Friday, August 28, 2009

Ideas that cost money.

I am toying with the idea of taking a mountaineering course next spring/summer in Washington with a long term goal of climbing Denali and Cho Oyu with in 5-10 years. I am almost 95% I am going to take the course next year but beyond that things are a little hazy. Mountaineering is very expensive. A sponsor would be cool. Frank I am looking your way, I promise to wear your patches and fly your flag from the top of either Denali or Cho Oyu. Normally Everest is a goal for the aspiring mountaineer, but there are a few reasons that isn't even in my sights. It would cost me about 50 - 75k which I do not have. The success rate is far to low and for the price you have to pay it is not worth it. And it is much much to dangerous. So after some research I found that Cho Oyu is an 8000m peak and is much better to attempt. The success rate is much higher. It isn't "as" dangerous as Everest, but yet you get the experience of what it is like to work at that altitude. It is the 6th highest peak in the world and that seems to suit me fine. I am kind of a 6th kind of guy.

This all started last winter. I had this strange revelation when I was skiing at Big Sky and I stopped to rest while skiing Liberty Bowl, which is a run that starts from the top of Lone Peak at 11,166'. Anyway, I stopped to rest like I said, I sat down in the snow and started looking around at the beautiful scenery. And then it hit me, holy shit I was sitting on the side of this giant piece of rock. I looked around, I was the only person there, it was silent except for the wind blowing lightly. I swear to god that I could hear the snow hitting the ground. I felt so small in the world. It was the weirdest and most incredible feeling I have ever had. I sat there for about 10 minutes and just thought about how when I am gone this mountain will still be here and that maybe some other lucky person will stop in this spot and have the same feeling. Then I started thinking, this mountain is 11,166' high. I have skied probably about 1000 or so vertical feet so I am still above 10,000 but there are places on earth that are twice and almost three times this high. Denali 20,000, Cho Oyu is 26,000, and of course Everest at 29,0029. I started thinking what would it be like to sit in the snow on the side of one of those and look off into the distance. What would that be like? Well, I think I want to find out.

The class is an 8 day mountaineering training session on Mount Rainier in Washington. I think I have found the place that I am going to do the class through so now I just need to make the decision, and start collecting some gear that I will need. Luckily I have the most supportive wife in the whole world, she knows of the revelation that I had on Lone Peak and understands my whims better then anyone. She has a beautiful and VERY understanding heart. I told her of the costs and she said that was fine we will figure things out. So I guess I really don't have any excuse not to do it. Hmmm what to do, what to do...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So anyway. It is a cloudy rainy day here in the beautiful twin cities area of Minnesota. Even though I am not a football fan what so ever, I guess I have to mention that the Vikings signed Brett Favre to the team yesterday. I was listening to the radio on the way into work this morning and now all anyone is talking about is how the Vikings are going to win the superbowl. I think that is so funny. I remember a few years back after signing some player, I have no idea which one they were going to win the superbowl as well and I think didn't even make it to the play offs. I guess I hope they would make it and win, I guess that would be cool, although it would not make a bit of difference at all in my quest to retire early...

I have begun to look at my new text books for my up coming classes and I have to say that they both look really interesting and I am really looking forward for my classes to start. My Psychology book really looks good so I am hoping that the instructor is good and that the class is interesting and fun. I am also taking personal wellness, and that class looks interesting as well.

Melissa and I have a couple of long weekends planned and I can't wait for them. It will be nice to get away again. One of them is up to Lutsen which will be fun, we both love it up there and it will be great to head up, and just hang out. We don't really have anything special planned while we are going to be there, so we will just go with it and see what happens.

We are also planning a BWCA trip for early October. I am nervously excited about that trip. I am hoping that everything comes off without a hitch and that we are able to go. Melissa is still waiting to hear on her vacation time.

It is Wednesday and I am feeling lazy again today. The weather perfect lazy day weather...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lazy Days

Lately I have just really been feeling lazy. I think I have ridden my bikes a total of about 200 miles this year. I just have had no desire at all. It just hasn't been that fun to me for some reason. Oh well. I think it might be the crappy summer weather we are having either it is cold or it is hotter then hell and humid. Anyway. I am taking two classes this fall, they start next Monday and I am looking forward to them as I inch ever closer to my degree. I really enjoy taking classes, it is a great distraction from every day life and I love to learn. I really think I am enjoying college much more now as an adult then I would have straight out of high school. Although I am now to old to do what I really think I should have.

