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VACATION!!


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I'm typing this from my in-laws' house in Sedona, AZ. It's a tad warm here but the scenery is simply amazing. I'm also impressed by the colorful names for the places around here. I'm used to the sickeningly positive place names that developers think up in my area. Places like "Happy Valley," "Eagle Point Heights," "Sparrow Hawk Landing," etc. So I appreciate the honesty of "Dead Horse Ranch," and "Blood Creek."

I got up this morning at 5:30 and hiked along "Dry Creek" till I got to "Pecker Rock" (aptly named, I assure you).

- Jim Katen, Sedona

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

I'm typing this from my in-laws' house in Sedona, AZ. It's a tad warm here but the scenery is simply amazing. I'm also impressed by the colorful names for the places around here. I'm used to the sickeningly positive place names that developers think up in my area. Places like "Happy Valley," "Eagle Point Heights," "Sparrow Hawk Landing," etc. So I appreciate the honesty of "Dead Horse Ranch," and "Blood Creek."

I got up this morning at 5:30 and hiked along "Dry Creek" till I got to "Pecker Rock" (aptly named, I assure you).

- Jim Katen, Sedona

Jeez Jim, I just got back from Prescott teaching a new construction course. Had I know you were in town, I'd have swung through Sedona and bought you a beer!

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

I got up this morning at 5:30 and hiked along "Dry Creek" till I got to "Pecker Rock" (aptly named, I assure you).

- Jim Katen, Sedona

Jim,

Do you hike often?

The wife and I hike a lot, Smokey Mnts, Blue Ridge Mnts, section hiked Appalachian trail...

You feel a lot closer to creation as you're climbing a 4000' foot incline.

God willing and the creek doesn't rise, we are having a family reunion in the Smokey Mountains in May of '07. Going to hike Mount La Count. 3600' incline. Really hard but rewarded with some of the best views ever. 6 hours in and 1 hour out. It's the closest I've ever come to smelling like a small mouth bass.

Going to bring the Nikon. Just hope I can find a digital film store somewhere nearby.

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Hey Friends,

I just got back from a week on Prince Edward Island, Canada. My folks live in a little village called Darnley (population 300 and 1/2 of them are related to me). I try to take the boys up there every year or so. Ate, drank, and sang myself to death just about every night. The kids play with their cousins all day long (rain or shine) and sleep 12 hours every night. I'm not sure I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow.

Jimmy

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Hi Jimmy,

The folks on P.E.I. are some of the nicest in the maritimes. At least they were the last time I was up that way. Haven't been up there in 34 years, since a girlfriend and I went camping on the north shore in '72. There is one thing that I didn't like about P.E.I. though, that's the damned mosquito's. Those things were big enough to carry the tent away with both people in it, if it wasn't staked down well enough, and it seemed like every cubic inch of air was populated with at least five.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

I'm also impressed by the colorful names for the places around here. So I appreciate the honesty of "Dead Horse Ranch," and "Blood Creek."

- Jim Katen, Sedona

In that case, I'd bet you'd like a little place just North of here called "Cut N Shoot". Farther North of there is a town called "Gun Barrel City".

Unfortunately, they don't show up in the Tourist brochures.

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Originally posted by Terence McCann

Jim,

Do you hike often?

The wife and I hike a lot, Smokey Mnts, Blue Ridge Mnts, section hiked Appalachian trail...

I used to hike constantly in the northeast, mostly in the Berkshires & White Mountains & lesser ranges with Indian names that I've forgotten. (Anyone familiar with the "Broomstick Ledges" in CT?) It was during a hike along the Appalachian trail that I slipped on a gravelly slope and tumbled several hundred feet with a 50# pack on my back. I managed to walk out, but couldn't walk for days afterward. My back still gives me trouble from that one.

I hardly hike anywhere anymore which is a shame, really, given that I now live in one of the greatest states for hiking.

You feel a lot closer to creation as you're climbing a 4000' foot incline.

Or, in my case, closer to your creator.

God willing and the creek doesn't rise, we are having a family reunion in the Smokey Mountains in May of '07. Going to hike Mount La Count. 3600' incline. Really hard but rewarded with some of the best views ever. 6 hours in and 1 hour out. It's the closest I've ever come to smelling like a small mouth bass.

