Fuck it, im reblogging shit too now.
This is dedicated to Anna, who has left her mark. Though, this is long past the consecutive 100 days, this is fitting. The end of a chapter, a new beginning.
You exposed me, made apparent all my glaring flaws and weaknesses. Then you told me that you still loved me. You told me the hard truths, and just as I was beginning to justify myself, you stopped me: “You’re just going to create some fantasy or some story to make this all ok.”
And you’re right. That was exactly what you caught me doing. What is wrong is wrong, there is no mitigating that.
What I’ve learned this weekend from Anna is that we all create stories. We give reasons and add meaning. But the truth is in the results. Whats real? Those are the only reliable factors.
I did something shitty before, and its still shitty now. When I said it was ok that I did these things for these reasons, I was creating a story to shine my shit. Shiny shit is still shit.
So what now? Same goal, different game. The objective was always to win.
Initiate Operation: GetShitTogether
Seena laughed at me because I kept repeating this. I still believe it. How I was during the hike represents who I am as a person. It was all plainly laid before me. The road was my mirror.
What I believe that I learned from this vacation:
- The most important step is the next step, and it must be as surefooted as possible.
- When given clear goals and objectives, I can complete a lot.
- I can get hurt if I lose focus.
- Be responsible for all that happens around me, because in the end, it is I who experiences it.
- I enjoy the role of the trailblazer or pioneer.
- I am a capable person. I have the intelligence, the physical dexterity, and the will, to complete difficult tasks and be successful. I have reliable intuition, and I have a “sense” for things.
- I am not a very good leader. I don’t attempt to understand the concerns of others mainly because I don’t care to. I am primarily concerned only with myself and my experience. I am self-absorbed, self-centered, and selfish.
The last two are the most empowering. Yes, I am capable, but it doesn’t mean much if I cannot inspire others. Why is it that when I did something adventurous it appeared like lunacy rather than genius? I think it stems from my apathy. I become an anomaly rather than a phenomenon. This is the truth, and there’s power in that.
Something I’ve been thinking about this trip is that if it would have been someone else leading, how different the results could be. Here was an opportunity for four, and later five, friends to have an amazing bonding experience. To deepen friendships and return with stories of our brotherhood. Instead, I feel like a wedge has been driven between some of us. Had it been a different man, I think it could have strengthened friendships. Instead, I feel like I used it as a chance to show-off and say “look at me!” with my actions.
But to be honest, what I’ve accomplished on this trip does give me a sense of self-worth. I’ve struggled with that as of late, as I am aged but with not much to show for it. Overcoming a fearful mind was the greatest reward from this experience. It’s invigorating, and I have a renewed confidence in myself. I trust myself again.
Sometimes, I think that maybe I am not cut for the leadership role. That I am rather someone suited for the vanguard, and needs to be given direction. Then I think whether is it because I am playing small. If I am just shrinking from what is possible because of a fear of failure.
Whatever it is, I should learn to connect to people. Learning to care for someone will be one of the most empowering things I can do for myself.
Thank you again, Oregon.
I woke up at 7am. During this vacation, I woke the earliest nearly every day. This day, we were to go to the coast of Oregon and experience the natural wonder that is Thor’s Well, a hole cut into the rocky shoreline that filled and emptied with the tide.
High tide was noontime, and the drive was two hours from Eugene. The drive itself is quite interesting as it passes by various national forests and the roads are windy.
The shore itself is a sight to behold. Who doesn’t love the ocean? Cape Perpetua was our destination. That is where Thor’s Well, and another geological wonder called the Spouting Horn are.
When we arrived, though it was high tide, the tide was not high enough for the dramatic effects we had hoped for. When we walked over to the Spouting Horn, it was water splashing against an invagination of the geography. It was doing no spouting of any kind.
Here, I decided to make my own adventure. This was the most dangerous trail that I was able to complete. I wanted to cross to the other side of the Spouting Horn, and the only “trail” there was a very rocky but slippery pass that required one to lower themselves down a 6-7 foot drop. No one would join me for this expedition.
There were many points that I thought about giving up. Just getting to the drop point was very difficult. The land was a mix of sand and wet rocks, which provides for very unreliable footing. During the drop, I hugged the wall closely and scrapped my legs as a result. If I dropped to far out, I could very likely fall 20 feet into the rocky ocean floor below.
Upon crossing, I let out a scream. The satisfaction of overcoming fear was too much to keep inside. Thinking back, it was just two things that kept me going forward. First, the belief that it is possible, and second, to simply complete the next step. The completed steps became a completed journey.
I explored the other side, and found another well. It looked like two circular wells joined together, and filled and emptied just like Thor’s Well. I named it Patrick’s Well.
Going back up, I would trek through waist high shrubs and bushes, and the whole time I kept saying sorry. I knew I was trampling and hurting the plants, and it would have been a perfect place for critters like snakes and spiders to hide. Being bitten was a very real concern of mine then.
We would complete the four hour drive back to Portland to catch our flight back to NYC. Even though, I had a transfer in Seattle and took the train home from JFK, I had very restful sleep throughout.
Oregon, if I become anything great in this lifetime, know it is because of the lessons I’ve learned from your land.
When we got to Seena’s the day before, it was already past midnight. By the time the night wound down, it was already 2am. I wanted to wake at 9:30am to leave to Crater Lake National Park so that we could do some exploring there as well.
Like a true team player, Ray woke up at 7am to do laundry even. Hao contributed to the drying, and when all was said and done, we were on time, ready to go.
The drive to Crater lake itself is about 3 hours, and thats the closer north entrance. When we arrived, we discovered that it was still closed. This pissed me off, so I decided to piss on it. The south entrance was still 30 minutes away.
Finally reaching the base of Crater Lake, we went to the information center to find out that nearly all the trails are still closed until mid-June. There was only one trail that was open, and it wouldn’t be easy to walk because it was still covered in four feet of snow.
I have to admit, I was totally caught off-guard. Likely, it could have been avoided with proper research, but just as likely, we would have went. In reality, I do not think it would have changed anything. The only difference is the peace of mind.
Crater Lake is beautiful. It is one of the largest natural lakes in the world, and formed after an eruption destroyed the volcano and left a giant crater in its wake. Over the years, that lake filled with freshwater from rain and began to support quite the habitat. When we were there, snow covered much of what we could see. It was cold, though not frigid. The lake was still so the reflection off the water made everything so much more surreal. In terms of grandeur and drama, Crater Lake takes the cake for this trip. However, I still find Ramona Falls to be the more rewarding experience, comparatively.
We hung out there for maybe about an hour before we left. Struggling through the snow, the group decided to take it easy today. We all returned back to Eugene, Oregon around 7pm.
We had burgers at a local spot, and plied ourselves with alcohol. I did at least. We would return home around 11pm, and go to bed at midnight.
Easy days are not my thing. My body demands the strain so that my mind may rest at night.
To me, this was the peak of the trip. We would hike about 8 hours, cross water about ten times, and scale a total of 1700 feet up into the mountains.
Part 1: Ramona Falls
I awoke around 8am, and the group was set to leave by 10am. First tour, the Ramona Falls loop. The trail is a 7.1 mile trail and climbs about 1000 feet. Half hour drive from our hotel, we arrived at the trailhead parking lot.
Initially, the trail was very bland. The sights were simple trees, not very lively or interesting looking, flanked by a muddy and bleak looking river. This was Sandy River, which we would use to guide us.
We ran into a group of young students who informed us that the bridge over the river was out. I wanted to find where this bridge was out, and continued along the trail. Before we left, we heard the teacher/guide tell the students that now was a time to choose, accept this as defeat and turn back, or find a way over. Unknown to me, the bridge that was out was just several feet away, with a thin stick over the river to indicate the bridge was no longer there.
We followed the trail further down, and it began to look sketchier and more wayward. At this point, the group pointed out we were on the wrong side of the river and the trail was looking very shady. I didn’t want to leave the trail because I didn’t want to get lost, and I stubbornly continued on for another 10 minutes. Finally, the trail was no more and I decided to turn back.
We ran into a lady and her dog, who were also trying to cross the river. I asked her of the bridge and she said that we should just cross over any way we can. The trail that we wanted to get on ran parallel to the Sandy River on the opposite bank.
This was our first river crossing of many. I found a suitable log and walked over. Walking on a log over a river can be a frightening task. It requires calmness, balance, calculation, and a clear objective. I loved climbing and balancing on things since I was a child, so 30 years of experience paid off here. My advice to anyone would be 1) look at where you’re going and 2) make every step a sure step. This applies to hiking in general.
Ray went after me, and fell into the river. Rob and Hao both crossed unscathed. Did I mention we were all not sober? I did now. Ray was understandable upset, and trampled on in his wet clothes for a while. I asked to have him take off his wet clothes and put on some of my dry clothes. I wore two layers and a hoody, so I had clothes to spare. After some hesitation, he relented and got out of his wet shirt and into my tshirt and hoody, though his shorts were still wet. This probably dropped his body temperatures to uncomfortable levels and made the trail considerably more miserable.
