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Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting 2013

This time I did the upper canyon, 7 day hybrid trip which included kayaks, paddle boats and oar boats.

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Orange County Adventure Race 2008

Eddy and I decided to enter the 1st ever Orange County Adventure Race since it was only 15 minutes away from Eddy’s house.  As usual, we never train or prepare for these things.  We figure that we are in such awesome shape that these races are nothing!   This race consists of 1 mile of paddling, 5-6 miles of mountain biking and a 3-4 mile run.

So as usual, the night before we are running around trying to find an inflatable boat and some life vests.

The race started with a 1 mile run to three checkpoints.  At each checkpoint we had to pick up some parts that would be used to make our boat paddles.  Once back at the staging area, we put together the paddles with tie wraps and duct tape and pumped up the boat.

The boating part would have been easy if, we could paddle straight and we knew where we were going.

When we hopped into the lake we counted about 40 boats in front of us so we figured we were in the middle of the pack.  When we exited the lake we only counted 15 or so boats behind us.

The next activity was a short obstacle course and a 6′ wall to hop over.  Then it was off to the mountain biking section.  The biking section was fairly easy it was half on dirt and half on pavement.  We really couldn’t catch or pull ahead of any bikers because it was mainly flat.

Lastly the running section came.  We usually call this, the walking section.  I think we lost probably another 10 places here with our very slow jog rate.

Our final result was 2:45 which put us around 29th place out of 40 or so 2 person teams.


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California 2004

We had a few weeks to spend in LA and the weather wasn’t too bad. However, October is the rainy season and it turned colder so our experience and pictures didn’t turn out as good as it could’ve been.

Channel Islands National Park

After seeing the Discovery Channel’s “Top Ten Wonders of the West” which featured the Channel Islands at number 7, I wanted to go see it for myself. We decided that kayaking along the shore and into the many sea caves would be a different way to see the islands. So we booked a kayaking trip from Aquasports and headed to Ventura harbor on a Saturday morning. Of course, we were late and almost missed the boat. Once aboard, it was a one hour ride to Santa Cruz Island. Along the way, we were hoping to see dolphins or whales. Only a couple seals came up to say hi. About an hour after arriving at Scorpion Landing on Santa Cruz we were in our kayaks paddling west along the northern shore. Because we were kayaking I purchased a cheap Radio Shack digital camera for $50, just in case we dropped it or flipped over we wouldn’t be too disappointed. The camera was only 1.5 mega pixel and had an old CMOS sensor so it’s pics weren’t very good. I also brought my other digital camera and camcorder but I kept those in a dry bag until we stopped paddling.

Going through the sea caves was a new experience. You don’t realize the elevation change as you float atop the water until you’re inside a cave. Enter a cave during the trough of a wave and the cave ceiling is 10ft. But once a wave comes into the cave you find yourself rising and the ceiling getting closer until you worry whether or not you’ll hit your head. Oh yeah, that’s the reason we all had to wear helmets. After the kayaking we went had lunch on shore and George and I took a hike while Jimmy slept. At 4:00pm the boat arrrived and we hopped on it and headed back to Ventura harbor.

Sail plane

A quick drive down to Warner Springs and we arrived at Sky Sailing. Sky Sailing had an acrobatic flight in which the pilot did loops, rolls and zero gravity dives. George hopped in the glider and was towed to a few thousand feet.

Yosemite National Park

Eddy had a conference to attend in Yosemite, so what a better time to tag along and visit another of the “Top Ten Wonders of the West”. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t seem to cooperate as there was a snowstorm a few days before and it was pretty cold. We arrived on Thursday night and stayed at the Apple Tree Inn, which was 2 miles from the south entrance.

The next morning, Eddy went to his conference, Shanda worked from the room and I planned to see the Mariposa Grove sequoias. Unfortunately the road accessing it was closed due to the snow, so I ended up hiking the Chilnualna Falls trail.

