Thursday, December 27, 2012

One Month to Go!!!

As of yesterday I am only one month from the start of my journey to South America and my attempt to summit Aconcagua, the highest peak on the South American continent!  I put a link below to my trip details.  I hopefully will summit around February 8th, but in case of bad weather we have a few extra days built into the schedule.  I will be posting some details soon about how you can follow the progress of my trip.  So please keep checking back soon if you're interested in following!

Training has been going quite well despite the minor bleed I had two weekends ago.  I have been skiing a bunch and my job as a snowmaker is strenuous to stay the least.  I am feeling strong and can't wait to get going on this next adventure.  The pictures below are of my colorful bruise/bleed from the snowmobile and the beautiful scenery I get to work in every day.

Please keep checking in on my climb and please visit my donation page below if you can.  Anything you can give helps immensely!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rough Weekend

This past weekend was a rough one.  I headed up to the mountains for work late on Thursday night.   Thursday is my prophy day and despite several reminders on my phone I completely forgot to infuse until about 30 minutes before my work shift.  I was in a hurry and of course, it didn't go well.  Not sure what the issue was but I missed twice.  Being desperate and running out of time before work I decided to try for a huge vein on my right arm which meant infusing left handed.  I haven't tried left handed since college but I nailed it!  I was hoping that was the end of the issues for the weekend but early Saturday morning, I abruptly and unintentionally dismounted my snowmobile.  I smacked my thigh and shin on the handlebars of the sled.  I felt okay initially but as the adernaline of the minor crash wore off, I knew I had a few bleeds.  Worked finished up and I immediately reinfused but the damage was done.  I had to skip training the rest of the weekend and even missed work.  I'm feeling much better now despite some nice bruising and being a little sore.  I'm heading back up to the mountains to work again this Thursday night and hopefully I'll be able to stay on the sled.  Training will resume and hopefully there won't be any set backs.  Once again, check out the donation page for my climb if you can.  Despite my minor incident and bleeds, I have it good.  Others with hemophilia really need your help!  Thanks for following my blog and keep checking back for more updates!

Click here for the climb donation page!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

This is why I climb.

Yesterday, my mentor and friend Laurie Kelley posted a gut wrenching and painful story of a young boy named Brain with hemophilia.  He lives in Zimbabwe and his story, and those similar stories I have heard while in Kenya make it more and more apparent that we need to help.  Most of you know me as an athletic, active and adventurous person with hemophilia as a minor side note, but this story will show you what hemophilia really is.  I am simply posting Laurie's words and pictures below.
Brian had tears rolling down his cheeks when I asked him to simply lift his arm. He "lifted" it by his shoulders; he cannot hold a cup to drink from. His feet look like balloons. Four of his fingers are grotesquely swollen. I told him we had money to give him, $100--a fortune to him! Some nice man from the States donated it, and Brian promptly looked down at the photo of Jim Morrison (which I had just been admiring). I told him, No... not that guy! We all laughed. Save One Life donors: we ensure your donations get to the kids!
Today at 3 pm, just before heading to the airport, one more African child with hemophilia to visit at the hospital. Imagine my shock: Brian has perhaps the worst care of joint damage and bleeding I have seen in 16 years of traveling to developing countries... he's age 13, weighs only 50 pounds, cannot walk, is an orphan, lives 4 hour bus ride away from the hospital......and he's wearing a Doors t-shirt. He stole my heart.
This is why I want to climb the Seven Summits.  Yes, I want to see if I can, see if I can push myself as far as possible but the main goal is to somehow make a difference in the lives of people like Brian.  Please if you can, donate to my climb.  Any amount helps but mainly, please spread the word.  Send this link and story to family and friends.  And most importantly, if you really want to make a HUGE impact in the life of someone with hemophilia in a similar situation go to and become a sponsor!  I put the links below for both!  Thank for all of your support!

Click Here to Donate to My Climb!

Click Here to Become A Sponsor!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ongoing Training and a Donation Page!

