11/30/2017




My dad, "El Lobo, The Alpha Wolf, takes me hiking. He is the Coolest Dude!"



10/04/2017

UK Lake District, Scotland

“The loveliest spot that man hath found.”
William Wordsworth


Amigos, I have a quick turnaround. I am reloading for the Grand Canyon tomorrow so sorry, again this TR will have to be brief. 
It was 16 days of absolutely incredible scenery, history  and culture. The weather was perfect!! We absolutely LOVED Edinburgh.
Both Gerry and I are CELTICS! It was like coming home for me! 
The food was really good…….Bangers and mash babeeee! And the liquor was mighty fine in all our Pub and distillery visitations.
We had both been to London a few times but somehow missed the “Tower of London”  that was really important for Gerry to tour.
The Lake District of England is country unbound…civilization and nature in harmony.  Certainly one of the most beautiful areas on the planet. 
We were able yo get in some really nice hikes in cooler temperatures. The Scottish Highlands were all that we had dreamed about. The Isle of Skye was simply off the charts in raw beauty. The long drive back from Skye was a bit stressful…narrow roads, other side driving made it an adventure. Gerry….”You are too far over” (her side-right) ELG….."no I’m not! Relax!”  Nothing that a few scotches at the airport hotel wouldn’t fix!
Great weather here, its good to be back home for even a couple of days. … .OK Rim to Rim to Rim ,  with Dingo and Jake. I am leaning towards only doing Rim to Rim (24 miles instead of 48)
I must be getting old? NAH!!!…..Too much scotch and bangers and mash have taken me out of industrial superman hiking strength. 

Hasta

Sir ELG of Scotland

















9/15/2017

John Muir Trail

“The world's big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
― John Muir


Kearsarge Pass to Taboose Pass. About 50 miles hiking with 30,000 feet of altitude gain/loss. 

Our route crossed scenic passes, rivers, lakes, meadows, and landmarks. We were treated to view after incredible view. This section of the John Muir Trail is the quintessential high Sierra trek. It was perfect hiking weather. although we were pummeled one evening with a fierce electric storm and rain.
Our  descent out was quite gnarly! After climbing up for 6 miles, we went down the Taboose Pass and found it difficult but enchanting. Taboose Creek is a very dependable water source for the entire route. Descending 6000 vertical feet, often in scree, in six miles, was knee pounding, but the scenery was incredible. It was a long exhausting 12 mile day to get us to
the back road where we shuttled our vehicle. It is quite  a distance on bad road before reaching US395 and requires a high clearance vehicle.
Us boys had quite a celebration at Jakes Saloon and Seasons restaurant.  (great food) Dingo and Larry are climbing Whitney today, Pete drove to LA to see SC/Texas, James went back to Sacramento, Jake and Lobo drove the 8 hours back to Phoenix.

NOW the  MEN Behaving Badly -Popular around the planet

Dingo the Dawg ……

-for not showing up for the planning session. 
-at camp ...providing high octane rum without showing us warning label
-remembering his grandmom by liquoring us up
-leading the group on a day 1 bushwhack
    -for confusing everyone on the number of days in the bush plan (4 or 5?)
Young Peter Da Wild Goose…

- for flaunting his pretty boy USC smile
- for expelling legendary weeklong fire-in-the-hole. Ones as long and the sound of a sleeping bag zipper-he was ROTTEN!
-for getting lost in Lone Pine looking for the hotel and then blaming Lobo for bad directions?
    -for wanting to hike out early and then laying back and claiming that it was Lobo and Jake that wanted out early 
    -for complaining that the HO HOs weighed too much and consequentially didn’t bring any(note HO HOs are booze and hors dourves)















 El Clicko for texting sweetie pie on day 1 of hike

 
Jake da Snake
- for devising a hike-end strategy with Lobo and not telling the group
      - for NOT bringing any HO HOs
Larry da Mountain Man
 -for Providing slightly over smoked salmon. Maybe he did this to assure that the bears wouldn't attack us.
     -for sending out a milage spread sheet that had one fewer day than Dingo’s plan
Lobo
-for wanting to break up the group cuz he drank and ate everyone else's booze & HO HOs
 -for willing to abandon El Clicko and jam it out after James partnered with him early on in the hike
 -for his generous HO HO contribution of one date per person and no booze

AND as a BONUS…………..