Upon crossing the river and finding the trail, we continued on. We followed the lower path of the loop, a rather direct and simple route. Consisting of a steady elevation with trees overhead, the climate was cool and the road was wide.
About three miles in, we came upon a fence with a sign saying that a crossing was closed, and prohibited stock from continuing the trail. We debated whether to continue or not, because it might have been closed because it was too dangerous. If you know me, you already know where i stood on the issue. Signs don’t mean anything to me, I’ll judge myself.
I am so happy that we disregarded the sign and continued on because on the other side of the fence was Ramona Falls. This waterfall is the most beautiful and enchanting waterfall I have ever seen. The water cascades over jutting stones and moss-covered rocks, breaking it into smaller waterfalls and creating a tapestry of dozens of mini-waterfalls that all coalesced into a river that fed into the valley below.
The sight of the fall blew my mind. I was awestruck, and did not contain my excitement. After taking about 100 pictures of the waterfall, we decided to do some exploring.
I wanted to climb to the top of the waterfall along the side. This was the most dangerous thing I did the whole trip. Here, the path consisted of tender, soggy soil and wood, and slippery moss-covered stones. It was a steep incline and every step higher was more and more dangerous. I climbed up to a certain point, then I couldn’t figure out how to get up safely anymore. The group watched as I attempted the ascent, knowing it was a very dangerous path. I yelled to them that it was too dangerous and not to follow.
This was a very humbling experience. I felt fear grip me. I even felt trapped at a certain point. When I decided I could climb no more, I couldn’t find steady footing anywhere. I had various soggy roots of trees to hold onto, but they don’t make for very safe support. I really had to center myself, grab a hold of my mind, and regain control. Step by step, I found my way back down onto solid ground.
We went over to the other side of the waterfall, and found a uphill path. This was a path was would lead to Mt. Hood’s most famous trail, the multi-day hike that is Timberline Trail #600. It is called timberline because it reaches into altitudes that trees could no longer grow.
We climbed up to a certain point, and we felt the climate change. There was snow on the ground and our breath began to show. We stopped to have lunch by an old broken moss-covered wooden bridge, and turned back to rejoin the Ramona Falls loop. It was a good lunch, and had many laughs. I think after witnessing the beauty of Ramona Falls. everyone in a good mood.
We continued on the trail, and ran into two old ladies and their dogs. We saw them earlier by the waterfall, but now we saw them venturing down a irresistibly charming path next to the main trail. It was so cute with green moss, red colored bark, and quaint streams of water. There was a river that separated this path from this beautiful sheer cliff. The cliff was made of prismatic colored rocks, and shimmered like quartz. We all crossed safely over the river, and explored. Hao hollered at us to come to him, for he discovered a clearing that looked like a landslide had taken place. The shattered fragments of the stone revealed a gradation of pinks, greens, reds, yellow, and even blue.
From the bottom I spotted the peak, and next to it was a spot complete with a slab of rock encircled by various stones to what can only be a natural table and chairs.
"We must climb this! See up top? Thats where it is! The biggest blunts and the hottest bitches!" I joked. My excitement sent me flying up the rocks towards the peak. Once at the peak, I slid down its slanted side into the valley where the table and chairs were. Here the sun was bright and strong. We were at least 70 feet high, well above the treetops, and we looked over into the valley that was nourished by Ramona Falls. We hung out here for some time, taking pictures and drying off. I took off my shoes and jumped from rock to rock, basking in the warm sunlight and fresh mountain air.
We decided to head back, and made our way down. Rock scrambling is one of my favorite hiking activities, and these were some great rocks. They were solid, large, flat and beautifully colored. We were to cross the river again, and here was where the second fall would happen.
I found a log hanging over the river with many branches sticking out, with a tree overhead also with many branches sticking out. I said to the group that this was a very easy crossing. The branches can be used for hand support and it was a very safe crossing. The only trouble I foresaw was that the branches could snag against our gear and throw us off balance.
I crossed, and continued walking. Then I heard a loud splash. I turned to look and saw Ray soaked from head to toe with a gash on his leg. The log crossing had disintegrated and was completely gone. Hao and Rob howled with laughter, but I felt terrible. Ray said that he would never listen to me again, and if it led us different ways, so be it.
I haven’t even imagine that the log shattering could have been a possibility. It looked and felt sturdy. It got me over the water safely. I couldn’t do much about Ray’s vexation, so I walked further ahead to give him some time to just not see my face. I jogged some, and walked some, praying that our trip could continue as planned.
