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Archive for February 2012

Havasupai Part II

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Sunday

I woke up to the sound of two girls giggling just outside of my tent. As I listened further, I realized it was actually two of my male friends giggling about something that happened during the night. I sat up in my tent and listened to them for a while and was not too stoked about what they were laughing about.

“Oh my gosh they ate all of the salami! Hahaha!”
“Apparently they didn’t like the pancake mix haha!”
“Oh man, all of the bread is gone! hahaha!”

Craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap.


Racoon buffet and carnage

I had an instant flashback to last night when I felt something pushing against my foot in the middle of the night. I thought it was my friend playing footsie with me in his sleep but it was just a raccoon being a sneaky thief. I also realized that my decision to play footsie back with my friend was a horrible mistake and something that I definitely should not tell him. He was like, “yeah, I felt that brush against my feet too!” Yeah. Oops.

I remembered telling the girls after dinner to put the food inside the tent but it seems like they put it inside of the rain fly instead. The raccoon must have thought that it was the easiest meal that he’s ever stolen. Oh well, I guess that’s just part of camping.

I grabbed my bandana and went to the river to wash and freshen up for the morning. The air was cold but the lukewarm water felt so good on my face. Once I got refreshed I went back to see what food we could salvage for the rest of the trip. There was surprisingly enough food for the rest of the trip and we still managed to make pancakes for breakfast.

It started raining while we were finishing breakfast so moved our cooking operation underneath the rainfly. We decided to push all of the tents together and tie the rain flies to each other to create a mega lobby area in between our tents. The rain quickly stopped and we decided to head over to Mooney Falls. Everybody put on their swim gear underneath the jackets and pants. We figured that we were only here once and we may never get the chance to jump into the waters again no matter how cold it was. Mooney Falls is located at the end of the campsite and you can walk to the edge and peer over the 200′ drop.


This stream runs down the entire campsite


We had to cross this 10 foot plank. If you fell in, you had about 30 feet to get out before plummeting 200 feet down Mooney Falls…


Mooney Falls

We started climbing down the stairway of death and it started raining and getting very slippery halfway down. Also, a troop of boy scouts went up at the same time we were going down which made us stop and find cover in the little side caves. Once we made it to the bottom, we realized how cold it was and nobody jumped into the water. The rain also started coming in and we found a little cave for shelter just in time for it to start snowing and hailing.

We were there for a few minutes and the sun came out so we decided to head back up the steep stairway in case the rain really started coming down and made it difficult for some of us to get back up. After a quick pit stop at our tents, we continued on towards Havasu Falls.

Nobody was planning on jumping into Havasu Falls anymore because it was too cold…nobody except for me and my buddy JW. Once we got there, JW was almost instantly shirtless and dove in. He screamed how cold it was and got right back out. Great. I figured that I may only get this opportunity once so I quickly followed. Then a couple girls did too. And then the rest of the group did. I love peer pressure…it works!


JS, RT, me and JW in the cold water


MJR can’t take it anymore + Smiley the dog who followed us around all weekend


View from the top of Havasu Falls

After our little swim session, we dried off and went to visit the falls that we passed yesterday on the hike in.


Rock Falls

I stop to make a quick note. Yes. It does look this green and unreal. I can’t tell you how many times we stopped and said that we felt everything looked fake because of how unreal it looked. It felt at times that we were standing on a movie set or another planet (Avatar?) or in some kind of Jurassic time period. Amazing.


Navajo Falls. I emailed this picture to my dad and he emailed back: “Nice photo, the view it is like in Avatar planet.” Nice Engrish dad.

It was dark by the time we got back and we had mac and cheese for dinner. Thanks raccoon bastards. Since it was pitch black, everybody went into our mega tent system and chilled in there. I stayed out a bit to look at the stars and enjoy the nice sky from the canyon.


Camping with Johnny is always a romantic experience…and yes, I did just refer to myself in the third person.

