Welcome to our blog

Us at Arcadia Beach

Welcome all who have found their way to our family blog.

We have been working on this for about a week, testing links out, etc and now feel ready to make it available to everyone.  I’m sure there are going to be issues that we’ll work out as well as things we’ll add as the blog progresses.  I’ll probably add more links, pages and categories as things progress.  But for now, this should be fine.

Shelley and I hope to update the blog regularly, but not sure what that really means.  Daily?  Weekly?  At least weekly.  Maybe more often once we get into the swing of things.

Feel free to offer recommendations or things you would like to see added that Shelley and I may be missing.

My Big 5-Oh

Trying to get back into writing on my blog. I have to admit that posting little snippets to Facebook is much easier and it has taken me away from the blog for some time.  So I thought I’d come back with a recap to my 50th Birthday week.

It’s kind of fitting, in a way, as Shelley and I spent three days and four nights on Mt Rainier this past week for our 2nd and 3rd summit, respectively.  We are now a multi-summit of Mt Rainier family.  Not too shabby.

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The Summit of Mt Rainier

Rainier wasn’t a blue bird trip, but it was pretty close.

The forecast was calling for rain and storms on our approach days, but the storm waited us out for about 12 hours so we got above it on our way to Camp Schurman.  We did get some precipitation but we were well above the 7,500 ft freezing level by that time and just got some light dusting of snow.

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Camp Schurman

The wind, however, was a bit more of an issue.

The wind started on day two as we set our tents at Camp Schurman and didn’t stop till the following late morning as we made our way up the last snow field to the summit.  The wind also made us start a bit later than we would have liked.

We woke at about 4:00 am and started climbing around 5:30 am.  It was easier to stay warm during our breaks with the sun up than it would have been had we left in the dark at 1:00 am.  It was pretty cold, but nothing like we’ve experienced in other places.

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10,500 feet. An hour out of Camp Schurman.

We made it up and back in about 10 hours.

Although the summit wasn’t right on my birthday, it was still pretty cool to be back in the mountains again.

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Around 13,500 feet on Mt Rainier.

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Moving up to Camp Schruman from our camp 1 on day 2.

My sister, Sylvia, was putting us up in Seattle for this trip and she and her husband, Bruce, picked us up when we got back.

Seattle may be beautiful and all (during the summer) and it has great food and places to see, but it also has traffic.  Really, really……….really bad traffic.  Sylvia and Bruce live about 6-1/2 miles from Alpine Ascent’s office and that round trip too 1:34 minutes.  Yep, 13-mile round trip in 1 hour and 34 minutes.  I even took a photo of Bruce’s car’s trip computer to prove it.  Man alive.

We planned this Rainier trip last fall/winter and then in January or so we learned that Ken Griffey Jr was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and the weekend we came down off the mountain was going to be Ken Griffey Jr Weekend at SafeCo Field.  So we bought tickets for two of those games, Friday and Saturday, to watch all those festivities.

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The Hall of Fame Kid.

Both games were great.  Both games were Mariner come-from-behind wins in the late innings.  Saturday was like a playoff game with a sold out crowd and lots of pomp and circumstance with the retirement of Griffey’s number and all.

What a lot of fun.

Saturday, Sylvia organized a birthday brunch for me with those family members living in Seattle.  My other, wiser, sister Barbara and my brother Bob and their family all came by for the brunch.  Sylvia really knows how to put on a spread and celebration.

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Thanks, Sylvia for doing all that.  It was really great.

I got some good cigars (one of which I am smoking now as I write this post) and some other cool stuff.  Barbara got me a Roman numeral “L” shirt that she said stands for “50” but I have other ideas about her true intention.

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Birthday loot.

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Shelley and I drove back to Boise on Sunday and on Monday I had a low key birthday get together here in town.

We met some family and friends at Payette Brewery, had some beers and caught up with some people I hadn’t seen in some time.  Then Shelley took me to a nice dinner and chocolate fondue dessert.

