Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Hike

On a quiet sunny day in Colorado Springs, just after a fresh snow storm, it makes good hunting for the falcons. This large falcon was sitting quietly waiting for a mouse, rabbit, fox or something tasty to move. Just as we came upon her she swooped down on something, but came up empty.  We love hiking this time of year.  Its quiet, there are few people out and the air is fresh.   Bridie takes the opportunity to take snow baths, I think she learned it from Zamboni.   We came across fox and rabbit tracks, no mountain lion this time.  She was probably well out of the area by now hunting somewhere else.  Its usually slower going in the snow, especially when its deep, but we seem to have more energy than hiking in hot weather.  There is a certain pace you set every time you hike, too slow and you get fatigued, too fast and you tire out.  Just right, and you can have a nice enjoyable time.  Today was just right.  Bridie insisted on going through the denser parts of the hike.   She must have found the scent of something as she usually stays about 20 feet out and may circle back, but this time she had her nose to the ground and was determined to find whatever it was she was tracking.  This was a short hike, 1/2 up Green Mountain.  We did not have the time to do the whole thing.  We may do that Saturday, test out the GPS that Santa is supposed to bring.  Merry Christmas!

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mountain Lion in my hiking area

This morning we went out for our exercise (walking the dogs through the foothills) on one of our normal trails and it was obvious that we were the only ones to be out on this trail for days. The snow as fresh and undisturbed. About half way up our trail we came across some fresh tracks that I normally have not seen in this area. They were very fresh (probably early morning) and the paw prints were larger than Bridie's, my golden retriever, whom has huge paws for a dog. The tracks came down an access road and went off into the "forbidden area" (the academy shooting range). They went one way. The dogs picked up the scent and we followed the tracks up the road until they went off west, were they came through some heavy scrub oak. Further up the trail we followed some deer tracks and once again came across these tracks once again.

We followed them up the side of a hill and along a narrow trail I never knew was there.   We finally had to stop following them as they once again came out of very thick scrub oak.   I knew right off they were not bear tracks, I have seen enough of them to know, and they definitely were not dog tracks.  They were mountain lion tracks. You can see the comparison from the picture and the prints.  We were hiking between the posted hunting times at the Academy  (5-7 Dec and 11-13 Dec).  This is a time when they allow hunters to come in and weed out the herds.  Funny thing is we usually see deer tracks, deer droppings, elk, you name it, and usually in abundance.  We came across only two sets of deer tracks.  It could be the cat was keeping them away, or that these "hunters" scare off the herds.    This cat was probably larger than my dog Bridie based on the size of her tracks.  They were one way tracks and we could not follow them into the shooting range area.   In this picture below you can see where we first came across them.  The cat was following the road and went off to the right into the brush.  We looked for signs of snagged fur or something other than the tracks, but this cat seemed to navigate well through the brush as there were no branches broke off or twigs snapped.  Unlike the bear we came across this fall where entire branches were snapped off and you could clearly see the path through the brush.   Finally this is the area where the cat went.  Probably plenty of rabbits or smaller game to chase.  We stay out of here even though the range is miles off on the other side of a ridge, we don't want to loose our hiking privileges.  That is one thing we worry about as access to the Academy is basically open; some idiot wandering off into restricted areas prompting the Academy to close off entire areas. 

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Best Time of the year

So here it is, December.  Rapidly approaching Christmas and New Years.  I have not done the Christmas cards, tree is still in the crawl space, but I do have lights outside, even though I forget to turn them on.  Ttis is the time of year that the government decides to drop RFPs (Requests for Proposals) so they can relax while us contractors work like mad to keep our jobs.  What am I thinking about?  What would be a good winter hike.  I like winter hikes because 1. There are less amatures out there to deal with 2. The dogs love it 3. I have to carry less water 3.The silence is great 4. The snow   So I have some time Saturday Morning.  Thinking of which trail to take.  Two weeks ago we went to the Microwave towers above the Academy, that was a 7 mile trip.  The dogs are ready.  But me?  I have been sitting working hard on profiles the past 2 weeks.   I need a lateral easy hike, they need a hard driving 5 hour hike.    Sometimes I envy the dogs.   

