Author Archives: Erick Carpenter

About Erick Carpenter

We are on a road trip FOR a Lifetime. YAHOO!

The Plans of Mice and Men… and US!

Well, we are here in Lake Harmony RV resort in Georgia, an inexpensive pleasant RV park where you can listen to the rain fall, the lighting boom, and the crickets and frogs sing at night. Truly peaceful and relaxing.. Zzzz wait, what?

Lake Harmony 2

Lake Harmony

We have enjoyed our almost one year road trip, learning as we go down the road. This time? That ammonia smell that comes from the fridge? This is not a good thing. Means a new fridge! So, about 5 grand later, we should have a new fridge with a 5 year warranty. They can repair the damaged coolant system for about 300 dollars less and a 90 day warranty. So we are opting for new and 5 years.

Then as we sit here, we  are planning out our next adventures that will span the state of Florida with some scuba diving, a visit to the VA hospital, some DISNEY time, and then a return to Colorado for the ski season. We are still looking at purchasing property in Florida, but it is no longer a high priority deal. Instead, we have another priority. Lynda remains concerned that some small amount of cancer could rear its ugly head and wreak havoc on our lives again. Her concern is another ride on the roller coaster from hell. YAY we have good markers. BOO we have bad markers. YAY she feels good! BOO she has a tweak in her left toe. Things like that can seriously rock your world once your name and cancer are mentioned in the same sentence. So far, she remains clear, but the uncertainty rocks her world regularly.

With that being out there, our intent is to attack any cancer that may be lurking with a two prong approach. The first is to use baking soda the way we have in the past to fight it directly. That has worked. The other is to use “Cannabis Oil”. This treatment, now legal in Colorado, has a 70% or thereabout cure rate for advanced cancers. So we intend on using both. Essentially pulling in the nukes.

Downside? The cannabis oil packs a punch. tends to knock the patient out for the evening. But we will adapt and overcome. In the meantime, I am taking classes on how to grow it, as Florida is beginning to look at medical marijuana, and if I can get in on the ground level, grow this stuff and produce something that kills cancer and I can earn a living from it?

I am all over it.

So will see how it all pans out, but that has my interest. We will probably have her on it come September when we return to Colorado. We are looking into the various ski pass opportunities, Epic Local Pass or just a pass to Arapahoe Basin as we truly enjoyed it. Will see. I have a lot of options while Lynda pursues her Masters degree in complimentary and alternative medicine… And building a health coaching business while running her regular coaching business… (Can I say “Over Achiever” now?)
But we are rocking and rolling in the rig, having a wonderful time and enjoying life. To all those out there sharing this ride with us in whatever fashion you have, thank you. I cannot thank you all enough for following our adventures. I hope that you have enjoyed our ride thus far.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

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I am shamed

I have been incredibly remiss in my writing on our blog. My uncle, the kind and generous (and ORIGINAL) JC has let me know that he is quite entertained with our sordid trips and adventures, so, with some prodding from my dear uncle Jack, here is our latest in adventures…

My wife recently ventured forth into the wilds of Connecticut and went to what she thought was a Vegan non-cooking class. Much to her surprise, and enjoyment, the course was much more than that. It was about healthy living, how to cleanse your body, and a chance meeting with some very interesting people. (And being a blooming Buddhist, I don’t believe in chance meetings, life hands us opportunities, and what we do with them? Well, we do with them). So with that, she met some really nice people and found a new niche that truly fits her passions. Health coaching while she pursues her Masters degree in complimentary and alternative medicine. She found that she had educated herself and helping people became second nature. In her mind, it was the next logical step.. pursuing education, and traveling to find new front yards.

Lynda found that the Masters in that specialty would give her more credibility, as well as better researching skills that are more credible versus “finding stuff” on the internet. This has me congratulating her as I know she has a true passion for this modality, this helping people to help themselves. Lynda spent the week with soon to be colleagues, and companions, and by the time she left the class she already had her first client. This is outstanding says I! Woot Woot! says I. Soon my wife is coming home for some serious Snugglebunnies! woot woot says I!… Of course all this in emails as my wife dropped her iPhone and much to everyone’s amazement, the voice side of the iPhone no longer functions. The data side does, so we are now limited to emails to one another. Woot Woot! says I! we can still communicate! I am a happy man.

Now, I get a phone call, from a number that I do not recognize. It is my lovely wife, and I go from “HEY Baby!” to… “Uh, what’s wrong”? Turns out she missed her flight. The hotel told her what time to be ready, and that she would be perfectly fine and on time. The cab showed up on time, she hopped in and off she went! Flying high and low through the exciting town of Simsbury to Hartford… She arrived at the airport, all smiles, going home! And the plane was boarding as she arrived at the ticketing counter. They lined her up for the next flight, number 2 in standby. Oh, and guess what else was happening at the same time? Come on, guess! Nope, nope and nope. It was Spring Break! and guess what was over sold? Yep, every flight Lynda tried to get on for standby. But m’lady was not to be deterred, with laptop in hands, she goes to Expedia and gets the last seat on the last flight that evening out of Hartford to Denver! woot woot!

Eight hundred dollars later and she is in the air! And we are still communicating through emails as the iPhone has not magically fixed itself. (I will have Steve Jobs look into this in his next life). But I have the time and arrival at Denver, and being in Breckenridge on a good day, is about a 2 hour drive. I decide to get a hotel near the airport and I will leave early as I have absolutely nothing else to do, might as well enjoy a few hours in Denver, and off I go! The snow is falling heavily, and I, being the safe guy, decide as I enter I-70, that slowing down a bit would be a good idea, and I gear down to 45mph. The guy ahead of me in a “dually” Ford (you know the kind that has four tires in the back of a BIG pickup truck) keeping speeds similar, neither of us wanting to test the great snow gods and their penchant for playing slippery games on ice and snow. We rounded a corner and to both our surprise, the traffic is at a complete stop.

