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Heading Down to the Sand Storm AR March 5, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
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This weekend my two team mates and I will be driving the 265 miles down to Kentucky Camp to compete in the Sand Storm II Adventure Race.

We have done very well the last 12 months in the co-ed division on the short courses of the Desert Rage Series, so we are going to move up and try our luck on the long course this time.  They promise us 30+ miles to be comprised of mountain biking and overland trekking with some surprises thrown in to boot.  We (or should I say “I”) don’t run very well, so on the trekking legs we have to depend on good navigation and smart route choice.  We usually do fairly well on the mtb legs.

Our female team mate broke her foot not long ago, but swears she is ready to go.  I am sure she is because she is one tough cookie.  Our other male is strong on the bike and on the treks, but has had some problem keeping fueled well enough on longer outings, but he too swears he is ready to go.  After writing about my two team mates, it occurs to me that I am definitely the weakest link on our team.  The must just keep me around out of pity.

Good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise, I will live to tell you all about how it went.

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Everyday Outdoor Adventures March 5, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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Even the busiest of folks can have an outdoor adventure every day. I just discovered that this applies to me too!

Today, I got home from a busy day of work, and decided to throw the frisbee for my dog for a few minutes. Gypsy is a New Zealand Collie, and she is mad about playing catch. Anyway, on one of the tosses, I inadvertently made the disc sail over our fence and into the backyard. The dog looked confused, then put out. We went through the gate and I sent her into the bushes to find the missing frisbee. After a few minutes (it felt like it anyway) of her muffing around in the brush, she came back empty handed….er, mouthed.

So I started hiking up the hill to get a better view of where it could have landed. While up there, I noticed that I had a perfect view across the driveway and into a pine tree where two ravens were trying to build a nest. I stood and watched them put sticks together and attempt to get them to stay put. Sometimes the sticks fell and bounced through the branches like a steel ball in a pachinko machine, and occasionally the would actually stay where they put them.

By now, Gypsy was upset with me and dove into the bushes again. Eventually she came out with the frisbee, ending my bird watching time by dropping it at my feet and barking like crazy. We hiked back down the hill and continued our game before heading inside to get a drink of water.

And that is how I stumbled into my own mini outdoor adventure.

Granite Basin Trails March 4, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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The decomposed granite trails in near Granite Basin Lake were absolutely perfect for mountain biking this week.  While most of the other trails around Prescott were still somewhat muddy (some even still have snow on them!), trails 349, 350 & 351 are in super shape.  They are tacky enough that you can really feel the grip of your tires on them.

Seven of us went out for about an hour and a half of medium paced riding the other day.  We climbed up 350 and took 349 to the west.  That portion of 349 is a ton of fun.  The singletrack swoops and scoops down through the pines, where you sometimes feel the bark of a tree graze against your shoulder as you pass.  From there we took the 351 across and back up to the east end of 349 at Cayuse.  We followed the 349 back up to the top where we came into it off the 350 earlier, then pointed our bikes back down the 350 and back to our cars.

Getting out for even a brief  outdoor adventure on my bike is always such a treat!

Bad Astronomy March 4, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff.
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One of my favorite blogs out there on the interweb is written by Phil Plait, who is becoming quite famous as both an author and a Wil Wheaton fan…seriously though, he is a scientist that makes learning about science fun and interesting. Phil debunks all kinds of whacked-out “theories” that are out there using facts; scientific facts. His web site is appropriately called Bad Astronomy, and it is definitely worth looking at. He often provides links to some of the most amazing space photos you will ever see (I am using one right now as a wallpaper on this computer).

Primal Quest 2008 and more… March 2, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
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I have just added the PQ blog to my blogroll.  They just announced that Primal Quest has also decided to put on a PQ Sprint Series.  They will host two races in 2008 and 8 races in 2009.  The most exciting aspect of it from my point of view is that it will undoubtedly bring more attention to the sport of Adventure Racing.  As a racer and a race promoter, this is good news all around!

Phoenix Urban Adventure Race March 1, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
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Tracie and I just got back from a fun day as volunteers at the Phoenix Urban Adventure Race that is put on annually by Rick Eastman of Sierra Adventure Sports.  I race in AR several times a year, and am the Race Director of the Gilmore Adventure Race in Prescott every September, but I don’t find the time to volunteer very often.  We had a great time out there.  We manned two different CP’s, one one the mountain biking section, and another on the scooter or skate section (remember it is urban!).  There were several first-timers, and they all did very well!

Real Writing by a Real Writer February 29, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff, Mountain Biking.
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Wow, I just happened to Tag Surf into a blog called vagoscribe

This guy writes about his mountain biking in a way that every one of us can relate to. I found myself nodding in agreement as he described a certain section of trail. Not that I have ever ridden anywhere near Pennsylvania, but that I have felt the same kind of emotions, pain, exhaustion and elation that he describes so eloquently. Go read. Enjoy.