MJR and I got bored so we started taking long exposure shots. When the girls asked us what we were doing and why we were laughing we just replied that we were thumb wrestling…and here are some of our “thumb wrestling” pictures:

What a fun day. I put what was left of the food in my tent that night sandwiched in between me and MJR. We also slept with our knives and small flashlights by our heads in case the raccoons somehow managed to get in. They actually did come sniffing in the middle of the night and woke us up. I tried punching one through the tent wall but missed. That would have been so rad if I was able to tell people that I punched a raccoon in the face while camping at Havasupai.

Monday

We woke up at 6AM and packed and got ready for the long hike back. As a larger group, it took a bit longer to get ready and we left the campsite just before 8AM. Here’s the hike out:


Yea, horses, no big deal.


The hike back was a long steady incline…


We just came from that…


This is a view of the last mile. 1000 foot elevation gain. Brutal is such an understatement…


We did it!

We are a very odd group. It took us 5.5 hours to get down and about 4.5 hours to hike out. I think we took our time on the way in resting and taking a lot of pictures. But we quickly changed into more comfortable clothes for the long drive back ahead of us.

We were driving out of the Indian Reservation when we saw this on the side of the road and couldn’t resist…it was time for a snowball fight!


Me and MJR against the world


Taking cover from our onslaught of snowballs


Betrayal! Oh snap!


I told MJR that I’d give him a free shot for betraying him and that I wouldn’t move. Ha. Yeah right.


Snow baseball


Homerun


The girls are dirty…


…and very happy.

After about fifteen minutes of fun in the snow, it was time to get back on the road. I told everybody that we should get going again because we had a lot of driving ahead of us and I got back into the car. Little did I know that there was something malicious brewing among my friends.


I turned to see MJR back across the street. Oh no you don’t…


…Oh No You Didn’t!


Oh my poor truck…


This was painful to watch. They were egging me to get out so they could pelt me but I stayed put. They finally stopped and I went out to assess the damage.


The devastation

We hit the road and drove and drove. We got out of the Indian Reservation and our first destination was the In-N-Out in Kingman, AZ.


No road trip is complete without one of those, “Hey man stop the car I need to pee!” moments…

We got back to San Diego around 9pm. The road trip / camping experience was one of the funnest trips that I have been on in a really long time. The people were great and a really fun group and I really enjoyed getting to finally hang out with them outside of our normal settings in San Diego.

I can’t wait for the next adventure.

Until next time, Cheers.

Written by jonewantsm3

February 27, 2012 at 1:00 am

Posted in Adventures

Havasupai Part I

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I spent the previous weekend backpacking and camping through Supai, AZ to see the Havasupai waterfalls. The location itself was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to in my life and my first time trekking through the Grand Canyon region. I have been trying to visit this place for over a year and was really happy to finally be able to cross this off my list of secret travel spots. The adventure itself included a 10 mile hike into the campsite and you have to bring all your food and pack all of your trash out of the Havasupai Indian Reservation…which means hiking the 10 miles with a big pack with everything you will need that entire weekend.

Planning this trip was a bit challenging as this was the first time I decided to invite a group of friends to do something like this with me…and most have never done anything like this before. And another big challenge was the forecast showing that it was snowing the entire week up to the day before we arrived with night time temperatures at around 20F while we were there. Fantastic. While I didn’t really care about the freezing cold, I was worried that my friends would hate the trip (or hate me) and I would somehow turn them away from backpacking and camping forever. 

Well, there was only one way to find out.

Friday

I spent the entire week leading up to Friday stressing about the weight of our packs and the food. I let the girls take care of the food because I figured it would be more fun for others to be part of the planning. While I personally would have packed a lot less…I think they did a great job and we ended up eating really well on the trip. I guess the trade off to more food and weight is obviously eating a lot nicer.

Friday finally arrived. I left work at noon and drove home to pick everybody up. We took two cars to the Grand Canyon but hit traffic on the drive up and finally passed Riverside at around 6PM. Once we passed Barstow and hit the 40E, it was completely dark and we were able to speed like crazy make up for lost time. We decided to stop for dinner in Needles at a place called Wagon Wheel but it smelled like wet fart because they were having an all you can eat fish night. Instead, we went across the street to Carl’s Jr…where I saw the funniest thing ever. Man scouts.


