Ice Climbing adventure and amazing dog sled

Today was my favorite day of the trip. 7 am I was pickup by a ice climbing guide. A half hour drive brought us to this 90 meter waterfall. I looked at this waterfall with a little intimidation. My first couple climbs only went about half way up. It took me a few hours to get use to pick placement. Without good pick placement the ice would break when you put your weight on your pick. The weather was nice little wind and about 5 degrees but even at that temperature I was out there taking clothes off. I was sweating like crazy from all the climbing. After 6 hours of climbing I met up with my family for a dog sled trip while this sounds fun, don’t get me wrong it was but i was soaked in sweat from the climb. Wet and cold don’t mix well.  Still this was an amazing experience.

Helicopter and gondola ride.

winter sleigh ride

this had to be one of the coldest days. We had a sleigh ride which was cool but cold.

looking up angel falls

ice and angel falls

ice walking and went to a frozen water fall called angel falls. This waterfall was an amazing site to see.

Rocky Mountain train ride.

Spent this day riding the train.

Canada, a family vacation.

My mom, sister, dad, and myself took a family vacation to Canada during December. Started in Vancouver,BC and made our way to Calgary, AB.

The new look.

utah and canada 711

So I just made it back home and I’ve been getting ready for Christmas, going through my pictures, and customizing the look of my website. I’ll be getting my stories  of this past trip out soon but until then let me know how you like the new look of my website or what you don’t like.

scared face

Practice Flight?

baggage cart

So, I’ve been working on getting my Maine guide license, and I decided to fly up instead of drive.  I’m sitting in the airport in Boston looking out the window waiting for my plane to arrive and watching the time. When suddenly I realize, wait take off is in like five (5) minutes. I walk up to the counter and ask about my flight and the guy said “oh just walk down the stairs and someone will be around soon to guide you to the plane”. I thought to myself “That is weird, why would I need an escort.” When I  get down the stairs, there is only one person waiting. “Really! Only one person?”  We both got led outside. They then weigh our bags and then each person was weighed and the weights were recorded. Then we looked around but there was no plane just a luggage cart. When the luggage cart pulled away and there it was, this single engine plane. This plane could seat no more than four (4) people including the pilot. Well we boarded the plane and I am sitting right behind the pilot, so close in fact I could hear what was coming though her head set. Then I hear the person over the head set say  that we can proceed to the runway. The pilot could have just turned and told us both, being that we could hear what was being said over the head set. But no, she hits a switch and the over head speaker comes on and she said, no lie “attention all passengers we have been cleared to go to the run way (or something of the sort) please be sure that all seat belts are fastened, and all electronics are turned off and are not to be turned on during this flight.” I said “Did you really have to use the intercom?” She proceeded to the runway then took out a sheet of paper. Then she started going over her pre-flight checklist, but while doing that she was reading this sheet like she was not sure what was what. This was a little disheartening. I have a pilot that is reading a sheet on how to fly a plane. Really!!! We made it safely to the airport/ flight training school/ Thai restaurant/ Army reserve base/ bus station.

Upon landing I called my parents to inform them that I landed safely, and to tell them about this crazy fight and the pilot reading instructions while she flew the plane.

small plane

On the return flight, I got on the plane with the same pilot but it was a bigger eight (8) seat plane. After we all got weighed in again including our luggage and all of our weights were recorded. We  boarded the plane and noticed we had a co-pilot this time. So we are getting ready to take off and the co-pilot turns around and says “How’s everyone doing? We have a first time pilot today, It is one of her first flights.” On hearing those words I thought “What? she flew us from Boston in the dark with no co-pilot and this is one of her first flights? Are you kidding me?” Then he said, with out the over head speaker, “Please fasten your seat belts now and turn all electronics off and they can’t be used for the duration of this flight, and we will have a nice flight with a few bumps if everything goes well. Enjoy the flight.”

Now!!!!! I can’t wait to tell my parents the “rest of the story”…

scared face

police car lights

Between the lines

police car lights

September 23, 2013  Driving back to Florida from Idaho “Primitive Skills Gathering”

So . . .

There I was, alone, singing talking communicating with myself as I pass through Oklahoma.  When all of a sudden flashing red and blue lights caught me off guard.  Dang, State Trooper.

What have I done?  Why am I getting pulled over? So I pulled over and waited . . .

I rolled down my left window and he knocks on my right.

“Do you know why I pulled you over?”  said the Trooper.  “No sir.”  I replied.

“Have you been drinking”  “No sir”

“Are you tired”  “No sir”

“You crossed the solid white line on the right side of the road a few miles back” he explains.

He leaned into the front window and starting inspecting the inside of my truck.  He scanned the front seat.  Scanned the back seat.  My truck was filled with deer skin bags, antlers, horns, and all of my outdoor equipment.

“Please step out of the vehicle sir and step toward my vehicle”  At this point, I am nervous.  And like a penguin I waddle to the back of my truck.  Upon reaching the back of my truck, the officer escorted me to the back seat of his vehicle.  He then placed a hand on my head and one on my side and guided me into the back seat of the squad car.