Time to Get Outside! February 27, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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We finally have a few days of sunshine and the trails are drying out, so it is time to get out on your favorite trail! Whether you are hiking or mountain biking, it doesn’t matter. Just find a way to get out there!

Congress Wastes More Tax Dollars February 27, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff.
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Did Roger Clemens use HGH?  Why does congress feel the necessity to waste OUR money finding out?  Aren’t there more important things they could be doing?  Like spending time carrying out the wishes of their constituents?

Am I wrong here?  Why do we the people sit by and let them waste time and money like that?  ARRRRGH!

Staying Fit While Traveling February 26, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation.
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If you search on ways to stay fit while traveling you will get a whole gaggle of things to read.  For me, I try to find ways to do the things I do at home.  I am not a gym workout person, I like to hike, mountain bike, and various other outdoor pursuits.  It is because of this, that I started my company, Go! Adventure Recreation, in Prescott, AZ.  Before I travel, I try to find out if someone in the city I will be in offers a way for me to get outside to workout.  Booking a guided mountain bike ride is a super way to discover the area you are visiting, and not have to worry about gear or transportation or have any knowledge of local trails.  The Guide picks you up at the hotel, takes you out to the trail that they have selected for you based on your self described fitness level and skills, they fit you to a bike, give you helmet and gloves, then lead you out on a ride!  When it is over, they deliver you back to your hotel, and you can get back to the business you came to do with a renewed vigor having just had the type of exercise that you are accustomed to at home.

Mountain Biking Ethics February 25, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Mountain Biking.
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There is a nice little site here that explains some of the do’s and don’ts  of mountain biking.

Great Yosemite Blog February 25, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Day Hiking.
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Hey I just found a great Yosemite site and added it to my blogroll it is called…..(drum roll please) Yosemite Blog. And you can find it here: http://www.yosemiteblog.com

On it is a video of the the blogger taking a day hike up Half Dome, like the one that I wrote about earlier. Note: We were there six days after the death of Hirofumi Nohara on the cables.

Day Hike to Summit Half Dome February 25, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation.
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Last June I got to do something I have wanted to do most of my life, Summit the infamous Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. The thing that makes it even more memorable (if that is possible) for me is that I got to share the experience with my 18 year old son.

This is not a day hike for the out of shape or inexperienced hiker, let me tell you! The total distance is almost 16 miles with 8000′ of elevation change. We started out at the trail head early in the morning and climbed up and around Vernal Falls, then crossed the river at the top of Nevada Falls. From there it was about another 4 miles to the base of the granite dome. The way to the summit from there is by actually walking right up 400′ of the dome with the assistance of a set of double cables that you hold onto with both hands and walk between them. Many, many people hike all the way up to the cables only let fear (or maybe common sense) take over and they won’t go up the cables. I have to admit it can be a little scary at times, but oh my, is it ever worth it.

We spent some time at the top looking across at Glacier Point, Yosemite Falls, and down, way down, into the Yosemite Valley. It is hard to explain the rush I get from sharing awesome moments like this with my son. Memorable just doesn’t do it justice.

The trip back down the cables can be harrowing, as there are people coming up at the same time, and you have to find a way to safely pass one another without losing your grip on the cables. After reaching the trail again, it should be an easy 7 miles or so back to the trail head right? Wrong. When you have old and beat up knees like mine, going down steep trails is torture. When we got near Nevada Falls again, we took the trail that goes down next to the falls on the east side of them, then winds along and crossed the river just above Vernal Falls again. From here, there are about a gazillion stone steps that take you down right next to the falls. The swirling wind blows the fine mist into a shower for all the hikers, this is a welcome feeling on a hot afternoon!

We made it to the trail head again 8 hours after we started out. That included several stops to rest and refuel, and about 45 minutes at the summit, just enjoying our accomplishment and each other’s company.

That, was a great day.

Arizona Adventure Racing February 25, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
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Whenever I meet new people, in the course of discussion they almost always end up asking me, “What is Adventure Racing?” Well, here is the Wiki definition. Here in Arizona, we have a very active AR community. Most races are what fall under the “sprint race” category, meaning that they are less than 12 hours in duration, however, contrary to the Wiki definition, several of the Arizona races require teams to be very good at navigation and UTM point plotting.

First Post for the Go! AR weblog February 24, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in About this Blog.
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Hello anyone out there? This is the first post on what I hope will turn into an interesting weblog about well….lots of things, but first and foremost, I want it to be about Adventure Recreation.

Getting outside and doing something that gets you away from the throngs of civilization can be one of the most rewarding things you can do. That hike up to a hilltop to find a spectacular view into the next valley; or a mountain bike ride up an old forest road that takes you into another era when gold prospectors eeked out a living panning for gold along the rocky creek that you have pedaled to.

It is these exhilarating moments in life that I hope to write about. My business (Go! Adventure Recreation) is about helping people find these wow moments. The few hours “out there” that wash you clean, re-charge and invigorate you….they are what Adventure Recreation is all about.