Tuesday, July 24, 2007

This weekend was just one big blog.

I have always felt that the ability to laugh while overcoming all obstacles is key in the fight for happiness. This weekend was one of those life & knowledge enriching experiences that ended up being an awesome and memorable time. Tom was out of town so it was ladies adventure weekend...woohoo!

Reasons it was awesome...

Reason 1. Beauty. It is almost impossible to feel anything but reverence in the face of true natural beauty. It doesn't matter if a large giant lightening storm is heading towards you when you miles from your camp or if said storm proceeds to dump on you the whole night in your pseduo-waterproof tent. Just smile and dive into the water.

Exhibit 1: We chose to set up our camp near the lovely unnamed waterfall #1. Known for its great diving cliffs and hidden caves located behind the falls which you can climb into. See here for more evidence.

Exhibit 2: Fossil Creek Flume Falls. Famous (with locals) for its gushing beauty, its amazing rope swing, its hidden underwater passages to caves and its raw beauty. Located 4 bushwacking miles north of the chosen campground along the river full of tons of amazing wildlife, black berries, and no no no people along the way. Look at that beautiful dive by An-hell!
Exhibit 3: Water here is alive. I find that very beautiful.

Reason 2. Fun. Overall this weekend was just fun. We laughed a ton, and even though we got lost multiple times, this just added to our memories. We took alternative path back to camp from the large falls upstream and ended up dirt surfing down a mountainside in order to make it to our tents before a large thunderstorm rolled in. Now that is fun.

Exhibit 1: Spending quality tent time with friends during a raging thunderstorm. Four people in a 2 person backpacking tent with 12 beers and a bag of wine...hmm recipe for fun if I have ever heard one. We forgot our propane and utensils (no warm food), but Sarah was able to whittle us some nice wooden spoons (most amazing spoons ever) and we were able to eat our freeze dried food cold by just adding water. Who knew? Its handy to have friends with survival skills.

Exhibit 2: Biking on Strawberry Mt. On Sunday we packed back out to the truck very early and had a great breakfast at the Strawberry Lodge. Lard never tasted so good after the lack of substantial food on Saturday. We followed this up by a dirt road over Strawberry Mt full of mud, puddles and very awesome cool breezy views of the valley. Very little in the way of technical path, but fun and fast downhill and lot of climbing. We were a wee bit tired and we didn't ride as much as we wanted to, but we liked the trees and lack of cactus.

3. Overcoming The Unexpected. We didn't really plan much for this weekend so I wasn't surprised when two of my friends showed up with small camelback backpacks and a cooler (with bottles of beer). Uh aren't we camping, don't you need some sort of sleeping bag or something. And really, you plan on carrying a cooler in? But even though we did not bring useful things like a topo map or propane for our gas stove, we made do in extraordinary ways.

Exhibit 1: It maybe should be called "the weekend that air did not particularly want to stay in any of various tires." Friday night, before we left for the big trip into the Fossil Creek Wilderness, some friends and I decided to go for a short, sweet, 'relax and get ready for our big day tomorrow' ride on the Scottsdale green belt. Although I am not a fan on inner city bike belts normally, it was deserted on Friday and with a great sunset, it ended up being a gorgeous night and the short ride somehow turned into a little longer than expected. Then it became a little longer due to the flat that appeared more than 15 miles from the car with no spare tubes or patch kits along (I know, dumb, but I seriously tried to buy one earlier in the day and they had run out at Target). It required an additional ride to a store to purchase a patch kit and then repair by headlight turning into a 3 hour bike ride. The next morning we were up bright an early to drive up to the Fossil Creek area (2 hrs away). I was driving the truck down a steep one lane rocky dirt road with a 2000 ft drop on one side and a rock wall on another when I heard a 'psssst'. I am not sure how those monster tires picked up a flat, but we got around to changing our second flat tire in less than 12 hrs, this being considerably more effort (we are girls so changing tires is not genetically built into our DNA). Good learning experiences both.

Exhibit 2. I really didn't expect that skunk that was staring at me from 3 feet away with its tail up. Don't scream and slowly back away....now run run run. Boy its fun to run. We did see a lot of other cool animals and some weird human ones as well. This was a giant red dragonfly/bird of some sort.

Exhibit 3: Things we forgot: extra clothes, propane, spoons, directions to a road which we could not find, spare bike tube & patch kit, tennis shoes (AB), enough food or drink in non glass bottles, rain clothing, topographical map, bottle opener, sunscreen.

Who's in next time?!


Anonymous said...

As the girl wearing the amazing orange shirt (which I think was stolen by drug dealers later that same night...but that's another story) and weilding that expertly crafted wooden spoon (which I will carry with me to the top of Everest) I would like to state in my defense that the beer (which I was also primarily responsible for carrying into the wilderness) tasted amazing after a day of hiking, swiming, and dirt surfing. Who needs real camping supplies when you have a grocery store cooler which also doubles as an MP3 player?

Sarah said...

We didn't forget sunscreen, Angel simply used all of it on her lips! It was quite the adventure, and can't wait for more, though next time a little container of propane or a big container of Cuervo could make all the difference. Long live adventure! -the spoonmaker

Rebecca said...

One question I do put to the owner of this blog;

For an adventure seeker, crazy ultimate frizbe mountain biker that you are, the 'de la Tour Eiffel' does seem a tad out of place. Have you explained that picture somewhere on the blog and I missed it?

Also, perhaps we should be topping your wedding cake with a mini-mountain bike or a rugby ball. It may not be as classy, but somehow more fitting.

la chaser said...

well bec, i am trying to appeal to sophisticated internationals like yourself with de la Tour Eiffel. its working!

Anonymous said...

Orange shirt girl again...I'd like to offer my apologies to the drug dealers as my shirt was located at the bottom of my sleeping bag last night. Wet. And smelly. Yum.

Susana said...

So, was the not-so waterproof tent the one we gave you for X-mas??? Damn...sorry it sucked. But sounds like you had a blast anyway. Your weekend adventure is not unlike some of our days down here in Ecuador. As one of our trainers drilled into our head, "Adapt, improvise, overcome." Love the spoon story. But can you build a bed with a leather(person) (previously known as a leatherman)???

la chaser said...

actually i love the tent. its light and great and just a wee bit of water dripped from the ceiling. The majority of the water in there was from us coming in and out of it in pouring down rain. I think with a fly and a footprint it would be perfect.

Tom said...

Details left out by the lovely Hannah. Detailed step by step instructions were given to the goonie-girls on how to find the jack, take off the flat tire, remove the spare from the storage underneath the truck & put the new tire on. I am actually impressed that they were able to do it! Good job ladies! I'm actually more impressed with my self because I was wasted, and had already done a couple jaeger-bombs and I felt I gave her great instructions. Pat on the back for me!