Final Journey with a Friend

Friday June 24, 2005 12:25 p.m. central time

I am at ohare airport, got in here about an hour and a half ago on a short puddle hop from traverse city. As luck would have it I called my sister that lives in chicago and she was driving right towards ohare so she said she would pick me up lunch and we met out front and she drove me around the airport loop while I ate my lunch. It was nice to get to see her and my neice and nephew. She is leaving for Greece next wednesday with her family so I wont hear to much from her in the next couple months. My next flight has been delayed by about 50 minutes but the next unbelieveable bit of luck happened. I had just left my sister and went thru security again and stopped to look at some things and I couldnt believe who I saw, it was my friend Hannah that I am going to meet in Denver. She was on a different flight then me, she is going straight to denver from here and I have to go to desmoines and then on to denver. We tried to get me switched on to her flight but it was full. What are the chances of running into someone like that not even knowing that either one of us would be here. So she gets into Denver a couple hours before me and I will have to catch up with each other later tonight. We plan on staying in Denver tonight with her 2 kids, I say kids but they are in their 20s……before you think I up and left Cathy, thats not the case. This is a story that will get explained by the end of my trip. Cathy and the girls are working the archery show in grayling this week and I am off on this adventure that I really wish wasnt happening for a long time yet.

1:30 p.m. central

still here at ohare, my flight to desmoines got to be so late that they put me on another direct flight to Denver that doesn’t leave here for another hour and a half, so I have time to sit here and ramble on….. I just found out yesterday that the sledheads forum hasn’t been working for a couple weeks, Rebecca Is working on getting that fixed. I happened to go to the safety sight the other day and saw that the Fatality count ended at 26 killed this past snowmobile season. I believe that’s down a few from last Year but still to darn many. That one weekend there were 5 people killed in sled accidents within 25 miles of Frederic. I would hope that people continue to learn more about safe riding. I saw that the last accident of the season happened downstate where a man was riding on a lake and hit an ice push up.Now that’s its 90 plus out I don’t think we have to worry about any ice for a while. Once again the Frederic boy in the big city is awed by the sights. The underground tunnel here in terminal that takes you from one terminal to another reminds me of a futuristic movie, where it is all full of pulsating neon lights up above and changing pastel wall colors along the walk way along with futuristic sounds, pretty different. I just finished a 4 dollar hot dog and guess I will sign off for now till maybe the next stop.

8:28 p.m. Denver time, Friday night

the flight to Denver went fine and my luggage arrived at the same time that I did so that was lucky. Went to meet my friends Taurin and Mackenzie and we are heading out todinner soon. My sister called me To tell me there is a big greek festival going on at the greek church here and as luck would have it I am only About 5 blocks from there, so after we go out to dinner I am going to go mingle with some fellow greeks. It was hazy as I left the airport and you could just barely see the mountains off in the distance. We are heading north out of Denver in the morning and plan on doing some exploring. Taurin has a jeep and he said we can hit some trails, I have a little cavalier I rented from the that’s it for now..I have To get used to the mountain air and the 2 hour time difference, coming into that airport reminded me of being here 2 years ago on my way to Sturgis in south Dakota I just came back up from the office of The motel we are at and the lady working the counter, her parents live in grayling and I know some of her Cousins from grayling Bob & Grizz Annis..sure is a small world, heck about 10 years ago I was walking down main street during the rally in Sturgis and I heard somebody holler out hey greek, and it was grizz. he must have family everywhere…

Saturday morning , June 25

It’s a beautiful morning here and you can plainly see the mountains in the distance and there is snow up There. I went to the greek festival last night but it was shutting down as I didn’t get there till after 11 and this morning I am checking out downtown Denver..found a restaurant this morning called Petes Greektown Café.sure wish I had my bicycle with me..will write more later. Pete

