while wearing neoprene.
The superheros survived!
After rafting, I went for an easy 10 mile run on the road and saw LOTS of motorcycles: all different kinds - fat people on Harley's, kids on little dirt bikes, a few sport bikes and everything in between. Then it was time to cook hot dogs at Camp Thunderbird which was only five miles from the rafting area and right across the street from the Kernville Slab climbing area.
Meanwhile, back in Gotham City ("Kernville"), our super-friend Aaron leaped over buildings (hillsides) in a single bound (with a paraglider).
More Super-Friends met up with us for climbing on Sunday. We battled a steep approach, snakes, and other forces of evil (well, one large spider). But the rock was quite friendly, allowing us to put on a spectacular display of our amazing Spider Man abilities.
Na-nanananana-Gear Girl!

Gear Girl's alter ego: Crack Head.
Crack Head gets higher on crack.

Yesterday the river, today the wall.

Rick stays positive.

Lisa the Wonder Woman learns to rap.

Aaron spreads his wings, again.

Wonder Woman overcomes her fear of heights.

An amazing day of climbing was had by all. And I'm looking forward to a possible return trip once the river warms up, perhaps in July!