The local gendarmes made the intelligent choice of stopping traffic on a curve so that to our amazement, you don’t see it until you are right on top of it. Guess what doesn’t work too well on snow and ice? Yes, brakes! The snow gods begin to giggle… snicker even, as they want to see just how fast the two of us can shut down our trucks before we plow into the waiting audience sitting in the non-moving traffic. Now? The eyes of Denver are upon us, wide and fearful the trucks both begin to slide.. this way, then that way. I am trying to judge which one is better, the sitting traffic, the guy in the truck or the meridian that is not but snow, grass and mud. The guy in the truck ahead of me manages to miss the sitting traffic where the people are in wide wonder with the “O” look on their face.. You know the kind.. the kind that right before a really nasty accident, all the spectators make that OOOOOOO sound as the victim gets creamed.

I use my driving skills from Alaska that would have made Mario Andretti proud. I swing between the still sliding truck and the traffic and launch down the steep embankment of the meridian that only snow, ice and mud, with some sprinkling of frozen grass. The crowd cheers on with that “OOOOOOOO” noise as I fly down the embankment and twist back and forth keeping it from doing a three sixty and tossing me into places that I really don’t want to explore. As the speed diminishes, my heart begins beating again. I look up and the crowd goes wild! I wave them a “Aw shucks I knew what I was doing” look and put the truck in gear and go forward.. Nothing. hmmm backwards. I have traction. Forward. slow, side to side, then nothing. Reverse! woot woot says I, and off we go for a city block, but not UP the way I want to go. Forward, and I find that I cannot climb the bank to the I-70 going West.  Solution? straight down the middle in low four, and to the road where the cops usually sit and up and over I go! woot woot says I, and back to the rig we go.

I return to the rig, no worse for the wear, but wanting a triple shot of tequila, and, knowing I can’t, I settle for just sitting in the comfie chair and relaxing. I will try again in a few hours. Time goes by and my heart slows, and my hands begin to return to their normal state. I can no longer bend steel with them… (or steering wheels). I get back in the truck and off we go to Denver. This time? a little slower and wary of those sneaky assed Snow Gods that damn near scored a home run.

I arrive at the hotel, and to my enjoyment, it is a very nice hotel, staffed by wonderful people. I lay low for an hour then head to the airport and pick up my wife. woot woot! Happiness and Snugglebunnies! We laugh about the day, and head back to the hotel. It is cold and slick but I am wary of those Snow Gods and I drive “vewy vewy cawfuwwy” as Elmer Fudd would say. We arrive at the hotel without any further incidents. The past is behind us. Plan to drive about a mile and a half to a Verizon store, pick up a new phone and head to Breckenridge. and in the distance I hear the Snow Gods chuckling again.

Next morning we jump up, we are invigorated we are going HOME! woot woot! so we pack our bags, say goodbye to the hotel and jump in the truck.. Start her up and guess what? Nope.. not that… Nope.. nope, steering doesn’t work! Seems my steering fluid is gone. but HEY! being the wrenchy kinda guy, I have some spare fluid in the truck no problem. Pour some in it works for about 30 feet, and back to almost impossible to steer. We decide to drive to the Verizon store where I try to figure out what happened. In the meantime, Lynda goes in to look at a new phone. “Mrs. Carpenter, how are you today” is how it started.. Then it went to, “Wellllll let’s see….” “No insurance on your iPhone”, and not time to upgrade, and well, looks like yer little “oopsy daisy” is going to run about 500.00. Not sure if Lynda’s jaw is still on the floor there or not. In the meantime the very nice gal at the store tried putting in a new SIM chip to see if that might work and the iPhone Gods and Steven Jobs were not looking out for her that day.

The gal at the store said, hey, we have options. and this is what they are. We traded in her half working iPhone and spread the cost out over a year. The new and improved iPhone 5? Came to an additional 27.00 a month on our bill. woot woot! (I think) and in the meantime, Mr “I can fixit” decides that this problem is past his skill set, and sets forth to find a solution. Together we decide to do another night at the hotel so Lynda can make her coaching appointments and so I can find a local repair shop. I call what I later discover is a local Subaru dealer who does not work on Toyota’s but, knows someone close by who does. I drive about 5 miles with steering wheel that truly hates to function at this point. I manage to make it to the shop and they proceed to order one hose and replace 3 others. They show me the hoses… cracked from years of use… and the pressure hose? Not sure, but my “Ride of the Snow Gods” may very well have knocked it loose, but they weren’t sure.

Regardless for 225.00 they had me out the door in a couple of hours. I was very impressed. I drove back to the hotel where Lynda had kept all her appointments and at the end of the day? All was good. We enjoyed the evening in the hotel, got up the next morning and played “Ground Hog Day” with no repeats. We returned to our home on wheels, thumbed my nose at the great Snow Gods, and retired to our living room, deciding at the end of the day, it was all good.

However, I had some errands to get done prior to leaving the next day to Kansas. I lept into my repaired truck and drove up to the office of Tiger Run RV Resort. As I stepped out of my truck, once again, I heard the chuckle of the Snow Gods… I brushed it aside, as I am done with you! Nyah! to you I fly the middle finger! Yes! See my poor opinion of you as it flies PROUDLY!.. and in to the office I go. I speak to the ladies at the desk, flirting a bit if you will, as I have overcome the trials and adversities that have beset and destroyed lesser men! We banter, we chortle, enjoying the last day at Breckenridge ready for NEW lusty adventures on the road.

I leave the office with a dance in my step and a smile on my lips. Once again, I hear laughter in the winds.. I pay them no heed. Leaping into my newly repaired and trusty steed, I fire her up and back out.. and the laughter in the wind? Yeah, it turns into one of those damn belly laughs. My steering wheel doesn’t work again. I go from happy as a lark to “I am gonna kill somebody” and head back to the rig. I pop the hood and discover that the mechanic that had worked on my truck (I know he was frustrated) didn’t put the clamp on one of the hoses, and it popped off. I found the clamp, put the hose back on, and clamped the hose down. No problem, “Mr Fixit” to the rescue! However, I was out of power steering fluid and the closest place was 2 miles away.