Saturday night June 25

coming at you from the best western in Nederland about 50 miles from Denver. I started the day out by checking out downtown denver and boy do they have the shopping down there along with lots of public transportation. Lots of really neat looking places. After downtown I went to the greek festival which was of course full of greeks. It was at the church in Denver and what a beautiful cathedral they have there. After getting back together with the other 3 we headed out of Denver and spent time in Boulder, another really neat town with lots of uniqe shops and street preformers. One guy had about 10 different horns on his body and he would play songs by honking them and he was pretty good. Once again this frederic boys eyes are opened to the wonders of the world outside frederic. What a different lifestyle and choices of places to eat and do things……after leaving boulder we came up the canyon to nederland which is at 8300 feet. We also stopped at boulder falls which is an incredible waterfalls and we got some nice pictures including the big rainbow in the mountains tonight. I just wish I could get up into the snow that I see up there. In the morning we are heading up from here to take a big hike. This best western we are at is all made out of log and as I type here outside my window I hear the roar of the rushing water down the river from me. Very soothingand I plan on sleeping with the window open all night to have it put me to sleep….. The rooms are nice and big and divided in 2 with a queen size in the big part and a set of bunk beds along with anohter single too….Mackenzie has been sicker than a dog all day and she has been sleeping and hoping to be ready for our day tommorow….Thats about it for not so good night for now. Pete

Monday June 27, 2005 6:00 a.m.

Picking up from where I left off saturday, we went to dinner to a place called Katmandu which featured Indian & Nepali foods, I have to say thats the first time I have ever ate at a place like that because for some reason or another I didnt think I would like the food. I ordered lamb in creamy tomato sauce and it really was quite good even though I think its possible it could have really been beagle instead of lamb, the music they had playing in there sounded like monks chanting the same thing over and over and I also learned that they eat with there hands,,,no silverware, just grab it and eat it…we did have silverware though at our table, interesting experience to say the least.

After a good nights sleep with my window open so I could hear the roaring river I was up at 6 yesterday morning and went for a walk around town. There is a bicycle rental place right next to the motel here so I went and rented a mountain bike for a couple hours figuring everybody else wasnt going to be up for a while. Well the key word there is mountain bike and we are in the mountains, I hadnt ridden a half mile from here and I was off pushing it up hill. I found out that if you just peddle it real easy almost walking speed worked best. I looked west of town at the Eldora ski resort which was the highest point I could see and thats where I headed. Peddling and walking and even trying to hitch a ride with a passing truck but nobody felt sorry for the chubby bald guy walking his bike. I figured the only way to make it up there was to keep pecking away at it and after an hour and a half of walking I made it to the top of hill just before the entrance to the ski park. The view was great up there as you could look down over the town of nederland and see it all. This road had many curves in it and was extra steep so I figured I could make it back to town in less that a half hour. I headed off down the hill and it only took me about 5 minutes cruise at incredibly fast bicycle speeds to get to the bottom of the first part, the drop was so sudden that my ears popped. I headed out on to the flat part still a couple miles from town and I couldnt believe what I was seeing and feeling……FLAT TIRE……the best part of the ride that I had worked so hard for and I was pushing my bike to town..downhill…. but as luck would have it the next truck that did come by picked me up and gave me a ride back……

I got back to the room and Taurin was just getting up as were the girls… we got ready to take our big hike. I was kind of worried that I shouldnt have exerted myself so hard so early in the morning when we had the big hike planned. We headed up out of Nederland which is at 8300 feet up thru Ward and to the Brainerd Lake area which starts at 10300 feet. We all had our back packs and were ready to start up from there. The weather was nice and as we pulled in there were spots with snow piles here and there. As we left the jeep I decided what the heck I will throw my jacket and big hat on my pack just in case because we were heading up from there…..little did I know that was definetly the right thing to. Hannah, Taurin, Mackenzie (who was feeling pretty well finally) and myself started the track up the mountain. The first sign we came to said that the trail to where we were going was snowpacked and muddy. Lots of beautiful scenery and streams and as we kept going more snow. We made some snowballs and took alot of pictures along with making a mini snow man… we were in shorts and short sleeves playing in the snow, but the higher up we got the cooler it was getting. Beautiful and sunny, muddy and snowy, The hiking path being dirt and big rocks to navigate around and thru, streams to cross then more of the same. We got further up the trail and got the first glimpse of where we were heading a huge valley with big magnificent peaks and in the middle of it a peak that was not quite as tall and surrounded by the larger peaks. All covered with snow you could see snowboard tracks coming down some of the bigger peaks thru the binoculars and we even talked to one guy coming back down the trail that had used his snowboard up in there. At the top where we were going to was a lake which spilled over the side of the mountain with two big rivers that flowed down thru the melting snows. Each of these rivers were maybe a hundred feet wide each and pouring down thru the melting snow on the side of the mountain, they had cut a big hole in the top of the snow and then went under the snow for a while re emerging down stream before forming another lake at the bottom of that mountain. Just on the other side of the taller peaks is the continental divide. We kept climbing and got up to the top crossing another smaller stream just before we reached the lake at the top. What a view when we made it to the lake, so calm and serene with the snow covered slopes but it was alot cooler up there. Now we had to figure out how to cross the to rivers pouring out of the lake because the spot we wanted was on the other side of the rivers. We made some walking sticks for support and balance and went from rock to rock to get to the other side, one slip and it wouldnt be a pretty picture, we all just made it to the other side of the first crossing and looked up and big dark menacing clouds and a storm coming at us quickly. Right where we had crossed there was a little gully kind of like a cave covered by trees with a hole big enough for us to fit in to….we all crawled into that and it rained, we all put on warmer clothes and had some sandwiches and water while we were waiting for the storm to pass. This is where I was glad I thru on my hat and jacket, I would bet it wasnt fifteen minutes to a half hour the storm had passed and it was sunny and nice again. So we got ready to make the second crossing which was a little worse than the first one. We all made it across and headed up to the peak that was our goal. That was our mission to make it to that spot.