Later in the afternoon, we ventured into the valley. Glacier Point was also closed. After stopping and taking pictures of the usual stuff, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls and Half Dome, we went on a hike to upper Yosemite Falls. This hike started with about 20 steep switchbacks and then steadily climbed until we stopped at a railing about 1.5 miles in. We stopped to take some pictures and kept heading up. Finally after another mile we could see upper Yosemite Falls. Eddy thought our hike had ended but Shanda and I had to point out that this trail went to the TOP of the falls. A nice 3500′ vertical elevation change. We kept going but soon we were racing against the sun. At about 4:30pm we decided to turn around and head back. We’ll get to the top another day.

Saturday morning, again Eddy went to his conference while Shanda and I went to the Mariposa Grove. The road was still closed so we hiked the 2 miles to the trailhead.

In the afternoon we went to meet George and Jimmy who had rented a house at Yosemite West. I don’t have pictures of the house, but it was a mack daddy party house. We definitely have to get it again next time we come back. So back in Yosemite we went to Mirror Lake, which wasn’t really full and this time of year, and then back to the bottom of the Yosemite falls.

Sunday morning, again after the conference, we headed home.

More Pictures

one minute video

slide show

Yosemite Falls Trail

One tall tree

Mariposa roots

Near El Capitan

Mirror Lake trail

Upper Yosemite Falls

Near El Capitan again

Grizzly Giant

Mirror Lake

Upper Yosemite Falls


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HITEC Adventure Race in Detroit, MI 2002


We entered our first Adventure Race… this was listed as a beginners race so we thought, why not? After all, it was only 1-3 miles of kayaking, 10-15 miles of mountain biking and 5-8 miles of trail running. Before we could change our minds, I had charged the $265 entry fee on my credit card so we couldn’t back out.

We arrived for check-in around 3pm at Stony Creek Metropark. That’s where we got our team bibs, bike numbers and found out the course specifics. We were Team 102 and Team 115. Rex, Mike and Mark went paddling in the kayaks while me, Vich and Paul stayed on shore and listened to the biking tips. We checked into the hotel around 6pm and had a large pasta meal for dinner to fuel up. We used our hotel rooms as the bike shop.  Team 102 – Team Lost Boys & Team 115 – Team Rumblefish.

At 6:30am we arrived at the transition area and we began to stage our bikes and food. The race began at 8:00am. The start was staged, with Coed beginning at 8:00am, Male at 8:05am and Female, Corporate at 8:10am.

The race began with a 1.5 mile kayak around the lake. The kayak leg included a 300 ft. kayak portage across a small island and finished with the first special test. This test was to get your team over a 4 foot wall without touching it.

Next came the 11mile mountain biking portion, which began with a chest deep water crossing. As we were entering the small pond, the first place team was crossing also, but they were on their way back already!

The single track was fairly easy with no hard climbs or very technical areas. We had to dismount to cross a creek and a mud bog. At one point, the Lost Boys got lost (of course) and lost about 15 minutes deciding which way to go. We finished the biking portion in 90 minutes and began the next two special tests.

The first place team finished at this time. There was a railroad tie pull which cramped everyone on both teams and made the final 7.5 mile trail run (or walk) very tough. “Maybe if someone didn’t help pull/push 3 other teams, they wouldn’t have gotten cramped.” The trail run was uneventful. The trail consisted of roadside ditches and grass fields. The final tests included climbing a 12 foot wall, which was very easily for both teams. Then it was a quick jog to the finish! We had no idea what our results were until they were posted on the webpage the next day.

Place Time Bib Team Name Teammate #1 Teammate #2 Teammate #3
23 05:13:39 115 Rumblefish Reigil Ignacio (29M)Chicago, IL Mark Romero (29M)Chicago, IL Michael Sanchez (29M) Chicago, IL
24 05:13:41 102 Team Lost Boys Kenric Hwang (30M)Mt. Prospect, IL Paul Ignacio (30M)Chicago, IL Vich Nhim (34M)Romeoville, IL

We were fortunate enough to get about 10 seconds of airtime on the Outdoor Life Network. (Versus Channel).  We’d like to think it was due to our skill, but you’ll see it was not the case. You can see us on the wall helping another team. I think we were almost last at the time. Then you see the back of us as we’re just beginning the biking leg and the first place team is returning from it!

Photo Gallery

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