Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

2009 was a great year. It started in Mesa, Arizona with a missing toenail followed by a fall in the parking lot in Flagstaff Arizona at the WFR training at the Northern Arizona University Outdoor School.

February was snow in Joshua Tree with some friends and a snow storm in Yosemite (Jim Fitzgerald barely escaped). This was your basic run of the mill religious experience.

Yosemite Valley with 2-4 feet of new snow is standard postcard stuff for some one with a camera. One gains serious street cred around the valley for being the person staying in a tent. On the final day when the sun came out -- I wandered from one photo emergency to the next.

March began in Yosemite ...

and included hikes on the Willamette River in Oregon and a summit on San Bruno Mountain, a hike at Purisma Creek, and included my first outdoor climbing -- bouldering at Glen Canyon Park. There was a great trip to shoot photos at the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge.

April, it seems -- wasn't that exciting ... Archery, mostly, and training at the gym, and a short trip to Monterey to visit my son, and I injured my foot in some new shoes (3).

May. Again Yosemite was profoundly beautiful. Half Dome attempt number 1. Thunderstorm and tragedy on the trail. Katrin Lehmann (a stranger to me) disappears from the trail on the day we are there. I take a hike out to the point in Point Reyes and the Elk Preserve with my friend John.

June. I am going to go ahead and quote myself, which I never do, regarding my June trip to the Superstition Wilderness, just a few miles East of Phoenix, Arizona:

To be in a place of such glorious beauty, such austerity, difficulty ...
well it's sublime; profoundly good. To be back on this side, reasonably intact,
is also good. To see an end to the thorns, the 105 degree temps, the humidity.
To rest, to prepare to do it again, to have bragging rights or a good story to
tell, is all good stuff.I spent two days in the Superstition wilderness last
weekend. The Happy Hiking Guy (Chris Raye) and I hiked from the Peralta trailhead to Le Barge Spring in a big ugly loop. It was largely uneventful, just two guys in the
desert sun, a shitload of wilderness, and 16 miles of pain.

There was cycling, and archery, and one absolutely fatal for the camera event involving a video of incoming arrors and a perfect shot.

July. Half Dome attempt #2, the moonlight fiasco. 2 0f 4 of us summitted -- I broke my foot. Half Dome 2, Shawn 1 (I summited when I was 20).

In August, I sat on my ass with my foot up. I started physical therapy. I threw a good going away party for my friends Angel and Narinya. We ate clams and oysters and slightly burnt ribs. And everyone came. Awesome. I think I must have started a new job.

September. Never mind. There was a deer hunting trip to Sonora pass and Bridgeport.

In October there was a trip to Yosemite and a stay at Housekeeping Camp. Helen, Andrew, and Cat all summited Half Dome without me. It was a great trip for me, and I seriously enjoyed the good company, and Helen McGiver the cook, and Cat getting lost in the camp, quote when I told her the site number, "good to know." Travel to Eugene, Oregon to celebrate my friend Mark's 50th birthday. Crazy party!

November. Carson Pass Snowshoeing. I actually saw Lake Tahoe for the first time in about 1o years.

Pescadero Creek hike with bobcats and Green Chili Soup at Duarte's.

December. Skiing. More Yosemite. Badger pass, Bear Valley, Carson City and a hike in Kings Valley, somewhere in Nevada. Hooked up with some old friends. Made some new ones.

I am thinking, 2009 was a good year. A very effing good year. I made friends, I lived well.

So -- let's all do it again next year! Happy New Year! Play hard ... and ... "Stay thirsty ..."

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