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hockey in California

I was lucky enough to get to see the Hockey battle of LA:  The Aneheim Ducks take on the LA Kings.  Having been in both the Staples center and the Duck Pond (Now call Honda Center), I prefer the Duck Pond.  They set the seats steeply tiered so you are closer to the players.   This time I decided I wanted to be up close so I paid a little more to be one row back from glass, but since I was on a corner, I was essentially on the glass.  The action at that level is intense.  The corner is where you dump the puck and race in to dig it out.  There was plenty of on the glass checking.  This was actually a pretty intense game.  I was a little dissapointed in that Ryan Smith (94) of the Kings was out for an injury, but they did not need him, they beat the Ducks 4 to 3.  It nearly went overtime.  The Ducks were trailing 2 to 3 coming into the 3rd period and they put up some intensive play to score with about 4 min left.  However, the Kings drove back with about a minute left in the game to pull ahead by one.  There was actually a shot at the last second that I thought was going in to take us to overtime, but Johanthan Quick, the Kings goalie was hot--he stopped it.

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Anaheim Ducks vs LA Kings

Was in LA for a day of business and took a detour to catch a cross town battle between the Anaheim Ducks and LA Kings.  This was a Ducks home game, so it was in Anaheim at the pond.  It was a 30 mile drive and getting tickets the day of the game was no easy trick as this is a pretty well attended game.  There were just as many Kings fans as Ducks.  I got seats one row back from the glass in the corner.  That was a great perspective.  You really feel the speed and intensity of the game when someone gets crashed into the boards 3 feet from you.  I posted a small story on Whrrr with some pictures.  When I get back home I will process the rest on the beast and post here...  Was a very good game, came down to the last minute of play.  Kings won 4 to 3.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hike up to the Microwave towers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Winter Hike In Stanley Canyon

Winter Hikes are my favorite. We took a hike up Stanley Canyon, then once there took the access road that leads another 2 miles up to a set of microwave towers that serve the city of Colorado Springs. In the winter the dogs seem to have much more stamina and energy, I don't have to carry as much water, and normally it keeps the amateurs at home. I don't mind other people on the trail, I just mind the ones that try to do a hike like this in sandals while carrying a lap dog (that really happened). For the most part today was a great day. Met one family from Alaska, they were loving the hike and were well prepared. There was one guy that was hiking with his pit bull---really, that dog has no business on a hike. It was obviously struggling, was sliding all over the place and my biggest problem--it was not leashed, nor did it have on a collar or any harness. We got by it okay, but I made a mental note that I might want to take a tazer on these public areas. People don't think, they do things that just don't make sense, hence, I like the hikes were only experienced people will go.
This was a great day for the hike. Clear weather, temperatures varied from 50 degrees in the sun to about 30 in the shade. You have to be prepared for all conditions. I came across one group ascending around 1:30 pm in sweat shirts. Winter hikes need to be done early in the day when the sun is high. There were portions of the trail where I had to take off my sunglasses because the sun was way below the horizon and the tall pine trees made it very dark.
I came across some of the tallest Aspen trees I have ever seen. I am a Colorado Native, so I thought I have seen it all here in Colorado, but these had nearly every other grove beat--even in the Aspen/Vail area. These trees were huge! Mental Note: Get back here next fall.....
So here is one reason why I like the winter hikes: the dogs love them. Bridie is seen here taking a snow bath on the top of the mountain were we hiked.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

On our hike today we decided to crash through the woods and follow the bear trails. Usually, by this time the bears are dormant, so the chances of us running into one is slim. We went way past where we normally do and found plenty of signs of bears; scat, footprints, splinttered logs and we found this (see picture). This tree obviouslly had some good insects in it the bear stripped the whole bottom of the tree down to where it was about to fall. This was no small tree either. I could probably just get my arms around the trunk and it was at least 75 feet tall. One kick and I think that thing would have crashed down. I did not do it, I would have had to tie up the dogs somewhere and you never know where a tree would fall. There were clear signs everywhere that this is bear territory. After about 1/4 mile (past some trees cut and wrapped in plastic) there were no longer any signs of "people trails". We followed a narrow gulley that goes all the way to the top of the Ramparts. I estimate we were about 1/2 up the gully. However, it started getting steeper and thicker--not impassible, but I do think we could easily find our way to the top and to the trail between Eagle Peak and Green Mountain. Someday we will do that. We will have to go light because of the brush we would have to crash through, and definately pick a time when the bears are asleep. A good winter timer crashing hike. I think 2 hours to the top would be sufficient.
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Friday, October 30, 2009

