Kenric.net

My vacation website

Prague 2011

In June of 2011, I went on a one month study abroad program in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic. I took a digital photography class in Prague. Our dormitories were about a 20 minute walk and metro ride away from our classrooms. Our classrooms were in the heart of Old Town Prague.

Below is a my compilation video from the month of Prague. It includes a trip to Vienna, Budapest and Cesky Krumlov. I think I’m moving to more videos rather than photos of my trips. I feel like a single video can convey many aspects of the trip more than a series of videos. And there were many hours of video from this trip.

Prague Compilation Video

Walking to Class

The video below was a quick one that I put together showing my daily walk and train ride to class in the morning. (This video was put together with Windows Live Movie Maker, which isn’t the best editting software. Sorry the audio is a little loud on this video)

Photos

Travelogue in Prague

There were also a bunch of students who are studying film and they made a compilation of videos from the trip also. There are 5 total short videos here.

Travelogue in Prague Part I

Travelogue in Prague Part II

Travelogue in Prague Part III

Travelogue in Prague Part IV

Travelogue in Prague Part V

Hope you enjoyed them!

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Machu Picchu 2011

In May 2011, I did a 4 day 3 night hike on the Inca Trail totaling 24 miles in Cusco, Peru. Below is my video from the hike.

This is the classic picture of Machu Picchu taken from the trail on the way to the Sun Gate.

This was a short one week trip. We flew from Miami to Lima to Cusco. From Cusco, we rode a bus for 2 hours to get to the trailhead and began hiking on Day 1. We got to camp around 3:30pm at the Llulluchapmampa camp site. On Day 2 we hiked over Dead Woman’s Pass and camped. On Day 3 we hiked to Winay Wayna and camped our final night. On Day 4 we began our hike at 5:30am and reach Machu Picchu around 8am.

Here is a great flash movie showing the itinerary on the trip.
http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/treks/inca-trail-to-machu-picchu-movie.html

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Crested Butte 2010

Need I say more about Crested Butte?  No pictures to post from this trip.  Most of us have gone video while on the trails.

Trails in the video: 401 trail, Deadman Reno Flagman Bear, Strand Hill, Teocalli Ridge, Snodgrass

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Havasupai 2010

My second time going to Havasupai to visit the falls.  I went there back in 2008 (Hiking and Camping in Havasupai) and it was a great time.  However in four months later in August 2008 there was a major flood in the canyon which changed the landscape of the waterfalls.  Here are some great pictures of it during that time (www.havasupaiflood.com).  This caused the campground to be shut down for the spring of 2009.

I was anxious to go back and see how things have changed.  Instead of going through the daily routines and activities.  I’m just going to be posting photos with little excerpts and stories.  This will be probably alot more interesting than hearing our itinerary.

Photo 1: Starting our 10 mile hike from the Hualapai Hilltop.  This is where we rent our horse to carry our heavy stuff.  One horse can carry up to 130 lbs worth of stuff.  That way we only have to carry 15 lbs in our packs.

Photo 2: After hiking 8 miles and passing the town of Supai, we begin to hike next to the Havasu Creek.  Eventually the area opens up and we saw our first waterfall.  This is the new unnamed waterfall that was created during the flood.  Navajo Falls used to be just upstream of here.  I don’t believe they have named it yet.

Photo 3: Another 1 mile of hiking and we reached Havasu Falls.  It is now only a single waterfall where in the past there were two.  Havasu Falls is just upstream of the campground.


Photo 4: We arrived at the campground around 4pm and find a good campsite.  Campground permits are tough to get, but even if you get them the campground spots are a free for all, so you don’t want to get there too late.

Video: The next day we are hiking to Beaver Falls.  It is about a 3 mile hike down stream.  We will hike past Mooney Falls which is a 200 foot waterfall.  We approach Mooney from the top and will have to descend to get to its bottom.

Photo 5: After Mooney Falls, we hike towards Beaver Falls.  The landscape is very different post flood.  The creek is very shallow and we are able to hike down the middle of it in some places.

Photo 6: Chikara decided to do the rope swing.  This is the same swing that I did in 2008, but the water is so shallow now that you can only land in a small spot.  The blue area on the left side is the deep end.  Look at the difference in color from this photo before the flood (kenricswing.jpg)

Photo 7: We arrived at the top of Beaver Falls.  The water is much bluer and deeper.  Next time we will make it to the Colorado River.

