Excuse Me Sir, You're Strap Is Loose

So I had this laptop, right? Right?
Right. Laptop. Yup, laptop.

I also had this backpack, and this particular backpack would occassionally liberate itself from my grasp as I attempted to swing it onto my shoulder.

And to complete the setup I also may have happened to possess a tremendous lapse in judgement when it came to protecting my new source of electronic joy. (All readers with a dirty mind may now exit the blog before they pervert my message of electronic joy into something that it most likely is not.)

So, the laptop was simply wrapped in a soft cloth bag and resting between two binders in my backpack. . . it didn't expect a thing. I'm in the lobby of the Hacienda (my home away from home away from the road between treks) and it's the first day of our training trip for the new job. We get a little spiel about out trip and then comes my mistake. I was in a good mood, looking forward to meeting new people and learning new things (even if that sounds like something out of an after school special) and I sorta swung my backpack up onto my shoulder. Only the backpack didn't make it to my shoulder. Round about the time that the backpack reached the apex of it's arc during it's journey to my shoulder the bottom strap slid quickly and cleanly through the clasp that is attached to the padded shoulder strap.

Quickly and cleanly the strap also made it's way across my palm and deftly avoided my grasping fingers. My backpack and my laptop proceeded to plunge almost six feet to the floor which is simply concrete covered with a thin rug. Good times.

My wallet leapt into my throat and attempted to throttle my brain.
Initially my brain did it's best to cooperate with the strangulation attempt seeing as how the original 'tremendous lapse of judgement' had been brought forth by that very object. Thankfully my medulla oblongata noticed that I was falling over and as it helped me right myself it managed to communicate with a few other parts of my brain and finally the grey matter performed as it should and kicked my wallet back down into my pants.

The wallet, of course, had no right to be angry since it's only function should be to be as full or as empty as the brain commands it to be. Stupid wallet.

I didn't even have the will power to look at the damage.

(ed note: Somehow this wonderful website design just deleted the second half of this entry before I could post it. Since I'm running late in my plans to plan for my first trip I will attempt to pick it up later. . .or maybe I'll just wrap it up now.)

The story will now become anti-climactic. I took my laptop to the Apple store in SF two weeks later. They wanted over a thousand dollars to fix it. "No, thank you," I said. My cousin and his friend were going to fix it but there would have been wine involved and no guarantees. Instead my cousin found a small, but solid, shop to take it to. The guy will only charge me sixty-five bucks initially and then we'll see what needs to be replaced.

Here's to technology. . . and dropping it on concrete floors.



First Trek

Let me start. . . . will ya let me start?
I haven't read the previous posts and I think I will just let any ensuing confusion and contradiction stand.

Yesterday was a bit rough here in the office. It was the third day in a row of creating work for ourselves and while there are a lot of things to be re-organized and cleaned up from the winter lull I can't say that any of it was particularly enjoyable (especially at our current rate of pay). Thankfully the winds of change blew in with the afternoon sun and I was given some more info about my first possible trip. We are still doing a sprint to Denver from Sunday to Wednesday and then I will have two days to finish preparing for two trips that I'm leading back to back starting on the 25th of April.

The trips I will likely be doing are called the Western Wonder. It is the same trip and I just run it in reverse for the second group. It should go something like this.

25th - LA to the Colorado R. Probably stay at the southern tip of Lake Havasu.
26th - Grand Canyon ('nuf said)
27-28th - Las Vegas. A stretch limo tour the first night, and the second day is a free day for the group so I might get some personal time.
29-30th - Yosemite. Another tough draw (yeah, right). Once again I will sort of have a day 'off' on the full day there because I'm not required to hike with my passengers. However, I plan to hike as much as possible so. . .
May 1st - We drive to San Francisco and the trip ends at 5pm. I then proceed to finalize my accounts for the first trip and more importantly get the van and equipment ready for the second trip.

The second Western Wonder trip will begin on the 2nd and follow the exact same route in reverse. It will be amazing to have that much hiking time in Yosemite in the span of a week. I was going to say that staying in Vegas for free that much will be a great but I think I'll probably get tired of it pretty quick. Guess I better take up gambling.

Lunch is over and I was just issued all of my equipment. No van yet but I have to thoroughly check all of my equipment before I leave so I guess I'll go set up 8 tents.

I think I'll write an entry on how I broke the living bugeezus out of my new $1300 laptop next. Good times.



Hello All. My apologies for not posting before this. I have been trying to get a post up for over a week now using a new friend's laptop and communicating over his cellphone with the internet. If that sounds confusing all you really need to know is that I haven't been able to get it to work yet.

Anyway, I'm in SF for the night. We leave early tomorrow morning for Yosemite for two days and then we head back down to LA. If all goes well I will take the driving test for my CDL and then be ready to start my own tours whenever they have a group for me.