I wish you luck. Sounds like fun. The problem I've observed with family climbs is that there's always someone with more ambition than ability.

Going to bring the Nikon. Just hope I can find a digital film store somewhere nearby.

What's a digital film store? I thought you digital people didn't need no stinkin' stores, just honkin-big memory cards.

BTW, for us film types, finding decent film is getting to be a real drag.

- Jim in Sedona

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Well, I will be taking my Ten year old son on a little Dad and Son getaway this weekend. We are planning a long weekend in the Smokey Mountains. A little WW rafting on the Ocoee and the Nantahala rivers and a visit to Dollywood for some roller coaster action. My better half has volunteered to stay home with the dogs!

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Jim,

Wow, sorry to hear about the spill. You must have been crappin' your pants. What part of the trail were you on/what state?

There are areas on the Alum Cave/Mt LaCounte trail, that we will be hiking in the Spring, that has a path about 2' wide with a sheer drop off on one side. If you ever went over the edge it would be all she wrote.

Regarding the digital film store, sorry, my attempt at humor. I know not to give up my day job.

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I used to hike constantly in the northeast, mostly in the Berkshires & White Mountains & lesser ranges with Indian names that I've forgotten
Huh?

Imagine that, I come from the postage stamp sized town of Amenia, NY, known as gateway to the Berkshires. Pretty rare that I hear of anyone that knows the region. People know the Catskills, Adirondacks, Green Mountains, White Mountains but the Berkshires are sort of forgotten.

About those names - the very small knob behind the home where I grew up, which could hardly be called a "mountain" here in Washington State, was named Rattlesnake Mountain for good reason - there were plenty of timber rattlers up there that would come down in the spring and move back up the hill for winter hibernation. Jack McEnroe killed one while mowing our field one afternoon - the damned thing was more than 6ft. long. As a kid playing up there, I learned early to make lots of noise moving through the woods and to steer well clear of the few little caves and really rocky areas with pockets where they can hang out. I often wonder if they are still there are have all been driven off by development?

Oh well, thread drift, sorry. If anyone is planning to take a vacation but hasn't decided where to go yet, you should really consider coming to the Northwest. I've been all around the world and I've never seen a place with such a variety of things for vacationers to do and see. If you're into water sports, there isn't anything that you can't find here -- white water, canoing, scuba, water skiing, sailboarding, whale watching, kayaking (sea and fresh water) sailing, etc. If you're into cruises, there are some wonderful cruises that leave here and go up along the Canadian coast to Alaska. If you like scenery, the mountains here are spectacular and hiking adventures everywhere. Hell, make your arrangements early enough and you can even rent a one-room ranger hut on top of a remote peak, that's only accessible by foot, and sleep at the top of the world for a night. The only place that I've seen that was as pretty was the mountains around Bergdesgarten in the Bavarian Alps. Hunting and fishing and photography? There's plenty and there are planes that leave Kenmore Air down the street all day long, bound for remote hunting and camping places in Washington and Canada. Want to visit someplace with a little bit of victorian flavor? Take a day ferry out of Seattle to Victoria, BC. While you're up there, take advantage of the exchange rate and let the wife shop at some of the chic stores in downtown Victoria (I practically had to have the police drag my wife back to the damned boat!).

Lots to do - just make sure you bring your wallet and credit cards - none of it's cheap. Oh yeah, best bring a passport if you think you'd be going to Canada. They're starting to get kind of picky up there at the border and a passport makes it easier. Last time we went I took my niece and she didn't bring any ID. She and my wife are both Koreans. My wife had the only green card - Eun Jin has one but, like a typical teenager, forgot to bring it when she came for a visit. The only way we got her back across was by telling them that she was our daughter and showing them my military I.D. card and my wife's military dependent's I.D. card and saying that we simply forgot her's. Touch and go there for a few minutes. The U.S. Border patrol guy checking papers of those bording the ferry said that he really should detain her until he'd verified everything, but we both had Washington driver's licenses, a vehicle registered in Washington, business cards, insurance papers, etc., and were within half an hour of the ferry loading, so, after admonishing me for my absent mindedness, he let us board. Whew! Not going back up there without a passport - nosiree Bob!

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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