Pretty nice day over all.  And a pretty awesome week.

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Shelley and I at dessert

I stood on top of Rainier for the 3rd time, saw two great ball games, had a great family brunch and hung out with friends and my beautiful wife.

I’m a pretty lucky 5-0.

Some shout outs now.

Thanks to my sister Carol and my niece Sierra for house sitting and baby sitting our dogs while we were gone.  Without them doing that, climbing Rainier and having such a great week would never have been possible.  Thank you two so much.

Thanks to Sylvia and Bruce for putting us up in their house and for the great hospitality….like always.

Thanks to everyone for coming by for brunch, Barbara/Jim, Monica/Joe and Bob/Jennifer.  The gifts and vices I received were very thoughtful.

Thanks to everyone who came by for a beer at Payette and the cards and gifts, Andy, Sue/Hawk, Travis, Ty, Dean, Noah/Amy and Bev/Greg.

And of course to my lovely, beautiful wife Shelley.  After 9-ish years of climbing, she still enjoys going up mountains with me and sharing in those hardships.  She’s so strong, smart, fit and thoughtful.  It was her idea to climb Rainier the week of my 50th birthday and it was her planning that brought everyone together in Boise.  It was a great week and I’m glad I shared it with you.

A Lack of Customer Service at The Market Arms

I’ve gotten use to a certain lack in customer service over the last few years, but what happened to us on Sunday, September 27 at The Market Arms in Ballard, Seattle tops all expectations of poor customer service.

As most who read this blog know, we live in Boise. We lived in Seattle for a number of years and spend 3 – 6 weeks of time coming back to visit every year. In July of 2010 we found a new soccer pub in Ballard called The Market Arms. Great soccer atmosphere for games. We’ve watched a number of out of town Sounders games there, UEFA games and Championship games. Their food has always been good and the wait staff have always been nice and efficient.

But on Sunday, we got to meet the owner, John Bayliss.

In order to explain things in context, I need to set the stage a bit.

This Sunday there were two sporting events taking place, nearly simultaneously. The SoundersFC were playing a key game against Kansas City on the road at 2:00 pm and the Seahawks were playing at home against Chicago at 1:25 pm.

Shelley had more interest in the Sounders game and I just wanted to be able to keep track of both. In the big scheme of things, the Sounders game was more important in the playoff run, so I had a bit more interest there as well.

So we needed a place that would have both games on. Having been going to The Market Arms since 2010, we knew they would find a way to have the Sounders. So we left my sister’s house early to go there first and check it out.

When we arrived, we found they had their five inside televisions labeled with which game would be on which TV. They split their restaurant into half with 2 TVs showing the Sounders and 3 TVs showing the Seahawks. Having got there a little before noon, we had our choice of tables and we picked a good one that had perfect views of two TVs. One was labeled “Sounders” and the other one was currently playing the Dallas/Atlanta game and was labeled “Seahawks.” The two TVs labeled “Sounders” were turned off. We found out later there was a WNBA Championship game taking place on ESPN (the channel showing the Sounders game).

So we thought we had the perfect set up. We arrived early enough to get a good seat to watch both games. We ordered a couple beers and an appetizer of potato skins and hunkered down till kickoff.

Just before the Seahawks kickoff we ordered another round of drinks and lunch.

Things got silly around 2:00.

The restaurant started filling up with Seahawk fans around 1:00, with many of them overflowing into the Sounders half of the restaurant. The two TVs over there were still off. Many of these people were asking about the TV situation and our waitress was telling them that the TVs tagged with “Sounders” would be showing that game at 2:00. When the Seahawk game started, on of the TVs labeled “Sounders” (the one we were going to watch) was changed to the Seahawk game. The other Sounders TV was still off. Needless to say, there was no where to sit over by the other “Sounders” TV now as that area of the restaurant was full of Sounders fans. Our perfect seat was in jeopardy. We asked our waitress if the game would be switched and we were told if it said “Sounders,” it would show the Sounders.

