Monday, September 22, 2008

La Empieza De Un Año Escolar

So, I've been here in this crazy country now for almost a week. Its been crazy since I got here; I like it a lot though. Last Sunday, I got up at like 7 am, and my parents drove me down to San Francisco; that was a humbling experience. Realizing how much my parents really love me, and how much they will miss me, and I will miss them. So, I got on the first plane, bound for Toronto, Canada. This flight wasn't too bad; I got to watch some movies, and I had an aisle seat also. As soon as I got to Toronto, I had to hurry to my next flight; it was already boarding when I got there. So, I got on it and we left Toronto for Madrid, España. We had the screens in the back of the seats once again, so I watched more movies, slept and listened to music. In the late morning, I got to Madrid. Now, I had been praying that nothing would happen to my luggage, because I had heard that people's luggage gets lost a lot. So, when I got to Madrid, I went by the luggage carousel to see if my bags were there. I saw only one bag, so I was kind of worried; worried that it might not get on the other plane, or that my other bag was lost, and hadn't made it to Spain. So, I was praying all day that nothing would bad happen. I had several hours to rest and relax in the airport, waiting for my next flight, to Valencia. It was so hard, because there wasn't much to do there, and I had almost the whole day there. I didn't want to go to sleep, because I had my computer, and other important things, and didn't travel with anyone. So I had to watch all my stuff. Finally, came the time when my plane left for Valencia. This flight was really bad; I fell asleep, and woke up by the plane landing. The pilot was not good at landing, obviously. So, I got off the plane, and headed inside; to find that the bag that I saw in Madrid, was not there. I talked to the SpanAir people and they told me that they would find it and I would get it within a couple days. Now, I got here, on Tuesday; they didn't find the bags until Friday!! Fortunately I had enough clothes in my backpacks to last me for a little while. All this time, I never stopped praying. Praying for my bags to be found, so that I wouldn't have to worry about them. And of course, God found my bags, and got them here, to me.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Climbing

So, my friend Stefan and I wanted to do some climbing this summer. So, my friend Stefan and i were like, okay, we just have to figure out when we can go and do some major climbs. So, after a while, we decided that we would climb Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. When we consulted our parents however, they were not so encouraging. Our moms really didn't like the idea of letting us go and climb without any one else. Anyway, Stefan's mom decided that to prove ourselves, that we needed to go climbing at Lovers Leap at least once so that we could get more multi-pitch climbing under our belts. So, that is what we did. For me, it was crazy, because I had never done any mulit-pitch or trad climbing before, so, in a way, I was glad that we went to Lovers Leap to practice. The climb was fun, that is for sure. It took us a lot longer than we thought it should've.

So, the next week, we embarked on our adventure. We drove up to Tahoe, and started down 395, down the Eastern Sierras, which were so amazing!! It is amazing that people can look at Mountains like those, and not realize that God exists. Anyway, we drove down to Lone Pine, CA. We went to the Ranger Station to pick up our permit and bear canisters. We were in for a surprise there, however. One that most of you probably don't want to know about. In the Whitney area, they require that overnight backpackers carry human waste containers. Its kind of dumb if you ask me. So, Stefan and I had these bags that we had to carry, and we had to go to the bathroom in them. They had this odor cutting powder in them too, but it sure didn't help much. Anyway, that was kind of a drag, but we were there to climb, so we weren't too worried about it.

So, we hiked in that night, starting at about 8,300 ft at the Whitney Portal Store. We hiked for like maybe 4 hours, up to Upper Boyscout Lake. That was some hike, I mean, we thought that we'd be able to get to Iceburg Lake before dark, and we probably would have, but we decided to save some energy for the next day. So we got up the next day, and started hiking from Upper Boyscout Lake, to Iceburg Lake, and then, to the bottom of the climb. That hike was probably one of the hardest that Stefan and I have ever done. On the way there, we were complaining about how long the hike was; we just wanted to start climbing.

So the climb itself was really fun. It was pretty easy too. Stefan led the entire climb, but still, it wasn't too bad, even for him. It was around 10 pitches. It took us so long: 9 hours. This was partly because we stopped to eat and checked the guide book out quite a bit, to make sure that we stayed on route. We finally reached the top, and were trying to figure out how long it was going to take us to get down. Being on the top of that mountain, was so amazing. We were once again reminded of how big God really is.

