Friday, April 27, 2012

weekend in the Catskills with the fellas/Tough Nutter/Broad St. Run

back to the Catskills. after almost 4 years of planning, we finally got Ron into the woods. here we see the prehike rituals of stretching, gear crisis and dog petting

at the trailhead. Sugarloaf Mountain was the goal for the first part of the day.

didn't take long to get to the fun stuff

"Does anyone else hear a beaver?"

rats! musta just missed him

Ron gets his first of many nature lessons of the weekend

the contour intervals line on the map indicated hammy stretches were in order for the next section

if Brian, Matt, Hawkeye and I ever get an apartment together, consider our Christmas Card done!

there's kind of a long story that goes with this pic that I don't really feel like explaining at length so I'll try to summarize it in one sentence. here goes...We walked out onto a lookout to eat lunch at the precise moment a weird commando/hippie type dude was about to toss his dog's ashes over the edge cuz she was killed by a FedEx truck 8 days prior and then he told us the story and we felt weird cuz he was literally about to spread them (the ashes) when we came out and we totally interrupted so he told us the story and showed us a picture of his dog and we felt super bad cuz we're all dog lovers (except for Chris and I'm not really sure about Ron) and Brian got kinda misty eyed and I started eating an orange cuz he told us not to worry and that we should just continue enjoying our break and not not eat just because of him and he was glad Hawkeye was there cuz he "really needed to see another dog at that moment to take his mind off of his" and he was petting Hawkeye and crying and then he tossed the ashes and then this happened (except in English) all over my orange as I was eating it and I just kept quiet cuz he was still crying and then he offered Hawkeye the leg bone of a deer he brought up with him cuz his dog used to love chewing on them and then Ron said he could have written an entire script treatment based on just those 20 minutes on the overlook.

post funeral lunch bunch shot

a photo op with this crew = 1 thing

no aggro crag goes unexplored


another tradition

special moments

Spring hasn't quite sprung in the Catskills yet

great hike! we knew the weather was supposed to turn shitty for the rest of the weekend and possibly as early as that afternoon so we hightailed it to Katerskill Falls in hopes of getting dunked while it was still relatively "warm". These first 2 pics are looking back at the lower pool.

this is looking down from the upper pool where we'd be "swimming"

the longer you wait the worse it's gonna be so I set the timer for 10 seconds and we all just took the plunge

after a few laps we walked under the rim of the falls to the trail that leads out. note Brian in the orange shirt for a sense of scale

well the bow tie guy turned out to be right and the skies opened up as soon as we pulled into the campground. the owners (Bonnie and Dale) offered us this pavilion to sleep under where at least we'd have a roof over our head. we were considering our options when Dale mentioned, "You can always stay in one of our cabins for $25 more." SOLD!

Ron relaxes in the living room while Dale and Chris try to light the pilot in our new cabin.

stove is lit. let's eat!

even though we were forced inside by the weather we still tried to make Ron's "camping" dining experience as authentic as possible

Brian whipped up the veggie dogs and brats with sweet potatoes and peppers which were washed down with mexican cokes or local IPA depending on your preference. I have yet to go hungry on a camping trip. "pass the peanut butter filled pretzels please"

"Good night buddies.....What time are we getting up? What are we doing for breakfast? Am I going to be warm enough? Is there an outlet in here? How do I turn this thing off? "

I opted for the hyperbaric chamber in the hallway. I'm 5'11" and by the feel of it the "bed" was 5'10". even with the curtain drawn it wasn't the most restful sleep I've ever had.

potty break/text catch up

before long, Hawkeye made his rounds to rouse the troops. "Good morning Brett."

"Good morning Matt."

"Good morning Chris."

"Good morning Ron."

checkout time

the fisheye setting seemed appropriate to capture Brian's breakfast.

back to the top of the falls

it always easy to tell who the fathers are.

Ron mustered up some nerves for a group pic...


since the weather was still cooperating we headed to North/South Lake for another day hike

we finally found Poet's Rock!

had to get all Nicholas Cage in National Treasure Part 2 to read it though

"Swammi? Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson?"

midmorning snack at Badman cave which was supposedly a hideout for bandits

Everybody took their turn on Newman's Ledge. Matt,



me (again) and


saw a racoon on the way out!

why take the trail when you can take the aggro crag?

finally, after some charcoal relief sketches on Artist's Rock, we headed back to the cars and into town for lunch. another great hike (that I've now done 3 times).

Chris and Matt headed home after lunch but Brian, Ron and I went to check out Opus 40. Here's Brian feeling at home in the Quarryman's tool museum.

I'm 2 for 2 on it raining on my visits here

rain or shine, the place is truly incredible

one for mom

Ron was so inspired he added his own personal touch to Harvey Fite's masterpiece. Fun weekend!

Then the next weekend, for the 3rd year in a row we did the Tough Mudder. Well, when I say "we", I mean Brian, Matt and I. Somehow everybody else that swore they'd do it suddenly had some legitimate excuse. This year it was in the Poconos so we had to leave a little earlier.

walking to the buses at Pocono Raceway that would take us to the course. the temperature was 35 degrees when we parked. if there were thought bubbles above our heads they would all say "fuck, this is gonna suck." (ps big thanks to Allison for letting me cop some of her pics. some of you may have seen them on facebook already)

last minute carb load thanks to Kimberly's peanut butter cookies

strict warm up regiment for this crew. if I have a minute to spare, it's a safe bet I'll be saluting the sun (or at least some variation)

oh yeah, Pat and Don joined us this year. hadn't seen Pat in a long time. "Hey Matt, what's the current air temp?"

final gear adjustments

The Floozies were ready. Oh yeah, I carried a camera again to document some of the obstacles from a runner's point of view.

up and over the first wall and into the starting corral for our group's time slot.

first obstacle. Pat and Matt are in front of me and my camera strap made of a shoelace is in front of the lens

"Smile Don"

the first water obstacle was up next which means it was time for Matt to salute his shorts.

Pat about to take the plunge while I look for my angle

Pat emerges while I hope I have the correct shutter speed for jumping into a dumpster filled with ice water and food dye

you be the judge. personally I think I nailed it.

I find that candid self portraits are often the most flattering. I like the guy's hand coming up from under the wall.

congrats to whoever thought up,constructed and maintained this obstacle. it worked.

a professional photographer's work is never done

"Smile Don"

the Berlin Wall sections are always fun

the heat's no big deal, it's the fact that you literally can't see shit once you're in the smoke. I should've taken a bigger breath before I started too. I forgot about that part.

everybody loves the Walk the Plank obstacle


Matt went with his go-to

Allison's angle

"Welp, guess it's my turn. Matt, wait til I'm fully tucked"

"Smile Don"

team strategy meeting. "How much farther til the Funky Monkey?"

see you on the quarter pipe

dude, you got it bro!

Don says, "Who cut these tranny's? Stevie Wonder?" (even if he did need help on the ramp, which he didn't, he woulda been on his own due to our strict "teamwork with fellow teammates" policy)

Nacho and I work on the hammies before the next stretch of running

back in the drink for the Electric Eel

I don't care about me, I just don't want the electrical current to mess with my aperture reading

"keep it down over there..."

"...working on a pee break."

I think someone unplugged Brian, Pat and my side cuz I got through pretty much unscathed

Matt on the other hand said he was getting nailed left and right. "Got any pointers?"

Pat and Matt on the Funky Monkey

after a poor showing last year, Brian stepped us his game and made it across, as did everybody.

these were fun.

"Smile Don"

Tough Mudder 2012 was in the books. time to replenish those electrolytes

fun day as expected, stoked to have another orange headband to not wear. thanks to the Floozies and Kimberly and Allison for snapping pics from the sidelines

Don wasted no time getting back on his training regiment for next year

Good morning. Broad St. Run day. (99% of these pix were copped from Allison cuz I didn't wanna carry a camera while we ran)

just a few scenes of any Bill Paxton flick and I'm ready to take on the world

pep talk from Mazzy

the pinning of the bibs

oddly enough we were denied entrance which just meant we had to piss in the bushes of the high school

I got a text from Don at 5am saying he was setting up the speakers at the start. I was hoping to catch a mic check but I think he just pressed play and rewinded the Rocky theme for 4 hours.

zero hour yoga

view from Brian's iPhone minutes before we started

whaddya know, we ended up in 1st and 2nd place. that was a super fun day. congrats to all the runners. I was looking for a few people but only saw Jen and JT (and Mike on the sidelines)

You can take the kid out of the sports but you can't take the sports out of the kid.