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LA

October 21, 2009
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We made it. After being on the road for a month, we finally got here. I can’t form any opinion on the place yet, because its absolutely massive and we haven’t seen much yet, but we are staying a few blocks from the beach and the weather is 85 and sunny everyday. Can’t really beat that.  Thanks so much for following us along the way. The trip was incredible. I would recommend something similar for anyone that has the time to do it.

We’re going to be editing a lot of the video we took on the trip over the next 3 weeks, so check back then and they’ll be up here.

-Mike

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Havasu Falls

October 17, 2009
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Our 4-day hiking/camping trip in the Grand Canyon was one of the coolest things I’ve done lately. We woke up around 5 am in Flagstaff and drove 3 hours to the Grand Canyon.  Once we got there we started on our 10-mile hike down to the falls.  Our group was made up of myself, Drew, our guide Roane, and this older couple Jack and Kay who we really great people and a pleasure to have along. I’m gonna keep the text to a minimum and let the pictures show what we did.

Day 1:

On the descent

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Right before you get to Havasu Falls you get to see Navajo falls

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At the end of the 10-mile hike – Havasu Falls

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The campsite was right by it.

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Day 2:

Our guide Roane showed us the way to some falls 4 miles down stream called Beaver Falls. On the way there, we made a stop at Mooney falls, which is twice the height of Havasu.

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Jack on the left, Drew, and our guide Roane on-top of a rock in a side canyon.

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The trail took us through this valley of green brush. It looked cool but was a pain in the ass to walk through. You can see Drew and Roane’s tiny heads in the thick of it.

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Here are some long exposure shots of Beaver Falls. We took a swim once we got there.

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Day 3:

At this point we’d walked 17 miles in 2 days, so we just hung around Havasu for the day.

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The night in the canyon was so clear, the entire sky was lit up by stars.

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Day 4.

We woke up at 5am to leave camp for our 10-mile hike out. It was pretty rough considering most of it was uphill but we made it in good time. Here is one of each of us after the hike was over.

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We took a group picture at the top. Jack and Kay on the left, Roane in the middle, and Drew and I on the right.

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Right now we’re staying at the Mirage in Vegas

Phoenix – Sedona – Flagstaff

October 12, 2009
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Not too much to report on for the last few days. We spent the past 3 nights at the Wigwam Resort right outside of Phoenix. The place was amazing. We each had our own room, which was great, and it was nice to just do nothing for a couple of days. Here are some pictures of the place I pulled from their website.

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wigwam_golf_resortThe first day we spent filming the resort, but once we were done with that, we just hung around the pool and played some shuffleboard. On Saturday night, we went across the street to a bar that had karaoke. There was this man walking around. Fat, glasses, slicked back hair. He was sneezing everywhere. Just going from one corner to the other making a mess. Drew saw him walk over to the bathroom, but on his way there, he rained down onto all of the silverware. He then made his way over to his girlfriend and wiped his hand on her back. Classy.

The next morning, Drew went back to that same bar to watch the Vikings play. I joined him a little later and noticed he had eaten. I jokingly said, “You use the silverware that was out last night?” I could see the wheels turning. “Shit!”

After we left Phoenix, we made a stop over in Sedona to see the Redrocks. There are these scenic dirt roads that go off into the wilderness, so we took one of those a few miles deep. Here are some of the pictures.

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Last night we arrived in Flagstaff. This place is cold. It went from being 86 in Phoenix to 50 in Flagstaff. While we were grabbing some dinner, Drew looks over and says, “I can feel I’m starting to get sick….”

The place we’re staying at here is a little different from the resort in Phoenix. We’re in a room the size of a closet, sleeping in bunk beds. The best feature of this hostel, which comes with no extra charge, is that we get to hear the soothing sound of a freight train flying by every half hour. The tracks are directly outside our window. We slept last night in 30-minute intervals. Flagstaff seems nice enough from what we’ve seen so far. Our 4-day hike in the Grand Canyon takes off tomorrow; so neither of us will have our cells or computers to post anything until Saturday when we’re in Vegas.  Until then…

Arizona

October 11, 2009

I’ve meant to post sooner, but the last place we were at had an internet connection that was about as fast as one of those old 56K dial-up modems.  In fact, I tried posting twice – each time about a page long – but the connection would get cut and I’d lose everything.  Because of that, this post will be much more abbreviated.