Many of you remember me talking about my old friend Charlie over the years, he died this past February and thats the reason we came to this mountain. You see Hannah is Charlies daughter and Taurin and Makcenzie are his grandchildren. We came to bring Charlie to the mountain and put him in the place he wanted to be. We had a nice ceremony for him up there and took turns placing his ashes in this spot that he had found and been to many times years ago……What a beautiful spot to be. The winds were strong and will take him into the place he loved most. We stayed up there a while and the hole time on the way up we were all taking pictures like a crazed bunch of japanese tourist………

We looked up over the big peak behind us and wow a storm coming at us big dark and furious. The snow and sleet started hitting us and the winds picked up and it was darn right scary. Thunder and lightining and here we were on a tall peak. We rushed to get back to the river crossings. The rocks were getting wet climbing back down to the rivers and we all made it with the girls going across first, it was sleeting and snowing hard and I still pulled my camera out to grab more pictures, Hannah was ankle deep not being as careful as we were coming across and got her feet wet but we all made it back across and high tailed it back into the cover of the woods. I was covered with snow and sleet on my pack and a little wet and we all headed down the trail back to the jeep. Taurin and Mac really got out ahead of us other 2 old people but within about a half hour of starting down, the sun was back out again. After we made it down to the start of the trail I read the sign that said be prepared for any type of weather out there as it can change anytime to anything……we sure found that out. As close as I can figure we were about at 11,500, to 12,000 feet in eleveation according to the maps and it took us about 6 hours to do the hike. Of course coming down was alot easier that the journey up. When we got back here to the motel we all hit the hot tub. Now that is morning its nice and sunny and we all head back towards home, my plane leaves this afternoon from Denver at 4…….Thats about it for now till I get back to good old grayling. ~Pete

Wednesday June 29, 11:15 p.m.

Just came in off the lake after a beautiful sunset and canoe paddle along the shore line….wierd thing is that the lake is dead calm, warm and beautiful and there were no other boats out there so I had the lake to myself. Got home at 1 in the morning late monday night. Smooth and quick flight from Denver. In my door 6 hours after leaving denver…..All in all it was a great trip and adventure. Charlie was a great friend and I was proud to help him go to where he wanted to be. In his lifetime he fished all over the world except in asia and bowhunted thru out the united states. As he said to one of his friends he had done more in his lifetime than 50 people had done and even though I miss him and we had a lot of fun and adventures together he gave me one last adventure with him by going to the mountain with his family. Its been busy at the shop since I got back as people were looking for me for signs and shirts so its back to work to try and make a buck…..Big news in frederic is that the weekend of July 9 or so there is a Frederic Days being planned along with a parade in Frederic. As luck would have it of course I will be off somewhere else that weekend but I do want to help support our first parade in years. I will give you more details on that as I get them. Have a safe 4th of July…Thanks for checking in. Pete

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