So far I've done a few things. . . . . . .
-Thursday 3/24, stayed at a nice campground at Lake Havasu, AZ.
-Next night was at a cowboy camp near Phoenix. Decent horseride, good steak.
-Thru Flagstaff and then to the Grand Canyon for a night. Cold as a witches tit in a winter Minnesotan lake.
-On up to Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. Well I'll be dam-ed, it was cold again. We stayed at a place called Easton's in Paria Canyon, UT. Nice place. Had a bunkhouse, good facilities, a bar with pool and foosball, horserides, four-wheeler rental, climbing wall, etc, etc, It will be fun to bring my passengers there.
-Thru Monument Valley (which is beautiful but fairly boring). Stayed at yet another cowboy camp named Slim and Cody's. Interesting place right on the river. We had an amazing horse ride through beautiful red rock desert landscape, learned to rope, made Navajo tacos over an open fire and slept in a hogan made of wood and dirt. Comfy.
-Made out way up to Moab, UT for two days of vehicular adventures. The first night we did a red rock hummer tour with all nine of us. Second day we were supposed to float down the river but the sheer force of the wind precluded out trip and we ended up just driving Tomcars for the day. We also squeezed in a couple of amazing hikes in Arches National Park. We hiked Delicate Arch, Negra Bill Canyon and another arch that I can't remember at the moment.
-On to Bryce National Park which was cold at night but gave us the pleasure of hiking in the snow during the day while basking in 75 degree sunshine.
-Then two days in Zion. Finally some truly warm weather and some amazing views on our hike to Angel's Landing.
-Vegas. . . 'nuf said.
-Back through LA to drop off one of our trainers and then we stayed at Buelton and Marina, CA on our way up the coast.
-A single night in San Francisco which showed me a few bars in the tenderloin that I hadn't seen before.
-Two nights in Yosemite. Rain the first night and snow the second. I'll save the details for later.

Right now I'm back in LA at the office for a few weeks. I'm about to start 'work' for the day so I'll cut this short for now and since this has been written over three sessions and two weeks I apologize if it doesn't make any sense. I'll re-read it later and make some amendments.

I hope this finds eveyone doing incredibly well.


Rollin' Along Like A Tumblin' Tumbleweed

(Psuedo ed. note: This is being posted a few days after I actually wrote it. I attempted to post the words below by emailing them to the blog site. . . obviously, it didn't work. At this point I'm in Buelton, CA. Camping tonight, camping tomorrow night near Monterey and then into SF on Wednesday.)

I am writing this on a laptop in Zion National Park, UT, using a
cellphone to connect to the internet. Forgive the typos and possible
lack of detailed info. I am in the middle of my training trip for
Trek and we've been hiking everyday for quite a while now. The days
are long but obviously enjoyable.

A brief recap of my life the last week+.
-LA to Lake Havasu (beautiful campground).
-Hav. to a cowboy camp outside Phoenix (good horseride).
-Thru Flagstaff to Grand Canyon (froze certain unmentionable body parts off).
-GC to Lake Powell, or the Glen Canyon Dam (stayed at a multi-function
campground-slash-activity center. . . good action).
-Powell to Monument Valley (another cowboy camp, even better
horseride, learned to rope, slept in a Hogan, etc.)
-MV to Moab, Utah (sweeeeeeeet. Humvee tour on the redrocks one night
then driving Tomcars through the rocks ourselves the next day with the
same guide,. . . still colder than a witch's tit in a winter
Minnesotan lake).
-Moab to Bryce N.P. (awesome rock formations, still cold, shoulda
packed the long johns).
-Currently. . . hiked Bryce this morning and Zion this afternoon. Not
a bad days work. Will be staying in Zion for tonight and tomorrow
night, then:
Vegas, LA, CA coast, SF, Yosemite and back to LA for the conclusion.

The training is almost like a paid vacation. Not that I'm getting
paid that much but almost everything is paid for. (We did put in $50
a week for food.) All the horserides and other motorized activities
have been fully funded and we've gotten free meals almost everywhere
we go. All the adventure companies take care of us with the hopes
that we will bring big business their way (part of my job is to sort
of sell the activities. . . I get a commission as well).

I'm travelling with 8 other people. Two guys are the trainers and
there are seven of us trainees. Four dudes and three chicas.
Everyone is predictably capable and fun to be around. . . all type-A
personalities who are looking to work hard.

I had a million other things to share but it's 10:30 and we're
starting off tomorrow with a 5-hour hike followed by training on
paperwork for the accounting we have to do during our treks. I hope
everyone who reads this is doing well. It's starting to hit me that
I'm not going back to work for the shipyard anytime soon. For the
first week I think that I was fully expecting this working 'vacation'
to end the next weekend and then I'd be right back to the grind.

Well, I don't mind writing that I definitely made the right decision
on this one and this summer will be incredibly interesting. Don't be
afraid to give a phone call, especially in the evenings and on the
weekends. Obviously I won't always answer but I check my messages
every couple of days and have found some time to call people.

Don't know what else to say. Cheers.