The Sounders kickoff was delayed 15-ish minutes to accommodate the end of the WNBA game. When the only indoor Sounders TV was turned on, the one at the other end of the restaurant away from us, the WNBA game was just wrapping up. The Sounders then kicked off and the TV closest to us that was supposed to show the Sounders, still had the Seahawks game on.

So, we did what anyone in our position would do. We asked our waitress if the TV could be switched to the Sounders. I watched her walk over to the owner, John, who mouthed “no” to her. Their conversation went on for a few moments and she came back to us and told us she was told there were technical reasons the channel couldn’t be switched. Something about switching this TV would affect the other three TVs showing the Seahawks game. I suspected this was BS, but I couldn’t say anything about it.

A few moments later the waitress brought the owner over to explain what was going on, but he went to the wrong table. There was a group of Sounders fans sitting next to us and he went up to them and said, “You want to watch the Sounders? There’s a table on the patio. You can go out back.” They didn’t move. I don’t even recall them saying anything to him.

Our waitress was standing behind him and told him he was at the wrong table and he came over to us and, leaning on the table in front of me, asked us “You want to watch the game?” I’ve been around long enough to know this was a “gotcha” question that had no correct answer. If I said yes, he would tell me to go out to the patio, if I said, no, the conversation would be over.

So I thought I’d try to explain our situation. How we got here at noon, picked out seat specifically for it’s location to both TVs, etc. When I tried to talk, he interrupted me with, “Do you want to watch the game?” I tried to talk again and he interrupted me a second time, “Do you want to watch the game?” I tried to explain things again, and he interrupted me a third time, “Do you want to watch the game?” This time, exasperated, I said, “Dude, you gonna let me talk and finish a sentence or you just gonna keep interrupting me?” He said, “There’s a table on the patio out back if you want to watch the game.” He then waved his hand at my face, giving me the “brush off,” and turned his back and started walking off.

So, I called him a jerk.

Now, did I say “fucking jerk”? Or “you’re a jerk”? Or “Way to be a jerk”? Honestly, I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter. His arrogant attitude, condescending behavior….his lack of concern for a customer’s complaint and his indifference made him a jerk. He was a jerk.

He heard me and turned back around and got right in my space. Up close and personal. Stuck his finger in my face and started yelling at me for calling him a jerk. He told me how he wasn’t gonna stand for being called names and how I wouldn’t answer his question. I tried to explain again that he wouldn’t let me talk or finish a sentence, and he interrupted me again, over and over. I couldn’t even get four words out. Having to talk over him I said, “You’re doing it again. You keep interrupting me and won’t let me speak.”

His reply? He sticks his middle finger in my face and says, “Fuck off!”

At this point, the only negative thing I said to him was calling him a jerk. I never swore at him, never disparaged his mother, family or staff. I was just trying to explain our position and he didn’t care and refused to listen to me. When I called him on it, he tells me to “Fuck off.”

Yeah, real professional. Real good customer service.

Now he storms away. Evidently, the Seahawk game is staying on the TV we, and those Sounders fans around us, thought was going to show the Sounders.

Our waitress came back over and apologized. She said she thought the Sounders would be on that TV, etc. She was very nice. Very embarrassed. When she left, the Sounders game was now on the TV that the Seahawks game was on. The TV that was labeled “Sounders.”

But wait a second….didn’t the owner tell our waitress there were technical reasons it couldn’t be switched? Yeah, he did.

So now he’s a liar too. He lies to his own staff, so they can pass the lie on to his customers.

What a jerk. What a fucking jerk.