I salute our Troops

I have decided to break the theme here (hiking and hockey) to address something more important--our troops. When I say that I mean our soldiers, sailors, airman and marines that fight for our freedom every day. I attended a luncheon yesterday that the National Homeland Defense Foundation ( and the Chamber of Commerce in Colorado Springs sponsored. They started inviting returning commanders from Iraq to come and brief the community on their activity in Iraq--usually 12-18 month tours. Yesterday, Col Col Henry Kievenarr III briefed us on the 2nd BCT/4ID activities in Iraq. When we started this war, we had conventional ideas--we were trained to beat the Russians. As time went by we somehow learned that these are people, just like us that want to live their lives to their fullest. The military evolved. We became friends with the people in Iraq. We became involved in their well being, so much that when we rotated out of there---people cried-both Americans and Iraqis because they became life long friends. We found that to win this war, we needed to win over the people--show them that there is a better way to live. We cleaned up their streets, fixed their sewers, water supplies, electrical grids, and we built them schools. Our soldiers became foster parents to their children. We became their friends. We did what everyone said could not be done in a thousand years--stop the war in this region. Why? Because we did it with love. We learned to love these people as if they were us--our friends our relatives. Is everything fixed? No there are still problems, but we learned a valuable lesson. People cherish their freedoms. They want to be able to live, learn, thrive, and multiply in a secure environment. That's how we became a great nation. We have differences, but one thing we share is a Constitution that allows for everyone the right to seek their goals without impediments. I can see now that there are some in Washington that want to take that away. I used to be worried. Then I met the soldiers of the 4th ID. I attended AUSA, the largest military symposium on the planet and met the young solders that learned first hand what freedom means. Go ahead Obama, fill your czar positions with communists. Get your far left Congressional members to pass bills that take away our fundamental rights. While your were sleeping we were building American patriots that sacrificed their lives, limbs and who knows what to help oppressed people. Don't think for one minute that you have us fooled. We now have our own greatest generation that see that freedom is not free. That open free markets are what build a society-they teach the Iraqis how to build their economy on free market principals. They see it working. Tax the hell out of us and you know what you will get? Millions of Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, and their families, friends and associations telling you to go back to Chicago--because they know that does not work. They see that in just 9 months your have quadrupled the national debt. You have driven the unemployment rate from 5 percent to 10 and then you have lied saying the depression is over, but we need to spend more money. 75% of the American people are against you now. By this time next year, unless you change drastically and start following the Constitution,,, 90% will be asking for your removal. We are tired of Acorn. We are tired of the Apollo Alliance. We have seen through them and realize they are the same type of people that backed Hitler. Parties mean nothing, principals are what rule. Principals brought us from cave dwelling status to the most powerful nation on earth---and your protege, the idiot Van Johnson had the gall to ask "how is that capitalism working for you?" Quite well thank you now go back to Siberia and work in the Salt mines where your belong. I have used to be very pessimistic on our future. Then I met and talked to these soldiers, and I ask myself "Where did they come from?" They have more courage and fundamental understanding of our freedoms than anyone I have ever met. They are are the future, and you know what Obama? They don't particularly like you. You have yet to make a decision on Afghanistan. You have not served a day and you are lecturing people that have fought, lost life, limb and family over how to fight this war. I am embarrassed that we even considered you eligible for election. Where were you born anyway? Lets see the certificate and get on with it. You don't have it do you? Another lie. Well one thing for sure, the tide is turning and people are waking up to the lies from you and the corrupt politicians in Congress, both Democratic and Republican. Your days are numbered. Now is the time for the second rising of the Americas as our Founding Fathers envisioned and time to throw you and your communist friends out in the cold.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bears--Hikers beware?