“No problem!” says I! woot woot! Let’s go for a jog says I! woot woot! So I go inside, dress warmly and head on down the road. Mind you I have NEVER run at altitude and we are at 9500 feet. I make it to the building center where I find two jugs of steering fluid as I blindly grope for them.. Running at altitude does wonderful things to your body.. your lungs, eyes, legs, yeah, pretty much all of it. But I am a tougher man than most! So out the door I go with steering fluid in pack and find the local jogging trail next to the road. (One I had not seen on my way to the center). I am a happy runner! woot woot says I

I return to the rig and realize that I just put every ounce of energy into that run that I had. I poured a jug and a half of power steering fluid into the truck, went inside and passed out. Woke up two hours later with my lovely wife gazing at me with sparkles in her eye and laughter on her lips.. and her loving words?

Over did it, didn’t ya?

and in the distance I hear that damn laughter again.

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A quote got me

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

That is supposed to be a quote from Mark Twain, I cannot validate that, but I choose to believe that he did indeed write it. And with that, my post.

Lynda and I decided to follow that advice, although we had not received it directly from Mark Twain, but after getting the living hell scared out of both of us, a conversation filtered from my loving sister, Daonne, to Lynda. The conversation that Daonne and I had was a very serious one that blew in like a wind, foretelling of coming disaster and dark times. We were chatting after Lynda’s diagnosis, and Daonne simply said, “What will you do if you lose her”?

An honest question, as Lynda’s diagnosis back then was dire. And it had both of us trying to figure out what to do. We had many recommendations, such as reduce stress. Lynda was working 60 hour work weeks, with periodic 80 or 90 hour work weeks during her companies training sessions, about once a quarter. And her pay had just been cut by 30K a year. She came home in tears more often than I could count, even though she truly loved her job. Her health was paying the price. My job was pretty stress free, and the hours were stable, and the pay was excellent. I had a great boss, Cathy Young. Later I would discover she was a god send.

That question brought my world to a screeching halt. It had never once truly entered my mind that I could lose her. In that instant the darkest of time went through my mind. I stammered, I balked, but I caught myself and said that “I really don’t know”. “My life would be over, guess I would just mark time until my body caught up”. “Probably go ski patrol in Colorado, hike trails to get away, travel the world or at least the US”. Daonne kind of nodded and we let that errant line of thought go on its way. Much to my surprise, Daonne had a conversation with Lynda and passed on what I would do. Lynda approached me the next day and said that “If that is what you would do without me, why don’t we do it together instead”?

So after a teary eyed moment or three, we decided, then and there, it was time to hang up the American Dream and go live our own dream. Since that time we have sold our belongings, moved into a nice RV that we call “Koko” short for Kokopelli, the “trickster” in Native American lore.

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We have been traveling since June of last year, and no intention of stopping. We have hiked the Wyoming mountains with good friends,

2013 NOLS ELLE B

hiked the Wenatchee Mountains in Washington,

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hiked with my nephew in the Grand Tetons,

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and in Yellowstone National Park. We have spent time with friends in Bend, Oregon, and ended up here in Breckenridge Colorado for the ski season.

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We spent a month in Belize with family.

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and got to spend Spring Break with my family in Durango, And we ain’t done yet

Our tentative plans are to travel from here in Colorado to Key Largo, Florida, via Bangor Maine. In there somewhere, do some hiking, scuba diving, then return to Colorado for a family reunions, and head to South Dakota’s Black Hills for more backpacking and visit some friends during Sturgis. Stress? none, non-existent and Lynda’s health? She is a picture of health in every sense of the word, so that reduces my stress to a whopping “zero”.

We haven’t made final plans for returning to Colorado as we may choose to go to Utah instead, but we will see. And next year? Well, 2015 is our 10th anniversary. I would honestly like to RV up to Alaska during June/July/August, then return to the US to fly out to Africa for a photo safari with my wife, and if we can really stretch it somehow? Stop by Greece on the way for a week or so… So that American Dream? meh, underrated, ours is much much better in our eyes.

Funny what happens when you decide to go get lost.

You might just find a slice of paradise. I am simply thrilled to be sharing it with my soul mate. So Mr. Twain?

You were so right…

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Flashback Saturday

My wife and I were laying on our couch, getting in some snuggling time after a day of cleaning the rig from stem to stern. Vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry, oiling the rather dry wood.. All the things that you tend to put off as life tends to get in the way. Ours might be somewhat of an exception to that rule, but, our “version” of life can get in the way.

Skiing, scuba diving, backpacking, and yes a couple of days of work. Roaming through Breckenridge or Dillon, Colorado. Mostly getting out and about to see what is local and fun. Such is our life. It is fun, exciting, relaxing, and to us, ideal.

I had this incredible flashback or “vision” of around 1980 or so. Lynda and I used to lay on my “poof” or bean bag at my house. (remember those bean bags?) Anyhow, I would lay there and wonder what our future held. I knew I saw a future for us, I could feel it, taste it, I could almost see it, but it always seemed to cloud over right when I saw that bright spark in Lynda’s eyes. It would flash, and for a moment, I could see… something.

When we broke up after I joined the Marines, I can remember standing on the 3rd deck of the Supply Company barracks in the twenty two area in Camp Pendleton, looking out at the helicopters coming in and out of the airfield, and kept wondering what happened to her. How she was doing, who she might be and of course a twenty something mind would go off into the void, and I would end up with a beer in front of myself, sitting in the 22 area E-Club and with a heavy sigh, on to whatever the Corps had to offer.

Years later I had returned to Roswell, New Mexico, (no alien jokes PLEASE) and used to run a 5.5 mile loop that went by Lynda’s parents home. I would look longingly at that home, wondering if by chance she might happen that day to be there. And of course, I never stopped, just kept running by. I left New Mexico again, and went to Alaska, and again, wondered what might have happened to Lynda. Eventually, I left that thought for a new love in my life, Connie Calhoun, and this was 1989.

In 2001 my world came to a halt. My wife, Connie, died after her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. 163 days from diagnosis to death, that fast. Something neither of us ever saw coming. We had been together almost 12 years. Been married almost 4 of that. I left Alaska on a “walkabout” an Australian term for go travel until you find yourself again.