The way back, there was many moments that the group felt lost. I was confident in my ability to safely return, but my ability to lead them waned. We crossed a sandy valley area near the Sandy River and greeted by a gorgeous snow covered mountain. It was all white and enormous, dominating our view to the east. At that point, I didn’t care if we were really lost or not. If it lead me to experience such an incredible view, then all was right.
Eventually, we found a wide road with stone borders, and we followed it for quite some time. We ran into two teenagers and their dog, and asked them for directions. They told us to continue to follow the path and we would be fine. So we continued on. After the while, the group felt lost again and wanted to go back about a mile to where there was last a sign. I had enough bickering, so I submitted to their demands. At that point, they were even beginning to convince me that we were lost.
We encountered the teenagers again, and they asked us what we were doing and why were were going the other way. I said that we thought that might be multiple parking lots, and that we may be headed towards the wrong one. There is only one parking lot, to which they replied. I said we were going to follow them and I apologized for being such tourists.
Finally, around 5pm we found our car. Ray and Rob didn’t want to go to the next trail anymore, noting the time crunch. We had maybe 3 hours till sunset, and maybe another half hour after that till nightfall. I argued that it was a simple three mile hike, and that could be completed easily in under two hours.
Part 2: Mirror Lake
After a half hour drive we arrived at the Mirror Lake trailhead. We hurried the group up the mountain, and we reached the lake within the hour. Up here was a lake so serene that it reflected the surrounding scenery so precisely it was like a mirror, hence the name.
Facing east along the western bank of the round lake, a majestic white mountain reflected off the water to create breathtaking views. We stayed till the sun began setting, snapping away with our cameras.
Along the path was a rocky face that I climbed to reach a higher lookout point. From up there, I was treated to amazing views over a collection of valleys and hills. A gentle fog blanketed the rise and fall of the land and created spectacular effects with the colors of the sunset sky. It was a warm pink and purple when I was up there, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment.
I told them that the view up here was worth it, to which Hao joined me. The two of us sat there enjoying the view for a couple minutes before we rejoined the other two and headed back to the car.
Right when we all got back to the car, nightfall arrived. It could not have been better timed. Admittedly, I wanted to do some night trekking, but this was the safer option.
We would have dinner at McDonalds and drive three hours to our next destination: Eugene, OR.
I would also get a speeding ticket seven miles away from our destination. 85 in a 65. A $260 ticket. Even though I saw the police car, by the time I did they already had their radar gun on me doing 90.
I’m just trying to get us home, man. We had a long day.
Our first day in nature. From Portland, we traveled 40 minutes east to Multnomah Falls. This is along the Columbia river, which feeds into a multitude of waterfalls. We were recommended to hike the Eagle Creek Trail by the park ranger, a trail about 6 miles long with 3 attractions.
Imagine a land so abundant with water that moss covers everything. Imagine the moss is yellow from exposure to the sun. A golden landscape punctuated by rivers and waterfall, high up in the mountains.
We had lunch along a side trail that led us to a campsite complete with fire-pits. At this point, part of the group wanted to return to the car and go home. I urged them to complete the trail, another 3 miles in. Luckily, we did, because the last attraction was Tunnel Falls, a thunderous waterfall with a passable tunnel behind it. My favorite part was not this awesome geological phenomenon, but that we scaled down a very steep decline to the base of the waterfall.
There, we were greeted by the might of the waterfall. Winds created from the waterfall billowed at us. The mist created from the splashing began to cover our bodies. I reached into the river and drank that water.
I wonder why I felt the urge to drink that water, as the rest of the group decided against it for fear of contamination. I think its my desire to be part of something so amazing and powerful, to have it as part of me.
The trail continued but we decided to turn back, which was fortunate timing because along the way back, the sunset basked the skies in its orange, reds, yellows, pinks, and purples, reflecting off endless rolls of clouds.
We would rests at Resort at the Mountains, a rather famous lodge at the base of Mt. Hood. This placed us minutes away from our next destinations, which was fortunate because we would need every minute to complete all that we’ve set out to accomplish.
Hi guys, been away for a bit. I’ve been on vacation. I went out to Oregon for some time in nature. For those that don’t know, I really enjoy nature, I live for adventure and the thrill of danger. Let me break it down.
Day 91, Friday: I landed in Portland, Oregon at 11am, after missing my flight from the previous day. Originally, I was supposed to be the first one in Portland. I was to pick up the car and pick up the group from the airport. Instead it happened the other way around. I arrived to find that the group chose to pick a convertible for the trip, which I found impractical. I only have myself to blame because I originally had the power to chose, but gave it up when I missed my flight.
