Sunday, August 14, 2011

lbarnes and jfeather at the summit of the south sister, OR

We left at 6am and climbed from 5k to 10.5k feet. The trail was still covered with ice for most of the climb and it took us about five and a half hours to reach the top. The way down we spent sliding on our butts for several thousand feet of elevation. A couple days later and we are both still incapable of walking up stairs.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

RJ sez

"I didn't think narwhals were real until just now....I thought they came from the Reddit"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hurrison sez...

"That's America, man. You can beat up black people and Vietnamese people in Southie and still become a movie star".

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fourth of July

Over the long weekend, Dan, Chenxia Liu, Scott Johnston, and I decided to go hiking in the King Range Recreation Area. So we drove the many miles and hours from the Bay up to Shelter Cove, tightened down our packs, locked the Prius and started out. Almost all of our hike was on the beach the first day, causing us to make slow progress on the sand. As we hiked though, the area afforded continuous views of California's lovely Pacific coast.

Throughout the day, we say such strange and miraculous things as people with full backpacking packs as well as surfboards on their backs. After crossing many streams and walking all afternoon, we reached Big Flat camp and chose a site to stay in.

After pitching camp, making dinner, doing dishes, and stowing our food, we went to bed.

The next morning we intended to hike to King's Peak but set out rather late.

The day was hot and our trail crossed too many streams for us to resist.

After climbing at least 40 switchbacks, time was running out so we turned back and headed home for dinner. Dan whistled and I sang "Sam Hall" on the way home.

That evening (Sunday), Dan and I were pumping water at the creek and a black bear came sauntering along on the opposite side. He's hard to see, but later he visited our camp. To give him his space, we all went and watched the sunset and the stars from the beach next to Dan's bridge.

The next morning we tried to pack up and get out before the tide started coming in, and we got through the narrow bit of the beach in record time. Made it to the trailhead, each person separated by about half a mile, got our requisite fish and chips, and rolled home to Sebastopol.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Charlulz sez...

"If gay marriage is legalized, bromances will be real"

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


...was delicious! We made 12 brand new flavors, including 3 sorbets and a vegan flavor, and a lot of them were awesome. The winners seemed to be the mango lemon sorbet, pear ginger sorbet, roasted strawberry balsamic ice cream, and chocolate sea salt. We got fully funded by residential life for being part of the East Campus 4th of July celebrations; and the best part was people weren't pigging out so we had lots of leftover ice cream. Here are a few discoveries we made that can be put to use for further CryoFACs:
-actual baking chocolate tastes much better than cocoa powder and is easier to work with (no sifting!)
-with sorbets, half the sugar that the original recipe suggests is still too much
-dulce de leche bubbles up a lot when baking.
Thanks to everyone who helped make ice cream, set up, serve, clean up, and make extra ice cream. Maybe Featherweight can post some pictures.
Also, the fireworks were very nice from the sailing pavilion. Many people even heeded Tevis's gazillion e-mails about getting sailing cards. Fireworks were pretty, and maybe RJ can post some pictures of those.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Royd Rage sez

"People on Reddit are not your friends"

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Middle East

So freshly home from my Turkey/Israel/Jordan trip I have promptly gotten sick and realized how there is absolutely nothing to do at home. In any case, it was an amazing, though frustrating, trip.

We started in Istanbul. On the first day we asked the cab driver to take us to the 'hippodrome' which is an ancient racetrack up by the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia. Of course 'hippodrome' really only means race track. So he drove us 30 min outside of the city to the modern racetrack guarded by the Turkish military, and then kicks us out of the car. That was a fun one to fix, but making your getting lost mistakes in the beginning always kind of takes the pressure off. In any case we eventually made it to all the big beautiful places. Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia included.

Istanbul is laid out in a particular way so that every selling the same thing is on the same street or in the same neighborhood. So you end up with a whole hillside full of plumbing equipment, and a street full of LEDs, an entire shop selling soldering irons.

I went to visit my old physics teacher who now lives in Bahcesehir. I got to meet a lot of really cool boys who are at the school he works at, one of them will be an incoming freshman at MIT next year, andone of them won the Turkish National Science Competition.

He then introduced us to his friend in the Grand Bazaar, so no one tried to steal our money, and we got good deals, and we also got to go into his workshop and see the guys to do the copper carving for
his lamps, which are really beautiful.

