Thursday, September 26, 2019

Type II Fun: The Sweet Spot on Two Wheels

Not all fun is the same.

I learned this nearly ten years ago on a climb in the Cascade Mountains. I was having fun -- legitimate fun -- climbing South Early Winter Spire. It was a beautiful day, I was with a group of good friends, and although the climb was challenging, it was well within my abilities. After some time, we came to a part of the route where we needed to traverse "The Whaleback." This rocky spine entailed quite a bit of exposure, something I had not yet experienced. All of the sudden, I was no longer having fun.

Me, about to cross The Whaleback in 2010.

I didn't have time to dawdle, as there were a number of us on the climb, and we still had a long day ahead of us. And so, with little time to muster up courage, I stepped one foot in front of the other and continued to do so until I crossed the narrow spine. Despite my apprehension, I managed The Whaleback just fine. Once I passed this crux, fun returned. In fact, the fun that returned was like fun on ectasy.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A Photo Journal: Falling in Love with Alaska - Part II

The Denali Highway


Kali Ma, The Great Protector, joined me again on this summer's ride.
She sat perched atop my handlebars and reminded me to regularly
give out a great, big, hearty lion's breath.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A Photo Journal: Falling in Love With Alaska - Part I

It has taken me my whole life to get to Alaska. It has taken me my whole life to truly fall in love.

I felt very much in my element in Alaska,
which made me incredibly happy through-and-through.

Just a few minutes before my plane landed in Alaska, I looked outside my window and saw this: 

Triple hubba deliciousness!

It was at this moment that I fell in love.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Introducing Shirley Too & Her New Dynamo

Sometimes the best things come in cardboard boxes. And sometimes a delay in opening those cardboard boxes makes the contents even more appreciated.

There was a long wait to get my hands
on the contents of this cardboard box.

What's inside, what's inside, what's inside, you ask? Be patient, my friend! First, some backstory...

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Reflections on My Guatemala Trip

I spent two and a half months in Guatemala earlier this year. It was supposed to be three months, but for various reasons, including the fact that I wasn't enamored with the country, I came home early. Of the twenty-four countries I've visited thus far, Guatemala ranks near the very bottom. Here's what I enjoyed and didn't enjoy about my time in Guatemala.

What I Enjoyed About My Time in Guatemala


A Little Earthquake Excitement


Located on the Ring of Fire, Guatemala is prone to earthquakes. During the first week of class, we had an earthquake that hit 6.6 on the richer scale. I was impressed to see how quickly and safely the locals responded. At the same time, it was an eye-opener for me to realize just how vulnerable I would have been, as a traveler, had the earthquake been more significant. From then on, I expanded my supply of extra food and water.

Immediately after the earthquake,
my teacher's Facebook feed was bombarded with quake-related posts.

In my remaining time in Guatemala, I was hyper-sensitive to anything that resembled a quake. I awoke on March 8th at 2:50am in the morning, thinking we might be experiencing another tremor. As I lay in bed, eyes wide awake, I tried to muster up the energy to head out to the safe zone in the courtyard. Just as I sat up and swung my feet onto the floor, I heard what sounded like heavy breathing. This was no earthquake -- the "tremors" were from my neighbors upstairs enjoying a little mid-night love makin'. Geez, Louise!