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#437256 - 06/07/13 01:52 PM Re: Nature, National Parks, US [Re: concerned_husky]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3327
Loc: O Kanada
my first volcano
(a true story)

ever since i was a little boy, i wanted to conquer krakatau.

saw it in a movie and became obsessed with climbing it when i discovered it was a real place.

this is the actual scene that inspired me.


the krakatau volcano erupted and exploded in 1883,
causing massive tsunamis and killing at least 36,417 people,
while simultaneously destroying over two-thirds of krakatoa island.
the explosion is considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history,
with reports of it being heard up to 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from its point of origin.
the shock waves from the explosion were recorded on barographs around the globe.

i finally fulfilled my fantasy in the early 1990's.

by this time, i had already climbed many mountains, and wanted something more exciting.
i wanted a mountain that could fight back.
my addiction to chaos and adrenaline had reached epic proportions.
my children had not been born yet.

at the time i climbed, the elevation gain (from sea level to summit) was just over 700 feet/200 meters.
since then it has been growing at a rate of 6.8 meters per year and is currently about 1200 feet/350 meters high.

technically, it was not a difficult ascension.
the climb itself was nothing but hard work.
it was like plodding up a giant pile of fine black sand, pebbles, rocks, and boulders.
everything was loose and footing was an issue.
sliding down while climbing up was more frustrating than fun.
the heat coming up from the ground was merciless.
the thick soles of my shoes became soft and gummy.
the sun was like a bonfire over our heads, and one of our team ended up with some serious redskin.
the sweat and black sand got into every nook and cranny.

but i muled it all the way up to the top,
and celebrated my life long dream of pissing in the crater of the world's most dangerous volcano.
i had sworn to do this, and i did it.
i liked to spit in the face of death.
i dared god to kill me all the time.
then i pulled out the frisbee and we played a short careful game of toss.
this was part of my summit tradition.
i was sad to climb down, but you can't stay at the summit forever.

the volcano did not erupt, just put out a lot of smoke and fumes.
i did not go into the crater more than a few steps before i decided that was not a good idea.
it was stinky, noisy, and smoky.

turns out, krakatau itself was not the most dangerous part of this adventure.

the danger was the local people and the weather.

the island is a couple hour trip by boat from the coastal village of carita, indonesia.
we hired a boat through the hotel, but later found a local fisherman who was willing to take us there for a lot less money.
we cancelled the hotel booking, but made the mistake of telling the desk clerk why we cancelled.
the next morning, the hotel sent guys with machete-like knives to threaten our party and the boat crew as were trying to board.
they demanded we use the hotel's boat because we had already reserved it.
it was ugly. but they picked the wrong people to threaten.
the captain and i were the same personality, it seems.
we both went psycho and dared the dudes to use their weapons.
we got right in their faces.
they folded on their bluff and left us.
this bonded me to that captain and we became best friends for the next couple days after the climb.
that was the trip TO the island.

the trip BACK was even worse.
the weather got worse and worse.
the waves got worse and worse.
the little boat was tossing about like the opening scene from gilligan's island.
my sister just about got thrown overboard by one big wave,
almost going over the side, but grabbing on at the last second.
one of our team was sick with sunburn.
another one of our team was constantly vomitting.
a third one sat there silent, blank stare, white face, for hours.
another one was crying and sobbing.
my wife was in a panic and was NOT happy with me for talking her into this.

it got so bad up top, that we all crammed into this tiny engine room and choked on diesel fumes.
the captain kept smiling and telling us this was nothing to worry about, so i stayed calm.
i figured he knew the territory, and this must be normal.

but later, when he put on a life jacket, and stopped smiling,
i started to realize this was not good.

at this point i demanded life jackets for my team, as i was worried about my wife and sister.
the next thing that happened was like some bad scene from a black comedy.

the captain opened the door just a crack,
tossed in one single solitary styrofoam life jacket,
and closed the door.

there were about 8 of us sitting there,
staring at this lone life saver floating in the filthy oily water on the floor.
then we all looked at each other.

i thought there was going to be some kind of mad panic,
with all of us fighting to the death for the chance to survive.
i started laughing, and decided right then and there that i was not going to die without dignity.
"i don't want it." i said out loud.

not one person moved.
we all decided to take our chances with the water,
and gave the jacket to the crying woman.
but she did not stop crying.

obviously, we made it back, but it was a long stressful journey.
i was terrified the whole time until the weather calmed down.
i will never forget that day.

these below are not my pictures.

a view from the water


a view from above.


a view from the summit.


the awesome power of god and nature.


_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#437358 - 06/07/13 09:38 PM Re: Nature, National Parks, US [Re: concerned_husky]
Agate Offline


Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 37
Loc: Minnesota
Nature and the wilderness is what has kept me sane and or alive.

It is the most healthy coping mechanism I have.
I require a quiet walk in the woods every day.

I hike, tromp, get lost on purpose.

I learned to rock climb at 16 and knew from my first ascent that I had a love for life.

I pick agates by the bucketful, morels in the spring, chanterelles in the fall, and blueberries whenever in season.

Infact I have about 6 pounds of frozen morels in the freezer right now. I found a beautiful 1.5 pound agate last week.

Agate.

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#437398 - 06/08/13 06:48 AM Re: Nature, National Parks, US [Re: concerned_husky]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3327
Loc: O Kanada
agate, perhaps we were separated at birth, because you sound like you could be my missing twin smile

any good nature stories?
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#437410 - 06/08/13 09:26 AM Re: Nature, National Parks, US [Re: concerned_husky]
Agate Offline


Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 37
Loc: Minnesota
I was camping last weekend up on a rise way out on the prairie. From the campsite I saw a huge thunderstorm off to the east. Lots of lighting. The storm was so far off that the lightning was all flashes of red and orange. I checked the radar on my cell phone. The storm was 80 miles to the east! Nothing like the prarie to prove you can see to the end of the world.