On Thanksgiving Day I started my new job at Keystone Resort in Colorado as a snowmaker!  It's an absolute blast and I couldn't have picked a better job to help me with my climbs.  I spend all night running around the mountain adjusting, setting up, and moving all the snowmaking equipment.  Not only is it physically demanding but I work in cold weather and at elevation.  When I get off work at 9:00 A.M. I throw my skis on a knock out a few runs before bed.  I have been loving it and with the lack of snow in the mountains so far this year, I will probably be working there until right before my climb.

On the climb front, I am happy to say that my fundraising page is setup!  Please follow the link below and donate if you can.  Any amount helps tremendously!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Working at Keystone!!

I have been trying to figure out how to optimize my training regimen and figured, why not work in the mountains then I could train everyday!  I applied for a bunch of jobs at Vail Resorts and finally got a position at Keystone Resort.  I will be making snow!  I'm really excited for this position because I will be working on the mountain 4 days a week.  Hopefully I'll have some good stories to tell you all soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Training Postponed

After that wonderful training run on Monday, the reality of having hemophilia jumped back into the forefront.  I'm not exactly sure what happened but I ended up with a pretty intense bleed at the base of my neck.  I don't know exactly how it happened, I thought maybe I slept in a strange position but by midday Tuesday, it was clear it was a bleed.  I infused but I'll need to rest for a few days before I get back at it.  I'll keep you posted about training when I am healthy again, which I hope is soon!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Best song to end a run!!

Went out for a couple mile run this morning and was dragging a bit at the end until I heard this song!  Might not be everyone's taste but it really got me going!  Definitely going to use it skiing the moguls this season too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

More real by the second!!

Today I purchased my plane tickets for my travel to South America! I still can't believe this is happening! January is right around the corner so training is about to get intense! I'll keep you posted but it looks like another 14'er is in my near future!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

First Training Climb for Aconcagua!

Starting on the trail
Early this past Monday morning, two friends and I ventured into the Rocky Mountains.  We set out to climb two 14'ers, Grays Peak and Torrey's Peak.  We reached the trail head at about 6:20 A.M., threw on all our gear and started up the trail.  This would be my first cold weather 14'er.   A recent snowstorm here in Colorado left a coating of snow on most the trail and in some spots, snow drifts made travel a bit slower.  Most of the trail up Grays Peak was a gradual incline.  Watching the sunrise over the peaks was amazing and the cold air felt strangely uplifting.  This is exactly where I love to be.  It took us about 4 1/2 hours to reach the summit of Grays.  We probably could've climbed faster but the stunning views paused our ascent.  I could try and describe the incredible views from the summit but I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Sunrise on Grays Peak

We spent a few minutes on the summit of Grays Peak before continuing on to Torreys Peak.  Our descent towards the saddle between Grays and Torreys was a little hairy.  It looked like only one other person had gone this route since the snow storm and the snow completely hid the proper trail.  The rocks were icy and sometimes a step led to your foot disappearing into knee deep snow.  It difficult terrain but I was having a blast!  We made it down to the saddle between the peaks and began the trek up Torreys.

The trail up Torreys seemed short and easy but man was it steep!  To make matters even more difficult, deep snow covered most of the trail.  I had to kick in foot holds most of the way and it was exhausting but I was determined.  It only took us about 30 minutes to reach the summit of Torreys from the saddle but my legs shook from exhaustion at the summit.  The view once again was spectacular and I didn't want to leave and head down.  I could have sat there all day.  The descent was quick and easy to the saddle but then things got interesting.

Summit of Torreys Peak (14,267ft)
During the summers a skinny trail usually connects the saddle between the peaks back to the main trail.  Well...there was a problem, snow drifts hid the trail.  We began making our way through the drifts to where we believed the trail was only to find that the layer of snow made it very difficult to traverse across the mountain.  In some spots the snow was over knee deep while in others it was almost to thin to get a firm foot hold in place.  The thin spots were especially scary.  We were terrified that if we didn't have a good hold, our feet we slip and we would rocket down into the rocky mountain side below.  It took us 20 minutes to navigate this treacherous part but we made it without incident and the remainder of the decent was uneventful.  It took us two hours to reach our car, dragging our tired bodies the entire way.