I returned to New Mexico, and this time, I stopped at Lynda’s house. I met her mom of whom I had not seen in twenty some odd years. The years had been very kind to her, and she was very kind to me. She told me that Lynda was married, and that JD (Lynda’s father) was still kicking. Mostly small talk, but I could tell something was a bit off.  I told her thank you, and left, with no intent of ever looking for Lynda again, as she was married, so that was that.

Two years later, I was leaving Alaska permanently. My house had become a mausoleum, and if I didn’t do something I would end up joining Connie in that trip to the great beyond. I had just been contacted by John Wolf, a friend that owned a home in Girdwood, the local ski area in Alaska. It was about 45 minutes outside of Anchorage, and he needed someone to house sit for him. Shucks. While my house was up for sale, I had a place to stay.

In that time-frame, I started looking for places to go, to do that “walkabout”. I was on Classmates and as I was looking for old friends to go visit, I stumbled across Lynda’s email address. I sent her an email asking if this was indeed the same Lynda Smith I knew in high school. Time crawled until I got a response. It was. and we started up a conversation through emails. After some time, I asked her how she was REALLY doing. She replied with leaving a bad job and a bad relationship. I offered her a trip up to Alaska.

She took it.

We stayed at John’s house until March, and left Alaska in an 18 foot travel trailer, and my home was in the process of being sold for above what I asked for. We were happy, and on the road to an adventure.

Since then, we have been joined at the hip, and happily so. The past almost 11 years has been magical. There have been incredibly happy moments and incredibly scary moments. and quite the mix of the two. We are currently in Breckenridge Colorado, with the snow lightly falling outside our home on wheels. As I lay with Lynda on the couch, listening to her breathe, and watching the snow fall and blow outside, there was this flash, this sudden “flashback” of that vision.

It was that vision that I had almost managed to see in 1980. It was the future that I knew we had together, one I was completely convinced would happen. Just had no idea of how, when or where. I believe in quantum physics, the concept that time is not linear, it does not travel in one direction, we simply perceive it that way. Today, here and now, I have had the opportunity to believe that sometimes, just sometimes, life can be foreseen, imagined or not. And I have to admit…

That vision has been one of the best in my life, and I can safely say that it was not imagined.

The other vision? Seeing Lynda as an old woman puttering around in our kitchen, smiling, eyes shining, and happy. I look forward to seeing that again, in the next flashback down the road. When experiences like this happen?

It makes me relish the coming years.

Namaste

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual, Thanksgiving | Tags: | 2 Comments

A truly different post

This may bother my wife, but I am sure that she will forgive me at some point.

Not many people were aware of Lynda’s diagnosis back in 2010. Lynda had been diagnosed with what the oncologist called a metastasis of her breast cancer to her shoulder. That meant that the cancer that had originally been in her breast, was now in her shoulder, in her bone. It had been there for over a year, but Lynda had refused a biopsy, but eventually the radiologists agreed that what we were looking at was stage IV breast cancer.

We freaked. I researched all the doctors and treatments in the US and overseas that had a possibility of a cure. and if you follow western medicine, that is not possible. According to western medicine, a stage IV diagnosis is terminal they can only buy you time at best. For those of you that don’t know, I lost my first wife, Connie, to pancreatic cancer that too, was stage IV. I was horrified, not for me, but for Lynda. Her light is just too damn bright to be extinguished this early in life, and I was determined to find an answer. At any cost.

This is when we determined that a doctor in Arizona was our best chance for a cure. He had been diagnosed with stage IV cancer, which was VERY aggressive, and had managed to get himself treated naturopathically, and had succeeded in surviving. He then went to school to become an NMD, and is now treating cancer patients in Arizona.

We left for Arizona, with our life savings in hand. Almost ninety thousand dollars. Insurance doesn’t cover this kind of treatment, so it is all out of pocket. And to this day, I will tell you the same thing I said then, “I will spend every penny I have to keep her with me”. Money, stuff, means nothing without my girl by my side, that lesson I have learned and learned well.

Lynda proceeded with treatments, and let me tell you, just because they say “naturopathically or holistically” does NOT mean less painfully. Lynda endured some treatments that were very painful. I am not sure I could have done them and I have a high pain tolerance. But she endured.

I worked in San Diego, and my boss let me work 4 day work weeks which meant I could travel back and forth to Arizona until the treatments were over. I was a basket case, as long as I was not around Lynda. Around her? I sucked it up and provided the best support I could muster. She could NOT see me in any other way except fully supportive and positive. Nothing else was acceptable.

I was getting ready to leave Arizona on my way back to San Diego. I was terrified. I was hoping for the best, and expecting the worst. I had so many flash backs of being with Connie in the hospital watching her fade a little more every day until she was gone. It was beyond words. My gut was churning, I couldn’t stay focused on a single damn thing except that I was now going to lose Lynda.. and Goddamn it, hadn’t he taken enough already? I was livid at my version of god and the universe..

He had already done this once, wasn’t that enough? I even tried making a deal, take me, load me up and clear her, and I would be good with that. Tried that with Connie, and god didn’t take the deal. She died and I was left behind. Then Lynda came into my life again, and suddenly life was worth living again, and we lived full-tilt-boogie. Now? Now it was getting down to the nitty gritty. and it looked like he wasn’t going to take me up on the offer again. sonofa…. you could see where my mind was going.. all over the place.

I was at a gas station, counting the money I was spending, trying to figure out how we could squeeze out a few more bucks out to pay for a couple more treatments, and buy more time or even a cure. I turned to my left and one of the largest black men I had ever seen in my life was standing in front of me. This guys arms were as big as my legs, and when I say big, I mean muscular no fat, just muscle. His hair was longish, with dreadlocks included. He was incredibly stocky, large enough to tackle a horse and win. My first thought was “shit, I am about to get mugged”. But in the pico second that I thought that, I actually looked at the man. I mean really looked at him. He was clean, long hair, well dressed, but what got me, was his aura.

I believe that angels walk among us, even though I am not a Christian, I do believe in a higher power, and the emissary’s of that higher power, in whatever form they choose to manifest themselves. That may make me crazy or at least a couple cans short a six pack, but I do believe that the world is stranger than we can possibly imagine. and this guy seemed to be living proof of that insanity. He positively glowed in a light I will never be able to explain.

