I was lucky to be asked to come along on a 5 day fishing trip up in Ontario, Canada at Press Lake.
Press Lake Camp www.presslake.on.ca is the only resort on this pristine lake of 73 miles round. It’s filled with tasty Walleye, aggressive Northern Pikes and good size Smallmouths. You will have the lake to yourself most of the time, you hardly see other fishing boats. The resort is owned by a super nice guy (Ryan Nicholas) that will make sure you know where the fish are and how to fish for them.
Most of the days we caught our limit of Walleye and threw back a bunch of Northern Pike.
For my 61st birthday I decided to hike up Camp Muir. It was also a way to test out my new right knee replacement that happened on March 1st.
I asked a bunch of people to celebrate my birthday hike with me, but only Tao Song, Craig Schilling and Mike Curry took the challenge. We arrived at Paradise parking lot around 6:30 a.m. with only about twenty cars in the parking lot. We started up the trail around 6:45 a.m. and stopped after we crossed Icicle Creek…pretty much where the snow started. We had a snack and put on our traction devices before trudging on.
Tao lead the way to Camp Muir making sure she maintained a lead of 100 yards from of us tired boys. I have done this hike about 10 times now and it never gets easier. We all know what the last mile feels like…pure hell. At least we had beautiful clear sky and a warm sun beating down on us, no jacket required on top…just a dry shirt.
On the way down we made sure to hit every snow shoot there was. I brought a heavy duty garbage bag and it worked well for glissading. After descending and a change of clothes we stopped in Ashford for pizza and beer.
After our fourth time, Linna and I agreed that this will be the last time we hike this grueling twenty mile thru hike in the beautiful Enchantments in one day. Like most one day thru-hikers we started at Colchuck trailhead and descended down to Snows Lake trailhead. This is truly a brutal trek with 4,500 feet gain and 6,500 feet descent on not so easy terrain. Our group of 9 friends started around 7:00 a.m. and made it back to the vehicles around 10:00 p.m.. I packed a cooler in the morning, so we had cold beers waiting for us.
Fall is a good time to visit China, weather is cool and a few less tourists to deal with. We asked our good friends Matt and Shelly Kerby to join us in China for some site seeing and indulging in wonderful food and drink. We spent two days in Shanghai before moving onto Huangshan Mountain.
The Freeman Move on top of the Shanghai Tower, currently the second largest building in the world. Shanghai Tower is 2,073 feet / 632 meters tall.
Linna Freeman lighting things up in front of the Pudong skyline. I started traveling to China back in 2000 and at the time there were only two tall buildings in Pudong.
Looking down at the Pearl Tower and the famous Bund Street from the Shanghai Tower.
Looking down on the World Financial Center from Shanghai Tower in the Pudong district. At this posting date, WFC is the 11th tallest building in the world at 1,614 feet / 492 meters.
Sitting comfortably on the G series bullet train heading to Huangshan Mountain. G is short for Gaosu Dongche meaning high-speed in Chinese. China has the world’s longest high speed railway network at 17,000 miles heading to 24,000 miles by 2025.
Matt Kerby munching on Yodi’s hand from Star Wars.
The fabulous Pudong skyline with the the Pearl and Shanghai Tower standing tall.
Our traveling partners, Shelly and Matt Kerby. Matt is also my professional photographer.
Having cocktails from the Jinmao Tower looking down on the beautiful Bund Street.
Linna and I were fortunate to be asked to come a long on a two night backpacking trip in the Enchantments, near Leavenworth, Washington. Linna’s Chinese friends were lucky enough to win the lottery for overnight camping in the upper Snow Lakes near the core of the Enchantments. We met up with the other 6 Chinese friends at the Snow Lakes trail-head on Friday morning and started around 8:00 a.m. on a cool sunny day.
Our group chose the very South end of upper Snow Lakes, which was 8.2 miles from the trail-head with 4,700 feet gain. We were completely surprised how low the lake was, it was difficult scurrying down the lake bank for water especially after carrying a 40 lb. pack all day.
One of the Chinese guys brought a liter of Bai Jiu liquor and Linna brought a pint of Scotch, which encourage a lot of loud obnoxious singing that I am sure the other backpackers around the lake could hear but not understand.
We spent all day Saturday exploring the core of the Enchantments and taking a zillion pictures of the beautiful lakes and Larches. After a long day of accent and decent from the core, we were in our warm sleeping bags right after a hot bag of Mountain House Chili Mac.
Sunday was another long day with heavy packs on the decent back to the cars, but cold beers and hot bratwursts awaited in Leavenworth for us.Our home for two nights, my 10 year old REI Half-Dome tent.
We hit the fall colors at the right time.
The larches in peak season.
Rick Freeman standing tall in the core of the Enchantments.
Our friend Catherine Howe is currently living in the flat state of Texas and she decided to come back to her previous living area of beautiful Seattle area to visit friends over a long weekend. She stayed with Linna and I in our recently new address of Fall City after living in Seattle proper for 21 years.
She asked if she could fly us from the Renton Airport to Friday Harbor for lunch in her Cessna 172 Skyhawk. The Cessna 172 is the most produced plane in the world with over 43,000 assembled and is still in production today. Her plane is hangered at the Renton Municipal Airport about 12 miles southeast of downtown Seattle near the south end of Lake Washington. The Renton airport is where all new Boeing 737’s take off for the very first time after assembly, the Boeing plant is right next to the runaway.
It was a perfect day for flying, it was sunny and warm with a light breeze. We flew off towards the North and headed in the general direction of our house, in ten minutes we were circling our Fall City compound of 4.5 acres. After a few photos, Catherine put the heading towards Friday Harbor.
Friday Harbor is part of the San Juan Islands and is the only island that is incorporated. There are over 400 islands that are part of the San Juan chain. Friday Harbor is a small town of 2,500 people and mainly caters to tourist people like us. Catherine smoothly landed the plane at the small Friday airport and taxied to a visitor parking lot for small planes. After securing the plane to the ground, we walked just 10 minutes to the quaint little town of restaurants and boutique shops.
We found a perfect spot for lunch over-looking the ferry boats coming in and the many tourists walking by. After lunch we departed and headed straight for the Renton airport…what a fabulous day.