It was an amazing day and we finished it off with trip to my favorite restaurant Chipotle for an awesome burrito.  Although the day was an resounding success and one of the best times I have ever experienced on a mountain, a thought about my hemophilia did pop into my mind.  Even though I am on prophy, what if I had twisted my ankle badly on the mountain?  Could I infuse with it being that cold outside.  I have now realized that my training cannot only be about physical conditioning but also my preparedness with my hemophilia.  In the upcoming months I will be attempting my infusions in cold environments to see the challenges in a more controlled situation before I leave for my trip.  I have infused outside in the mountains before but not in the frigid temperatures I may experience on some of my futures endeavors.  I will post about these experiences soon!

I hope you all enjoy the pictures of my trip here on my blog.  Check out my Facebook page for tons more!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New Training Toys!!

With winter just around the corner and my trip only a few months away I need to get started training and there is no better way to train than throwing on some brand new telemark ski boots and skinning up the mountain.  Skinning is probably the best workout I have ever had!  Basically you strap on your tele skis and boots, then you put "skins" on the bottom of your skis.  Skins let your skis slid forward but not backwards so you can basically hike up a mountain on your skis!  Awesome right!  Now I just have to wait for some snow!  I'll post pictures when I start skinning so you can get a better idea.

I'm also going to climb a 14er on Monday!  Not sure which peak yet but I'll post pictures and a little story either Monday night or Tuesday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Dream Continues! Aconcagua 2013

First of all, its been along time since I have posted.  Life has gotten crazy!  Summer was pretty wild.  I was able to go to hemophilia camp in Colorado again which was an absolute blast, climbed a 14er, went downhill mountain biking, flew a plane and started a small business.  Unfortunately, I lost track of my blog.  I am going to try hard to keep posting consistently and with some new news, that should be easy!

It's official!  I am continuing my quest to be the first hemophiliac to climb the Seven Summits!  I am heading to Argentina this January to climb the highest peak in South America.  The peaks name is Aconcagua and stands at a massive 22,800ft! It's the highest peak in both the southern and western hemispheres.  I'll be climbing with guides from Mountain Professionals (  They have tons of experience on big mountains and I cannot wait to learn from them!  I have tons of training to do to prepare for this amazing adventure but I am excited for this undertaking!

The best part of this climb is probably going to be trying to raise money for a cause near and dear to my heart, Save One Life.  I have mentioned Save One Life several times on my blog and have seen first hand the needs they are trying to fulfill.  Hemophilia in the developing world is a desperate situation and I'm hoping, with your help to raise a bunch of money to further the cause.  I will be working with Save One Life to set up a web page for donations so keep checking the blog, facebook page and my twitter account for information about donating!

Also, if anyone is interested in joining the climb let me know!  Send me a message on my facebook page and I'll give you all the details of the climb.  And I'll leave you with a picture of the mountain itself!  I'll keep posting more about my training and the details of our climbing route soon!  Thanks for all your support!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Long time no blog

Hello everyone.  Sorry for such a huge gap in posts.  I wish I could say I have been super busy with crazy adventures but in reality, I have just been really busy with life in general.  Many things have changed in the last few months.  Big things!  First and probably most important was that I quit my job! AHHH!  This was an incredibly hard decision for me to make but I have been so happy with my decision.  I took some time off to relax, took a part time summer job coaching a high school baseball team, and began work on a small business with a friend.  Oh yeah and doing tons of renovation work on our house.

I have to say getting back out on the baseball field has been great.  It doesn't pay well but I really love teaching the game and seeing the guys improve.  We have some really talented players on the team too.  Our record isn't great so far but we are improving and have been playing some really tough teams.

The small business venture is probably the most exciting thing going on right now!  I can't give away to many details yet but my close friend Brandon and I are working hard on getting our idea off the ground.  Just looking for a little funding right now but hopefully you will be hearing from us in the near future!

This week I will also be heading to hemophilia camp here in Colorado.  I will be a leadership counselor and I am really excited for the week to come.  We will be doing tons of fun things but what I am looking forward to most his infusion training with the younger kids.  It's so great watching the older leadership group spend time with the younger generation, encouraging them to learn self infusion.