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Safari 2010

After climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro I went on a short 3 day safari. I visited Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater. I stayed two nights at the Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge.

African Safari – January 2010 from Kenric on Vimeo.

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Mt. Kilimanjaro 2010

kilimanjarotop

January 2010

Day 1

My trip began with a 30 hour total plane ride from Phoenix, AZ to Minnesota to Amsterdam and finally to Tanzania, Africa.  This was my first trip out of the country in over 10 years.  I decided not to get any of the recommended vaccinations, but I did bring pills for Malaria, some antibiotics and Diamox for altitude sickness.

I was doing the 8 day Shira Route.  8 days and 7 nights on the mountain would seem like a long time but we needed these days to help us acclimatized to the altitude.  Our hiking days would be relatively short and probably somewhat easy… if you didn’t get altitude sickness.

I stepped off the plane and immediately felt the hot humid African air.  The airport in Arusha is the smallest airport I’ve ever been to.  After waiting an hour to get my visa I found my ride along with 4 others who were making the same trek as me.  The roads in Tanzania are very dim.  Cars have no lights on and there are huge speed bumps everywhere.   We arrived at Iboru Safari Lodge around midnight and checked in.

Our lead guide and our guides.  They called themselves the Dream Team. I called them New Edition

Day 2

I spent the second day walking into Arusha from the lodge.  I had no agenda, there was nothing planned for the day so I just wandered about.  The locals came and talked to me and tried to get me to go to the market or offered to find items for me.  But I wasn’t in the buying mood today.  I figured I probably walked a good 5 miles that day just wandering about.

We had our orientation meeting at 4:30pm where we met our lead guide, Obote.  He told us what to expect during the next 8 days and also gave us our rental gear.  We also met almost everyone in our treking group.  There were 12 of us total and it was a very diverse group.  We had 5 from the USA, 3 from Australia, 2 from the Netherlands and 2 from Ireland.

Our first view of Kilimanjaro.  It looks far and would remain that way for the next 5 days.  We never seem to get closer to it.

Day 3

Today was our first day on the mountain.  We drove from Arusha to the entrance of the park.  We had to sign in at the gate.  I snapped a photo of Jessica Biel’s sig. as she and her group had climbed this route 7 days before us.  It was noon when we finally got to the beginning of the trailhead.  It was here that we met our entire support group.  There were 49 total people, 1 cook, 1 lead guide, 5 assistant guides, 33 porters and 9 helping porters.  After eating a box lunch we began our slow walk towards Kilimanjaro.  Pole Pole (pronounced po-le po-le) means slow slow in Swahili.  It was continous uttered throughout the climb.

We reached our first camp around 5pm.  Dinner was served in a mess tent.  Our first mountain meal consisted of fried talapia, potatoes, spinach and zucchini soup.  It was a pretty good meal.  We were at about 11,600 feet.

Atop of Shira Cathedral.  Reminded me of the floating islands in Avatar

Day 4

I didn’t get a good sleep my first night on the mountain.  I went to the bathroom 4 times.  Because of the altitude, we are all told to drink alot of water and stay hydrated.  Because of this, everyone is constantly waking up and going to the bathroom at night.  At 6am the assistant guide knocks on your tent and asks you how your night was, how you feel and what you would like to drink.  I tell him and he comes back a minute later with hot tea.  Then they bring you a pan of warm water so you can wash your face.  At 7am, it’s breakfast time which was eggs, bacon, tomatoes, porridge and bananas.

While we are eating, the porters pack up our tents and the rest of camp.  Once we are done with breakfast, we grab our daypacks and begin our day’s hike.  Today, we hiked to Shira Cathedral which is high into the clouds.  At the top I began to feel slight altitude sickness.  On the way down, we had some slight rain but luckily it was the only rain we came across during the entire trip.  We ended the day at Shira 2 at  about 12,500 feet.  This is the highest I’ve ever been in my life.  And I would be saying that every day for the next 5 days!

Early morning on Mt. Kilimanjaro.  It’s very cold and even our tents are frowning.