The last place we stayed (besides a night in El Paso) was Rancho de la Osa in El Sasabe, Arizona.  We’ve been quite a few places in the past three weeks, but I’ll go on record and say this place was easily the most enjoyable.

We got in Monday afternoon not really knowing what to expect.  I was preoccupied with the fact that myBrett Favre led Vikings hosted the Packers later that night and, as my luck would have it, there wasn’t a TV for an hour in any direction.  The following night the Twins played the Tigers in a one game playoff and won in extra innings.  No dice there either.  There really is no god.

Once I got over the fact that I was missing two of the biggest games to happen to Minnesota sports in recent memory, I was able to take in everything the ranch had to offer.  First and foremost, I learned I’m not cut out to be a cowboy.  I didn’t do badly with the horseback riding.  In fact I was pretty good.  It was the little things that set me apart from Larry, our own personal Marlboro man and wrangler.  I don’t dip and can’t grow enough facial hair to where I don’t look like a homeless person.  And I look like a goon in a cowboy hat.  By the second day I quit fighting it and went back to my sandals and Elon hat.

The ranch was absolutely amazing though.  We’d wake up at 8 and get served a full breakfast.  After that we’d get on our horses and go riding for the next few hours.  You’ve seen all the photos and Mike has pretty much covered most of it, including the suicide mission we went on to find a ghost town in the middle of nowhere.

This was another reason I realized I could never be a cowboy.  Ady – a ranch hand – was driving her Toyota Tundra up the side of a mountain with Mike, Larry, and myself as passengers.  When I say “the side of a mountain”, I mean just that.  This wasn’t a road.  It was a runoff during rain showers.  There were times when it was forty five degrees up, was no wider than the truck itself, and was paved with rocks the size of soccer balls.  Nothing was stopping the truck from losing traction and careening down the hill.  If I would’ve known this was going to be our activity for the afternoon, I would’ve worn a diaper.  While I was white-knuckled in the back seat and trying not to mess myself, Ady casually says, “If we do end up losing control and going over the side, just let your body go limp.  If you’re tense you’re more likely to break a bone.”  Thanks for the advice, Ady.  I ignored her and was concocting a plan to use Larry the Wrangler as a shield and make it look incidental.

Somehow we made it down alive.  The day after next, we left and took off for the Wigwam.  Right now I’m sitting in bed waiting for the Minnesota vs. Purdue game to kickoff.  They have TVs at this place.

EDIT: Just looking at Mike’s pictures below.  My horse was a serious pain in the ass.  There’s a reason it looks like my legs are flailing around in every picture.  To get that damn thing to do anything you wanted, you practically had to wring it’s neck with the reigns.  It’d be better off being sent away to a factory and getting recycled as the glue for a kindergarten art project.

Rancho – Phoenix

October 9, 2009
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Our last day at the ranch was pretty consistent with the other one. We went for another horseback ride with a group of the staff.

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We also got a chance to take our horses into the water.

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The horses getting rounded up and put into the gate.

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One of Larry on a hill.

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Here’s a picture of a pile of shit.

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We left the ranch to head for this small town called Tubac. On our way there we captured this video of a couple of idiots driving down the road. Unbelievable.

The best part was that after we were done being tools, a border patrol guy pulled up to us. He rolled down the window and I could see he was laughing. We didn’t think anyone was around for miles. “You uhhh…. You guys alright over here?” Still grinning. “Yea…We’re fine. Thanks.”

The tubac town was supposed to be a really cool place, but it was just ok. We got one picture of it before we left.

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Right now we’re in Phoenix for the next three days. We’ll see what we get into here..

Rancho De La Osa

October 7, 2009
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Today has easily been one of the best days on the trip so far. The other group that was staying here left after breakfast, making Drew and I the only guests on the ranch. Since there are no other guests here, we’ve been hanging out with the staff all day getting to know them. After breakfast, they showed us where the tack room was and we got suited up with our cowboy boots and hats. We mounted our horses, and went on the trail with two wranglers.

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The guy wrangler looked like he was straight of a Marlboro advertisement. His skin looked like leather and he had a pinch of dip in his lip, but he couldn’t have been nicer. He cracked a good joke every now and then too.

