I can smell it from here…
I love that floor <3
Heading back across the Pond last night, I was treated to my first sight of the Aurora Borealis. We had quite a show while flying South of Iceland by about 230nm, across Southern Greenland and on into Northern Canada.
These photos are not all that great, but considering we were at FL400 and I only had the camera on my phone (with a night time camera app), I they turned out ok.
It’s interesting what you’ll run into at the Circuit of the Americas…
I was out at the Sportcars Vintage Racing Association National Championship, and the skies were clear. From my seats the tower at KAUS is at roughly 9 o’clock and about 4 miles away. In a quiet moment between sessions, I heard these two and got some shots. I certainly hadn’t packed my glass for long distance plane spotting, but a 300mm still has pretty good reach.
Oh and for what I was actually there for:
One of my favourite WW2 planes. I wish it was in DCSW.
Pulled the ultimate Dad move today. Kids were being rotten all morning, acting up on the drive home from the mountains, so I pulled into a McDonalds drive thru and ordered just one small black coffee. The smell of coffee and indignation for the remainder of the trip was glorious.
Lol That’s a good one Beach.
There is a gal who was a waitress at one of the Denny’s off highway 40 in Texas in 1979 that probably still remembers my fathers ultimate Dad move. (Seems there is only one Denny’s off highway 40 now so it may or may not be the one where we stopped.) My cousin and I were screwing with the waitress asking about everything on the menu and my Dad nipped that in the bud by telling her to just bring us both a glass of water, no ice, no lemon. The huge smile that order brought to that waitresses face was priceless. Then he had her take my sister, mom and his order. My cousin and I then got the pleasure of sitting there watching them eat their lunch. After we left and got on the road he laid down the rules on what we were allowed to order. “It’s Denny’s not some friggin, dad was not so PC though, gourmet restaurant. You are getting a hamburger, fries, and a coke, PERIOD!, or nothing for the rest of the trip until we get where we are going if you try to mess, (again use the f word) with another waitress.” At the time there was another twenty hours left on the road trip since the speed limit was only 55 so his ultimatum definitely had some teeth.
That’s a good one. Amazing how those stick with you huh?
That’s the difference between a good lesson learned and “my father was just screaming stuff while I was hungry. Ugh, worst day ever”.
Beach - probably not the thread for it but one of these days I’d love to hear how you went about introducing hiking etc. to the kids. I’m really keen to do the same and any lessons learned would be golden.
Mind you, I have a few years before we are likely to hit the serious tracks again but still! We just spent some time in the Pyrenees but she goes in the front pack for the time being.
We pretty much just towed him along from the second we could put him in a stroller. From there he got used to be carried in my Deuter kid backpack (there was some crying in that phase). As soon as he was able to stumble along we just started doing that. He fell a lot. Bumps and bruises. I hovered over him where it was dangerous, or in places where I thought he might fall and injure himself on rocky sections. It wasn’t really until about last year (7 years old) that I felt I could fairly well hike my pace and stop and wait for him without too much worry over him falling. He still trips and falls all the time…just not as haphazardly as he used to. I’d rope him up if I were doing any serious hiking along sketchy areas…or have him with armshot at all times.
As you know, most of it is mental rather than physical. Most people are physically capable of hiking for 8 or 12 hours a day if they really have to, but most people aren’t mentally equipped to deal with the pain or weariness. Kids are particularly prone to that of course. They can run around outside all day long for 8 hours without complaint, but if you put them on a trail with a light pack on them, they suddenly can’t walk 1/2 mile without collapsing and claiming they are going to die. You just sort of have to work through it. I’m lucky in that my wife is an excellent carrot, and I’m a good stick…so it works pretty well.
I think it was a year or so ago that Kai finally outpaced me going uphill on a climb. I’m carrying a bit of extra weight these days…and it was hot and I was suffering, but he just motored on up. I was very proud of him and hid my own exhaustion…haha…didn’t want him to know he had put the hurt on the old dude.
We have a mini-mountain in our back yard…so we get to do some good hiking whenever we want. And some bigger mountains just an hour or two away. We try to go as frequently as we can.
The key is (of course) to make it fun. I tell a story on nearly every hike. Lucy of the Lake, Teddy Toxaway, Tsunaga the Indian…they have all met terrible fates and their ghosts walk the mountains of the Carolinas. Haha…the kids love the stories. And the past few years we’ve had a mysterious Indian following us, sneaking on to the trail to drop candy treats to help the boys keep their energy up. We never see that sneaky Indian…but we appreciate his gifts nonetheless.
We’ve also taken care to turn around when we really feel the boys (I have Kai, our 8 year old and we pretty much raise his cousin Joseph, 10 years old) have reached their limit. Many times my wife and I would love to push on another hour and make a summit or find a better campsite, but you can’t Death March them or they will never want to come back out again. It is a very fine balance.
I was invited to go on a trip to climb Kilimanjaro next year and I turned it down despite really wanting to go. I want to save that for when the boys are old enough to accompany me with a good chance of success of making it to the top. It is my hope that their love of nature and outdoors will stay with them forever. With so many other things luring them, it is likely to be a challenge. Kids sometimes drop out of their interest for the outdoors in their late teens and early twenties, only to pick it back up again later in life. I really hope mine stay with it throughout. The best way to do that (I figure) is to keep tempting them with fun places to go and great adventures. Hopefully my wife and I will be able to stay healthy and keep doing that with them.
Kai on top of the little mountain behind our house - at about 4 1/2 years old…
Probably his first really big hike - Kearsarge North Tower in the White Mountains - a legit 6.2 mile, 2,600’ of vertical hiking was really nice…he was a trooper and that was when I knew we had a hiker on our hands…
Yeah…when you pass 50 it starts all over again…so you got that to look forward to…just say’n.
I have a plan…and will use my AARP discount (when I qualify) to get it…
Well, at least you will blend in with the rest of the hikers…
A hike I’ve wanted to do, but never got the chance, is to “Hike the Wall” Evidently you can hike the length of Hadrian’s Wall in northern England. While I was stationed in the UK we took a two-day trip up to the wall with the kids (well, they were kids then). It was a fantastic experience. I can only imagine that hiking it brings it even closer.
I know two people who have hiked the Appalachian Trail…while I have never had that desire, they seemed to have enjoyed it…eventually.