Day 5

I woke up with a headache and decided to begin taking Diamox for altitude sickness.  Today we hiked from Shira 2 to Moir Hut.  A side excursion took us to Lent Hills which is at 14,400 feet.  I was feeling pretty bad during this hike, but unlike regular sickness, resting doesn’t really help.  The only cure is to descend.  But I knew that I needed to go up if I was to have any chance to make the summit.  Basically, each of these days is all just altitude training for the final day.  A couple guys on the trip had paid for personal oxygen systems.  They each had 2 cannisters of oxygen for the trip.  They used one cannister today going up Lent Hills so that they could get used to how it worked.  We spent the night at Moir Hut, elevation 13,670 feet.

The view from the top of Lent Hill looking down at our campsite and the yellow tents

Day 6

Today we went from Moir Hut to Lava Tower which was 15,200 feet. It was about a 3 hour hike and we were camping right below Lava Tower.  I was feeling a little better today and decided to climb up Lava Tower, which was optional.  After Lava Tower, we all did the hike to Arrow Glacier.  I wasn’t feeling that great going up this hike and wanted to turn around many times, but the voice inside my head kept saying, “this is good for you.”  I knew it was right.

To add insult to injury, my stomach decided that it didn’t like the food anymore.  After 4 days of the same mountain food, I couldn’t blame it.  At this point I was on way too many pills.  I was taking the Malaria pill, diamox for altitude sickness and an antibiotic for my stomach.  Who knew which one might have been causing it.

The hike back down from Arrow Glacier.  Lava Tower is the big rock in front of us.  You can see our tents to the right of it.

My video of my Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb

Day 7

This was going to be our toughest day yet.  I woke up feeling pretty good.  I was worried that I wouldn’t have the energy to do this hike, but my headache seemed to have faded.  My stomach still wasn’t feeling great and I had a small breakfast.  I decided to stop all pills except the diamox too.

The hike from Lava Tower to Karanga would take us down and up two valleys and the Barranca Wall.  This wall looks very intimidating from far away and doesn’t look much better when you are under it.  Many of the people in our group who had not shown any signs of altitude sickness had trouble today.  Luckily, I had a pretty good day.  Climbing the Barranca Wall wasn’t that bad.  It was probably because in Phoenix we do tougher scrambles on almost every hike we go on.

We arrived at Karanga after a real long day of hiking.  The camp at Karanga is sloped and nobody’s tent was level.  It was probably the worse campsite we had so far.  This didn’t matter much to me as I was not getting much sleep anyway.  By now, everyone is tired of hiking and anxious to get to the summit.

This is the start of the Barranca Wall.  It’s gonna be a long day.

Day 8

Karanga to Barafu, our final campsite before the summit hike.  I don’t remember much from this hike except that I couldn’t wait to get there.  We arrived at Barafu at noon and signed in.  There were selling cans of Coke there so i bought for $4.00.  I expected it to be the best Coke I’ve ever had but was greatly disappointed.  It had to be the altitude.  Barafu is at 15,200 feet and it felt like all the fizz escaped the Coke real fast.

I took a nap at 2pm and woke up to eat dinner at 6pm.  Then we all tried to sleep again before our 1am summit attempt.  Our summit hike begins at 1am and if everything goes right, we should get to the top at about 7-8am.  The next day was going to be a real long day.

Snow starts to fall the day before our summit hike

Day 9

At 1am we woke up and started our hike to the top.  It was very slow going in the dark.  You basically looked at the feet of the person in front of you.  About 1 hour into it I was feeling real tired and had to rest a few times.  They tell you not to look up, because you don’t want to know how much further you have to go.  This last day you are going from 15,200 to 19,340 feet, a 4,000 feet elevation change!

At around 4am I almost kept falling asleep on my trekking poles.  It was a very tough hike.  I wasn’t feeling any altitude sickness symptoms, I was just tired.  But I just kept trudging along, staring at the feet in front of me.  What was interesting was that most of the younger hikers had issues on this day and the older ones did not.  Younger meaning under 40 years old!  The sun came up around 6am and it definitely changed my mood.  I was no longer sleepy but I was still tired.

