Friday, August 6, 2010

He's BACK !! Moving, Dogs, & Mt. Whitney

Hey all  you Kidhammon followers!  The Kid is finally back with an update on the Hibler household. 

Lots of stuff happening since my previous blog last January.  Kim and me and the dogs (yes, that's dog with an "s".  More later on that) have left the lux neighborhood of Tierrsanta and moved to the slums of Scripps Ranch.  We were very fortunate to sell our house in T Town during what is generally known as a "down market" and buy a newer "right sized" home in SR.  This is another way of saying that after the last couple years of market correction our retirement abode needed to be brought into balance with the realities of our updated income stream.  Still another way of saying this is that the economy has kicked our butt.

OK, here is the deal on the dogs.  All of you know about Bob the wonder dog who is still going strong at age 13.  Here is a pic of Bob: 

Some of you may remember back eight or so years when we raised a little yellow lab puppy for Guide Dogs for the Blind in Palm Springs.  His name was Sonny and he lived with us from age 8 weeks to 18 months.  He became a big part of our family, went to work with me every Friday and really endeared himself to everyone who met him.  It was really hard to give him up to go to work as a guide dog but that is what he's been doing for the past eight years.  Long story short, Sonny is now too old to be an effective guide dog and we have stayed in touch with his blind master over the years so we were given the chance to take Sonny back into our household as a pet to live out his remaining time on this planet.  He and Bob have become fast friends and Sonny has become yet again a big part of the family.  It's been a bit of a change around here to have two big dogs wanting to go with us anytime we go out the front door.  Here is a shot of Kim and Sonny:

My most recent great adventure just happened this past weekend when with my little brother Denny, my friend John Edwards, and his son Russell, we hiked/climbed Mt. Whitney   For those of you non-Californians, Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states at 14,505'.  From the trail head at Whitney Portal at 8,370' it is 11 miles to the summit.  What makes it even more fun it is also coincidentally 11 miles back down for a total round trip of 22 miles and around 6,600' of vertical to negotiate.

This is a shot of our intrepid climbers the day before the big hike which we began at 4:00 am in the morning and ended at 7:00 pm the same evening.  Yes, we did it all in one day . . . 22 miles and 15 hours on the trail.

The weather was perfect, the scenery was absolutely magnificent and the company was unbeatable.  There was hardly any of the bitching and moaning that some may  expect on outings like this and the participants managed to all get along beautifully.  We spent two nights camping at the Portal to help us become acclimated to the altitude and to allow us time to hydrate with sufficient quantities of adult beverages. 

Our fearless leader John had completed the climb two years ago and was the instigator to convince the rest of us to do the climb in only one day.  The vast majority of people hike up maybe half way, camp overnight, then make the summit and back down the second day.  As it turned out three out of the four of us did make the summit while the veteran John, who had already been there and done that,  had a bit of  a bad day but did make it up to about 13,800' before saying "uncle". 
Sunrise at 10,500'
The boys on top!
Russell has entirely too much energy at 14.5'k
For lots more pics of this excellent adventure just follow this link: