My wife Linna organized a fall color trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in the state of Tennessee.
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. Itâ€™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.
Eagle looking for a floating fish
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 Creekâ€¦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 likeâ€¦pure hell. At least we had beautiful clear sky and a warm sun beating down on us, no jacket required on topâ€¦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.
Rick Freeman & Mike Curry Glissading
Linna and I drove up to Mt. Baker, Washington for a day of snowshoeing.
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.
I think March is a wonderful month to visit Japan….perfect temperature for a big boy like myself. I flew to Narita and then onto Osaka where my good friend Moto Tanaka was waiting for me.
My wife Linna, niece Chloe Wei and I got a late start at the base of Mt. Baker ski to snowshoe up to Artist Point.
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.
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.
Linna and I were fortunate to be asked to come a long on a two night backpacking trip in the Enchantments, near Leavenworth, Washington.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.
Linna got a great shot of a local goat.
Linna standing tall on Crystal Lake.
A short trip to China.