Guided Hiking/Backpacking, Scenic, and Photo Tours
Follow my journey from Midtown NYC (Nov. 2012) to Downtown Los Angeles (Jul. 2013).
THE GOALS: (1.) Raise $20,000 for the American Diabetes Association, (2.) Spread awareness about the growing epidemic of Type-2 Diabetes, and (3.) Experience America up close and personal. [MISSION COMPLETE 7/20/13]
Moab, Utah. Mike Corenella & Mrs. Corenella, thank you both so much! Not only for the water while I was walking into Moab, the advice, the stories, the new Montrail shoe insoles, and the excellent tour of Arches National Park -- but above all that, thank you for your enthusiasm for life! Keep up the excellent job you and your wife are doing.
Guided Hiking/Backpacking, Scenic, and Photo Tours
Flagstaff, Arizona. Thank you Clay for your taking care of me in selecting the right pack, your great professionalism, giving me packing tips, your store's phone etiquette, store's selection, logistics, and your follow ups. 5-stars, great job all around the board!
12 E Aspen Ave
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Grand Canyon, Arizona. Walking 22 miles from the southern rim into the Grand Canyon and up the northern rim seemed like a simple undertaking. However, the 110+ F temperature added a different element to the task.
After receiving several recommendations to walk across the Canyon at night from very knowledgeable locals, I decided to walk during the day in order to meet and converse with people, take colorful photos of the Canyon, and for safety reasons to not slip and fall down to the bottom.
The sprint down into the Canyon was fairly quick & easy. Once I got a good pace going the only person who passed me was a trail runner, which I thought was cool. I miss running and was actually a little jealous.
3-hours later at the bottom near the Indian Garden I took a nap on the ground, woke up and trekked 5-miles to Phantom Ranch. Phantom is a complex at the bottom of the Grand Canyon that is composed of log cabins, a campground, ranger station, and a canteen.
I chilled at the canteen for a bit drinking several cups of lemonade until my belly ached and talking to Noami, the girl behind the counter. I took another siesta at the eating table, woke, filled my water bottles, and kept trucking.
At this point I had 15-miles to go to reach North Rim and I was seeing less and less people. After wiping dripping sweat from my face several times, I knew things were about to get serious. That trek down to the bottom was to easy for me. They advise park visitors not to go down and come back up in one day, but I'm hard headed and had to do it.
The journey back up to the other side of the Canyon was long, hot, and uncomfortable at times.
Once the sun went down 6-hours after I left the ranch. Shortly thereafter it was completely dark and the Canyon took on another personality.
The colorful landscapes were gone, besides the area in front of me lit by my headlamp all I could see was the black silhouette of the scaling Canyon walls surrounding me beneath the stars and satellites. Seeing the Milky Way spanning across the sky for the first time I realized this was the clearest view I've ever seen of the heavens.
I then stopped took off my pack, sat down, took a ibuprofen, two sips of 5-Hour Energy, and several gulps if water. Cleared my mind while massaging my feet for a bit. I played DJ Shadow's Gi Mix (from "Do Androids Dream of Electronic Beats"), I got up and was ready to go!
With all of the switchbacks and being in the dark, the last 3-miles were the toughest. I seemed to be going nowhere, the elevation would rise then fall for quite some time, and it was extremely frustrating.
"Don't think... be", a Bruce Lee quote and "Battle physically, conquer mentally" line were somewhere in that mix (along with a nice Whitney Houston track) and at that point I was fully engaged going full speed being careful not to slip off the ledge on one of the turns while working my way up.
I finally made it to the top and felt accomplished. I wanted to pass out but the adrenaline was still pumping. Great walk, beautiful scenery -- this is probably No. 4 in this trip's greatest challenges.
Moab, Utah. Big shout out to Steve, LJ, Mark, Skeeter, and the whole crew at GearHeads!
From Fruita, Colorado until I got into town everyone told me I had to visit three places in Moab: Arches National Park, Moab Brewery, & GearHeads.
Entering the outdoors gear shop I wanted to buy everything I saw, even the unrelated stuff -- there was so much packed into this one store. The staff were fairly knowledgeable and super friendly. They assisted me in finding the following items:
* Mountain Time freeze dried dinner meals to cook and eat while camping
* Small propane canister for my portable stove
* 3-Liter Platypus water reservoir, an upgrade from my 2-liter one
* Tactical lighting device with tons of neat features (graciously donated)
* Black Diamond gaiters to keep thorns, rocks, sand, and everything else out of my boots while walking (graciously donated)
* Various Clif meal bars, flavors I never tried before because I like to experiment (graciously donated)
Overall great shop, great people, and thanks again guys -- these gaiters are priceless!
GearHeads Outdoor Store
471 S Main St
Moab, UT 84532
Moab, Utah. Much thanks to everyone who has made a tax-deductible donation to the American Diabetes Association through my coast to coast walk! We have almost reached our $20,000 goal and are just $2,000 away.
For those that want to donate or to the multitude that have promised to give but haven't yet, today should be that day. Click HERE to donate as little as a $10. It's great that I'm walking across the nation, but the donations have to come in to help this organization and make an impact.
100% of your tax-deductible American Diabetes Association donation goes to diabetes services and diabetes research to find a cure. Diabetes is a growing health issue in this country and we must do what we can to stop it, so please DONATE -- Thank you for your support!
Moab, Utah. On my way to Moab I ran into Jason, Phil, Alex, & Simon (who took this photo). They are from The University of Buffalo Geology located in upstate New York. They saw my sign while driving by and couldn't believe it, these guys were great! We talked for a bit, they offered me water, and also made a donation.
Moab, Utah. Thank every one that assisted me with directions, donations, food, water, and supplies during my walk from The Kokopelli Trail in Fruita to the Outdoors Recreation capital of the US.
Special thanks to the Ashley & Pete for being great hosts, Walgreens staff in Fruita, Subway in Fruita, Henry at Starvin' Arvin, mountain biker that gave me Kokopelli directions, young girl with mom who noticed me from TV, cool dad in shades driving SUV (hope you're in Moab), Tony in Fruita who saw me on TV and donated, Yolie who saw in on the highway & donated, Jayme who donated, Fruita library, KJCT (Shannon) & News Channel 5 (Taylor) in Grand Junction, Lisa who gave me water, the couple that provided me with cold water, the guy who gave me a boiling hot bottle of water (its the thought right?), Tony & his cute family who provided me some food, the bikers troubleshooting the GoPro, all the cars full of young adults showing me love, Kelly for the donation, Phil/Alex/Simon/Jason of the University of Buffalo Geology for the water & donations, Sorrel River Ranch Restaurant staff (you guys were so awesome and food was great!), the gentleman who covertly covered my breakfast, Mike of Deep Desert Expeditions for the water/advice/recommendations, the Denny's staff of Moab, the Moab couple I spoke to before reaching, Mark & Susan of the Louisiana State Museum for being great & encouraging,
Friday, November 28, 2012
Runner, Writer, Thinker, & Positive Energy.