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.

barbara and the %22L%22 shirt

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.

shelley and I at dessert

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.

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6 Responses to “My Big 5-Oh”

  1. burl Says:

    Played golf at 25,000 feet, not impressive, Dad; just kidding, took jet to the course, La Paz, Bolivia. Set the course record, for Sports Illustrated.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  2. burl Says:

    Just kidding really the same height, Dad

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  3. burl Says:

    I am really proud of what you accomplished! Especially at 50! Dad

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  4. sylibrat Says:

    This sounds like one of your best weeks here yet! So many memorable activities. We’re glad we could be a part if it.

    Like

  5. rich Says:

    It really was a great visit!

    Like

  6. rich Says:

    Thanks, Burl. It was a bit tougher getting in climbing shape, that’s for sure.

    Like


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