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The other woman is extremely cool and helpful. She was basically the only reason I never fell off of my horse.

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They first trail took us to the Mexican border to the see the “fence” that’s there. They are just tall bars that can easily be scaled by a 5 year old mexican boy. It seems like the real security measure are those towers they told us about. As soon as we got to the fence, a border patrol truck was rolling on over to us.

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The next stop on the trail was to one of those typical cactuses that you think of when someone says the word desert. It was a cool sight to see that out there. The dogs running around, a black bird flying in the sky, and the four of us on horses was just kind of surreal.

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Once we got back from the ride, they served us a 2-course lunch with dessert. Larry the wrangler came over to us and said they’ve been looking for this ghost town that is supposedly nearby and wanted to know if we’d like to go for a ride in the truck to find it. Of course. We grabbed the cameras. This girl Adi drove the truck, while I sat in the passenger seat, Larry sat in the back seat, and Drew sat on the flat bed in a lawn chair. That worked until he started bouncing around like popcorn in the back and we had to bring him in. The road we went on was so rough I was surprised we made it over some of the parts that we did. At one point I even rolled down my window, so that when the truck rolled down the cliff that was directly to my right, the glass wouldn’t shatter in my face. That was my mindset. Even Larry the Marlboro wrangler was scared. At one point, we were looking for clues as to where this place could be. Adi the driver said, “Look there’s some shit on the side of the road.” Larry the wrangler responded with, “I think there’s some shit back here too.” Adi was crazier than a bat even though she is this small little girl. I don’t think she flinched once the entire ride.

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We eventually made it to the top, where we could turn around to go back down. No sight of this ghost town.

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After we got back to the ranch we had a barbeque with all of the staff.  We finished off the night with a campfire.

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San Antonio – El Paso – Middle of Nowhere

October 6, 2009
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For the past few days we’ve been doing a whole lot of driving. Our stop in San Antonio was brief, but we were able to see the Alamo and grab a few pictures in front of it.

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San Antonio has this cool man made river that runs through the center of the city called the River walk. It’s lined with Restaurants and shops. Very European.

The Drive from San Antonio to El Paso was long. It took us about 10 hours on a highway where there is nothing but road. We listened to some Adam Corolla Podcasts on the way, which passed the time pretty quickly. You can download them off of itunes for free. In west Texas there’s about 40 miles between stops for gas, food, ect.. The drive is visually interesting though. Here are some pictures of I-10 in Texas.

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We spent the night in El Paso just to stop over and left for Arizona first thing in the morning. Our destination was a town that isn’t on the GPS called Sasabe, AZ. Sasabe is right on the US Mexican border and is home to a ranch called Rancho de la Osa. It’s over 45 miles into the middle of the nowhere. Drew called before hand to ask if they had a TV with the Monday night football game on and they said they know of a bar that is an hour and a half away that might have a TV. This is where we’re staying for 3 nights.

When you pull into the gate, there are horses just roaming around everywhere. I’ll put up some pictures of the place in a few days. They have scheduled times of the day when they’d like you to eat, go horseback riding, go to the cantina for a drink, or sit by the campfire with all of the staff. Last night we started talking to the bartender at the cantina who told us all about the border patrol and how they handle illegals in the area. He told us that there are two towers on the border. One that intercepts all cell phone/radio frequencies and one that is a motion activated video camera that can see up to 12 miles away.

The only other people staying here were this older couple and their very old daughter, who were here for her birthday. We had dinner with them last night. The older man started talking about how some of the hiking trails are too similar to each other. The older lady quietly whispers, “They’re gonna come out here, put a bag over your head, and cut you up if you keep talking like that.” Then she went back to eating.

We briefly stopped over at the campfire to just say hi to some of the staff that were there. This one guy that works here has been moving around from ranch to ranch across the country for the past 5 years. He recommended a stop in Sedona and to keep a lookout for community mud pits. Apparently Arizona has these huge mud pits where people go to… well I don’t know what they go there for, but it sounds interesting.

John Wayne actually stayed here along with a really long list of celebrities, past presidents, and writers. It has a pretty interesting history. The cantina is the oldest building in Arizona as well. Today should be an easy day of some horseback riding and filming.