The man began to talk, and to my surprise, he spoke eloquently, and he had a gleam in his eye that was from what I would say is his spirit, his karma. I tried to shake this image loose from my brain but to no avail, his light was that pervasive. He explained that he was down on his luck, but not in those words. Instead, he spoke of a life that had simply had some unforeseen turns that put him in  a place of need. He had been successful, but due to the economy’s twists and turns, he was on the path he was on. And could I, would I, be willing to lend him a hand?

At that moment, the world stood completely still. I mean still. No traffic noise, no airplane noise, no voices in the background. It was as if the universe was holding its breath, and how I was going to treat this man would have an impact that I would never begin to fathom. Normally? I would brush this kind of guy off, with the normal, “Nah, no extra change or bucks” and push on past him. I have done it more times that I can count. Once in awhile I will toss in a buck, but never much, and seldom give it thought. After all, most of these bums are using the money for booze or drugs, right?

This guy? I think that if I sat there long enough, I would have seen a visible light, or a halo around his head, indeed, I may have. It was not the normal “gimme” crap, this was the universe determining, no, demanding, that based on how I treated this one man, the universe would treat me. Karma was knocking and I was about to answer the door. There was an eternity in that split second of making my choice. One that for the rest of my life, I will never forget.

I looked at him and said, “Please, wait here”. I didn’t have a lot of money, and I needed every penny to try to save my wife’s life. But somehow, this guy was a test, a litmus test to determine what kind of person I really was and how I was willing to treat my fellow man.  My account had a hundred in it. I pulled sixty and went back, and handed it to him.

The response?

Beyond words. The aura that this black man put out expanded, it actually made me squint as I talked to him, and it felt as if the gears of the world suddenly spun into place, and put my life into exactly where it needed to be. It felt as though suddenly, everything that was going wrong, was now going right. My fears? my nightmares? Suddenly vanished. And as this man walked away, he looked back and smiled. It was as if the angel “Michael” himself was suddenly smiling at me and telling me that everything, and I do mean everything, is going to be all right.

Now, am I crazy? probably. More than likely. The guy was probably just a shyster, just a druggie with a habit, a drunk with a problem. But you know what?

Almost five years later, and my wife is the picture of health. And we truly are living the dreams of a lifetime. And that angel that I met?

I think he is still smiling at us, I know I certainly am smiling at him. and I am moved by a verse from a book I have read in passing many, many years ago, but I take what I find appropriate for the moment, regardless of where it comes from, and remember this verse, if nothing else, the next time you meet someone truly in need:

The Holy Bible:

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Namaste

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual | Tags: , , , | 22 Comments

Belize and the US

Well, I have been finding other fun to get into lately, and have been remiss in posting our adventures in Belize and the US. We went to Placencia, Belize and spent a few days at the Paradise Resort and enjoyed the night life of Placencia which was better than anywhere else we had been in Belize. We agreed that if we ever were to call Belize home, it would be Placencia. However, unless things got really crazy here in the US, that is not likely to happen.

hotel4small

We left Placencia and headed to Punta Gorda. What a change that was. Punta Gorda does not rely on tourists for income, so at the very best, we were tolerated. Never threatened, but not favored either. The Coral House Inn was a beautiful home, and place to stay.

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Very relaxing. Very enjoyable. The bar was on the honor system, you drink a beer? Write it down and they will catch up with you later. You want a high-end scotch? yep, write it down and they will catch you when you leave. Then, in Punta Gorda we met Gomier the healer, the cook and the story-teller.

Gomier had a small “shack” called Gomier’s that served some of the best vegetarian meals I have ever had. Truly fun and amazing. Gomier was a class act all on his own. He is a “Rasta” which is a form of a religion that I don’t fully understand, but the Rastas are a peaceful  people.. and very cool. He made us vegetarian burritos that were superb, and then told us stories about the food we were eating. Fascinating.

Cooking!

Cooking!

We left Punta Gorda and enjoyed the drive down the Hummingbird Highway. What beauty. We returned the car in Belize City and caught a water taxi to San Pedro where we finished our travels in San Pedro at the Holiday Hotel right on the beach. We walked around town, enjoyed another massage by Ocean Essence Massage and what a relaxing massage that was.

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We dined with Christine Cotten and her husband, Tom Cotten at a local ex-pat’s restaurant and wow. that was excellent food. Great company. Christine helped us plan our entire trip in Belize, I cannot say enough about her travel agency, Belize  Travel Adventures. She put together the trip of a lifetime.

Christine and Tom

Now we are back in Breckenridge, Colorado, where while we were gone, our fridge had shut down (we turned it off as we left) the door latch had come apart inside the door itself, and our water line going to our fridge water dispenser also burst. All of which I repaired. I disconnected the water line and capped it until warmer weather ensues, I fixed the door mechanisms, and had to “jump” the fridge to start it again. Seems a controller board can get too cold and reset itself. and I found the way to “jump it” to make it function again. and the snow piled up a bit.

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For a guy who can barely screw a light-bulb in without goofing it up, I am becoming damn handy with a wrench. Our home is back in shape, I am in the process of slowly upgrading our stereo system and want to put in a nice one. I have removed the last TV from “Koko” and am in the process of building a stereo cabinet and an electronics/book cabinet out of the area that housed the rather large heavy TV.

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Lynda and I are preparing for the next leg of our “road trip FOR a lifetime“. We will head to the east coast to visit friends and hike parts of the Appalachian Trail. Then down to Florida to dive Key Largo for a while. We also want to spend some time at Disney World. Then? Back to Colorado in June to go to Lynda’s family reunion, and if we have the time? Raft the Grand Canyon. Once we are done in Colorado, we will head to South Dakota to hike the Black Hills, as they are beautiful

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Then? maybe to Colorado, or Utah for the next ski season…

For those that are enjoying reading about our adventures? Please leave notes, LOVE to reply, and even invite you to join us if you have the time. and we cannot thank you enough for reading about our crazy lifestyle.

erick and Lynda bristlecones

Erick and Lynda

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Guatemala

Lynda and I spent the day going from the Table Rock Jungle Lodge to Tikal in Guatemala. This takes a guide from Guatemala, a driver from Belize and a driver from Guatemala.  So to take two tourists from the US to Tikal takes 3 more people.. Unless of course you choose to go at it on your own. And we have met folks who are backpacking their way through Central and South America. Way wilder than we are. But again, I digress.