Funny thing, while driving with the top down we got not only rained on, but HAILED on. This was our first taste of the strange Oregon weather, as the rest of the day alternated between sunny skies and rain.
One of first objectives in Portland was to pick up bud for our trip. I googled where to go, and was able to find some headbands and strawberry kush to get us started rather easily. From there, we visited various micro-breweries and bars, and walked a good part of the city. Yes, I got my voodoo donuts like a good tourist.
I have a friend that is a Portland native, and I asked her to find us a connect for bud. Around midnight, we linked up with our contact. My idea of the situation was that this was just a dude with a MMJ card. This was not the case. When he came to our hotel, he showed us an half ounce. It was critical mass, but the taste/smell was ruined because it was doused in dryer sheets in an attempt to mask the smell.
A bit disappointed, I asked him how much he wanted for it. He replied, “Free.” I was floored. Here is a man that I’ve just met offering me something worth at least $100 for free. I had done nothing for him, and he traveled all the way to us just to offer us something for free. He declined to smoke with us, saying he doesn’t smoke, and left shortly after. Free dryer sheet kush? I’ll take it.
That good karma… Oh, and I forgot to mention, like true bros, we also went to the gym on our first day in Portland.
It was probably a combination of things. It was my fault too. I missed my flight yesterday and rebooked for the flight next morning.
It felt off from the beginning. Something wasnt right, nothing was smooth. I guess sometimes, we all have one of those days. Today was mine.
Coming upon the finals days of the project, i think why is it now that i am beginning to work hard. This has been a consistent pattern in my life.
I dont believe reflecting on that will do much at this point. Its time to work hard.
Today, since I had the day off, I snuck in some time to visit my grandmother. This is my paternity grandmother. She is nearing her 90s, but is still very much the matriarch of the household. Her words carry heavy weight, and all her children adore her.
I got a phone call yesterday from my aunt saying that she asked about me and that I haven’t seen her for a while, to which I said I would come visit her.
We chatted for about an hour, and during this hour, she shared with me so much wisdom. For one, she said that as a man, I have to plan. I have to be deliberate in my actions and steps I am taking towards my goals.
Second, she said that playtime is over. She reminded me I was old, and now is the time to work. She reiterated her idea that I should get into Chinese medicine.
I really took her words to heart. It actually felt really good this weekend, not going out. I was so much more productive. Not getting all types of wasted has its advantages. I do feel very ready to let of go of the weekend=party time mindset.
Playtime is over. Life is serious shit.
Yes! I did it, I went to the gym at 8am. After, I went to work, and arrived at an early time. We even went for a small walk during our lunch break to enjoy the beautiful weather.
I had an appointment to see a chiropractor too, and he massaged and cracked my back. It felt GREAT! It was everything that I have been looking for. I already set an appointment to see him again before I leave for Oregon.
After that, I had some errands to run and arrived at the gym around 8pm. Lifted weights, and then went crazy on food. It was the end of my recalibration period, and I could eat carbs again. I bought halal food, a burger with chili cheese fries, and three tacos. I wanted to get some froyo too, but Anna put a limit on my binge eating.
By the time I finished eating, it was almost midnight.
A day like this, while I’m doing it, it’s tiring and I think of a million reasons why I should just take a break. But it always feels great when I’m done with everything, and there is never any regret.
Objects that are in motion stay in motion. I got to accomplish so much today, and I really believe it all started from waking up and going out early. Did all steps of GTL.
Awesome Sunday. Tomorrow, there is a 8am muay thai class that I will attend. So good night tumblrworld, hope you have yourself a day that you will be proud of.
Since Monday, I have decided to refrain from any activities that might alter my state of consciousness. My only vices have been indulging in food, but since I’m on a low carb diet, even that is limited.
I feel like sometimes I might bring down the mood because I do not partake in the festivities. I certainly want to, and maybe thats what I’m feeling, wanting something but not doing it. It does feel so good to get what I want.
Health-wise, this is great. My sleeping pattern is normal again and I’m get in a good amount of hours. I’m energetic enough to work out twice a day. I eat so much green veggies.
I think I’m going to go insane if I do this any longer.
Today, i feel like I really pushed myself to finally do something that I’ve been putting off for a while: I went to an 8am muay thai class.
My ideal training regiment would be to do some cardio in the morning, and weights in the evening, and I did that today. I believe I crossed a barrier.
Living a life of no excuses is so rewarding.