For the past several years I have been hiking the Ramparts behind the Air Force Academy. I like it there because its close, generally I can to the base of each trail in 5 min, and because these trails are less traveled by others. I like to discover new routes, new trails new places to explore. A year ago my "girls" (my two dogs) took me up a new trail behind an area the Cadets do their Global Engagement exercise. There were signs that they were doing war games and camping out. We found one trail and started to follow it--who knows maybe we would run into another cadet built outpost or tree house. We went quite a ways, then I started to notice that the logs were splintered (were cadets chopping them up for some reason?). After stepping over one I found my answer--there was bear scat. It was filled with tin foil, bits and pieces of paper--probably paper plates. We were on a bear trail. My "girls" were more than happy to pick up the sent and continue--I was not so enthusiastic as the scat was fresh. Heading back we found this bears main food source--a large trash container outside the fenced compound. The grounds were littered with food items, wrappers, foil, cans--you name it. This was a bear feasting ground. Fast forward a year later. Same trail, only this time we pulled off and walked up a ridge and looped back. Same trash container--only this time it was locked down. The bear was not getting his dinner from that anymore. Just before the end of our good weather this September, I was walking the "girls" on a short hike down behind the firing range on an access road. We came across several fresh scats, some broken branches and some fresh trails through the high grass that had grown this summer with all the rain. I heard the thrashing of a tree off about 20 yards. We stopped. I then spied a bear about 7 feet tall stripping the limbs off of some tree (Male Black Bears can get up to 7 feet on their hind legs). We backed away. I was curious the next day, so headed back up the trail only to get some of these shots that our bear was no little Boo Boo or Yogi for that matter, He or She was huge. This was the imprint that was not there the day before. You can clearly see the claws on this sucker. This was about the size of my foot. We did some more scouting and hunting in the days and weeks to follow and found more evidence that our favorite trail is also the stomping grounds of a bear--or two--or three. We have been seeing fresh signs of scat, trails through the tall grass, and trees stripped of bark by claws. I included one such tree here that was pretty fresh. I have been seeing trees stripped or clawed like this for 2 years on this trail and wondered why bears do that. Well I finally looked it up in Harper's "The Complete Guide to North American Wildlife". I was curious if black bears could get so big (yes) and if this could be a Grizzly--in which case I would probably not use that trail anymore. Black bears claw trees to mark their territory from other bears, so we have been hiking in the middle of marked territory. Grizzles don't do this. There are Grissly bears in Colorado--but few and mostly up in the high country. So what are they eating and when they run out will we look like food? Well If you look at the scat you can see its is full of seeds. I did some more poking around and found some type of small black berries stripped off of their shrub--I think that's what they are eating. With the rain we have had this year the eating was good. They could not get into the trash can so went back to the basics. In the Spring and Fall we get out the bear bells and I now carry bear mace--but looking a the size of that bear and that claw, I am wondering if that is enough. So far I think they have been more scared of us than we have been of him--or her or they. We make a lot of noise on purpose. I find it encouraging that in Wikipedia it says "Like many animals, they seldom attack unless cornered, threatened, or wounded. It will also attack to protect its young. They are less likely to attack humans than grizzly bears and typically flee for cover as soon as they identify a human visitor. Deaths by black bear, though, are most often predatory, while the more numerous grizzly fatalities on humans are often defensive." Okay will have to remember that. In the mean time I know the signs now. Scat, clawed trees, fallen branches with berries, and now I know why we have been seeing so many "trails" through the tall grass--bears. You can just make out one of the trails in this last picture. I am thinking they are creatures of habit. Once they find some food source they like, they take the same path--why not? That's what I would do.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So this morning we decided to go 1/2 way up Stanley Canyon for traning, It is actually the hardest part because its the uphill part. Once you clear the steep areas, it flattens out into what I call the swamp aspen forest and it becomes a very nice walk in the woods. The turn around point for us is what I call the twisted log. As you can see it's an old hollowed out tree that looks twisted. This is a nice 45 min training hike if you don't have much time. Here are a few shots I took:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October Hikes In Colorado are like Summer