El Clicko’s Top Picks/Moments

Best International Crisis - Lobo for not being aware of their presence and  undressing in front of two Asian Ladies on the trail
Best Selfish moment - James for not sharing his ONE man tent with Dingo and making him sleep on picnic table.
Best Memory - Glen Pass when all hell broke with lighting, hail and rain pelting us while a  female hiker was crying all the way down 
Best Happy Hour - Larry and Dingo at Lake Marjorie
Best Drug Czar - Jake for handing out max dose of Ibuprofen to a fellow hiker
Best Dressed Hiker - Pete, made Lobo very jealous
Best Altitude Sickness Moment - Pete, Larry, Dingo and James having breakfast in Lone Pine. The waitress brought our food and we denied it and told  her she had the wrong table,  the only problem was she only had one table to serve. 
Best Winging it by the seat of our pants - Dingo and James, James thought his BMW was a 4 wheel drive, NOT!…. requiring a couple of extra mile walk
Worst Advise - Dingo and James for listening  to a rookie hiker, who sent us on the wrong trail causing many extra miles were logged
Worst International Advice - A fellow Austrian hiker was told by Lobo to say HAWAYA to greet people  and that it  was a custom to say it  three times. So if you ever travel to Austria and they say HOWAYA to you three times, you know know the root beginning 

8/29/2017

Easter Island, Santiago, Atacama Desert

Jared Diamond


Amigos,

Chile is a land of extremes and nature on a colossal level. 
There is so much to say about this exciting trip but so little time, I am reloading for a backpack on the John Muir Trail, so I must give you the abbreviated version.  Of all our travels, this exhausting trip is hard to beat.

Phoenix, Miami, Santiago, Easter Island, Santiago, Valparaiso, Santiago, Coloma, San Pedro de Atacoma, Andes, San Pedro,  Coloma, Santiago, Miami, Phoenix

The mystical allure of Easter Island has been with Gerry and I since we were kids,  a magnetic vibe.  We were not disappointed and blown away by this tiny piece of volcanic land, one of the most remote and isolated locations on the planet. The island (Rapa Nui)  with logic defying statues is eco-friendly and has simple savage beauty.  Our hotel was right on the water and the restaurants were perfect for those of us that love sea food. The pisco sours were not bad either. The white sand of Anakena Beach with its turquoise sea and coconut trees was breathtaking. 

We all know that the most pervasive images on Easter Island are the statues. (moai) The question that has yet to be answered …how were these giant statues moved where they were carved to their platforms.  Of course ELG knows, but the wolf is keeping it a secret mystery. 

This was our second visit to  cosmopolitan Santiago and it gave us the opportunity to see more of this worldly city. We did revisit the arts district and figured out the metro, although we found the city a great opportunity to stroll, each neighborhood has its own texture. 
Our boutique hotel was centrally located. Very nice! 

We took a day trip to colorful Valparaiso and visited one of the homes of the celebrated poet Pablo Neruda, a Nobel Prize winner. 
ELG purchased a book….20 Poems of Life and a Broken Down Bell. This was enjoyable reading on the long flights. 

Ever since I watched the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, filmed in the Atacama desert, I have wanted to go here. It is the driest location on the planet and off the charts beautiful!  It last rained in some of the area in 1921. And yes I am a desert rat!!
We both absolutely loved the time we spent here. San Pedro, is simply a handful of pretty adobe streets with a tree lined plaza and gorgeous church. A scene from a Fist Full of Dollars.  Our hotel and service was fantastic.
We took day trips to the Valley of the Luna, and Lagunas Altiplanicas. Fabulous!!!

We both feel so fortunate to be able to travel off the beaten path, sharing the experiences with each other as well as making new friends from around the world.

OK gotta go-Next up-The John Muir Trail in 9 days. 
Take care.