10 Miles in Flip Flops

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

    Never really being outside of my home state and never being in anything with wings, I booked a plane ticket for a secret trip to the “City of Sin” for one full day.  Only a couple of my friends and my boss knew about my journey.  The less that knew about it, the easier it would be to slip away for a while.  After a dizzying couple hours at the airport, I jumped on a jet plane pointed torwards Nevada. 

  Fresh off the plane, my original plan of staying up the whole time fell ill with a tiring check in at the hotel and a saying my grandmother once told me a long time ago(and apparently A saying on a popular TV show) , “Nothing good happens after 2am”.  A saying that I’ll stick to in my travels especially in Las Vegas.  So I got some well needed rest and got ready to tackle the town early that morning.  A quick breakfast was followed by a short walk to the New York New York’s “Manhatten Express Rollercoaster” for little morning adrenaline rush. 

  Once off the first thrill ride of the day, I decided to take a walk around the south side of the strip which included the MGM Grand, New York New York and the Excalibur where I was staying. After getting lost in the MGM Grand I found myself heading back to my hotel being that the weather was getting quite warm and was a perfect opportunity to go for a swim. The Excalibar has a impressive pool which includes a water slide for the kids of all ages, a bar and even a restaurant. It was at this point I realized that half the day was already gone and I still had the rest of the strip to tour before the nights festivities began. 

  Throwing on some flip flop, I journeyed deeper into the jungles of Vegas, hitting all the iconic hotels of the strip. Deep in one of the hotels was a car museum, where I got to see some of Elvis’s old cars, Pres. JFK’s limousines and even a legendary Jaguar supercar. From there I decided to book it to the Stratosphere at the end of the strip. Being that I have a keen sense of adrenaline that I live off of, I had to experience the thrill rides at the top of this thousand foot needle in the desert. I jumped on the first ride which was called the Xscream. This ride was basically a teeter-totter that catapulted you off the needle and stopped just in time to watch your heart fly out of your chest and splatter on the concrete a thousand feet below.  After that thrill, I was eager to jump on the next ride when a big gust of wind came up and stayed there, closing down the rest of the rides for the night.

  Realizing it was getting late and being that I was on the opposite side of the strip that I wanted to be on, I jumped on the monorail and headed towards my hotel to get my costume on and meet up with a couple friends that were in Vegas as well to enjoy the festivities of Halloween on the Vegas strip. That night was so big, it deserved it’s own story!! Looking at the time, I started to loose steam from exploring the whole day, I decided to call it a night 30 minutes before 2:00. The next morning, I was at the airport flying home.

  The whole point of this adventure was to see how I reacted with traveling by myself to an unknown part of the world. It wasn’t too far compared to my big trip to Europe, but I just reminded myself that if I can survive Vegas at Halloween alone, I can survive in any city around the world just fine. The only thing I wish was that I could’ve stayed a little bit longer, but I have a lot of time ahead of me and there’s so much more to see then a tourist filled town in the middle of the desert. All in all, I enjoyed my stay in the end and that’s all that really matters!! 

  

         

The Night of Tricks and Many Treats

I knew this night was going to be really big when It got so crowded in the MGM Grand that I had to slowly squeeze myself through the walkway. There had to of been over 3000 people in the food court of that hotel. Every one of them in different costumes… except me. I was in a rush back to my hotel to get my costume on and meet up with Sarah and Bryon in a matter of an hour. I felt like I was running behind, but once I walked out of my hotel, the party began. We decided to walk the strip and people watch. Sarah joined a silent rave. Bryon and I enjoyed some roadside pizza. It started out great and what happened that night can barely be described in words. So with that said, I had to make a photo gallery with mix of mine and Bryon from Exploring Elements photos of that night. IMG_2159.JPG

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Gas Station Food for Breakfast

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Since the Overland Rally in Plain, WA, I’ve been laying low and conserving my money for my Europe trip. After a couple of mouths of just hanging around the house, I was starting to get very anxious to do something. So saturday came along after hard week of work. I packed up my gear, loaded up my dirt bike in the back of my Dad’s truck and set off.

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We gassed up and got some breakfast at small gas station on the way to Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Once there, we jump to the bikes and headed though the trails to a beautiful campsite called Cat Creek. Sitting along the side where Cat Creek flows into the Cispus River. It’s a group of about five camping spots, which was packed full. We managed to find a way to the creek and admired it for a bit before packing back up and heading to the next destination, Hamilton Butte.

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Hamilton Butte is an amazing look out, where you can see almost every mountain in the northwest. At 5722 feet, it’s a breathtaking site to see on a beautiful day, but halfway up I had some “technical difficulties” and broke my kick starter. So we turned to our third and final stop, being that it was mostly downhill on the way.

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Blue Lake is a lovely lake that you can only get to by trail. It was once a creek about 400 years ago that was damned up. Now it a dark blue 12 acres lake that’s homes a ton of fish and millions of annoying flies. When we finally got to it, we were surprised to see a bunch of hikers camped at the shore. One of the hikers was a guy from Spain that transplanted himself to the Northwest several years ago and started a family here. He hiked out there with his 3 kids for the weekend. We sat and talked to him for about a hour getting some pointers on backpacking though Spain and Portugal. We said our goodbyes and continued our way back to the truck.

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On the drive home I realized that every once in a while we all get caught up in the working life and we lose the realization that we aren’t stuck inside a bubble with work and home in it. Theres a whole world around us, just waiting to be explored and it’s just outside our front door. The beautiful thing about an adventure is that you can take a trip 10,000 miles from home for 6 months or a trip 10 miles from home for weekend. An adventure can be a hike or bike or even a small road trip for a day. There’s no rules to adventures as long as you come home with story’s to tell and a smile on your face:-)

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