I'll write a post when I get home!  Hope you will all check back then!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tough Mudder 2012!!

All clean at the beginning!
Have you heard of the Tough Mudder?  Well if you haven't just imagine the most difficult, exhausting, and rewarding challenge you could ever participate in!  This year, three of my close friends from college came all the way from Nebraska to Beaver Creek, Colorado to participate.  The course takes place over a 12 mile course that ventures almost directly up the ski slopes and then back down to the finish.  Doesn't sound challenging enough?  How about 25 crazy obstacles too?  Sounds perfect!

On this past Saturday morning we took on the challenge, and unfortunately I hadn't done much training.  I knew this race would be super difficult but an unfortunate knee issue really kept me off my feet until the race.  I wasn't where I wanted to be but I had to try.  Our heat started at 9:40 A.M. and approaching the starting line, I freaked out.  Was I completely nuts?  Good thing I have some really supportive friends that got me pumped up.  Standing at the line with several hundred other people, the starting bell sounded and we were off.  All nerves were gone as adrenaline took over.  I felt great!  As we charged down the starting hill, we ran past tons of screaming spectators, then we turned a massive corner and saw the trail.  It was going straight up the ski slope.  Not only that, the snow makers were in full effect making the slope slippery and cold.  What a great way to start!

Almost half way!
I really wish I could remember every single obstacle we faced but exhaustion over the long day has made everything run together.  The first obstacle I remember clearly involved water and a bit of electricity.  Yep that's right, electricity.  Basically we had to do an army crawl for 30ft in a couple inches of water with wires hanging down.  And some of those wires were electrified!  And they hurt!  I crawled past the first wire and BANG!  I got a big shock!  Same thing with the second wire.  Bang! Shocked again.  I have never crawled so fast in my life!  We all had a good laugh about it when we got out but I was not looking forward to it again.  The next big obstacle that I remember and will absolutely never forget was called the "Arctic Enema".  It's as awful as it sounds.  Basically huge roll away dumpsters were filled with shoulder deep ice water.  And we jumped in.  And then swam under a wall in the middle and tried to crawl out the other side.  I was wondering why it was so quiet near this area.  I thought people would be screaming after going into the frigid water but you can't.  The cold sucks the breath from your lungs.  It was invigorating in a strange way.

Continuing up the mountain sides we traveled over ice walls, huge wooden walls, over and under logs until we reached the peak after 7.5 miles.  We were wiped out and only barely half way done.  The descent was much better.  We climbed through more water, under barbed wire, over rings, up snowy cliffs, under more electrified wired, over balance beams, up a huge quarter pipe and finally through the gauntlet.  I was super proud of making it over all the obstacles except for falling off the balance beam and getting soaked all over again.  I even made it over the monkey bar obstacle with what seemed like 1000 rungs!

The last and final obstacle was hundreds of wires hanging over a 30ft muddy pit.  Many of which were electrified.  As our team of four was joined by a random contestant we took of running for the finish.  We made it most of the way through then it looked like a car wreck.  Four of us running through went down in a heap.  A pile in the mud.  My friend Matt tripped in front of me and as I went to jump over him, BAM! Shocked big time in the hip.  I went down right next to him but we made it.  We gathered together and finished the race as a team.  I don't think I have been that tired ever before or more elated to finish a challenge.  I would compare this feeling to climbing Kilimanjaro.  I had a great team to help me finish this course and as of right now, only one bleed to show for it.  I know doing this with hemophilia probably wasn't the best idea but I will never regret the experience.
Victory beer!
THE TEAM! Kyle Fritz, Phil Williams, Matt Rediger, and Me

Check out more pictures of my facebook page and keep posted for more videos!  I need to edit the GoPro footage so you don't have to watch hours of running and can just see the obstacles.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wheels for the World!

Have you heard?  Barry Haarde is going to bike across America to raise money for Save One Life! Want to know what makes this even more amazing?  He has hemophilia A, hepatitis, and HIV and is going to ride his bike across America!  Talk about inspirational.