After our waitress left, another woman approached and we had a conversation with her. She tried to explain that, “He’s really not a jerk.” Okay, maybe he’s not. Maybe he is Mother Theresa during the other 99.99999% of his life. I get it. People have bad days. But right then, right at that moment when he’s interrupting me, arrogant, condescending and waving me off like a fly…..he was a jerk. This woman really did try to explain things, but there really isn’t much she could say. I felt she was in a very difficult position and I was polite with her.

At one point the John Bayliss came back over, interjected himself into our conversation and said something about being at work since 5:00 am, working hard and, “I’m not going to be called names!” Then he looked at me and told me to, “Fuck off!” again before walking away. Oh, yeah, none of us (including his employee) could get a word in edgewise. She was even trying to shoo him away and he would have none of it.

I finished my conversation with this second woman and things were over.

We were asked if we needed anything as the second half of both games were still left to play, but we were done. I had no intention of ordering another beer or any more food. We couldn’t really leave as we had no where we could get to in order to watch either of the games. Being from out of town, we couldn’t go home and my sister was watching the Seahawks at their house.

So we stayed and drank water till the Sounders were over.

In the end, our waitress gave us our bill and she took two beers off our tab, leaving us with a $41 bill, before her tip. Yes, I did tip her. She was great. Plus, I assume the owner doesn’t get any of the tip money.
So, after being lied to by the owner, being treated like garbage by the owner, being waved off like a fly by the owner and being told to “Fuck off” by the owner, they took two beers off my tab.

That was pretty disappointing, too.

Needless to say, we are never going back to that place.

Bittersweet

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I am sitting here in the kitchen of our Seattle house writing this post. I figured this would be the best place to talk about this decision, as it did not come lightly. Shelley and I have talked about it for a few years, since the spring of 2012, but events over the last 12 months are really what brought us the decision to sell our Seattle house. Last Tuesday, March 3rd, we accepted an offer on it and this week we came back here for one last visit to the house as well as bring home some of the belongings we have here.

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Our agent did a great job getting the house ready and playing the market. There is no inventory here in Seattle and so it’s a sellers market right now. So he put it on the market on a Wednesday with a 5-day hold on offers. The open house was the following Sunday. He wanted to hold all offers till after the open house. As you can see, we had a lot of traffic. In the end, we had 6 offers and three were $60k+ over asking. The house was on the market for 6 days. Maybe the house was priced a bit low, but our agent warned us going in he wanted to do that in order to get multiple offers. It worked. We’re not disappointed.

This is a bittersweet moment because of the memories in this house over the last 27 years coupled with the price we accepted.

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My parents bought this house in 1988 with the help of my sister, Sylvia and her husband Bruce. My parents, never a wealthy pair and renters for the previous 12 years, couldn’t swing the financing at the time to buy the place for $86k-ish. I was stationed at Fort Polk at the time, so I didn’t grow up here. I didn’t see the house until I came home on leave prior to shipping out to Korea in 1989.

My dad soon turned family barbecues into a regular event here. He usually barbecued a turkey on a rotisserie. He planted some shrubs, built an arbor and planted grapes, planted some fruit trees and started a flower garden in the back yard and along the front of the house.  I only have one photo of these flower gardens he planted.

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When my dad poured the concrete to have a nice spot for the barbecue in the back, my niece drew out here name in the wet cement. It’s still there.

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I came home from the Army in 1990 and moved into the unfinished basement. I spent the next couple years trying to get my act together, go back to school and get out of my parents house. My parents were okay with me staying here. They had no issues and I could have stayed here as long as I wanted. The free rent for me was great too. But when you’re 25, the last place you want to be living is in your parent’s basement.

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As I got ready to move out, my dad’s health turned worse and he passed away in August of 1993. He was fortunate enough to be able to choose for himself that he wanted to come home, to this house. He passed away in the master bedroom with my mom at his side. It was the middle of the night. Most of my family was in town, staying with other family and friends, and I made the phone call to my sister to let her know and she in turn called everyone else.