At about 7am I had to give my backpack to one of the guides to carry.  I probably could have made it up with it, but why take the chance when he’s there to help you?  I made it to Stella Point at 7:30am.  We gave each other a bunch of high fives and took a 10 minute rest.  We were lucky because it was sunny and clear and probably around 20 degrees.  20 degrees on top of Kilimanjaro is really warm!

Stella Point isn’t the top top, we had another hour to go to reach the Uhuru Peak.  At 8:30am I finally made it there, 19,340 feet, probably the highest point I’ll ever be in my life.  It was suprising desolate, usually there are tons of people all trying to take a picture of the sign, but there I was by myself at the top for a good 20 minutes.  The rest of my group had already started to head down.

Hiking back down towards basecamp.  Time to sleep and then hike another 4 hours down.

Too bad the day isn’t over.  We all still had to hike down to camp.  Once I got to camp a few of us talked for a bit, but most of the people just crashed in their tents.  I had a great 4 hour nap.  Our day still wasn’t over.  We had to hike another 4 hours further down to Millenium Camp at 12,600 feet.

So in one day I went from 15,200 to 19,340 and down to 12,600, a total elevation change of almost 11,000 feet.  Did I mention that my feet were killing me!  Also, it felt odd that at 12,600 feet we all thought that there was sooo much oxygen in the air.

Next up was a nice relaxing safari.

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The Wave 2009

I call this trip The Wave 2009 because it was the highlight of this trip.  We packed alot of sightseeing and hiking into a 36 hour period.  We went to four destinations in which 3 are considered the most photographed in the world.  Now that may be an exaggeration but after visiting them I can see why each would draw photographers to shoot them.

Horseshoe Bend

We left Phoenix at 6:30am and headed to Page, AZ which was a 4.5 hour drive.  About 3 miles before Page, we arrived at Horseshoe Bend.  I’m sure many of you have seen a photograph of this and just didn’t know what it was called.  Unfortunately you need a wide angle lens to capture the entire bend in one shot.  The shot below was the best that I could do with my 18mm lens.  This viewpoint is a short 3/4 mile hike from the parking lot.  No big deal.  This was considered one of those, we’re driving right by it, we might as well stop and take a look.

horseshoebend2

Antelope Canyon

The next stop was Antelope Canyon.  Antelope Canyon is also a famous photographer’s spot.  Known for its sunbeams and rich colors its a very popular tourist destination.  Even Britney Spears did a video inside Antelope Canyon.  You also cannot visit the upper region without a tour guide.  Our tour cost $32 and was about 1.5 hours.  Because everybody, including us wants to see the canyon when the sun rays coming straight down into it, going at noon is super crowded.  The tour guides do a good job of crowd control so you can take photos with no people in them.

We paid our $32 and hopped onto the rear of a pickup truck.  They drove us about 5 miles on a sandy road to the entrance of the canyon.  There were probably 20 other trucks there as we parked.  As soon as you get there you realize why its so popular.  It’s really hard to screw up a photo in the canyon.  It was very crowded at the entrance and it felt very unnatural.  Something about waiting in line while inside a canyon doesn’t feel right.

The tour guide would clear people out of the way so you could get a good photograph.  He would also tell you where to put your camera and what shots to take.  He would also throw sand into the sunbeams so that they would show in the photos.  If I had to do it again, I would go to Lower Antelope Canyon.  It’s less crowded and you don’t need a tour guide to get in.

This picture below the guide called, Monument Valley.  This was shot looking straight up.

antelopec3

The Wave

The next stop was the Wave.  This is a little known but very popular destination.  The BLM gives out only 20 permits a day, 10 are given in advance and 10 the day before.  I applied for the lottery on April 1st and was lucky enough to get 4 permits for August 1st.  The wave is located just south of the Utah border in Arizona.  It is about 45 miles from Page, AZ and requires about 10 miles of dirt road driving.

We arrived at the Wire Pass Trailhead at 4:00pm.  The hike to the Wave is 2.9 miles and has very little elevation gain.  It’s easy to get lost going there but we had a map, longitude and latitude coordinates and photographs of the terrain.  The hike itself is very scenic.  About a mile into the hike you come to the signin box for the wave hike.  The first part of the hike is on a sandy trail in a green brush field.  There is a ridge that you have to hike over and once over the ridge the scenery dramatically changes to rock formations and rocks everywhere.  It really looks like you’re in another world.