He is starting his ride in Astoria, Oregon and will ride across the northern part of our country and finish up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  That's 3,667 miles of pedaling!  The best part of this story is that Barry is taking this time off of work to help those in need with hemophilia. 

As many of you know, I am on the board for Save One Life and after my trips to Kenya, I have really realized the importance of Save One Life.  In most of the developing world hemophilia is unheard of.  Not because people don't have hemophilia in these places but because no one has even heard of it.  They just think people with hemophilia are sick.  In some places hemophilia can be diagnosed...if you are lucky enough to be around people that have heard of it but treatment will be non-existent or minimal.  When I finish my blog post on my latest Africa trip it will be full of examples of this.

Barry will be starting his bike ride June 17th so check out all the links below and donate if you possibly can!  Any amount helps a ton and will go towards helping those with hemophilia in need!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mountain Biking Utah

While I am gathering thoughts and pictures of my trip to Africa, I thought I would quickly post about the spectacular trip I took to Canyonlands National Park.  This is the second major mountain biking trip I have been on but what made this trip even more special was the absolute remoteness of this venture.  At the farthest point of our trip we would be over 40 miles from the nearest ranger station, which would take at least 6 hours to cover.

On day one my girlfriend Jess, friend Brandon, Uncle Dave and I drove from Keystone, Colorado to Goblin Valley State Park.  This place was like another planet! Maybe that's why they filmed part of the movie "Galaxy Quest" there.  Goblin Valley is widely know for it's hoodoos, tall thin spires of harder rock topping soft sandstone.  There were thousands of them!  And the best part was we could wander and climb wherever we wanted!  We got there around 5:00 in the afternoon and were there until dark.  We spent the entire time climbing up spires through tunnels and even found a cave!  Deep inside the cave was a small room with tiny gaps in the rock that let in small beams of light.  It was great to just hang out there but then we got the bright idea of trying to squeeze through one of these gaps and pop up on top of the cave.  It looked almost impossible especially to do it without help.  Jess finally went for it!  Brandon let her stand on his back and sure enough she squeezed through the hole!  It was amazing!  After Jess got through Dave and Brandon started heading back out of the cave to explore more, but I stayed behind.  I was going to give it a shot!  I found a small ledge on the wall of the cave, reached up through the tiny opening searching for any small handhold and made my move.  It was fairly easy to get my head through but as soon as my shoulders went through I felt trapped.  Only the tips of my toes could reach the rock wall and the upper half of my body was precariously positioned.  I felt trapped but I was determined to get through.  After was seemed liked an eternity, I wiggled my arms through.  I finally was able to get enough leverage to pull my legs through the small opening.  It was such a blast!  After the cave experience, we wandered all over the park until the sun began to set and finally made our way to the car.  What an amazing first day!

We awoke to a beautiful sunrise on day 2 with plans to see petroglyphs in Horseshoe Canyon and then meet up with the rest of the team. After such an amazing day at Goblin Valley I was pumped to do some more hiking and exploring in Horseshoe.  The decent into the canyon was breathtaking.  The different shades of red and white rock lined the 500ft canyon walls the began to engulf us.  We were once again transported to a different world.  The only difference today was that the bottom of the canyon was full of sand.  Lots and lots of sand.  The temperature soared into the 90's and sand piled into our shoes but the immense canyon made to somewhat miserable walk completely tolerable.  We hiked for several hours towards the Grand Gallery, one of the most well known petroglyphs from ancient times.  When the gallery came into view I felt as though I was transported into the ancient world.  I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what the petroglyphs meant with very little luck.  I'm pretty sure they are pictures of aliens because they don't look like any people I have ever seen.  The hike out was fairly grueling, mainly because of the temperature.  Brandon looked as though he would drop at any second but we made it back to the car successfully.  We headed to our campsite for the night, setup a game of horseshoes and waited for the rest of the team to arrive and the real journey to begin.  Around 8:30 that evening, John, JC, Mary and Bill arrived.  Our team of eight was complete.  Here comes The Maze!