I thought to myself.  I’ve seen this happen many times on TV but never thought it would happen to me.  I’m now sitting in the backseat of his car.  My back, not touching the back of the seat.  Eyes bugging out of my head.  Hands shaking.  Wanting to fill my pants.

Officer gets into the front seat.  Readjusted the rear view mirror so he could see me.  Removes his sun glasses, breathes heavily on his glasses and precedes to clean them.  Over and Over again.

He then asks me “Where are you coming from”  my response “Idaho”

He then starts typing into his computer, looking up once in awhile to gaze at me through the rear view mirror.

“You look like you are about to have a stroke” was his next comment.  As he continues to alternate between typing and staring at me.

After a few more moments of silence.  Typing, Staring.  Typing, Staring.   He inquired “Why were you in Idaho?”  “I attended RabbitStick which is a Primitive Skills Gathering”  “So, you learned how to skin an animal”  ‘Yes, sir” while my eyes are still bulging, hands shaking.  I proceed to explain that I learned how to skin, process the meat, and use the organs and large intestines to make sausage.

Another few minutes of silence.   He’s pondering and thinking.  Looking at me and staring.  He continues to type on his computer.

Then he catches my eye and says “So, if the government collapsed, you’d be the guy that I would have to go to to learn how to survive”  My response was, “Yea, that’s right”  Then he asked “what type of gun do you carry to kill animals when you’re in the back country?”  And to this I replied, “Trap snares and a bow.  But recently I learned how to use an atlatl.”  :What is an atlatl?”  So I explained, “an atlatl is a spear or long arrow on a lever that is thrown.  It is the advancement of the spear and can be thrown further and with more power.”

For the next 30 minutes we talked about primitive fire making, primitive shelters and all of the other things that I have learned not only to survive but to thrive in the wilderness.

After the conversation had finished, he walked over to the back right door to let me out.  He opened the door and told me to “try to keep it between the lines”.  Hey, “and have a nice day”.

He drove off before I was back inside my truck.


Insult to injury Grand finally

Day 26 is missing but basically their are still two groups. Group 1 stopped responding to my whistles and we are a little worried especially because they have poor map reading skills. After trying to track them down for an hour or so we decided that it would be in the best interest if we meet up at the final destination being that the destination had already been planned out a few days in advance and we only had about 18 miles to go. We figured out our bearing and had a pretty good time hiking until we got to the water source, the only one that was any were close to us, where we found out that it had dried up. I set out with 2 full 40oz bottles and when we got to the water source I had about 20oz left. (That was more than the other two guys had) We then started to worry about the other group. There was no sign that they had even been here, so we pressed on. We took a lot of breaks because of the lack of water, energy, and blisters on our feet. We finished the day thinking we were going to get a lot of crap from the other group for being so slow but there was not sign of them at the final destination and the sun was setting. After a few hours of waiting our ride came to pick us up and still no group 1, we were all worried. After the sun had set and the moon had risen we see two dark figures approaching in the distance, It was group 1.  They misread the map and had traveled about 20 miles in the wrong direction. Luckily for them a family had been driving by and told them where they were and also supplied them with a gallon of water being that they had been out of water sense about noon. The vehicle that we thought was here to pick us up was just there to get our gear, they then informed us that our ride was parked a few miles away. So we began to walk. Group 1 left us again because they decided they were going to run it, while group 2 walked it. After about 5 miles of walking we realized this was no short walk, my thoughts (in a more PG way) “this sucks”. Then what seemed like for ever maybe 3-4 miles we came across a member of group 1 who was in hypothermia to the point he could hardly talk or move. I thought about what I know about hypothermia and how to signal for help so I blew my whistle 3 times, but with no response. So I stripped down to give him my cloths and body heat which only helped a little. This was a critical situation we had to find this car soon because he wasn’t going anywhere. So I ran as fast as I could for as long as I could blowing my whistle every few minutes but with no response. Then after a few miles of running I could see a faint light in the distance so I signaled again but still no response. When I finally got to the light I was tired, cold, and extremely frustrated. I then asked why they didn’t respond to my whistles, and they responded “we wanted you to find us on your own.” (FYI 3 whistles, gun shots, or threes in general mean help.)  So I proceeded to tell them where the person was that needed help. Why the car was going to get him, I worked on warming myself up next to the small fire that had just been started. ( remember I still have no clothing) The car returned and I got my clothes back warmed up and then it started to rain, talk about insult to injury. When it started to rain we were informed that we were heading out at first light. So for the rest of the night I slept in the rain. When the sun rose and the rain had stopped on day 28 we all filed in the van liked zombies, after an hour drive back to our vehicles they gave us eggs and yogurt for our first meal, and a steam bath which was amazing. So after a long day hike and then a night hike along with being up for over 24 hours it ended with a nice relaxing steam bath to wash all the dirt away.