Before the ridge

Once over the ridge

About 1/2 mile from the Wave it started to rain.  I had flashbacks of our mountain biking trips because the rain water was cold.  It wasn’t the warm Phoenix rain we normally get.  Middle of nowhere, rain turning into hail, no warm clothes…  The rain was intermittent and it really changed the landscape colors.

You can see the wave from a few hundred feet away.  That’s when you begin to see it’s features.  It really is beautiful and unbelievable.  The fact that you are the only ones there also is great.  It was totally opposite of Antelope Canyon.  We stayed for about one hour just snapping pictures.  The wave is not very large, but moving a few feet in any direction changes its look.  Even laying down and tilting your head sideways makes it look totally different.  It was like being in a fun house.

Entrance to The Wave

We didn’t get to see the Second Wave.  We were told it was far, but when I got back I did some research only to find that it was 300 yards west.  While we were at the Antelope Canyon tour office they had some photos of waffle shaped rock formations that are supposedly at the Second Wave.  I haven’t been able to find any mention of them online.

We left the wave and hiked it back to the car in an hour.  We arrived at sunset and headed off to Zion National Park.  Yes its still the same day!

Zion National Park

We forgot that going from Arizona to Utah is a timezone change even though we just went straight north.  We lost an hour which sucked because it meant that we would have one less hour of sleep tonight.  The plan was to wake up and hike the Narrows, come back to the room and shower and then checkout and leave.

I didn’t get to sleep until 1:30am because I was busy uploading wave pics to Facebook.  I set my alarm for 6:30am.  Of course, the alarm did not go off.  We all woke up at 7:30am and got breakfast at Zion Lodge.  Since we had a late start, we would have to shorted our Narrows hike time.  We hopped on the shuttle bus and arrive at the Temple of Sinawava at 9:15am.  It was actually a cool morning for August at Zion.  I had a thin fleece jacket on in the morning.  The narrows trail starts as an easy paved trail for about a mile.  It ends at a drop in point where you will get wet if you go any further.

narrows drop in

The water was clear but fairly cold today.  The last time I went to the Narrows, the water was muddy and warm.  This time I brought trekking poles which made hiking in the water much easier.  As we hiked in the water got deeper.  It was much deeper than last time.  Jessica wasn’t too happy about this since I told her that the water would come to her knees.  There was a spot where we watched a 6’2″ guy cross with water to his waist.  I really thought that this was our turn around spot as it would have been 2 vs 2 if put to a vote.  But Chikara wanted to go forward.  So she trudged on holding her camera and shoes up high.

chikwater

In our hiking democracy, this made the vote 3 to 1 against Jessica so she begrudgingly hiked into the waist deeper water.  Once past this point, the water was shallow again.  We reached Mystery Falls and snapped some photos and moved on.

Because we got a late start.  We were unable to get very far in the Narrows.  We had to turn around and check out by noon, so at 11am we turned around and headed back.  We got back to our room at noon and changed into dry clothes.  Nobody took showers, so we could have just checked out and hiked the Narrows without time constraints.  Oh well, live and learn.  I still haven’t made it to Orderville Canyon in the Narrows.  The third time’s a charm.

We began our 390 mile journey home.  We stopped in Kanab, UT for some lunch at Grandma Tina’s Cafe.   Someone who will remain nameless ummm let’s say stressed the toilet.  The lunch was “meh” which is being nice.   The rest of our drive was uneventful.  We got home around 7pm on Sunday.  It was a very long 37 hours but well worth it.

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Breckenridge Colorado 2009

breckenridge title

I hadn’t been to Breckenridge since 1997.  Back then we must have been poor because we squeezed 8 people into a studio condo at the Beaver Run Resort.  I seem to remember that it was about $260 a night.  We wanted a ski-in/ski-out place!  Allot has changed in 12 years.  This time we rented a 3600 sf house with 6 bedrooms and plenty of beds for everyone.