With the temperature approaching 70 at 10am we set off for one of our spots. It was dry and windy but well worth the hike. Once we started the climb it cooled off and we were blocked by the wind. We headed up a hill behind the Academy shooting range up to a valley we know. Came across one other hiker, I have met him and his dog before. They come up from a different route. We headed into the valley then up on top of the highest outlook. I took a picture looking down at the valley where the stream goes over a cliff down below. Eventually the stream feeds Deadman's lake on the Academy. Zamboni was like a cat trying to get every little squirrel. Seems that the bears have taken to either hibernating or up farther into the hills. Did not see any fresh signs. Did see a few trees that they clawed (why do they do that anyway?). One good thing is that the park ranger cut of access to our area from vehicles. We came across barbed wire and cut trees to stop any more vehicle traffic in "our" area. There were signs posted forbidding vehicles past a certain point. That's great! I think they need to limit those dirt bikes and ATVs to a small area. They do a lot of damage, and what's the point? If you can't get in on foot, or horse, then just stay in town driving around.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Practice Hikes are Essential!!!

As you prepare for a major hike, it's important to keep your skill sets up. To do that I recommend weekly, if not daily practice hike. No, they don't have to be long, but it's training so you need to get your body ready for the high impact exertion and build endurance. I am lucky, I can get to prime hiking territory in 5 min. I have a set of small 1-2 hour practice hikes I take the dogs on. Some are nearly flat, others are strenuous climbs. I have found through the summer the "girls" (dogs, Bridie and Zamboni) don't like the heat. So in the summer its either very early or short hikes. If I go any distance in the Summer I cart in a lot of water. I have to let the girls drink something every 30 min or be near a stream. This morning I took a short 2 hour hike (up and back) to an area I call our overlook. It was a beautiful day, here is a picture of the Moon over Challenge hill at the Air Force Academy.We like this hike because few know of it. Today, I could see that someone had their horse on it sometime early in the morning as everything was fresh. That's fine, what I don't like are all the mountain bikes. Generally, I find mountain bikers disrespectful, they like to go full speed down hill and yell at you if you are on the trail--the same one that says hikers have the right away. They also tear up the environment. While I have seen hiking trails virtually disappear this year due to the rapid vegetation growth because of all the rain, biking trails scar the environment for years to come. Here is Bridie taking 5 (we call it Miller time--only no Miller just water) at the top. We like to have set points in our training hikes where we can make a certain lookout or geographical point within a certain amount of time. Part of the training is to time yourself to see how your doing. Sometimes I go lite with only water for me and the girls. If we want to make time we have to go lite and we don't stop for rest often. For some hikes we go heavy, I carry a full pack with gear I would not normally need, but I need to get used to the weight, balance and feel of a heavy pack. I always take a full load of water on heavy hikes. Last week I took a light load. Wanted to do a short hike--maybe 2 hours. The girls had a different idea in mind. It was a cooler day and they had not gone out for as much as a walk around the block in a few days. Zamboni was climbing the walls. She is a Husky and her bottle fills up slowly every day, the only way you can empty it is walk or run her. Bridie is more subtle, but equally as energetic. So off I go up Eagle mountain, just up to what I call the transition point. That is a point up below the Aspen Meadows. This is a point about 3/4 of the way up--about 45 min worth of hiking. I wanted to get there and sit in the meadow and relax. The girls would have none of it. Normally, I push them, this day they pushed me---all the way to the top. Since we are approaching fall every squirril in the forest was out stocking up on acorns. This little fellow was driving the girls and me nuts (ya that is a pun). So they push me to the top and I check the watch---1 hour. Not bad for a morning that I did not want to go more than a short hike. Here is thge geographic marker. Too bad some idiot thought it would be fun to scratch up. Once up there we always make it a point to relax. Take in the views, explore a little. Bridie is the smart one, she finds a cool spot in the shade and gets ready for the hike down. I always treat the girls to what ever dog treats I have and a good portion of water. This was a Friday, and we had a high in the region so it was a nice day. Only lots of smoke from the California fires, otherwise a perfect day. So here you can see Bridie in a prime spot taking five (miller time) with Pikes Peak in the background. What is amazing is how well this dog can climb. She seems to love it. She is always the first to the top and finds the best ways up. She seems to be built for this. Her paws are huge and she has claws that a bear would envy. Well, thats it for this week. We will have more adventures as we plan out a 25 mile or longer hike.......FUN!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Practice Hike up Stanley Canyon