Earning their fast food badge.

After our brief encounter with the man scouts and my buddy MJR running across the street to grab me a delicious Taco Bell meximelt (the flavors of Mexico melting in your mouth), we hit the road to Kingman, AZ to gas up for the last leg of the trip. After Kingman, it was 11PM and I needed sleep (I had been up since 5AM) so we got on the historic Route 66 at a good speed. In fact, it was too good of a speed because I got pulled over by one of Amerca’s finest…Kingman policeman. Gaaaaaaah.

“Good evening, can I see your license and registration please.”
“Here’s my license and let me find the registration…sorry about this officer.”
“Sorry? Sorry for what? I didn’t even tell you what I pulled you over for.”
“Oh. Um…sorry for making you get out of your car because it’s so cold at night right now…?”
“Well, I pulled you over for speeding. Do you know how fast you were going?”
“Yea…”
“Well, how fast were you going?”
“…you know…uh…72?”
“Are you asking me if you were going 72 or are you telling you were going 72?”
“Um…telling?”

Crap. I couldn’t find my registration but gave him my license and insurance. He told me to “sit tight” and went back to his cop car. Dang it…I guess asking for a warning was out of the question at this point. Then suddenly, the song Don’t Stop Believing by Journey started playing in my car. We all looked at each other and knew we all wanted to say it but nobody wanted to say it…until my friend broke the silence, “hey man…don’t stop believing…” Corny has heck. A few minutes later the officer came back to my car.

“Where you guys headed?”
“The Grand Canyon”
“Ha…of course. Just like everybody else…can you step out of the car and come to the back with me?”
“Yes?”

Double crap. I got out of my door and met the officer at his squad car.

“Do you guys have any alcoholic beverages in the car?”
“We have a little bit in the bed of my truck in a cooler.”
“Okay. Well, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to give you a warning but you really need to slow down. These are open fields and it’s not uncommon for cows and deer to walk onto the highway at night and for cars to hit them in the dark. So make sure you slow down and drive safely and have a good time camping.”
“Yes sir. Thank you so much!”

I felt incredibly victorious.

We caught up to the other car and my friend RT was like, “I tried to text and warn you! I’m so sorry! But I had a feeling you were able to talk your way out of a ticket.” Ha. Right. My amazing conversational skills with the law enforcement is exceptional (see above below-average conversational skills with policeman). I would actually rather credit my luck to the song that started playing. And yes classic rock still rocks.

The last leg of the trip was on Indian territory and we passed quite a few groups of cattle and deer and horses and boy were they huge! Some were in the middle of the road as big as cars so I am definitely glad I slowed down a bit.

We finally got to the parking lot/trail head just before 1AM. We quickly set up one tent between the cars and everybody either feel asleep in the cars or the bed of my truck or the tent. I fell instantly asleep because I had been up for about 20 hours. Tomorrow was a big day and I couldn’t wait.

Saturday

The morning was bloody freezing. I actually slept pretty warm in my nice sleeping bag but I think everybody else froze. We literally slept on the cliff of the Grand Canyon. When we woke up, the wind was howling and the temperature was in the low 20s and it took a while for everybody to wake up and get warm…but the views were incredible.


Waking up to this view of God’s creation was worth the long hours driving the previous night!


These guys obviously not as excited to get out of bed in the early AM…

We got ready and sorted out the things that we needed and left the unnecessary and heavy items in the cars while the girls cooked some delicious breakfast burritos.

We did a final inspection and then started our 10 mile trek to the camp site. The first mile was a steep decline down a bunch of switchbacks with an elevation change of 1000′. The rest of the 9 miles is a steady 1000′ elevation change through open canyon land, narrows and amazing views. This is the part of the post where I let the pictures do all the talking.


The first mile on the trip was a steep decline through a series of switch backs. Can you see the group?


When we got to the bottom we all took off our sweatpants because it was getting hot


Group photo #1


Group photo #2

We arrived at Supai village (8 miles) and checked into the campsite office. We took a short break and continued the last 2 miles to the campgrounds…which we passed some pretty breath-taking views.

