Live Free or Die: Let’s go Climb Some Ice

The end of the trip is a little late compared to all the rest of the posts! A term was coming to a close, and midterms happened and then spring break!

My brother and I left Lebanon, NH around 5:30 in the morning to head to North Conway for the ice climbing adventure. It was about a 2 hour drive up to the White Mountains.

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The sunrise was gorgeous! North Conway is a little mountain resort town that is small and quaint. We got to International Mountain Equipment and got all suited up for the day. Ice axes, crampons, climbing rope and helmets were issued mostly to me since my brother had everything. Before we even left, an accident occurred. My brother slipped on some ice and kicked a hole in his car. Whoops! He wasn’t happy, but it was still funny! It was about a 5 minute drive to Cathedral Ledge, which in the summer is a huge rock face, but now is covered in ice, blue ice to be exact which means the ice is fresh and not old.

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Ice climbing is hard and tiring, but it was so much fun. The legs do all the work, almost like doing squats the whole time you are climbing up the pitch. We started on a 4, which is not the easiest, so I felt a little better after it took me a million years to get up it. I also fell about 4 times, but not far since it was a top rope climb. Lead climbing would be a different story.

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We also did some repelling, which was so much fun!

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We finished the day and headed back to Lebanon and ate at a little diner. We then both went to bed. It was a very eventful night!

So with all this being said I crossed another item off my 101 in 1001 list,

38. Go ice climbing!

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Live Free or Die – Cardigan Mountain

It was surprising warm this past weekend in Lebanon. My brother got off work around 9am, earlier than expected. We debated on what we were going to do that day since the next day we decided to go ice climbing. We got some breakfast at the local diner. They had some great bacon!

We then went over to Eastern Mountain Sports so I could rent some snow shoes. EMS is like REI, but so much better in my opinion. They have kayaks and bikes and climbing gear plus clothes. There is also a LL Bean next door to this EMS, so we looked around in there as well. After we got changed and got all the gear in Jake’s car we headed out to Cardigan Mountain State Park in Orange, NH. It spans over 5,700 acres. It is absolutely gorgeous. During the summer there is an access rode that takes you to the parking lot, but since it is winter. the access rode was covered in snow. This is where the snow shoes comes in!

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It is hard work! There were a lot of people out that day since it was so nice. Even the dogs had little shoes on their feet. We stopped some a few times to rest and to also take pictures. A nice group of college kids took our picture for us.

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I also had to take a goofy one.

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We finished our hike and returned the gear to EMS. We got some take out from a great little Indian place near my brothers place and card loaded as he called it before the big adventure in ice climbing the next day. It was an early night for both of us. We were in bed by 8pm.

With the snow showing activity, I was able to cross number 35 off my 101 in 1001 list and that is go hiking. My brother said snow shoeing counts as hiking. He is the expert after all. I also completed number 86 too, go to the mountains.

Next up, the White Mountains.

Surfs Up

Today I crossed number  51 off the 101 in 1001 list, and that happens to be learning how to surf. I should not really say I learned, I attempted. Two hours of drinking the Pacific Ocean is really want occurred. They had me learn on a massive surfboard that I could not even sit on without falling over. I have short legs and it is hard for me to do that, in the instructors words. Well, he said something different, but I will not repeat that. The water as cold. The wetsuit was too big and other surfers did not like the idiot beginner. I did however stand once and apparently I caught a gnarly wave. It felt like it was 10 feet tall, but it was a baby. I think I walked through bigger ones to get out of the surf zone with diving.

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In other news of the day, I went on a date last night with a nice guy. Why do you ask if I am moving on Thursday? He likes sushi and he also made me try salmon eggs. Disgusting.

After my surf lesson, I took Abbie to the pet store to get a new tag made for the place in Nashville, There happened to be a a bunch of bunnies waited to be adopted when we walked in. The hunting instincts kicked in, nose to the ground. After getting everything we needed, Abbie kept pulling me over there. If you know my dog, you know that she is strong. So she sniffed, fine.

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Then all craziness happened. She jerked and knocked over that little fence. Five bunnies went hooping and as I started yelling she yanked and went flying. She caught up with one little bunny and well, she made a meal of it. Yes, my dog ended the life of a bunny at the pet store. She was a very happy dog. The staff at the store, well we are banned from ever coming back. Good thing I am moving.

Oh, Mexico

My last week in San Diego started today. Nothing too exciting happened, except for the protests around San Diego about Syria. I also woke up to two homeless people fighting around 4am. Fun night. I finished chapter one for my educational law class. Let me tell you, real exciting stuff there.

After spending some time in he dog park, and no dogs running because there is a heat wave, I ventured down to the outlet mall. It happens to be 2 miles, if even that, from the border of Mexico. Adventure. I picked up a couple things from J.Crew.

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Charley sweater

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Lace front sweater

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Blazer

I also got a few more things that I could not find on the website. The outlet mall was really interesting. Lot’s of Mexicans. There was also a huge fence behind it, and border patrol roaming around. I also took pictures. No, I did not cross into the boarder because one, I did not have my passport and Dad somehow thought I was in Mexico at a mall. Oh, Dad.