Day 1

The trip didn’t start out very well.  We had a choice at the rental counter between a Ford F150 or a Nissan Titan.  We chose the F150 because we didn’t care but we when got to it, the inside smelled like smoke.  So we asked for the Nissan.  About 1 hour into our drive this weird light comes on in the dash.  We weren’t sure what it was but we guessed that it was a tire pressure light.  It also started to rain and all of our luggage was in the pickup bed.  So we pulled over at a gas station to put a tarp over the luggage.  Eddy bought a tire pressure gauge and found out that one of our tires was at 12 PSI.  The tire must have had stiff sidewalls or been run flat because you couldn’t tell from looking at the tire that it was flat.   We hoped it was a faulty tire gauge, but then we heard the hiss of air escaping and it was confirmed that we had a flat.

Luckily, there was a Big O Tires less than 100 ft away from the gas station.  They informed us that our tire was unrepairable and put on the spare tire.  They didn’t charge us for the work and also wrote us a letter to give the rental company. Props to Big O Tires.  From the airport to Breckenridge took us 5 hours.

Our house was located on Ski Hill Road just passed the Peak 8 lifts.  The house was in a great location because it was near the Peaks Trailhead and it was uphill from town.  Some people had trouble sleeping the first night due to the altitude.  It can be quite a change to go from 500 ft above sea level to over 9,600 feet.

Day 2

We went to town and picked up our awesome Santa Cruz Blur LT rental bikes.  The first day we decided to do an easy ride and do a short out and back on the Peaks Trail.  The was the acclimation ride and it felt pretty tough.  It was a gradual climb but the trail had many roots and rock gardens making it more difficult.  After the Peaks Trail a few of us took some singletrack down to town and rode the Flume trails.  This consisted of the Lower, Upper and Middle Flume with Mike’s Trail in the middle.  The Flume trails were sort of fun and easy.  We got lost on the Middle Flume and ended up in an unknown subdivision when it began to rain.  We called the house for an “extraction” and John picked us up along highway 9.

Early this year I became a reseller for the Go Pro Helmet Camera.  Helmet camera technology is making leaps and bounds each year.  This year I supplied 3 helmet cameras so we have multiple videos of each ride.  By the end of the 5 days we had over 30 gigs of video which equates to 15 hours of riding time.  One thing I noticed is that there was much less picture taking and allot more video making.

Day 3

The guys decided to ride down to town and do the flume trails.  Mark and I decided to stay at the house so we could bring the car to the Flume trailhead later.  When the guys left the house it began raining.  We thought that the rain would pass but it kept coming down harder and harder.  While Mark and I were in the nice dry house, the rest of the guys were riding in the pouring rain.   The guys finally called when they got to town, I drove down and picked them up.

A few hours later the rain had stopped and Mark and I were itching to ride since we didn’t go earlier.  We rode down to town and decided to hit the Colorado Trail from Tiger Road.  The book that we bought had described this portion of downhill as a can’t miss 3 mile downhill.  You can watch the video and decide.  The video doesn’t show the impossible switchbacks and the end of the trail.  I think that’s what killed it for us.

Day 3, the plan was the same as Day 2.  Ride from town, to the flume trails and I would drive the car to meet them at the trailhead.  I ended up being late because I had to wait for the rental management lady to leave.  She was trying to fix our internet which was slower than 800 baud modems.  She kept telling us that internet is slow in the mountains.  Yeah right.  We are less than 1000 feet away from a 5 star resort.

We got alot of riding in on this day.  We did the Flumes to Mike’s Trail to Tom’s Baby to Discovery Ridge to the Colorado Trail.

Day 4

We bought lift tickets and rode the Peak 8 lift.  We spent the day descending on Breckenridge’s downhill trails.  These trails aren’t very difficult but our hands were all sore from braking and downhilling so much.  We rode the Game Trail, Dwight’s, Pioneer, Swinger Switchback and Frosty’s Challenge.  Mark had a record 3 flats on this day.  His first flat occurred as we were waiting for the ski lift.  Then he got 2 simultaneous flats on Frosty’s Challenge.  I think if we kept a tally on flat tires for the last 8 years Mark would be the clear winner.

