Another Year, Another Trip

IMG_0112A year ago today I was camping in Coldfoot, AK, getting ready for the final push to the Arctic Ocean and balmy 31° temperatures.  Today I drove through the beautiful Mojave Desert…all 111° of it.  I’ve got two extra wheels and an extra passenger this time, though, which makes all the difference…especially when the extra passenger is my beautiful new wife.

I took some time off of work so we’ve hit the road for a week of camping and backpacking…a week that will most likely hurt us, but hopefully in a good way.  Neither of us are in the best shape of our lives (which should translate as: I won’t comment for her, but I think I’m in the worst shape of my life), and it’s pretty stinking hot out here.  The car said 111 and the big thermometer in Baker, CA, said 113 as we drove through at 6:10pm.  How do people live in places like this?  I’ve never been able to figure that out?  I thought the same thing when I was in the Arabian Gulf, too.  Craziness.  It was still in the 100’s as we were driving at 9pm…

Today wa s a long one.  We drove from Santa Rosa, CA, to Hurricane, UT…about 750 miles.  We made really good time, though…except for the hour we lost in time zone changes.  Nothing too exciting from today, so I’ll keep this short.  The rest of the week should be a ton of fun, though…hiking at Zion National Park tomorrow, Bryce Canyon National Park the following day, Grand Staircase the day after that, and the Grand Canyon to round things off.  I’m going to try to record the GPS of our hikes and will hopefully post that along with some pictures and videos from the days’ adventures.  But it’s time for bed now…seeya when I seeya.

(One humorous P.S. to relay…when I was on the motorcycle trip I would post something on my blog and then talk to my (then) girlfriend shortly thereafter to see what she thought.  She would give me her general impressions and correct any mistakes, grammar or otherwise.  It’s a lot easier to have my editor right here along with me…the corrections are more real-time.)

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One Month to G o and No Camera

So I asked her to marry me on November 30th…it’s now 12:22am on March 23rd and I’m finally getting around to writing something new.  My friend, JP, gave me some scathing criticism encouragement when he saw the lull in my interweb presence and that was just what I needed for inspiration.  I’m falling asleep as I begin this post so I know full well it won’t be a long one.  Just wanted to write a quick update on the life of Brian.

I remember hearing other guys talk about how busy their lives were in the time leading up to their wedding and thinking, “Come on…it can’t be that bad.  Seriously, you’re a guy…it’s not like you have to pick out the sheets and towels, right?”  Now four months into engaged life, I realize how right and wrong I was.  No, I’m not picking out sheets and towels…but I’m present when all of those decisions are made.  Don’t get me wrong, I give my input when it’s requested/needed, and I’m not complaining about the process, I’m mostly just poking fun at myself for my past miscalculations.

Actually, I think things have gone pretty well for trying to squeeze what I’m convinced should be three and a half years of wedding planning into the last four months.  On a scale of 1 to “Splendid”, my fiancee comes in at a cool “Ridiculously Incredible”…I’d say she’s a keeper.  (Now let’s just hope she’s saying the same thing about me…)  We’ve taken care of most of the major stuff and are now finalizing, ordering, planning, paying and calling the final touches of this wedding into existence.  Should be a lot of fun…

Ok, I’m going to go to bed.  Oh, quickly, the reason for the post’s title… I went up to Julian, CA, this last weekend and left my camera up there.  That’s what I think , anyways, since it wasn’t with me when I got back.  That camera had been all around the world with me…I’m sad to see it go.  I went ahead and ordered its updated descendant earlier tonight, but in deference to my misplaced photographic companion I shall leave this post photoless.  Goodnight.

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Hooray for Fiancees!

I’m Engaged!

I asked…she said yes…I’m a happy, happy man!  The question was popped yesterday at the Grand Canyon at sunset and what an incredibly memorable moment it was.  Three pictures below…first is of me asking, on my knee.  Second is of the ring going on.  Third is of us right afterwards.  More pictures to come but I wanted to let everyone know.  Yeehaw!!!

On My Knee The Ring Just After]]>

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Birthday Card

This is the card my niece gave me for m y 29th birthday.  She wanted to be sure I knew that they were moths, not butterflies.
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Spores

Pumpkin House
Spores]]>

Back in the Saddle

Clean TreadI rode my bike yesterday…the first time I’d ridden since I pulled it into my garage at the end of my trip, over two and a half months ago.  I hadn’t ridden it since then because I was under the impression (from the dealership in Canada) that the bike would need a valve adjustment when I got back, and also because my garage had grown around the bike, enveloping it in a web of junk.  Well, I cleared up both issues this last week.  The valve adjustment doesn’t come up for another 8k miles and I hacked the garage’s overgrowth to free the bike for action.  It took me about a week to finally get the engine to turn over and breathe fire.  She was slow coming to life but seems to be running just fine, now.  It feels good to be back on the bike and it brings back memories of the trip…good, exciting memories that transcend the morning commuter traffic.
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Making Strides

Making StridesIf you all get some time and have a few spare dollars…]]>

Ago

A View Astern

Five years ago today I was onboard a US Navy Destroyer heading for Bahrain, a small island just north of Qatar in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf.  How time flies and lives change.  Through the broken images coming through over our satellite tv connection my friend, Andy, and I found out what the words I had heard a few hours earlier actually looked like.  I had been on watch earlier in the day when someone in another part of the ship called up and said, “Hey, a plane just flew into the World Trade Center.”  I remember what came to mind…a small Cessna whose pilot had made a terrible mistake, clipping one of the towers and falling to the streets below.  A terrible image…one that unfortunately fell far short of reality.  You all remember where you were…what you were doing.  I was on my way home, via Bahrain, the Seychell es, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Hawaii.  We never made it to Bahrain, nor any of the other ports, except for Hawaii.  I can’t believe how much has happened in my own life over the past five years.  So much has changed, and the days and years keep passing.

I’m not trying to be overly dramatic here…I actually just looked at my calendar a few minutes ago and saw the date, 9-11, and started thinking back on things.  I’ve been off the ship for coming up on two and a half years now but it seems like an eternity has passed since then.  I’m glad to be done with that part of my life, but I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything.  God blessed in hardship…something I hope I will come to understand more fully in the coming five years, and those to follow.

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