We spent the week in the Adirondacks, with little more than a map and an RV full of backpacking gear. No plan at all, but as all hiking trips go, they come together regardless. Coincidentally, it was the first week with my new Sony a6500, so I put it through its paces (see video above).
We needed a bugout weekend in a bad way. So, much credit to Frontier Airlines, $140 per ticket round-trip got us safely to Las Vegas. Close enough to the desert we were looking for.
Arriving in Vegas pretty late, we rented a cheap hotel room and completed our obligatory night on the strip. Pretty lights, $20 dollar drinks, and an onslaught of bachelorettes tired us out pretty quickly, but we were able to rise early and head towards the wild. To save on checked bag fees for camping gear, we rented a trusty Kia Sorento and treat it like a camper.
We’re trying to squeeze every last drop out of summer, and this weekend we found ourselves adventuring around the Youghiogheny River and back to my hometown of Cumberland, MD to do some climbing with our new friend Todd. You can grade a successful RV weekend by getting her uncovered before Friday’s sunset and getting it buttoned back up by Sunday’s sunset. Mission accomplished.
Big storms rolling through Western, PA pushed us to my hometown of Cumberland, MD to find some sunshine. I lived there until I was about 9, and it’s nice to detour through town to appreciate it as an adult.
We climbed the Cumberland Narrows up over the north ridge; not a maintained trail by any means but trafficked enough to find our way. Took turns holding the dogs far enough from the edge to keep them out of peril. At the top of the Narrows is Lover’s Leap, which has a Romeo and Juliet-esque backstory, link below for more.
Late summer in our region is a precarious time to camp; some nights can be downright uncomfortably hot, and we were specifically trying to escape the heat wave of the weekend, so we headed towards the closest peak we could get to by sunset: the Laurel Summit. It didn’t take much planning, and I wanted to test out some new gear, so without much thought we headed east.
The folks at Tri-County ATV sure know how to throw a party. Since 2000, the group (which is sponsored by the local fire and rescue crew of Heilwood, PA) has owned/leased over 1000 acres with limitless trails get muddy on. Twice a year, they hold an open house and for a small fee, anyone can come get their machines in the mud.
Annual snow trip time! This year, the gang headed to Aspen, CO to partake in the epically, pillowy-fresh snow of the Rocky Mountains. We found time to hit up 3 parks in 3 days, the quintessential: Aspen, Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass. We stayed at a little VRBO in Woody Creek and threw ourselves down the mountain for an epic long weekend.
I had the privilege of getting to travel to Shanghai for a business trip this winter, and it was definitely a culture shock. The primary goal of my trip was to train our Shanghai support team on some of our tools at work. It was a very long trip, almost 4 weeks, so there was definitely a lot of opportunities and challenges. But, it was an enlightening experience and I had a very productive, educational, and memorable journey.
I always look forward to the May Day celebrations at the Heron. It’s a great waypoint on the way to summer, as the snow thaws and the land turns green again. This year was a special year, as we celebrated the life of Alicia Passamonte, a past Heron volunteer coordinator. Though I never got to meet her, the impact that her life had on all of the Heron elders was monumental. Just as Alicia had requested, the Heron family held a candlelight vigil to light up the hill on Saturday night.
Go ahead, feel free to accuse me of collecting too many odd hobbies… But in my defense, it’s pretty fun to (safely) blow things up.
Last weekend, I participated in a training course provided by hometown pyro-gurus, Pyrotecnico of New Castle, PA. They offer this free-of-charge class to aspiring pyrotechnicians to train them on the operation and safety skills needed to handle high-explosives.