It was a nice cool day, so we started out early for a morning hike up Stanly Canyon. We did not have all day so we just went up the steep part to get in a nice training hike. This was the second day up this week so the dogs are getting used to their favorite spots. Bridie knows the way pretty much on her own, so I can have a chance to work with Zamboni, who still would rather be running all over the face of the mountain.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Training for "the Farish Hike"

Its not a great feat by any measure, but for me and my dogs, this will be the first of many. Air Force Academy to Farish Rec Center---7 miles, nothing really that pegs anyones meter. The Pikes Peak trail (Barr trail) is 12.8 miles all up hill. Wonderful. Ill do that next, but this is different. Why? We enter the trail from a relatively unknown trial head, navigate with the old fashion method--using quad charts. We will trek through a bear trial Bridie found. WIll have to figure out how to carry enough water and food for my partners--the girls: Bridie and Zamboni. The easy thing to do is the Stanley Canyon trail, no that's not for us. We will take the rifle range route, cross cut through the Eagle Peak lost trail, to the Stanly Canyon trail. Probably more like 10 miles. Today did a 2 mile training hike, flat land, dogs hated the heat at 10am. I need to start this 1 hour before dawn. Water will be an issue...... More to follow

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Air Force Academy to Farish Hike--with a twist

I have been scouting the approaches to the top of the Ramparts now for 2 years. As far as I can tell no one knows more about the different approaches than I. I have taken my dogs up Stanley Canyon, Up Eagle Peak, up the Rampart approach (with an excursion to Blodgett Peak) and all over the front range of the Ramparts. I have seen it all: One afternoon while timber crashing (my term for going off trail) we found a nicely worn bear trail, we have found several very old trails up what I call Deadman's lake forbidden trails, we have been up Eagle Peak searching for short cuts, up Rampart an untold amount of times. I think we want to go on a hike that few have attempted. It's longer than the standard Stanley hike, but it will be somthing new. The dogs are up to it. I need to train a little because this is no picinc. This will be a 10 hour hike of about 10 miles. Bridie is the point dog--she takes the front position. I could probably go in 15 miles cut her loose (actually she is always loose) and she could find her way back home no problem. I had no idea when we got her how good of a hiker she was. If you met her at the house you would think her a timid, nervuous dog, but one day hiking with her and you would know her as I do--I would never attempt to go out on half of the hikes I do without her--period. She has a natural sense about things--its uncanny. When we go timber crashing, she always knows the right way to go. I have, several times, gone in a direction I though would be the best, most easist way up or down a hill only to find her going a different direction, after getting in tight spots with Zamboni I have retreated to follow Bridie. Now after some hard lessons learned, I just tell Zamboni---follow Bridie. You would think a Golden Retriver could not get up a bolder field--I thought that approaching Eagle Peak for the first time. I said well this is it girls, we can't possilbe get up there. I was surprised to see here hopping from one rock to the next--I could not keep up with her. I actually had to pick up Zamboni (my Huskie) and carry her to the next level as she could not keep up with Bridie. A few hike later, here we are going up Blodget Peak and I could not keep up with either. They leap from one Boulder to the next, like its thier mission in life to stay ahead of the two legged dog (me). The lead picture is Zamboine on top of Blodgett peak ( a 5 hour hike). I was feeling guilt one day, because I never see anyone with their dogs on the hikes I go on. I thought, maybe, I should not be taking them on these trips. Until one day I was gone on a trip for a few weeks, I decided it was time for a short hike and when I got out the gear, Bridie actually was crying. She was trying to put on the harness ( I never hook her up--but have the harness as a precaution in case we come accross something where I might want to hook her up). Now its to the point that if I just move my backpack and make the slightest sound, both Bridie and Zamboni are on me as if it is time for another adventure. Okay I will admit, they say never, never ever hike alone. If that means hiking with people, I am guilty. However, I have my dogs and would take them over people any day of the week. I once fell going down a ridge,,, Immediatly both dogs were on me licking my face, hovering over me like I just had liver surgery. You can't get more loyal friends. Look I always go with 3 backup comm systems, I have a first aid kit, food and water for a few days. If something happens to me, I will be fine. I am in the mid stages of training Zamboini to go without a leash, Bridie has been there for two years. She does whatever I tell her. On a short hour hike, I had Zammers off the leash for about 20 min when she spotted something and took off. I called her back, nothihing, I tried again, nothing, I got out the treat bag and shook it, nothing. Finally, out of desperation I told Bridie to go get her, not really expecting her to do so. Much to my surprise, she took off into the woods and a few minutes later came back with Zamboni right behind. It was awesome. Of course Zammers got a scolding, and Bridie got a treat. My heart stopped racing and we called it a day. I still need about 6 months of good training before that Huskie will stick by me on long hikes without a teather. However, I do admint going uphill, there is an advantage to be teathered to a huskie with too much energy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hockey and Hiking don't mix