As the storm finally moved off past the horizon, the northern lights fired up and I was blessed to have a second light show in one night. The northern lights ascended all the way up to 10:30 high in the sky. Sheets of green, purple and pink.


Agate.

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#437447 - 06/08/13 06:50 PM Re: Nature, National Parks, US [Re: concerned_husky]
atari_kid86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/23/10
Posts: 124
Loc: Michigan
I'm hoping to see the Northern Lights this summer when I travel to the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. We're staying at Pictured Rocks National Shoreline. Should be fun! smile

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#437467 - 06/08/13 09:18 PM Re: Nature, National Parks, US [Re: concerned_husky]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11053
Loc: Denver, CO
I love going to see the national parks. Saw some over several years, along with a few state parks.

Been to:

Yellowstone
Theodore Roosevelt South
Rocky Mountain
Colorado National Monument
Crater Lake
Redwood
Sequoia
King's Canyon
Joshua Tree
Yosemite
Lassen
Point Reyes
Smokey Mountains
Shenandoah
Mount St Helens
Mount Ranier
Bryce
Canyonlands
Arches
Zion
Petrified Forest
Canyon De'Chelly
Badlands
Mt Rushmore
Devil's Tower
Hot Springs NP
_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#437469 - 06/08/13 09:34 PM Re: Nature, National Parks, US [Re: concerned_husky]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
I have been to a few parks, you are right, they are wonderfully distracting. Impressively, I have been to the Porcupine Mountains in the upper peninsula of Michigan. There I went on a micro nature walk where a ranger took a group of us to a patch of woods and asked us to get on our hands and knees and find signs of life or actual insects. He then identified the tracks and insects, it was very fine.

Definitely go, explore, learn and relax.

Nice topic,
Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#437495 - 06/09/13 01:14 AM Re: Nature, National Parks, US [Re: concerned_husky]
Dave PNW Offline


Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 111
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Nice post guys. Thanks for reminding me of the healing power of wild places. I don't know if I would be alive today if I hadn't had these places to disappear into from time to time. I have spent a lot of my life outdoors, both for work (as a ranger and outdoor skills instructor) and for play.
Some of my favorite National Parks & Wilderness:

Yosemite and Sequoia- especially the high Sierra
Yellowstone - winter in the geyser basins.
Zion- red rock and narrow canyon bottoms
Wind River Range - vast and wild with high granite peaks
Death Valley - in the Panamints at 10,000 feet you can see forever.
Three Sisters - where I took my son up his first peak
Mount Hood - Elliot Glacier on the NE face
Okeefenokee Swamp - vibrating with life at night
Baja - the wild coast north of Loretto
Allegheny National Forest - the hills where I grew up

Thanks for reminding me. Dave

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#437499 - 06/09/13 02:37 AM Re: Nature, National Parks, US [Re: concerned_husky]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3603
Loc: South-East Europe
Great post, stories and photos!
I love nature. I've been born in mountainous Bosnia and I used to miss mountainous heavily. It is strange but it is not natural for me to live in surroundings with open horizon without seeing mountains as barriers to view in distance. When I moved to college I needed couple of years to adjust.
Town where I've studied was placed at the end of wast plain "without end" and there was just one monumental mountain at south that stood like lonely pylon. It was reminder of my homeland for me.
Me and my brother liked to spend hours in walking around the city, wondering around and finding place with best view on mountain wink

We have beautiful nature here and unfortunately I was just in couple of national parks which is something that I'd change in future wink
Nature here is very rich, geologically it is carst region with many wonders made by rivers.
Those that I've seen are
Plitivcka jezera (Plitivce lakes) national park
Krka river national park
Kornati islands national park
Risnjak mountain national park

For end I would like to show you place that I would like to visit o ne day. It is mountain Maglic (2.386 m) - it's name means something like "foggy". It is the highest Bosnia's mountain with virgin forest and intact nature placed in Sutjeska national park. I visited park as kid but not mountainous side of it unfortunately.
Here is photo of glacial lake placed just at base of the top of the mountain:


http://www.kaijonkipsa.com/photos/-Photo-Album/Maglic%20mountain.jpg
_________________________
My story

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#437650 - 06/10/13 12:34 PM Re: Nature, National Parks, US [Re: concerned_husky]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3327
Loc: O Kanada
yes this is a great topic!

i loved your story agate.
Originally Posted By: Agate
I was camping last weekend up on a rise way out on the prairie. From the campsite I saw a huge thunderstorm off to the east. Lots of lighting. The storm was so far off that the lightning was all flashes of red and orange. I checked the radar on my cell phone. The storm was 80 miles to the east! Nothing like the prarie to prove you can see to the end of the world.

As the storm finally moved off past the horizon, the northern lights fired up and I was blessed to have a second light show in one night. The northern lights ascended all the way up to 10:30 high in the sky. Sheets of green, purple and pink.


Agate.



i can picture your description and all the beautiful colours as clear as if i was there.

this topic and your story inspired me to get back into nature this weekend past.

i just turned 52 and i am recovering from a car accident in february. last month i could barely walk.

yesterday i followed a trail and reached the summit of some low altitude nameless peak in dogwood valley north of hope, bc. i was way out of my comfort zone.

it was torture, but i did not quit. i helps having 3 young people to keep up with. i was out of shape and lazy and still weak and sore from the injury, but i made it to the top. it was a challenge.

i am feeling pride and pain today and i owe it all to this thread on this forum.

thank you.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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