The relief of arriving at the campgrounds was indescribable. We were finally able to take off our shoes, put our feet in the cool stream, set up our tents, lounge around, wash up, sit down and talk, and relax. One of my favorite things to do when camping is finding a perfect spot and setting up the campsite…and watch the girls eat cheese and salamis while the guys set up the tents and refill the water. Not.


The tents that were set up by…not the girls.


Our clean water source with filter!


MJR and JW getting the food ready while I sit and play with matches…

After dinner (we had delicious pasta), we went back to Havasu Falls for some quick exploring.


It got dark quick… and we didn’t have to cross any streams on the way back but we did anyway

It was pitch black by the time we got to the tents. I lit some candles and some of us stayed up to talk for a bit. The joy of being able to see a place that I’ve been dying to visit for over a year was really satisfying. And the good thing was I had the entire full day tomorrow to explore the canyon and a few waterfalls. Normally, this type of anticipation would keep me up at night, but I was super exhausted from the 10 mile hike that I fell right to sleep.

Stay tuned for Havasupai Part II…

Written by jonewantsm3

February 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Posted in Adventures

Sneak Peak!

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Last weekend, I went on a backpacking trip with a few friends. I’m still sorting through the pictures but here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come.

Happy Friday!

Written by jonewantsm3

February 24, 2012 at 1:00 am

Posted in Adventures

Slump…

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I have been in a slump recently… not feeling very motivated to post anything on the blog.

In fact, there are about four unpublished posts in my queue for some reason and I simply just don’t want to hit the “publish” button.

It’s not like I have been doing nothing.

For example, on valentines day I was testing out a camping stove and it blew up in my face. I caught fire and so did my tool chest but I was okay. My eyebrows weren’t though. Actually, my left eyebrow was slightly…less bushy. Are you considered a uni-brow if you only have one eyebrow? What a great way to spend a valentines day. I also found out the next day that Morgan the patience testing dog got a hold of it and put it behind my brothers car in the morning and he ran over it.

All that hard work and eyebrow sacrificing for nothing…

Speaking of dog activity, I spent last night picking up pieces of my package delivered from Amazon.com. My all of a sudden very un-cute dog got a hold of it, tore it up and it got drenched in the rain. She loved me enough to spread it all over the front yard and I spent a good amount of time last night in the dark with my flashlight picking up the pieces in the rain.

I’m sure this weekend will be a lot better though. I hope.

Until next time, Cheers.

Written by jonewantsm3

February 16, 2012 at 8:44 am

Posted in Rant

New Work Truck

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I got upgraded today.

I’m moving up the slow, painful corporate ladder. It’s nice that my work appreciates me to finally upgrade my commuter work car to a work truck. I work hard, commit long hours and fail to establish any meaningful female companionship because I love my work more than anything else in the world…

…But that’s probably why they pay me a $400,000 per year salary…

Happy Friday.

Written by jonewantsm3

February 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Rant

Who Said Asians Can’t Drive?

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I can’t get enough of Jeremy Lin.

You know, if I was a girl…

Actually, I won’t go there.

But all I’m saying is… you know what I’m saying.

Written by jonewantsm3

February 9, 2012 at 1:00 am

Posted in Rant

Patriots Fans Crying

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I had a couple of posts a while back about Chargers fans crying because of the San Diego franchise lacking something called “a desire to win.”

But today I am smiling. Because as much as we have failed in the past few years, it definitely does not hurt as much as going to the Superbowl twice and getting owned by the Giants…twice.

Hahahaha.

I love at 0:36 she says, “…I friggin live in stupid New York…”

Hahahaha.

I love at 1:21 she says, “yea, i mean, ya know’ like ‘ya I know I saw what happened! and blah bl ahb lhb ksciert ;al vbif zcxvj 9-2u;a lkhv k8 zfa….”

Hahahaha.

I love how she cries like a little kid who can barely get her words out.

Well, I don’t love it.

But yanowatimean…

Written by jonewantsm3

February 8, 2012 at 1:00 am

Posted in Rant