Hiking Mt. Saint Helens

§ July 12th, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

397203827_5437466d54_zYou may not know this about me but I’m an avid hiker.

I love to travel and I love to hike.

So last summers biggest adventure was hiking Mt. Saint Helens.

What an amazing trip it was.  It was 12 hours of absolute joy and pain all wrapped into one.  We hiked this mountain in August and we got lucky and it was relatively clear views all the way up.

I’ve heard many people climb this mountain and never see much past a few feet ahead of them because of the constant layer of clouds and fog.  The pacific Northwest is known for its rain and clouds.

Video Research Via Hulu

If you want to know more about Mount Saint Helen’s then I highly recommend you check out the amazing documentary of this mountains history on Hulu.com.  Oh and for my international (non USA) readers if you can’t get Hulu access, then you’ll just need to follow this guide.  This method is highly recommended by a Canadian friend of mine.  I watch Hulu all the time and don’t have cable (but that’s a story for another day…)

This Hulu show is only 4 minutes long but it’s beautiful to watch and gives you a good sense of this mountains history.

Back To The Climb

The morning started out with great cool temps and views.  The first hour or so starts out in dense Northwest forest.  All of a sudden you come out of the forest and start the climb on the old Lava rubble.  Since it is still very early in the hike you are excited and filled with lots of energy.  It seems like we just bounded up the mountain at a record pace.

About 2 more hours in we start to fill the heat and slow down a bit.  The good news is that there was a most excellent breeze.  This breeze kept us cool as be climbed through a series of rock summits.  This mini summits seemed to never end. They just kept coming and coming.

About 5 hours into the hike we finally reached the Ash Field.

What a brutal hiking.  This last part of the mountain is very steep and the terrain is ash (or similar to sand).  Each time you take a step you gain 3 feet and then lose a foot.  It takes a ton of energy to make it to the top.

Once you reach the top, you’ll see one of the most incredible views in the entire world.  The power of that explosion was just incredible.  There is still tree debris in the lake on the bottom of the blast zone.

The Power Of Mother Nature Is Absolutely Mind Boggling

So we spend about an hour soaking up the views and eating our lunch.

Then we headed back down the mountain which you would think would be easy and enjoyable compared to the climb up. However, by this time our knees were screaming in pain and every step down hurt A LOT.

By the time we got back to our cars and head out we were exhausted and still had an hour drive back to our hotel.

Well, that was an amazing adventure and if you ever get a chance to hike it then DO IT.

 

Its Been Awhile Since I Posted Last

§ July 4th, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

I know its been awhile since my last posts.  It’s just that work and life got really busy for me since I returned from Canada.  I still remember my recent Canadian trip like it was yesterday and will remember it always.

I’m excited to start thinking about my next big adventure.  Maybe New Zealand??

I hear that the flights to New Zealand are not cheap and most people recommend that you spend at least 3 weeks over there to get the full experience.  Sounds good to me!

I don’t think I’ve ever been on a 3 week vacation.  I’d sure think I would enjoy that.

Anyone have any advice on where I should focus my next trip to?  I’m really looking forward to everyone’s advice here.  I’m open to traveling just about anywhere as long as I can save up the funds for it.

Quick Update From Canada

§ February 3rd, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

Canadian FlagI promised a couple of mid trip updates so this will be a quick post just to give you all a taste of what’s going up here.  I will tell you I’ve been having a fantastic time.

The flights and travel to Calgary were uneventful….which is the way I like my travel.  Nice and boring!  ;)

Once I got through the airport my buddy was there to pick me up.  Seeing a friendly face in a foreign country was very nice.  I fully expect to get that “alone and on my own” feel at some point in my travels but this was not the case for this trip.

My friend (who wishes to remain anonymous for this blog) drove me around the town to see all the main sites.  I’ll get into more detail in my followup posts (due to time restraints) but I’ll just say the Calgary is a beautiful city and people are very friendly.

Ok, so I got in Friday and today is Monday so here’s a quick list of all the things I’ve done since Friday.

Friday – General Tour of the City

Friday Night – A little bit of downtown fun

Saturday – Went to the Calgary Tower

Saturday Night – Flames Hockey Game – This was fantastic and was such a great time.  The Flames won (who hoo!) in overtime.  Very exciting, Canadians are very passionate about their hockey.

Sunday – We went to Banff National Park.  It was incredible!

Sunday Night – Exhausted from the National Park excursion

So that’s been the basic agenda so far.

Interesting observations so far:

So a lot of you might be interested in the major differences between America and Canada.  Even tho they are pretty similar, I have noticed some significant differences.