Day three (section marked in red)started with a visit to the ranger station, an explanation of all the rules of the park and strange looks and comments about the trucks we were taking on our trip.  Little did we know the roads that lay ahead were extreme!  We started down the Flint Trail (Red highlighted trail), 5 bikers, 2 trucks and my Explorer.  I was kind of glad I missed the first part of the ride since it was all sand.  We left the Explorer at the top of the canyon and I jumped on my bike for the amazing decent.  A steep switchback road descended into the canyon.  Nothing beats the feeling of flying down a trail, over loose rock, sand and large boulders, riding just on the edge of crashing.  It was a blast!  I reached the bottom of the steep decent and gazed back at the road we had just descended.  I could barely even see it!  It was so narrow and the canyon walls so steep, the "road" disappeared into the walls.  So far the highlight of the trip.  The rest of the ride that day was much calmer but absolutely beautiful.  Around every corner were magnificent views.  We were riding on the edge of a cliff with the expanse of the Canyonlands laid out before us.  It felt surreal.  I finished up the almost fifteen mile ride from where we had left the Explorer and felt surprisingly good.  The first day of the Maze set the bar high.  Little did we know that day 2 would be much much different.  We spent the night at Teapot Camp, enjoying the sunset and a few nice cold beers, completely unaware of the hazards that lay just around the corner.

Day 4 (orange) started with a quick breakfast and encountered some fellow travelers.  We had noticed a small Toyota truck cruised past camp early in the morning heading farther into The Maze. Just as we cleaned up camp the same truck crawled back past.  We asked the occupants what the road was like and there answer immediately changed our mood.  They had broken the leaf springs on their truck and with a slight grin said, "your gonna have fun with those Dodge's."  Undaunted by their remarks, we loaded the trucks jumped on our bikes and dispersed from camp.  We didn't get far before we origins of the hesitant reactions about our trucks became very clear.  Some intense four wheel drive trails lay before us.  The great part about our group was that it was full of optimists and problem solvers.  We weren't going to let a few rocks get in the way of our fun.  It would've been a hilarious sight to see the 6 mountain bikers running in front of these two trucks, scrambling to figure out the best routes to get through the rock trail.  We were doing amazing, working as an amazing team and feel incredibly confident until we saw the craziest obstacle of all.  After a steep narrow rock filled decent the trail turned almost 180 degrees to the edge of a cliff face.  The cliff wasn't even the intimidating part.  The trail had three huge steps!  The first was a somewhat mild foot drop followed immediately by a two foot uphill step.  I thought our trip was done.  There didn't seem like any possible way our trucks would make it up.  My counterparts, most of whom had much more off-roading experiences then myself, were undaunted.  They simple began stacking rocks like ramps on both parts of the steps, guided the trucks gently onto the rocks making sure nothing scrapped, and continued on.  It was amazing!  I couldn't believe it!  Getting through this treacherous section was one of the last truly difficult parts.  Those of us that were biking that day jumped on and pedaled like crazy!  The white colored rock gave way to rich red dirt.  As we pedaled farther and farther the slot canyons became more visible eventually leading to a breathtaking overlook.  That nights camp sprang into view.  The amazing pillar known as Chimney Rock grew on the horizon.  Our camp that night is probably the best camp I have ever been at.  The maze of slot canyons spread out all around us with the massive up canyon walls looming in the far distance. Even the La Sal Mountains could be seen in the distance.  To make the night even better, John made paella!  If you have never had paella, you are missing out.  I ate so much I thought I may get sick.  Going to bed that night I felt like I was in heaven.