One thing I have learned is Hockey and Hiking don't mix. Really! Think about it; when was the last time you saw a goalie lugging all that gear up the side of a hill? Slapshots are hell in rocky ground, and what about the skates? Actually, what I was thinking more close to home was, while watching the first Western Regionals between Chicago (thats west?) and Detroit (Omaha is more west than Detroit), my dogs sat staring at me. They wanted one thing only, okay bacon might be one of them, they wanted a hike. They didn't understand me when I said, "Come on its the first period, its in High Def, and it might rain or snow or a volcano might pop up and ruin our hike." They just kep staring--Bridie with her classic SAD EYES that could make a statue cry and Zamboni who has perfected the guilty look. BUT ITS THE STANELY CUP! I rebuked... That didn't help. What is he truth is you can't be out being Lewis and Clark when you watching the game. Its not like baseball where you head out between pitchs go grocery shopping, change your tires, get an appendectimy all before the next pitch and not miss a thing. No in Hockey, you watch it all or you will miss something---only there is something ever 15 seconds--its just that Hockey is a fast moving sport.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Red Bull Air Races In San Diego

Just got to watch the practice runs for the Red Bull Air Races. I have watched them on ESPN, and was amazed at the precision of the pilots. They fly a fixed course through Pylons that are held in place with blown air. I got to see one of them hit a pylon and it sounded like a cannon going off. I was lucky enough to capture it in a photo. Here is it. You wonder what that must feel like traveling at 250mph and clipping one of thoes. This guy hit it pretty dead center on his wing. It's amazing how close they come. You can see from this one there is little room for error.
They are running this race right in the bay which is inbetween the city of San Diego and Coronado Island. I stumbled across the test runs as I was preparing to leave North Island Navy Station. They were preparing one of the piers for the military to watch the show for free. I got stopped my a Security Policeman because he did not want me taking pictures of the "assets". In other words the USS Regan (CVN 76) and The USS Nimitz (CVN 68) that were docked. He was cordial enough, and got to see all my pictures. We talked for awhile. I told him that our company, Northrop Grumman built the Regan. He knew that. Here is one of the planes coming in over the Regan into the entry area. I took this photo from the shopping area at Coronado Island. Speaking of Coronado Island. this is where they train Navy seals. The water is ice cold at times and the Seals are in it all the time, no wet suits nothing. They also Filmed Some Like it Hot here in 1958 with Tony Curtis, Marilyn Manroe and Jack Lemmon. You can watch the move in Hulu.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

USS Reagan

This is the USS Reagan. Its huge. Home station is Coronado Naval station--North Island Naval Station. This is the place they filmed Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis. Its the place where they train Navy Seals. The water is ice cold. The beach is nice. Just next to the Regan is the USS Nimitz, CVN 68.
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