When everyone got here, I was sitting on the couch in the living room holding my mom. Well, we were holding each other. We all gathered here in the living room for the next few hours. There might have been some beers involved.

My dad’s death changed a lot of things. Primarily, it changed my mom’s finances. She was going to lose the house now with half the income gone. So I decided to stay here, in the basement, and help out with the mortgage until she figured things out. That lasted till 1998. I didn’t mind. I just had to tell the girls I met that I lived in my mother’s basement.

I was single for a long time.

In 1998, Bruce’s company consolidated their business and moved their headquarters to Boise, Idaho. They offered my mom the chance to move there with them. She was about 78 and the house was just too much for her and she wanted to sell it. By this time I had my affairs figured out and, with some convincing from my siblings, my mom sold me the house. I didn’t rate the financing, just like my mom and dad didn’t in 1988, but with some “creative financing” we got the deal done and the house was mine.

A few weeks later I met Shelley and I wasn’t living in my mom’s basement anymore. Whew, that was close.

After moving to Boise in 2001 the house was a rental till 2008. I went through some really, really crappy tenants. By 2008, the house was a mess. I had a property management company running things, but still, the house got trashed.

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Shelley and I decided to make the house a vacation home for ourselves. We also talked a friend of mine, Robert, into moving in to keep the place lived in while we were gone. All he had to do was pay $600 a month, all the utilities and mow the yard. By 2012 he had screwed that simple, little deal up. I had to evict him in January of 2015.

When the house became a rental in 2001, I had to take out some of the fruit trees my dad planted. The tenants simply didn’t care about them and it was expensive to maintain them from Boise. I couldn’t bring myself to cut them all down, so I left one apple tree. I also left the plum tree, that is really a sucker, but has always been quite nice. You can see it in full bloom in the photo.

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I had to take out the flower gardens, of course, but left the front hedge my dad planted. My dad’s grape vines didn’t survive the rental period either.

After Robert moved into the house in July of 2008, Shelley and remodeled the basement to make it a nice, vacation spot for us to come visit Seattle. My mom never got to see it finished as she passed away in July of 2009 and it wasn’t completed until January of 2010.

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Shelley and I used the house a lot over the last 5 years. We had first talked about selling in 2012. We were debating whether to remodel the upstairs and patio or sell and buy something finished in Seattle. Ultimately, we chose not to sell and didn’t want to remodel since the house was just a vacation stop for us at the time. You have to understand, the basement is really nicely done. Shelley and I made an agreement in 2008 that if we remodeled the basement we would never turn the house back into a rental only to have more tenants trash the house again.

It has never ceased to amaze me how many people simply don’t care about other people’s property. They didn’t care if their dog peed on the rug and the rug sat on the hardwood floor and ruined the finish. They didn’t care if the sewer backed up and there was human waste on the floor for four days and ruined the hardwoods.

Mow the yard? Why mow the yard?

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Grease splatters on the kitchen ceiling? No reason to clean that up.

I could go on and on. Maybe it was just bad luck, I don’t know. I know it’s a small sample size of tenants, but my sample size sucked. Ultimately, we didn’t want to spend that much money on a new basement, or go further with a new kitchen and remodel the upstairs, only to have someone trash it again. I didn’t want to see the house in that condition again.

So here I am, sitting in the kitchen having accepted an offer. The same kitchen where I helped my mom and dad make dinners. Where another one of my nephews celebrated his 1st birthday. This is the house where I kissed Shelley for the first time….okay, she’ll say she kissed me. This is the house where my family celebrated my dad’s life with a turkey I barbecued on the rotisserie…..having learned how do that from the lessons he taught me in this backyard.

Financially, this house was always going to be another form of investment for us. Something for us to hang on to and use as a place to park some money for our retirement. Someday we would need to sell it. If we held on to it for another 15 years, I’d feel the same way then as I do now. I’d just be writing this later than sooner. I’ve tried to look at this transaction like any other transaction I’ve done over the years, but the history and emotions are just inescapable.