Tour Guides

The ride from San Ignacio was without event, but the rain and the countryside were fabulous. The free roaming dogs and pigs are fun to watch, and a comment was made about them as we drove. The driver did quite the zig-zag around a chicken… I mean a serious “holy shit” move. And then he explained that if you hit a pig or a chicken?

You had better keep going, or it will be the most expensive animal you ever ran over. The owner (and everyone knows who the owner is, as these are very small villages) will try to get you to pay for all the eggs the chicken would have ever hatched, and the food it would have produced. Same with the pig, all the piglets they would have ever had and the food they would have produced… So if you smack one? Keep on trucking.

We met our Guatemalan guides at the border, and they all knew each other. Good team to have if you are bouncing through Central America for your first time. And we are as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers. I mean when I heard about Guatemala, it was always about corrupt police that would drag you off into the jungle and shoot you, or drug lords lurking at every corner, or something else.

We were commenting on the road to Tikal that for the most part, was paved and in good shape. Our Guatemalan guide explained that in a couple years past, the road was unpaved and took 3-3 ½ hours to travel. Now? Only 2 hours to get through. We came onto a military checkpoint, my hackles rise, Lynda gets a bit closer to me, and guess what? The driver waves, the soldier waves, they smile and we go on.. Slowly learning about paranoid US tourists… us.

The biggest crime in Belize and Guatemala? Human trafficking. Running Chinese from Belize or Guatemala to the US. Or bike theft which is the second largest crime. So drugs are not what the people in the US think, by any means. I find it quite interesting how the media and the government in the US makes so much ado about nothing.

Hugo, our guide, was very informative he talked much about the Mayan culture and its rise and fall. We spent the majority of our time on the road asking questions about the locals, learning about their government and it’s issues, then about the local ecology. Central America is far beyond the US in preserving their ecology. Or at least appear to be. Recycle, use and re-use, some due to the very nature of being a third world country, but also realizing the connection between man and the world… Screw up the world? And you don’t have a chance. However there is still an inordinate amount of garbage all around… not good.

More Tikal with Guide

There is a large lake the guides take us by, and I have long since given up the ability to pronounce it, that the locals use quite a bit, including laundry places where the ladies will spend the day washing clothes for the family. I mean standing waist deep in the water with shelving all around and mashing, squeezing, thrashing and rinsing the laundry. This same lake, every 3 months or so, gives off a sulfur purge that the locals say smells quite bad.

My theory is that it is on a volcanic vent that “belches” every so often and creates the smell. It may also be that the bottom of the lake has a methane deposit that releases periodically as well. It would be an interesting study. We were also shown how some villagers are using old plastic bottles and concrete to build walls in their homes and insulate against the cold here. (Cold being a very relative thing) but the plastic bottles that reduce the amount of concrete used, keep insulation value, and actually provide light into the house versus using costly windows. Clever people here in Central America.

The trip also had a stop at a local shopping store that donates an amount of purchases to local charities; thereby the entire tourist guides tend to stop there. The food is good, the pico-de-gallo is HOT, habanero hot, but enjoyable. The final stop in Tikal at the actual site is well maintained and for us, fairly slow tourist wise. Our guide, Hugo, was again very informative about the site, and was able to show us highlights that if we had been on our own, would likely have missed. Hugo also told us where to get the best angles for photos at, and what we were photographing and the history behind each area. We took off around the central Mayan ruins area, peeking in on areas that while have been seen by many, gave us a rough glimpse into the past of the location and its people. I will say that looking around and the locals had performed realizing that the local community was about 128,000 people, a LOT of work.

Tikal center

Then the realization hit that they had zero machinery, and it was all done by hand and by animals. They flattened large areas for building their temples and astrological viewpoints from, knew enough about stars to align the buildings perfectly, and were able to raise these buildings without help of any mechanical assistance.

Pretty damn crazy.

And to both of us who had seen pictures of these ruins in our books in school? Even more astounding was that two kids from Roswell had made it here to see this human accomplishment. I think this was a surprising discovery that somehow, two kids from a pretty humble start in life had found their way to Guatemala and were standing in some ruins dating back to 700AD. Not a bad start for a road trip for a lifetime.

Us in Guatemala

When we finally finished the tour of the Tikal site, we returned to the Table Rock Jungle Lodge with little or no issue, muddy, tired and very happy. We spent the evening talking to travelers, who were staying here, and wild tales were shared, contact information swapped, and tired eyes took us to bed. Then Lynda had a surprise visitor. Something she ate caused a blockage in her intestine, which catapulted us, right back into the wide world of cancer.

Jungle Boogie

Jungle Boogie

Lynda and I had hoped that those days were behind us, that the days of swollen intestines closing off food processing were over. And apparently they are not. The larger issue with this problem is that there is not a lot of medical help available here, so Lynda, being the incredibly “insightful” person she is, made it a point to bring pain killers and stool softeners on the trip. After about 2 hours of intense pain and discomfort, the blockage either broke down and passed or came up, or both. Welcome to the roller coaster from hell. One-minute life is good, and in a split second it can be questioned how much you have left.

Now, instead of freaking out and collapsing into a bowl of emotional jelly, which was my gut reaction, we have both determined that path is not for us. While quite scary and disconcerting there is another angle to look at this incident. The angle we take is a way to make something positive out of something that is as spooky as it gets.

Getting the shit scared out of you reminds you how tenuous your hold on life can be, and that in a moment, your life can be wrested away from any plans you may have had. So we live in the moment, with these reminders to do just that. Planning ahead is fine, but make the plan for the immediate future your priority, your drive.

