7NN Group SF

7NN Group SF, originally uploaded by A Ditlefsen.

Whelp, here's the seventh and final group of my summer. This tour was really, really good for me as well as them. There's a lot of fun to be had across the northern states of this country. (Kinda like the southern states.) You may notice there's no picture of my 5th group. . . .that was my self-proclaimed 'bad' tour. That was when I lost my laptop and was a little despondent towards some of the group so I didn't take many pictures.

6DX Group in Key West

6DX Group in Key West, originally uploaded by A Ditlefsen.

This was my sixth group. We did a Dixieland trip that rocked a virtual Casbah (it didn't rock a veritable Casbah cause it's hard to get to northern Africa by van). The DX is basically a party tour with a lot of cities on the agenda. We hit New Orleans before Katrina but didn't do nearly as much damage. The highlight might have been the beach blanket BBQ we had on the last night in Key Largo, FL. Not a bad place, those keys.

4W1L Group in Grand Canyon

4W1L Group in Grand Canyon, originally uploaded by A Ditlefsen.

I need to find another picture that I have of this group. But this'll do for now.

3W2 Group in Hollywood

3W2 Group in Hollywood, originally uploaded by A Ditlefsen.

Third group on a two week whirlwind in the southwest again. By now I had a pretty good handle on things, and I certainly had a handle on the region and our destinations. This group got along really well (which is good but usually gets a little scary). If you look close you can catch the Hollywood sign through the haze in the background. Gotta love LA. . . . . . . . okay, you really don't.

2W1S Group in Vegas

2W1S Group in Vegas, originally uploaded by A Ditlefsen.

Obviously, my second group. A little heavy on estrogen, especially when one of the guys left the tour early for 'family reasons.' (Personally I think the women drove him nuts.) It was a chaotic tour that culminated with a night in Flagstaff where we had a little BBQ at my old roommate's house, stayed out at the bars till 3am (even though they closed at 2am) and then all crashed back at my friend's house. He and his roommate didn't know what hit 'em.

1W1L Group in Oakland

1W1L Group in Oakland, originally uploaded by A Ditlefsen.

This was my first group of the summer. We did a Western Wonder from LA to SF in one week. Stops included the Grand Canyon, Vegas and Yosemite. Pretty hard to run a bad trip with those destinations. 50 points and a pack of poodles to anyone who can tell me where the photo was taken.

Angel's Landing Training Group Photo

Just to give everyone an idea of what my training group for T.A. looked like. I think I'll try to post a group photo from each of my groups this summer so people can get a better idea of what I dealt with all summer.

Frozen Upper Yosemite Falls

Frozen Upper Yosemite Falls
Originally uploaded by A Ditlefsen.

It got cold.
Need I say more.
I must say that I enjoyed Yosemite much more ealier in the season. A bit chilly, yes, but fewer people (especially on the trails) and the waterfalls are just a scosh more active. My fortunes were bright all summer as I visited Yos' a total of six times. The final time was in August and the Upper Falls were barely a trickle. I like the strong frozen version better. . . kinda like my margaritas but not like my women. Though a woman did break my elbow when I tried to tickle her so I'll be shutting up now.


Yosemite Tree, originally uploaded by A Ditlefsen.

This picture was taken in Yosemite valley after hiking to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls. When we started the hike it was sunny and we didn't hit the snow line till six thousand feet. When we descended there was no snow line and we found ten inches on the valley floor. Inadequate gear, lungs and water repelent made it one of the best hikes of the 'summer.'



Tickling Is Evil

Well, I've gone and created another hiccup in the esophagus of my
life. Somehow I managed to fracture a bone in my right elbow on
Thursday night. . . all I was doing was tickling a girl. Now before
your minds reach the end of the gutter and drop into the drain I have
to make sure you know that it was nothing kinky and in fact was the
weakest way I've ever been injured. I thought I had just
hyperextended my elbow or maybe sprained it. But the next day my arm
kept getting bigger and bigger as I drove to Flagstaff. The next
morning I almost passed out from the pain so I checked myself into the
Flag medical center.

Of course, they can't actually find the fracture so I need to get more
film done later this week. I'm currently in a soft cast and a sling
while receiving some much needed help from some hydrocodone. Decent
stuff but I seem to be too large of a guy for these things to work
properly. Needless to say I won't be doing another tour for awhile
and this may end my season.

Cheers and beers.