Day 5

On the last day of riding we decided to ride the Peaks trail from Breckenridge to Frisco.  I should mention that Mike saw a black bear a few days ago on the trail.  But he was riding alone and didn’t have a camera so I don’t know if we should believe him.  We expected alot more climbing on this trail but the big climb never came.  The downhill portion heading into Frisco was very good.  It was fast and semi-technical, but not too technical that you had to slow down.  The ride was about 9 miles and we completed it in less than 2 hours.  We rode back to Breckenridge and ordered pizza on the way.

We had dinner at Mi Casa which got mixed reviews by the group.  Then it was t-shirt shopping time to get the traditional tourist shirt and back to the house for the last time.

Day 6

The next morning everyone left fairly early and I caught my flight back to Arizona where it was 110 degrees when I stepped off the plane.

Another annual mountain biking trip is in the books.

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Crested Butte 2001 (Revisited)

During our 2009 Breckenridge Mountain Biking trip we were talking about our first trip to Colorado like they were the good ole’ days.  It has been 8 years since we took our first journey out west to the mountain biking mecca.  Our talk wasn’t about how great the trip was, it was about how our trips have changed since 2001.

So I dug out the old photo album… and that was one of the top five things that have changed since the 2001 Crested Butte Mountain Biking Trip.

Photographic Memories – In 2001 I had my Canon EOS 35mm film camera.  I remember taking 6 rolls of film during the trip.  That’s 144 photos!  I had to pay extra to get my photos scanned and put on CD.  We did not have any video recorders.  In 2009, we had 4 Digital SLR’s and 3 helmet cameras.  Our trips slowly changed from photographic memories to massive videos of our biking trip.  We had over 30 gigs of biking video (15 hours) in the 2009 trip.

cams3

Accommodations – In 2001 we set up 2 large tents at Lake Irwin.  We took the tents that our parents had from the early 1980’s. We took showers by warming up a bag of water in the sun and hanging it on a tree.  JJ bathed old school style with a heated pot and a pan.  We also paid for showers at hostels and coin operated showers.  Then came Eddy, Shanda and Kevin who wanted regular accommodations so we began with a small condo.  Then came the luxury homes.  In 8 years we went from ghetto tents to luxury homes.  Check out the ghetto tents!!  Notice the rock tie downs as the plastic yellow stakes don’t penetrate Colorado rock.

ghetto tents

Bikes – I’ll let the pictures do the talking…  Hardtails with 1″ travel on the front.  How did we ride those trails??

bikes

Skillz – We have gotten so much better at both climbing and descending.  Look at that difficult streaming crossing below!  I can’t believe we walked it. LOLskillz

One thing that hasn’t changed in the past 8 years for sure is the amount of fun we have every time we go.

whofarted

(I think someone farted)

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Hawaii 2009

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My cousin was getting married in Hawaii 2009 so we decided to make it a family trip. We flew in on the Friday before the wedding and planned to stay for 7 days.  The wedding was in Maui in the town of Kihei.

The first few days we stayed near Kihei for the wedding.  We didn’t do much except swim in the pool at the resort and hang out at the beach.  Notice, I consider that kind of stuff not doing much.  I’m used to the vacations where I come home dead tired every night from hiking or biking.

The day after the wedding we left Kihei and headed to Hana.  We drove the Hana Highway out to Hana and stopped at various mile markers on the way to hike to waterfalls.  Unfortunately, a bridge on the road to the Seven Sacred Pools was under construction so we weren’t able to see them.  We rented a small cottage in Hana and stayed there for two nights.

The 2nd day in Hana we went kayaking to a small cove and did some snorkeling.  Having had a business selling reef fish and corals many years ago, I am able to identify most of the fish I see in the ocean.  I was able to see some of my favorite reef fish and follow them for a while.  I saw many Naso Tangs and the Hawaiian state fish the Humu Humu Trigger.

On the third day we drove to Haleakala National Park where we did a short hike on the the skyline trail and then a longer hike on the Sliding Sands Trail.  I went to the Ka Luu ok a Oo Crater.  Kevin hiked to Paliku campground and stayed overnight.

On the fourth day, my dad and I went to the Maui Ocean Center.  It’s a decent aquarium but lacked variety because the center contained only fish that were local to Hawaii.  Water is pumped in from the ocean but is still filtered.  After staying in the aquarium about 1 hour we left to go back to Haleakala National Park to pick up Kevin.

On the fifth day we said goodbye to Hawaii.

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