Life is a short run thing, no matter how long you have. And with that, make the most of what you have while you have it… Surprises, both good and bad come your way every day. So make the best of every moment you have. This is how “cancer” or “can-serve” affects our lives. We make it a better life by the drive this disease gives us.

Lynda may live to be one hundred, I may live to be one hundred, or we may not. We live as if we may not. We live as if today might very well be the last, and with that point of view it makes life more energetic, fun, passionate, scary, exciting. Pick one. Pick them all, but don’t stand around trying to figure out which one to pick… Get busy living, Or get busy dying. We choose the former.

On that note, we have begun building our bucket lists again, working on which adventure should be next, and in that, we have had shifts in our comfort zones, at least I certainly have. Earlier I had said the couple that were backpacking through central America and south America were wilder than us? Maybe not anymore. Although we are not likely to grab a pack and give central America a go, we are not against it either.

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Family, Hiking, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Spiritual, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Belize. New Adventures. And New Ideas!

Well, we landed at the airport in Belize City, and our ride, his name was Eli, from Table Rock Jungle Resort was out front holding our sign.. (newbie newbie newbie!) ha-ha.

Christine Cotton set us up with a ride to Table Rock Jungle Lodge outside of San Ignacio; I had to make a short side trip to the rental car company to pick up our cell phone and our package for our dive boat. All in all? Painless

We rode for about 2 hours (or thereabouts) to Table Rock, where we were welcomed and were escorted to our lodge. WOW. It was more than we could have asked for. It was beyond any expectations I had. And I wasn’t sure what I had. But looking at the poverty on the way to the Lodge, I had concerns. We went to the dining room where me met several other folks from all over. The tales were wonderful, and the people even more so.

Jungle Boogie

Jungle Boogie

I had a couple of rum drinks, and listened to the folks tell their stories of where they were from and who they were. The dining room is an open hut with a thatched roof that does not leak.. Even in these incredible downpours. It is beautiful in its way. The two owners here Allen and Colleen have hit the nerve of this land. Table Rock Lodge is primitive enough to be adventurous, fun, beautiful, exciting, and civilized enough to be truly wondrous.

Jungle Lodge - Erick and Lynda

Jungle Lodge – Erick and Lynda

Table Rock Jungle Erick and Lynda

The next morning we woke early when Lynda told me about her goof up. She grabbed the wrong battery charger for her camera. Oops. And we were heading for the ATM cave tour, where they warn you. You will get wet. Now, when I hear that statement in the USA, I think, some “splashy splashy” from some rain or from water in the creek or something yada yada yada… and no cameras allowed. The reason? Some tourist was holding a camera over a pot and dropped it, shattering the pot. No more cameras. The Belizeans are very particular about keeping their archaeological sites as pristine as possible.

Now, when the Belizeans tell you that you are going to get wet? You are swimming… literally, in caves. Tight spots. In caves. Running creek. In caves. (Did I mention that I am claustrophobic?) Well, off we went. Had to cross 3 rivers some chest deep in cool water.. “Refreshing “ as Emile put it. “Cool” in my words… “YEEHAW!” in Lynda’s words. Which brings up a point. Lynda hasn’t stopped smiling since we arrived. I was worried that the abject poverty of a third world country would somehow diffuse her light. It made it brighter. Her smile is extraordinary, and her spirit is a flame. Such a true joy to watch

So, we hop into the ATM cave where you have to swim in. All the while I have little voices in the back of my head saying, “What happens if we get a flash flood”? Which they just had a few days earlier… but off we went. Our guide, Emil, was full of super cool information about the Mayans and their belief system, the cave formation, and of the biology inside the cave. Emil holds a degree in biology and works locally for a group that are studying the biological systems within Belize. Very smart guy. And loves to rock climb. But I digress

We enter into the cave, dropping low and getting skinny to get in. Tight spaces, and claustrophobia? Screw it; I am having a BLAST… what super cool places to get into. We drop into larger caverns and more education. Stalactite formations, eons of erosion, collapses, and water course changes. But I am fascinated with these caves. Lynda still can’t wipe the smile off her face.

We begin to get back into the caves, and we start finding pottery, still left where the Mayans in 700AD or so originally left the pottery. Deeper we go, testing the darkness by turning off the lights and just taking in the cavern. Into the river again, up into a creek, back down into a river.

A note here, If you are not in shape? You couldn’t do this tour, no question about it. It takes some climbing, twisting, swimming, and some nerve to find your way back to the bone-yards. Yes, the guess in human sacrifices that were meant to help whatever problem the community had at the time. G

Guesses were lack of rains, crop failures, and a host of other issues that needed desperate measures. And the assumption was that since those didn’t work, the civilization broke down and dispersed. These were educated guesses supported by what science could glean from mythology, beliefs, and evidence. All very interesting, and our guide, Emil was full of incredible stories and information.

Christine Cotten? Our  travel agent for this adventure? She simply ROCKS. This was one of the coolest things I have had the privilege to see in my lifetime. Belize? So far, outstanding. It is a country that is beautiful in it’s own right. The people have been friendly, and everyone here is soft-spoken, even the tourists (us) as the land is quiet. My ears are truly enjoying the quietness and peace that the jungle exudes. This, I believe, will prove to be one of our greatest adventures yet.

Ladies? I think I am fulfilling my part of the bargain, I hope this adventure gives you gals something to chat about. You the reader(s) will have to read our blog, “2 days and counting” to understand this part.

Next stop? Tikal in Guatemala.

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

And the count is 2…

Two days… today, then tomorrow, and we take off to fulfill a bucket list trip..

Belize

I know I know, lots of people have been there, and many chose to live there. but for us? this is almost a year in planning, and it is about to come to fruition. So let me rant about that for a moment. Lynda and I have had some spooky life changing crap slap us about the head and shoulders over the years, in particular, serious cancer scares. The roller coaster was one that I would choose out of every time had I been given that choice. And the thing that has driven us to our current situation was a conversation with my younger sister some time back. Lynda’s diagnosis had been bad enough, but my younger sister had decided it was time for a serious conversation.