1) Tim Horton’s is very popular coffee place.  It’s basically the Starbucks of Canada

2) Hockey is very popular…mainstream

3) It’s cold but not too bad (so far) its not like everyone stays indoors all winter.  But its not Palm Springs either

4) Digital Content restrictions.  I was quiet surprised about how limited the digital content is in Canada.  They don’t have access to sites like Pandora or Hulu. Plus their Netflix is severely limited.  My buddy showed me a website on how he gets around these restrictions (a how to get american netflix in canada guide) but I was shocked and knew nothing about any of this.

Well, that’s all i really have for today.  It’s a quick post but it has been so much fun.  I have a busy rest of the trip planned so I will try to get one more quick update in before heading home.

Photo Credit 1

Not Much Response…

§ January 28th, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

Well, its been a couple of days now and I haven’t gotten much response yet.  It’s probably more due to my lack of BLOGGING knowledge than any thing else.

Since this blog is so new, I have a very small audience so far, so if you are one of the few who are currently reading this post….Thank You!

I do have some good news to share with you.  I have decided to pick my first country to travel to.  Now I wanted to choose New Zealand first but to be honest I need more time to plan for such an incredible trip.

Plus everyone I have talked to who has traveled to New Zealand, have said you need to spend a minimum of 3 weeks to be able to take it all in.  Unfortunately for this first trip I don’t have 3 weeks.  I have 2 weeks…sigh…

It is what it is, so I have decided to travel somewhere that feels like a good first “out of country” travel experience.   You have probably already guessed which location I have chosen.

And you would be right if you said “Canada“!

Whats really cool about me traveling to Canada is I have a friend that lives there.  I have already reached out to him and he has invited me to stay with him for a significant portion of my Canadian stay.

What’s even cooler is that my buddy is going to take some time off in order to show me around.

I will be staying in the Calgary area of Canada and I’m most excited to see the Northern Rockies.  They look to be majestic.

He also is planning to go to a Calgary Flames hockey game with me.  I have never been to a hockey game before so this is sure to be a “new” experience for me.  I’m not a big sports guy so I might feel a little like a fish out of water but that kinda the point of this entire blog.

To travel and to experience things I normally would not.

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go.  I actually leave this upcoming weekend!

OK…so how often can you expect some Blog Updates?  I don’t want to over promise and disappoint so I’ll say that I’ll post at least twice while I’m traveling and then I will post with a bunch more details once I get back home.

I want to share my experience in real time but I also don’t want to be blogging the entire time and missing opportunities to do more.

That is the basic reasoning behind the 2 times while gone and then a bunch once I’m back.  Twice to keep you my readers in the loop on the gist of whats going on and then a bunch once I’m back in order to get all the fresh excitement down on “digital paper” before I forget.

So plan on seeing an update sometime next week.  Until thing enjoy this Canadian History Video….

Decisions – Decisions

§ January 21st, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

I’ve always been an avid planner and struggle with pure spontaneity.  Its not in my nature to throw caution to the wind….its just too scary.

My default personality when it comes to traveling consists of something like the following:

- Agonize over where to travel

- Make a list of all the things I might possibly need on my travels

- Make a list of all the thing I need to get done to prep for travel

- Make a list of contacts who need to know times and dates of travel

- Create a day by day (hour by hour) schedule of all travel activities

- Make a list of resources for emergencies situations

You get it…it can go on and on and on and on

Now these are all worthy efforts for those who believe they can control every aspect of their lives.  We are people who show up to airports 3 hours early, Just In Case.  We pack weeks ahead of time.  We have our mail held, have our neighbors water our plants and keep just the right number of lights on in the house to make it “seem” like someone is home while we are gone?

Sound familiar?  You are either in this camp or you know someone who is.

Either way, I believe my tendency to plan/prepare to this level was first instilled in me by the Boy Scouts of America.

Now before I get myself into some hot water, let me just say that the Boy Scouts is an awesome organization and does an great job to instill many needed values in our youth.  However, what you gain in one aspect of your life you lose in another.

If you always preparing then you lose spontaneity.  When you are planning every step of “everything” you lose creativity.  It just is what it is.

So this is all a long intro to tell you that I want to start my traveling adventures on a very spontaneous, uncontrolled way. I have decided to leave my first destination up to faith.  I put my travel plans in the hands of YOU.

Now I cannot quite give up absolute control…..so I have a list of 5 countries that I would like to travel to sometime in 2014.  What I will do is share these 5 countries then allow you to vote.  I will then tally up all the votes and the one that gets the most, is the place I will travel to first.

Drum Roll  **..**..**..**..**..**

Canada (safe but I’ve never been and would love to go)

Mexico

Japan

New Zealand

Brazil

Ok there are the 5 you can choose from.  Now give it to me….let me know where you want to send me and that’s where I’ll go.  Feels so Freeing to be so Spontaneous!!