Eagle Cap – Mike Smith

September 28, 2018 § Leave a comment

I am not sure of the date, but it must have been while I was still an under grad at Penn State. The trimester was coming to an end, finals were almost over, and my friend Chris was already spending the summer in Northern Virginia at Larry‘s house. We talked on the phone about me coming to visit before I went home myself, and how I would get there when Chris mentioned that Melanie, Larry’s girlfriend at the time had a brother at Penn State, Mike Smith, who had a care, and I could hitch a ride with Mike. I remember calling Mike that evening, and a low low low voice answered the phone and we went on to make plans to travel. Mike was an engineering major, Nuclear I believe which could only mean one thing. Two socially awkward human beings would be in that car going home.

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Eagle Cap – Walt

September 28, 2018 § Leave a comment

Walt, as you may recall from this earlier profile on him, is my brother-in-law. I am fortunate that a man as busy as he is, can find, or make the time to be off the grid for an entire week. In a business where 24×7 problems can be escalated very easily to the director level, or at the vary least need to be socialized with the director, it’s hard to imagine that a) anyone else would want to step into that for a week, and b) the adrenaline rush of having to make those kinds of decisions all the time, can be hard thing to step aside from. To have a silent phone for an entire week. I would imagine there is a certain level of ghost alerts where a muscle twitch feels like a phone alert.

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Eagle Cap – Larry

September 26, 2018 § Leave a comment

Larry and I have been backpacking for close to 30 years now. It is kind of a fog, the dates. It somewhat depends on what year my first Mill Trip was, because although I had met Larry a few times prior to that, it wasn’t until I started coming to The Mill that our friendship began to develop. I am going to say my first Mill trip was probably January 1987, and I must have attended a couple before I heard about the Winter backpacking weekends. Like I said, that was a long time ago, and many trips later, as well as many Mill trips later Larry is one of my go-to friends. As Walt would call him, a pall bearer, though I plan on cremation, but pall bearer it is.

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Eagle Cap – Mike

September 26, 2018 § Leave a comment

This installment concerns Mike Barris, who has attended all my trips except the High Uintas. I profiled him two years ago, and something I left out of that narrative was that Mike returned from that trip not feeling well, and then proceeded to get pretty sick with Bronchitis. I think it took a long time to get on the good side of that, and it left Mike wary of further trips.

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Eagle Cap – Kevin

September 25, 2018 § Leave a comment

The second person in my profiling series, will be Kevin Hart, the newest member of our hiking entourage. In a previous post I might have mentioned something about a 12 person limit, and how there were something like 10 core people, and if all of them chose to attend, then we’d have to figure out how to ration out those two unused spots. In addition, I manage a private Facebook group for these adventures, and there are maybe 20-25 people subscribed as people of interest and core people, and by this time Kevin had been added to this group. I heard from our “Friend-in-Common” Larry Butler that Kevin called him and wanted to know “How do I become a core member, or even how do I get one of those last two spots?” That was 18 months before the actual event would occur.

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Eagle Cap – Drew

September 24, 2018 § Leave a comment

It’s been two years since I last wrote about Drew. To be honest, I haven’t seen him more than twice in that time frame, and it wasn’t apparent that he was going for sure on this adventure up until he showed up at the arrivals gate in Portland. Perhaps that is a little harsh. He was in, but maybe not fully committed to going. Let’s be honest. How many young people, testosterone or estrogen based, would want to spend 10 days with a bunch of old leaky prostate old men in the wilderness? One of whom is your Dad. I guess it depends on the young person, and it depends on their relationship with their parents.

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Take Aways From The Eagle Cap Wilderness

September 20, 2018 § Leave a comment

Introduction

This was the fourth week long adventure over the last 6 years that I have cajoled my friends into following me into some kind of wilderness adventure. What qualifies ME to lead adventures like this? One could easily argue “Very little”. From the standpoint of the Grand Canyon, at least there I had been on some of the trails, and was familiar with the conditions that time of year, but when it came to the High Uintas in Utah, Banff in Alberta, and most recently the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon, I hadn’t ever been to any of these places before, and here people were following me into the back-country with nothing but a map and my electronic devices.

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