the mind of a manic archives for July 2003

Added by snotty on 2003 July 28: Biked another 50 miles this weekend and it was awesome - the hottest, sunniest weather all summer. Congrats to Armstrong for winning his 5th and inspiring me to take my bike out. Riding is addictive and focuses the mind and body like nothing else. It's hard to stop. This bike is also capable of going way faster than my legs of lungs can keep up. I hit 21mph on the way back to Marymoor (where Willie Nelson happened to be playing a concert at) and hoped that I'd get a speeding ticket since the speed limit was 15. They parked one of those towable radar guns with the big LED signs and it just made me wanna go faster. This friday - my family is in town. My sis, dad, and mom will be here (minus my bro) and then we're gonna take off to Alaska. It should be fun. I've also got my pictures back from Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainer and I'll post them soon. In the mean time, it's work work work, and clean clean clean.

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Added by snotty on 2003 July 24: Got back from Oklahoma and New Orleans - boy am I glad to be back where the humidity isn't always hanging at around 80%. Southern food is a blast and I drank like there was no tommorrow. I like the accents that most of the southern women are sporting. I'm just a fan of accents I think. I always like getting back into my own car and driving around in it after a long trip. The car feels sporty and it's like seeing an old friend who you've forgotten the old times with, but the moment you see them again, you remember how good life was with them. I finally got a 256mb MP3/FM Radio too - It's a blast right now and I've hooked it up to my car with a cassette tape adapter. The music is just in time for the weather too - which has been nice and hot =) Now I just gotta put my seattle life back together... deal with all the weddings... family coming into town... and balance all that with work... oh yeah... and get off my butt and get that motorcycle.

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Added by snotty on 2003 July 6: So July 4th weekend was spent climbing Mt. Baker on the Boulder Ridge route. The climb didn't seem so bad since Baker is only about 10,800' tall - however, we started at about 2700' with a long approach through a forest. The roundtrip is about 16 miles with 8000' vertical gain. The first part of the trail is rough because it is only maintained about 2 miles in. The trail starts out flat at about 3000' for a few miles, but the brush turns into forest, then into muddy swampy marshland, then into rock. After a few miles and at about 4000' you end up at a scramble to gain about 60' vertical to get to a snowfield. At that point you have to rope up, and we got to the 5700' base camp pretty early. We decided to press on the first day and we got to about 7800' and set up camp on some rocks. It felt good to loose the 40lb pack. The water filter pumps saved us, and everyone got fed and went to bed at 9pm. The sleep was actually pretty good and it wasn't that cold at all. In my sleep I remember smelling something funky and I thought my tent mate was having gas or something - found out the next day we were pretty close to the cauldron which has been continually spewing sulfur. The next day at 4am, we got up early and headed up to the summit. There were crevases everywhere, and for a while, we were following a massive one and had to traverse a quarter mile to walk around it. At the end of it, looking in was impressive. We tossed a rock in and never heard it hit the bottom. We took a break under a rock cliff and a bergschrund near the top before preparing for the final summit. Looking back, it would have been smarter to take the break on the other side of the crevasse, but hindsight is 20/20. During our break, two large 500-1000lb boulders let loose from the cliff above, heading straight for cherie and brent. Stuff like that isn't supposed to happen. Everyone starting yelling "rock! rock! rock!" No one moved for a split second, and then brent and cherie both took a few steps forward to avoid these massive rocks, which were probably tumbling at about 20-30mph down the mountain. They had already jumped one crevasse on the way down. I held my breath not knowing quite what to do. I just hoped that the rocks didn't catch the rock that cherie and brent were tied into. The rocks stopped about 10' from the crevasse that we were in front of and didn't fall in. Tom, our leader looked back and nonchalantly said to cherie, "aren't you going to kiss that rock?" I guess if you've climbed a few mountains, stuff like that is pretty normal. We made our way across a few more crevasses and then some ice, and then the steep hike up to the top. The snow gave way to glassy ice, and then success, we summitted. The cloud formations battling it out on the peak were worth it. Tumbling, cyclonic, temporal waves of clouds made keeping balance interesting once in a while. We stayed up top for about 5 minutes, had a celebratory hersheys chocolate, and then started on the way down. Being above the clouds is awesome, because we were able to see the entire state it seemed. You could see Rainer off in the distance, and you knew everyone else was under the clouds and drizzle. We went down to camp, took a break, tore it down, and started glissading down at about 4pm. Heading out was the most painful 4 and a half hours in recent memory. My right knee started hurting. The tendon on the inside of my knee cap starting hurting, and it was painful to bend the knee beyond 10-15 degrees. Plunge stepping wasn't so bad since you keep your knees pretty straight, but hiking was rough. I wish I had some film of my gimp walk. I wondered through the whole ordeal if having a busted right knee was reason enough to get carried out. Hobbling out through the forrest was a good test of willpower. I made it out, we had some pizza, and we headed home. Today will be spent recuperating, cleaning, shopping, doing laundry, cleaning the pad, and dropping off the pictures. This was one of the better July 4th's I've had - injuries and all =) Pictures will be up as soon as I get them developed.

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