Well, I seem to be dying more than I should…

If I remember correctly, it’s been something like two and a half weeks since my Transformers post.  While poor for my posting schedule, it was a non-issue as no major movies were released until three days ago and the books I read weren’t bestsellers of any sort.  So, what have I been doing with this incredible amount of free time?

First major event was the Bataan Death March.  (Immediately upon writing this, it seems necessary to disclose that I’m not trying to offend any cultures.  It’s a saying in my family that, whenever somebody recreationally hurts themself in an activity, they’re reenacting the Bataan Death March.) 

A few weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to go on a backpacking trip and persuaded Ed that he did as well.  So, we planned to go on the Wednesday that I last posted.  However, Ed was ill and we didn’t get back from the movie until about three in the morning.  Backpacking on three or four hours of sleep would have been murder, so we postponed it a day.  Thursday morning, I picked up Ed at seven twenty that morning.  We stopped at Winchell’s for coffee and donuts, and then drove to Will Rogers State Park.  We began the Backbone Trail with heavy packs and high spirits.  Sadly, the high spirits would not last.  Within a few miles, Ed was stumbling on the steep inclines.  His legs would cramp and we’d pause for a few minutes until the heat forced us to press on.  Despite the pauses, I have to applaud Ed’s persistence.  On multiple occasions, I offered to turn around and end the hike, but Ed never opted to return. 

About six hours after we began our hike, we made it to Musch Camp, where we’d be spending the night.  After unrolling the bed rolls, we just napped for a few hours before actually setting up camp.  We’d have probably spent the night on the ground had it not been for the annoying insects.  So, we set up the tents, ate spam sandwiches, and went to bed around eight.  Sadly, I grew paranoid and stayed up for another three hours listening to a myriad of frightening sounds. 

I woke around eight, washed up, and drank some water.  I asked Ed how he was feeling and whether he thought he’d be able to do the ten-mile hike back.  He told me that he probably couldn’t, so I told him to sit tight and I’d bring the car.  I grabbed a bottle of water (big mistake) and a Power Bar, and began the hike back.  In twenty minutes, I passed the group of women that had walked through our camp ten minutes before I left.  Within an hour, I’d covered about three miles, For day two, it was great time, but I was beginning to feel the wear I’d done to my body the day earlier.  By the end of the second hour, I was more than halfway through the hike, but I was drinking too quickly for the single bottle to sustain me and I was beginning to limp.  Three hours after I started, the limp was pronounced, my sunburns were setting in painfully, and I was nearly out of water. 

Thankfully, after three hours and ten minutes, I hobbled through the Will Rogers parking lot to a drinking fountain and hung my head in the stream for what seemed like ages.  Eventually though, I pulled away, filled my bottle, and hobbled to the car.  I put in drive and rolled down the hill to the Pacific Coast Highway.  After about a half hour, I turned off the highway and began driving up a winding canyon road.  This road shrunk into nearly one lane before I entered the Trippet Ranch parking lot.  But I parked my car there, hobbled out, and hiked the mile to Musch camp.  I met up with Ed, we grabbed our bags, and hiked back to the car.  When we got there, I tossed him the car keys, and he drove us back home.  We parted at his house, after a brief lunch at Subway’s, and I drove back to my house alone. 

I got out of the car and limped inside to find my dad.  We assessed my injuries and I got a stern talking to regarding skin cancer.  In the end, my ears had blistered and hardened from the burns, the back of my neck had literally charred from the burns, and my feet were bleeding from torn blisters.  Despite this, I felt victorious.  After a shower, I fell back on my couch and consciousness left me.

The second major event, which I’ll only briefly describe, was a family trip to Cancun, Mexico.  I left the night of Frday, July 8, and arrived the next morning.  For the first two days, we just relaxed around the pool or on the beach and ate at local restaurants.  Monday and Tuesday were spent earning our SCUBA dive certifications after four dives and a bit of skills work.  On Wednesday, we rested and celebrated my father’s birthday.  Thursday, we visited to ruins at Tulum, and played at a park called Xel Ha.  That night, we received our PADI SCUBA certification papers and temporary cards.  (Sometime soon, I’ll mail in the paperwork and receive a lifetime certification card with my picture on it.)  On Friday, we went souvenir shopping at the local bazaar (open market), where I purchased a cast Mayan calendar and, to keep up with my tradition, a litre of Xtabentun.  Saturday morning, we left Cancun and, after about twenty hours of travelling, returned home.

I plan on posting a late review of the latest Harry Potter film, later on this evening.  As a huge fan of the books a decade ago, I know that I’ll have qualms with the film.  To be fair, I’ll probably write the review in two parts, one being an objective assessment of the film, and the other as a fan of the novels.

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