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2003-09-06 OK, this journal has been online now for a week so the goal was met. I will continue tweaking the entire site, including the forum and the logos and themes and maybe add a portal from the forum. There is a lot to be done.

Janet is out at Dawn's house where little Daniel is now under Hospice care. He is not expected to live through the weekend. It is a very hard time for Dawn and she needs Janet there.

I played ball again this Saturday morning and it wasn't as hard as last Saturday, but I'm still kinda sore. It will just take a little time. Lately my diet has really been crummy. Seems like I can't quit eating the junk. Need to get the diet back to normal again.

2003-09-12 This has been a very hard week on the entire family. Daniel died Monday morning. The funeral is Friday evening. Relationships have been on edge.

I did get Briana's new I-book and printer set up. She can now do her online homework and write and print papers. Last night she called me with questions about internet preferences, which I don't mind so much, but it was 1:30 AM. I told her not to do that anymore.

2003-09-13

Went to Daniel's funeral last night. I enjoyed watching all the photos of him on the big screen as the music played. It was impossible to keep from crying. Sarah got up and read a prayer that she had written earlier in the day. It was beautiful, quoting scripture and talking about the ministry of angelic beings to saints. I was very proud of her. We stayed around visiting with various folks from the family and the church and finally left a little after 9:00 PM. Janet stayed behind with Dawn so she wouldn't have to be alone that evening. Janet will be home today.

Played ball this morning. I said some things to Frank I probably shouldn't have. During the last game he decided that he was going to quit and go home because of some rather mild ribbing about a foul. I thought he was being a whimp. He was.

I'm starting to get a little anxious about getting my first PSA blood draw since the surgery. I have an appointment with Dr. Kletscher on the 30th of September.

Next Friday after work I'm heading up to base camp for the West Fork descent from the top of the canyon. Looking forward to that. The hike will take all day Saturday and then we'll probably have dinner in Flagstaff Saturday night.

2003-09-23





Well the hike is accomplished and what an accomplishment it was. There were ten of us on the trek and I don't believe there was a one that thought this fourteen miler was going to be as difficult and treacherous as it was. In the photo from left to right are: Sande, Mike, Colin, Diane, Me, Tony, Hank, Tom, Kent and Todd. As the sign at the beginning of the hike indicated, this is not an adventure for the inexperienced hiker. It was most assuredly the hardest hike I have done to date. We started out early from base camp and left for the starting point while the support team and some of the shuttle drivers remained in camp or asleep. We started down the West Fork of Oak Creek about 6:30 AM. Just in case you can't read the forest service sign, it reads as follows: "YOU ARE ENTERING A VERY REMOTE CANYON. THERE IS NO DEVELOPED HIKING TRAIL. ONLY EXPERIENCED HIKING PARTIES SHOULD ATTEMPT THIS HIKE. DO NOT GO ALONE." The first portion of the trip involved some boldering, bush whacking and scrambling. Then came some swimming. The canyon narrowed down to a slot and the only way through was to swim the icy 45 degree water. Not a problem till you got about chest deep and it took your breath away. After panting for what seemed an hour or more I just took the plunge. Colin, Kent, Todd, Mike and Hank were already through, and wouldn't you know it, as I was about halfway through someone yelled out to stay where I was as they changed memory in their camera. What? But I did tread for a few and Kent did manage to snap one off. Thanks Kent. The next nine or so miles we were in and out of the water with four more swims. I used plastic bags to float my pack and in some of the more shallow water I held the pack up over my head with the trekking poles. Once we were in the water I switched to water shoes, which being in a state of rag toward the end, I discarded after the hike. The water shoes were excellent in the water and on the sandstone, but on the rocks and sticks they were torture devices. Three days later I'm still very very sore; triceps from the extensive pole action; calves, feet, and the knees being the worst. The last three miles were a breeze comparatively speaking, but just finished as the last bit of light was disappearing. Pot luck dinner with all the hikers, support hikers and shuttle team was great. Breakfast the next morning at "The Place" in Flagstaff, recommended by Colin, was just as good. More Photos at the Gallery on Arizona Hikers Gallery

One week until the PSA test. I'm not too nervous, but several close to me seem to be. I'm ready for whatever. I believe I've already covered that at the beginning of this journal.

2003-09-28 Here are some nice notes I received after the hike at West Fork:

I have a limited number of hiking partners, basically, I hike with Pat, Tony, Bill, and maybe 2 others. Not for any real reason other than Iím kinda tentative about heading out with people I donít know well.

That being said, I wanted to tell you (and Todd and Mike) that Iíd hike with you anytime! I truly enjoyed the experience with you (all). Itís kind of a big deal for me, to find hiking partners. Since moving out here, Iíve been eager and willing to do as much outside as possible, with the intent that Tony or Pat would be joining me. Pat comes along on most adventures, but not all. Tonyís been limited in his availability due both to his work and his health issues. So, Iím excited at the idea that I have a few hiking partners out there. Thanks guys!

_________________

The Journey is the Destination -Colin



Incredible pictures! I love to look at them! It brings the day back fresh in my mind. What a wonderful day! You were wonderful to hike with, thank you! I will view your pictures probably a million times in the comming months just to recapture that day! Can you beleive we all did that!!!!?

God bless! Diane


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