“What are you going to do if she doesn’t make it”? was the question. Never once, in the entire time we had been dealing with cancer, had that thought ever crossed my mind. It damn near brought me to my knees. I stumbled… I stuttered. I was at a complete loss. The idea that my wife could die came roaring at me like a freight train from hell. and I was stuck on the track like a deer in the headlights. It was Connie, my first wife who died of pancreatic cancer,  again. It was Mom, who died from lung cancer. It was death walking behind me, about to make another call.

I stammered a response, “I don’t know”… go skiing, go hiking, buy a motor-home and leave life; leave society, and vanish. I knew that if I lost her, my world would go up in smoke, and like the ashes, that is all that would be left to me. So left with that thought, I did something my heart would never let me do… I went outside and I lost it. No one knew, and it was no one’s business. This is where I did something I do very seldom… I went outside and asked a favor. Some call it prayer, but this? No, this was a favor. I have always been under the impression that there were 4 spirits of those gone by that were keeping watch over me.

My first wife, Connie, my mom, my grandmother, and the 4th I could never quite pin down.. and it dawned on me, Lynda’s mom. I asked for a favor, simple enough, give us more time, and in return I will give you a story to watch and to enjoy. Just give us more time…. I don’t ask for anything, I always have believed that you get what you give… which brings me to another story…

Lynda was diagnosed with a “spot” on her shoulder in 2008 and the doc said it looked like a metastasis. We freaked. We looked to alternative treatments and found a doctor in Phoenix Arizona who had a pretty good record of treating cancer. So off we went, spending our life savings and everything we could scrape together for the treatment. While we were in Arizon tight for money, scared to death, and all I could focus on was Lynda and how she was dealing with treatments, I pulled into a 7-11 for gas. (A store like 7-11)  I started pumping gas and flitting from one thought to another, but mostly just hoping for a miracle. Out of nowhere, a really BIG black guy appeared in front of me. I never did see where he came from, just kind of popped up and began to speak. Now, I am not being racist or bigoted, but he had to be one of the darkest skinned man I had ever seen and although he wasn’t tall, he was incredibly stocky, the kind of guy that looked like he could bend iron with his bare hands.

He spoke eloquently, kindly, and told me his story of how he got to where he was in life. The story was like one of many I had heard, bad economy, lost a good job, and down on his luck… but as I looked at this man, I really looked at him. I saw beyond the rough but clean clothing, and saw something I could not believe.

There was a palpable aura, a glow coming from this guy, it was of angels… I kid you not. and at this point, I had the incredible feeling that here and now, at that moment, I was at a crux of our lives. A turning point, Karma in full focus. Our lives would entirely depend on how I treated this man. I could easily brush him off like I did most panhandlers, and live with the results. Or help, and live with whatever Karma dealt out.

It was if my world was holding its breath to see what I would do. I listened as he spoke, and I watched his eyes. I have heard that the stories that eyes are the window to the soul. And the soul I saw before me was grand. Beautiful comes to mind, an energy that never again I think I will ever see. The light and the energy that emanated from him was calming and energizing in the same moment.

I asked him to wait a moment, went into the store and came out with some money.. about 60 dollars, and that 60 dollars was a lot more than we could afford.. And I handed it to him. His eyes shone, I mean not like a person who just scored some money, but more like the universe clicking into place. What I witnessed was like nothing I have ever seen, it was as if god himself had smiled on us. I think there is a bible verse (and I am not a Christian), but it says something like

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me”
He was profuse in his thanks, and said something that I usually blow off, but this time? This time I think someone else spoke…

“Thank you” and “Bless you”… Not “God bless you”, but “Bless You”. and he walked away.

Now, he very well could have been just another hard luck story, or just another panhandler looking for an easy mark. But I choose to believe otherwise… It is said that angels walk among us, that at times, they present themselves to us, and how we treat them, how we act toward them can be a turning point for our destiny. I look back at that moment, and the impression that was left on me. With that entire incident in mind I think our destiny together, our lives, Lynda and I, was turned from what would have been a loss into something more…

So project years forward, 4 to be exact, and here we are. Lynda is healthy, I am as well, our lives have become what many dream of, what we dreamt of, and are still creating. It has been beyond any expectation I have ever had, and a comfortable feeling of much to come. Belize is a dream born of reaching out and of giving, of a life worth living… So ladies?

My promise, partially fulfilled. A story worth watching… and I promise that as long as you keep an eye out for us..

I will give you a story worth watching. Stay tuned…

Erick and Lynda

IMG_4910

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

BreckenFRIDGE

Well, day number something since we landed in Breckenridge, and WOO HOO!  We have been having a blast.. Today was the exception… Last night it dropped to -17 degrees and our water froze up, despite my proactive work. insulate hose twice, space heater in wet bay where the tanks are, and temperature gauges in those bays so that I can tell if it gets too cold. Well, it wasn’t enough. Long story short, I will be buying another water hose and make sure it is just long enough to get to the bay, and insulate/heat tape the entire hose. It will be a process, but necessary. and it is -8 right now at 9:00 pm

But that is enough of the trials and tribulations. Today was EPIC… the sun came out about 10, and we made it to Keystone by 10:30.. on the mountain by about 11:30 and WOW… The snow was spectacular, the sun was out, and we stayed warm with our 5 layers of clothing… The skiing was the best we have had since we have been here. We even bounced through the “bumps.”

For those not familiar, skiers and snowboarders can find runs that have not been groomed by machines, and in the process create a LOT of “bumps” where the snow hills twist and turn, creating one hell of a way to get down a hill. Now, if you have short skis they can be fun.. but I ski on long wide 185’s which are quite long by any stretch. and when it comes to shaped skis, it makes them very fast but not maneuverable on “bumps”… but fun anyhow. Only a couple of “holy shit” moments.

But the rest of the day? Flying 2 inches off the ground in some very sweet snow.

Below is the view from the lift that is open

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Below is a frozen creek, and us in the parking lot gearing up for the day

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Keystone

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So today was a GREAT day, working on more.. Tomorrow? Hoping for more of the same.. will see. But the bottom line? We truly love the life we are living…

Life is good

life is good skiing

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