Shelley has asked me a dozen times over the last few months, “Are you okay with this?”  I’m okay with it.

It sucks, but I’m okay.

Today’s Thought on Capitalism and Freedom

This quote has been making the rounds lately and I wanted to take some time to post it and spread it around a bit myself.

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“No citizen can be secure while our peace forces are subject to murderous attacks in the street.  No officer can be expected to perform his duty at a high level which the public properly expects of him if he must be continually apprehensive that even his most routine activities will bring him face-to-face with senseless and unprovoked gunfire.  This deadly violence is wholly indiscriminate.  Any policeman, at any time, has become a target for a killer, and this is plainly intolerable.  Any person who commits an armed assault on a police officer will be hunted with every resource available to this Department.  We will not conduct business as usual while a would-be cop killer is loose.  I call upon all citizens to consider clearly what effect impassioned rhetoric condemning all policemen may have on the desperate or deranged.  A climate of hostility that equates policemen with animals is unquestionably in my view encourages the possibility of lethal violence against the men who are sworn to provide safety and justice for all our citizens and who, with very few exceptions, live up to this duty.”

NYPD Commissioner Patrick Murphy, 1970-1973

It’s Not About What’s Wrong With You

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”

– Jose Narosky

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As our combat veterans have returned from overseas, more awareness is being placed on their medical treatment or some would say, “lack thereof.”  These medical issues have led to headline stories concerning Post Traumatic Stress.  Some like to call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  But I don’t subscribe to the notion of it being a disorder.  It’s not about what’s wrong with you.  It’s about what happened to you.

On this Veterans Day I wanted to pay remembrance to all our veterans by re-posting a quote from Lt Col Dave Grossman’s concerning the psychological impact of combat.

“Swank and Marchand’s World War II study noted the existence of 2 percent of combat soldiers who are predisposed to be “aggressive psychopaths” and apparently do not experience the normal resistance to killing and the resultant psychiatric casualties associated with extended periods of combat.  But the negative connotations associated with the term “psychopath,” or its modern equivalent “sociopath,” are inappropriate here, since this behavior is a generally desirable one for soldiers in combat.  It would be absolutely incorrect to conclude that 2 percent of all veterans are psychopathic killers.  Numerous studies indicate that combat veterans are no more inclined to violence than nonvets.  A more accurate conclusion would be that there is 2 percent of the male population that, if pushed or if given a legitimate reason, will kill without regret or remorse.  What these individuals represent – and this is terribly important point that I must emphasize – is the capacity for the levelheaded participation in combat that we as a society glorify and that Hollywood would have us believe that all soldiers possess.  In the course of interviewing veterans as part of this study I have met several individuals who may fit within this 2 percent, and since returning from combat they have, without fail, proven themselves to be above average contributors to the prosperity and welfare of our society.”

I’m not a psychiatrist and I’m not writing this post to come to any concrete conclusions about the “why’s” and “how’s.”  I’m using this Veterans Day more to make you think about what exactly the combat veteran has gone through, what they have seen, what they have done and what they are bring back home with them.

Happy Veterans Day.  Thank you.

An Update From Boise

I haven’t written one of these in some time so I thought it was about time I did one.

A few years ago Shelley and I invited Travis and Courtney in on a business idea that I came up with.  I decided to look into the possibility of starting a brewery for my post-retirement gig.  Then last summer we entered three beers into beer judging contest and won third place in one of the categories and got great feed back on the other two.  This gave us the confidence to take another step towards our goal and we ended up building a mini-brewery in the backyard of Travis and Courtney’s house.  Well, in a shop in their backyard.

This construction took much longer then we anticipated.  From about mid-December to mid-April.  That construction took up all my free time as well.  While Shelley was dedicated to getting herself in climbing shape for Rainier in the summer of 2014, I was too busy every weekend and most days before I went to work, building the brewery.  The consequences was such that there wasn’t enough time left for me to get ready for Rainier.