We hiked back, in the dark; the moon was out, and we had our headlamps, but coming down the Mountaineers Route, in the dark, without ice axes and crampons, was very difficult. We got through it though, with God's help. We got back at about midnight and ate some bagels, and then went to bed. We got up the next morning, and while Stefan was still asleep, I attempted to call my parents, and Tara, because when we were on the top of the mountain, neither of our phones were working. So, I started praying that my phone would work that morning; I called both my parents, and Tara several times, and finally got through to Tara (who, is my amazing girlfriend, who I love so much, by the way.). I only got to talk to her for a few minutes though, before the connection went out again. So, after that, we hiked down the trail, and drove back to Sacramento. All in all, it was an awesome climb, and an amazing adventure. It took us 19 hours total; which was insane.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Coming Home the Long Way

So, a while ago, Justin and I were talking about how cool it would be if we drove back to Oregon together. This worked out so well, because I was able to take home just a little bit more than I would have if I had flown home from Union. Unfortunately, it meant leaving Union earlier, which meant that I got less time to spend with Tara. So, we left on our last day; after finals were over, we packed up Justins car, and helped him get his room clean, since Jeff Peterson and I had been cleaning our room for a while already, it was already finished. So, once I was ready, Tara and I got to hang out for a couple hours while I was waiting for Justin to get ready.

Once Justin was ready, we left; it was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, so we just drove and drove and drove, till we got too tired to drive anymore. All this time, it was raining on and off, so we were kind of worried about where we would sleep. Eventually however, the rain stopped. We ended up pulling off the road around 3 in the morning, and trying to find some place to sleep. We put our sleeping pads down, and pulled out sleeping bags, and jumped in them, seeing that nights in the middle of Wyoming, in the beginning of May, are still, a little cold. Once inside, I remember Justin saying something about feeling a raindrop, and I was like, oh okay, I didn't feel anything. So, we got the rain-fly out, and set it up. Once that was up, we decided that putting up the whole tent wouldn't be a bad idea. I was zipping the rain-fly down, and crawling inside the tent, when, just like that, it started pouring rain. God is so amazing!! He held the rain off just until we got inside the tent.
The next morning, we got up, and noticed fresh snow on the mountains around us. And we realized that God was really looking for us, like He always does. After this, we got up and attempted to dry the tent out, and fold it up. This required standing in the middle of the highway, which was sort of freaky since these huge trucks kept barreling by. Once we finished that, and had shoved our stuff back into the crammed car, we drove on to Cody, Wyoming, where we stopped to visit Sierra Trading Post. From Cody, we headed west, into Yellowstone National Park. It was so crazy!! Yellowstone was still covered in a couple feet of snow. While we were driving around, I was mentioning to Justin that it sucked that we didn't have his sled. And that we should use his skimboards as sleds instead. So, thats what that video at the bottom is about.

It seems that bad weather just really enjoyed tormenting the two of us, because while Justin and I were waiting to see Old Faithful(or should I say, not so faithful) go off, it started to snowing!! We raced back to the car, and started driving out of the park. On the way out, the snow just kept falling hard and harder. It was crazy!! The whole time, we were just praying that it would stop so that we could see enough to drive. Once we got to the town of West Yellowstone, right outside the park, the snow storm began to lessen slightly in intensity. From West Yellowstone, we drove as long as we could, until the snow turned into rain, and then, finally stopped. We stopped about 5 mins or so from the Lewis and Clark caves, and put up our tent. Once again, God was so good to us!! He kept the rain off until we were inside. The funny part about this whole story, is that the next day, we drove from there, all the way to Walla Walla, and it didn't rain there until right before we left. So, it was an awesome adventure, driving all the way from Lincoln, Nebraska, to Roseburg, Oregon(the drive from Walla Walla, was pretty boring compared to the rest of it). And it was defenitely an awesome trip. I hope to do it again some time. Especially since Justin knows how to climb more than he did we did this.