Melissa and I are planning a trip to the BWCA for the first weekend in October. It looks like I am finally going to get up there. I have been talking about it forever and was to chicken to pull the trigger. Looks like this is going to be the year. We have a tenative route picked out and have our entry point. I even have a outfitter chosen for our canoe rental. We are starting to plan for gear and get things together. Luckily we have a ton of stuff so really the only thing we will have to rent is canoes and paddles. I am excited about the prospect of finally getting a trip in up there. The weather hopefully will be good. It will be nice and cool and hopefully there will not be any bugs and hopefully no bears.

I have really no had much desire to work lately either which isn't a huge shock to anyone but coming back from Hawaii and then going back to work was really hard. I wish I knew what I wanted to do when I grow up. I am just not sure that being an IT guy is it.

My 20 year High School reunion is this weekend. I am really looking forward to that. it should be great. I can't wait to see other people that I have not seen since high school. Should be an interesting night.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Much to talk about. I am sorry I have been away for so long. I was really trying to be better at updating but apparently I suck. Anyway. Wow, Melissa and I just got back from our vacation to Maui. We were going to go camping in Yellowstone and in Jackson Hole but I found an unbelievable deal to the Ritz Carlton at Kapalua in Maui and it was incredible in every way. We left on Friday July 24th, had a nice flight to Phoenix and then changed planes and flew then on to Maui. We upgraded to first class for the flight and it was awesome. Nice comfy seats and good food and drinks. We landed in Maui at about 230 in the afternoon, got our convertible and headed to the hotel. The drive to the hotel was beautiful right along the ocean. We found our hotel checked in and were incredibly happy with our room. It was an awesome room, with views of the ocean and the golf course. We were both so happy. The environment was so beautiful. We hadn't even been there 3 hours and we were both so happy. We settled in and then headed down to the beach. I really wanted to get into the ocean. Our beach was perfect, long white sand beach, the water was warm and the sun was out. It was great. After the beach we headed back and changed for dinner. We had a club level room so there were 5 included food times during the day which turned out to be really excellent. And we took advantage of all of them. There was a breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, appetisers, and a deesert. Even though they were billed as "light" there was a lot of food and more then enough to make a meal out of. They were all really nice. First day in the books was a complete success.

The rest of the week, went pretty much like this. Get up at about 715ish, go have breakfast, go to the beach, or into town shopping or site seeing, come back to the hotel have lunch, head back out to the pool or more beach time or more site seeing and shopping, maybe have the tea time if around the hotel, or be back by 6 to have the "dinner" then relax maybe go down for a dessert, or just hang out in the room and watch a little TV and then hit the rack by a little after 10. We got up early every day and went to bed pretty early everynight. Hanging out in the sun made us both sleepy, but we got good sleep every night, so we were ready to go each day. I have never stayed in a hotel that was so quiet at night and where I slept so good. It was heavenly.

Some fun extra things we did: We went out on a catamaran and went sailing and snorkeling. Which was great, the boat was awesome as was the snorkeling site. They took us to Honolua Bay which was great. Lots of fish, saw 3 huge sea turtles, and lots of great coral. The reefs there were a little different then the stuff I have seen in the Caribbean. So it was neat to see a different reef system. We ended up going back there for snorkeling again on our own. We also went surfing which was really fun. Both Melissa and I did pretty well. We both got a couple of great rides in, it was great. I can't wait to go again and give it another try. We also did a lot of shopping and looking around at other beaches. Lots and lots of fun.

Hawaii is a great place and we were so gald that we went. It is very expensive. But it is amazing. Life is good there, Maui is so laid back and awesome. Everyone has a surfboard on their car and there aren't really any big cities so everything is pretty local and fun.

Now is back to reality and life is back to the ho-hum pace... I am already starting to think about the next trip. I am hoping Melissa and I can get to Chicago here before fall and also we are thinking about our big ski trip. I think we are headed back to Big Sky in most likely the end of February. I am looking forward to skiing already.

My 20 year high school reunion is a few weeks away. I am looking forward to going to that and seeing everyone. Should be interesting.