Our plan had been to climb Rainier as independents at the end of July 2014.  We really want to take a shot at it without guides.  So we planned on a 4 – 5 day window that would allow us to sit at Camp Muir for an extra day or so if weather wasn’t perfect and this would also give us good acclimation time as well.

Our schedule was going to be arrive at Paradise the night before and stay at the hotel on Sunday night.  This would allow us to cut out the driving time from Seattle and let us climb early Monday morning before it started getting too hot.  Hopefully we’d be up at Camp Muir well before noon.  If the weather forecast for the week was beautiful, we’d stay at Camp Muir that night and into Wednesday to make sure we got acclimated well.  Then we’d leave for the summit Wednesday night around midnight and return to Camp Muir sometime Thursday morning.  Depending on how we felt, we could either descend back down to Paradise Thursday or wait till Friday morning.

I know that’s a long schedule for, what can be, a 2-day climb of Rainier.  But being our first independent climb, we wanted to make sure we took things slowly.  Although we’ve been up there a few times now, we don’t know the route well enough if the weather was bad.  We wanted to make sure the route was beaten down enough to follow it easily.  We also wanted to make sure we were good and acclimated.  No reason to rush up from Camp Muir the same day we arrived.  We just felt it would be better to take a day.  And lastly, I hate coming down Rainier from the summit on hot summer afternoons.  Man that sucks.  So I wanted to wait till Friday morning to descend to Paradise.

Also, being independents, there weren’t going to be any guides helping with our supplies this time.  It was all on us.  All our food, fuel, tent, ropes and climbing gear was going to be on us.  Unlike when you go with guides when you don’t carry a tent, fuel, ropes, etc.  So, by the time I got the mini-brewery built, I was left with just 2 1/2 months before the climb.  It just didn’t seem right to take the chance of not being ready.

Shelley and I do not have our next climbing adventure thought out yet.  I guess we could do something this winter like Ecuador or Kilimanjaro.  We’ve discussed waiting on Kili until after we retire.  We’ve been looking at Ecuador for some time, but it doesn’t appear we’ll be doing that this winter.  Maybe the winter of 2015.

We had a pretty good run of Denali, Russia and two trips to the Swiss Alps in three years.  But that cost a pretty penny too.  That was another reason for trying for Rainier as independents, it’s cheaper that way.

Neither of us want to stop climbing.  We’ll just have to see what is in store for us.

If you’d like to check out and/or follow what is going on over at the brewery, you can follow that blog at this link.  The brewery is also on Facebook and Twitter.  There isn’t a lot going on right now over there as we are still in the very early stages of recipe formulation and learning about the industry.  We aren’t in a hurry over there so we are still looking at a few years before we start the licensing process.

As time and events dictate, I’ll keep this family blog updated so everyone knows what we’re up to.  But our life isn’t all that exciting when we aren’t traveling.  Lots of hours put in at work when we are home, which is why we like to get away as often as we can.

Thanks for following along.

The Warrior

Happy Veteran’s Day to all the veterans out there.  I heard the poem below narrated in a video and transcribed it here.  I don’t know who wrote it, but I found it fitting for today.

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It is the Warrior, not the poet who has given us Freedom of Speech.

It is the Warrior who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

It is the Warrior who is the POW who went away one person and came back another or hasn’t come back at all.

it is the Warrior who are the drill instructors who have saved countless lives by turning average individuals into Warriors and teaching them to watch each other’s back.

The Warrior is the parading Legionnaire who pins on medals with a prosthetic hand.

The Warrior is an ordinary and extraordinary human being who offered some of life’s most vital years in the service to their country and who sacrificed life’s ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice their own.

It is the Warrior, a savior, a sword against the darkness who has nothing more then the finest, greatest testimony to and behalf of the finest and greatest nation ever known.

–    Unknown

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