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That is as close as I will get to Mexico.

Nothing New

Tonight not much has happened besides my dive master class getting underway. While I was thinking about something to blog about, I saw Surrounded by Imbeciles post about the categories that are listed on the side of the blog page. Since the creative juices are not flowing tonight, I am going to follow this and see what the first thing I can come up with might happen to be.

101 in 1001 – I really need to update this more often.

Adventure – I am flying back to Nashville on Thursday. Airports are always interesting.

Adventure Across America – Part II will begin at the end of October.

Beach – I have not been in two weeks. Pathetic.

Books – Currently reading some more Hemingway

Concerts – Old Crow Medicine Show on Saturday!

Dogs – Abbie is snoring

Dreams – Had another dream about clowns last night

Family – Seeing them at the end of this week!

Fashion – Pretty pumped about my new shoes, Blu Kicks.

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Fiji – Soon close!

Fishing – Hemingway’s books also talks about fly fishing

Food – Can’t wait until sushi

History – Talked about maritime history in dive master class tonight

Kayaking – Need to go

Movies –  Haven’t been since Top Gun 3D

Museums – Tattoo exhibit possibility

Music – Daft Punk

Nashville – Thursday

Pictures – Sent the shark one to my grandpa

Quotes –  The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.

San Diego – Amazing

Savannah – Not so much

SCAD – No more school

Scuba – Master Diver!

Sea Life – Shark Week is soon

Shopping – This will be happening in Nashville

Spiritual – I am

Sports – Fall means football in the South

Technology – I am loving my new computer

The South – I miss it

Travel – Everyone should do it

Uncategorized – This post

 

Blue and Makos! Oh My!

A litte over one week ago, I did something that most people have told me I am crazy for doing…. I dove with sharks. More like snorkeling, but still, I was in a feeding frenzy as Jimmy Buffett would say. It just took a sweet time for these little guys to get hungry.

The Monday started out like any other Monday, took Abbie out and had breakfast, and then headed to Dana Landing to meet Captain Danny and his little yellow boat. It is 8 in the morning, I was ready for some shark action. After being introduced to everyone and we headed down to the boat for our safety briefing about the boat and also the sharks. More to come on that.

We headed out about 10 miles or so to the spot where we would start chumming the waters for the sharks. Before we even arrived at the spot, we passed a school of dolphins feeding, it was amazing! We also got our group picture!

Fins up!

Fins up!

We arrived, chummed, and waited, and waited, and waited. Lots of waiting for these sharks. Lots. We had one show up and Kyle and another person got in the water, but it decided it did not want to stay, so the shark went away.

Chum

Chum

So we waited some more, ate some soup, some people got sea sick, and some slept. I did not, I kept waiting, and chatted with Nick and Kyle, the owners and founders of SD Expeditions. I have mentioned them in another post before, so again check these two out. They really have something going on out here! It was about 4pm and still nothing! We decided that at 5pm we would call it a day and head back to dry land. All of a sudden the birds flew away! Nick jumped in the water and informed us that there were three blue sharks!!

Photo credit: Kyle

Photo credit: Kyle

I cannot even begin to describe this whole thing! I never ever felt scared or out of place. Nick and Kyle did a great job talking about what to do once in the water, and if you listened everything was fine. The three blues decided they had enough and left. We were then greeted by three mako sharks! More excitement!

Photo credit: Kyle

Photo credit: Kyle

Yes, that is a mako right under my fins. They are a little more jumpy than the blues and get scared easily. We had one that stayed around for a while just eating away and checking us out. It could have been more of the “natural” chum coming from the boat after more people get sick…

Kyle and a mako

Kyle and a mako

As you can see the photo above is one I took. I just really like it, it shows Kyle in his element!

It was a great day, one that I will never ever forget. I finally got to swim with sharks, and I have such a huge respect for them, even more now. What the heck, I just love sharks!

Thanks Danny, Nick and Kyle for a remarkable day! Y’all are the absolute best.

Adventure Across America

I have made it to San Diego. Sunday will mark my two week mark here in Sunny San Diego.

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I finally have internet today after learning my Mifi is not the best for streaming Netflix. Whoops.

I also uploaded my pictures from across America.

I left Tennessee on May 15 and arrived out here on May 19.

My internship started this week, and it has been good so far.

This post is about the road trip out., in pictures!

IMG_3744My copilot slept most of the way. Rough life.

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Abbie and I could not enter the Oklahoma Bombing Memorial because she is a dog so we had coffee while everyone toured the area. Crazy to think that the following tornados would rip through the state.

IMG_3754This also happened.

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The big cross in Groom, TX

IMG_3774Former classmates at a ghost town.

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Yes. Wagon Wheel

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Abbie made friends at the Coronado National Monument

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I decided not to go through Mexico.

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Overlook in Arizona

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1976 Landcruiser. Yuma, AZ.

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What one does for fun in Yuma.

That is all for tonight. Off to Chicago tomorrow because the big brother is graduating med school!