After Turkey we proceeded to Israel. We were staying in Tel Aviv, which is a much less religious city, and it is on the beach, and it was wonderful. We did visit Jerusalem and saw my orthodox cousin, who is 18 and is 100% sent on being married within the year and having a million children, so it was really interesting to talk to her.

While we were in Israel we also wen't to Jordan for a little while. Jordan is a fascinating place because it is so incredibly different from the western world. The infrastructure basically doesn't exist. There are a lot of bedouins, but nomadic and settled. Jordan has been making a big effort to settle the bedouins, and have been building them houses, which are actually nicer than the tin shacks or unfinished grey brick houses most people live in. In any case we got to go to Petra, which was amazing. Just as amazing as National Geographic wants you to think it is.

Bedouins in the Jordanian Desert: Petra:

Then it was back to Tel Aviv for a week or so, and then 17 hours on airplanes to get home. One of the coolest things about Tel Aviv, though, is all of the street art, its everywhere, and some of it is actually interesting.

Anyway, I'm home now and trying to kill the time until I start working.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Reido sez...

"Dude, I'd eat stuff that came out of the dumpster"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ventana Wilderness, CA

Well, I authored the last adventure post of 2010, so I guess I'll write the first for 2011. lshu and I just finished up a 5 night trip through the Ventana Wilderness in Big Sur. Same area in which Tevis climbed Junipero Serra Peak at the end of last May . We were glad to be back in the Golden State and drove down from the Bay Area after doing some grocery shopping.

On our way south, we stopped at the beach at Rio del Mar (36°58'05.44"N, 121°54'23.15"W) to kill some time and enjoy the water and sunshine. Like nature's engineers, we couldn't help gathering some enormous hunks of driftwood and damming up the creek flowing to the ocean.

We loaded up our packs at the Bottcher's Gap trailhead (36°21'14.92" N, 121°48'49.67" W) late that afternoon and headed for our first campsite 3 miles up the trail.

Tevis had planned on coming too, but an excessively slow car repair shop delayed his arrival at the trailhead until later that evening. He spent the night there and, having spoken to the ranger, caught us at our camp early the next morning as we woke up. Over a breakfast of pancakes, bagels, and apples, he related that the ranger had warned of heavily overgrown trails along a portion of the loop that we had planned to take. Tevis then headed out and south to great adventures.

As we hiked in that day, we had our first good view across the Little Sur River valley of Ventana Double Cone Peak (36°17'49.04" N, 121°42'53.77" W), our ultimate goal (circled in red at right).

Upon arrival at Pat Springs Camp (36°21'44.21" N, 121°44'47.47" W), we found the location so ideal that we decided to use it as a base camp. The site felt like it was floating in the clouds with nearly 270 degrees of vista. We were shielded from the prevailing wind by a knoll and there was plenty of water nearby. We climbed up a hill behind our camp that evening to watch the sunset over the ocean.

The next day, we did a ~15 mile day hike to the top of the Double Cone. We started an hour or so past dawn and made it to the peak around 10:40am. The chaparral was uncomfortably dense at only a couple points, and the walk was generally pleasant (though had we attempted our original loop, we would have been in for a tough time. Thanks, Tevis!) The monkey flowers, lupines, and Indian paintbrush were all in bloom. The view down to the big blue Pacific from our 4853ft summit was breathtaking.

The following day, we day-hiked in the other direction, leaving the trail to top a smaller peak with views north towards Carmel Valley.

We brought lots of food and ate in style (for backpackers): quesadillas, dark chocolate, smoked salmon, chai, loads of fruity granola, couscous, carrots, hard-boiled eggs, milk, and dried mango.

We packed out on the 24th (with a detour to Mt. Carmel) and spent our last night at the trailhead. In celebration of completing our trip and summiting the Double Cone, we stopped at Carmel on the way back up to the Bay Area to have double scoop ice cream cones.

Laura learned how to put peanut butter in her granola and I learned how to use a handkerchief. We are both a little less pasty than when we left Boston!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Summer 2011

We made it!! Happy summer 2011 everyone! Some of us are staying in Boston, some of us are headed west, and the rest of us are scattered across the country (and maybe the world!). Post tales and photos of your adventures here, be they wild and crazy and exotic, or simple and more mundane.
Happy trails!

PS If you're doing anything exciting for the Rapture tomorrow, post!
PPS If you get raptured, post!