As I unzipped our tent on the morning of day 5 (blue) is was once again greeted by a spectacular view.  The slowly rising sun lit up the spectacular canyon, slowly flooding it with light.  I just stood at the opening of the tent for several minutes relishing the view. Unlikely the previous mornings, todays would be a bit different.  Not only would we be preparing for an overnight backpacking trip but it was time for an infusion.  Everything was a bit chaotic but Jess and I took some time, sat down, and mixed up my factor.  I was filthy and a bit dehydrated so I chugged a Nalgene of water and used about ten alcohol wipes to clean the infusion site.  Jess volunteered to do the infusion and I wasn't going to argue.  So while I sat in the camp chair staring out over the Canyonlands, Jess infused me.  I always forget about taking pictures of infusions since I am a bit preoccupied with infusing so my friend Brandon took some pictures.  The only problem...Brandon hates needles!  So he blindly took pictures, trying to not pass out.  Jess nailed the vein as usual and we packed up our packs and got ready to hike into the canyons.  The trail we would be taking was only about 5 miles long but descended steeply into the canyon.  At one point we dropped about 600 vertical feet in less then a quarter mile!  It was awesome!  Carrying everything you need to survive on your back into an environment like this was a great experience. We quickly learned why this place is known as The Maze!  Every few hundred feet there is another slot canyon diverging from our current canyon.  Luckily a clearly marked trail lead us through the ancient sandy river bottom towards our destination.  I was incredibly excited to to reach out destination, a massive collection of petroglyphs known as Harvet Scene.  Harvest Scene is especially unique because of its remote location deep within the canyons.  As we were approaching these ancient writings a brutal windstorm rushed through the canyon followed abruptly by a driving rainstorm.  The temperature plummeted quickly as we scrambled to put coats on and find cover. As we huddled under a small tree, some of the more well prepared and equipped members of our team ventured into the rain.  They disappeared around the corner but quickly returned with exciting news, Harvest Scene lay right around the corner!  As the rain died down we hurried around the corner and the beautiful petroglyphs covered the canyon walls.  We all stood in silence, mesmerized.  It was strange to think that thousands of years ago, ancient people stood at this very spot communicating through this bizarre draws.  We set up camp across the wash from Harzest Scene and explored the surrounding area.  It was a perfect end to a great day, sleeping in a remote canyon across from ancient doesn't get much better then that.

Day 6 (pink and yellow) in the Maze would be one of the longest days of my life.  I woke up with the knowledge that we had a four mile hike out of the canyon, a five mile bike ride to the next camp where Brandon and I would leave the rest of the crew, a 30 mile drive to the canyon rim over tough 4x4 roads, a 50 mile drive back to paved roads, then another 8 hour drive back to Denver where I would hopefully be back in time for a NHF Colorado board retreat.  I was kind of dreading the drive to come but the hike out of the canyon was unbelievable! We hiked a few miles at the base of the canyon then saw the route out.  It looked completely vertical!  Carrying our large packs we began making our way up.  There were several tricky moves and falling would not have been good.  This was my kind of hiking!  I love scrambling and throwing a huge pack on your back makes it even more interesting.  It probably took us over an hour to climb the 900 vertical feet but when we finished I wished there was more.  It was a blast and the views from the sides of the climb were the best!  The rest of the hike back to our cars and bikes was uneventful but still full of spectacular views.  Taking our packs off felt great and we quickly jumped on our bikes to head to Doll House, the rest of our crews next camp.  The ride started out great but ended with several large sand pits.  Sand sucks for riding bikes!  Reaching Doll House was a great accomplishment.  We made it to the final camp now the tricky part for Brandon and I began.  We loaded the truck up with empty coolers and things the rest of our group didn't need then started our journey out of The Maze, it was 3:30 P.M.. We drove the next hour and a half on relatively calm roads then ran into a familiar sight.  We were back at the crazy off-road portion of the trail and this time we were alone.  We didn't have a crew to help through the crazy terrain.  Brandon and I did a great job of working through some tricky spots and despite almost getting stuck twice, we only put a small hole in the front of the truck!  Not bad for just the two of us.  It took us 4 hours to reach the top of the canyon and we still had 50 miles of rough dirt roads to go before we could really make progress on paved roads.  Those 50 miles took us another 3 hours!  We finally reached a gas station an hour later and loaded up on Red Bull and 5 Hour Energy for the long drive home.  We finally reached Denver at 5:30 A.M. and despite being completely exhausted I made it to the board retreat!  What an epic adventure!

Thanks for reading this.  As you can probably tell I'm not great at summarizing trips like these so I appreciate you spending the time checking these out and being patient waiting for my posts.  The Africa post is in progress and will be out soon!  Keep checking out the blog for more post and now the facebook page for all the extra photos from the trips!