A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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  1. #1

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    Marine Corps Virginia

    Smile Epic Trip Countdown

    I turned 50 this year, a milestone I am still trying to get my mind around. I've never been one to bemoan the process of aging, in fact, I think I've generally embraced it. But 50 is a significant mile marker along one's path, so told my brother Jim I wanted to do something memorable to mark this year.

    Next Saturday night, we'll climb into a van with my son Daniel, and 5 others and head west. Our destination is Bozman, Montana. From there, we'll embark on a 5 day backcountry hiking trip along the Gallatin Crest in Yellowstone National Park. We've been doing some moderate hiking up to the top of Pilot Mountain here in NC every weekend for the past month, but I'll confess to being a little nervous about being able to handle the strenuous route we'll be on for the duration. I would characterize myself as being in decent shape for my years, but I'm missing a third of one lung and had damage to my diaphragm that makes it tougher for me to handle aerobic stress.

    On the plus side, I've got 10 years worth of pain and suffering as a Marine Infantryman to help me hang in there. Our guide tells us the temperature swings in the area we'll be traversing run from the 40's to 80's, but I'm going to try hard to pack as light as possible. Physical concerns aside, I am extremely excited to see a part of the US I've never seen and even for the lengthy drive to/from. Sharing the experience with my 15 year old son and other family members will make this a special trip.

    I'll expect you guys to give me a full report on the pre-season games I'll miss while I'm gone. And think good thoughts for me. I should have some great pictures to share when I get back.
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  2. #2
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    Florida State

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    Whoa.....hold on a second. How long will you be gone? And having been close to where you are going, I can tell you that there are tvs both in lodges and in bars. Now, whether they have preseason games is another story, but they sure have ESPN.

    Btw, the trip sounds great. I'm itching to do something similar.
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  3. #3
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    Florida State

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    Have a great trip John! You will be fine. I know you're packing light but I hope a camera is in order.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

  4. #4

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    Florida Atlantic

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    That sounds like an amazing trip! I wasn't sure I could handle some of the hiking we did in Colorado at 32...but I powered through. I'm sure you'll be fine! And don't worry, they can get those medivac helicopters almost anywhere these days!
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  5. #5
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    Michigan State

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    Have fun. I'm sure you will. I look forward to the pictures. I was up there about 20 years ago when we went skiing at Big Sky and then did some snowmobiling through Yellowstone. It's beautiful country, but obviously snowmobiling is a tad less strenuous than hiking. I haven't done any thing like that since I went to Philmont.

    If I had the time I'd love to try and hike the entire Appalachian trail.
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    Face piles of trials with smiles. It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave.

  6. #6

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    Indiana

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    Hmmm...just turned 50...planning a hiking trip in Yellowstone.



    Guess a new Porsche wasn't budget-friendly, huh?





    Have a good time, be safe, and don't let ego write checks your body can't cash my friend.
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    I'm giving it a 2-4 year window. Looking for improvement in all areas. Redskins, you're on the clock.

  7. #7

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    Eh, just keep the 15 yr old close by. I'm sure he'd carry Pops if he had to.

    Enjoy the journey.
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    "Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and **** the prom queen"

  8. #8

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    Marine Corps Virginia

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    Thanks for all the 'encouragement' (??) guys

    We leave tonight - 36 hour drive ahead of us but I'm really looking forward to even that. My son hasn't travelled a lot so anxious for him to see just how frigging big this great country is and how beautiful and different it is in all it's variation. Dropped 10 lbs this week biking my ass off - figure a few less lbs to haul around at altitude can't help but make it a little easier.

    I will miss Griffin's debut but will look forward to reading about it here when I get back.

    Remember Osaka!!!
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  9. #9

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    James Madison

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    Enjoy John. Have a great time, take lots of pics and don't think once about the Skins while you're gone. Enjoy nature!
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    OLine. DLine. Secondary.

  10. #10

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    John, I think its safe to say that you are, in fact , The Man.

    Kick 50 in the ass for us. We'll take care of the Redskins until you get back.

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  11. #11

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    Virginia

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    Have a lot of fun. Happy Birthday.

    Look forward to hearing about the trip. And be safe!
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    The simplicity in me is complicated.
    I live in my own little world, but that's ok. They know me here.
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  12. #12

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    Marine Corps Virginia

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    Day 1 - 23 hours, 9 states later we made it to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Shower, some pizza, local brewpub got some zip back in our step. Today we'll wind our way through the badlands of Wyoming and make it to our destination Bozman, Montana. Day to adjust to the altitude and then we head into the hike. I asked my son what his impression driving across this part of the US. 'Corny' he said. And it is amazing how agriculture just dominates everything you see for vast expanses. Technology and development has not altered that.most amazing sights so far have been the windfarms in Illinois and Iowa.

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  13. #13

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    Virginia

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    Keep us updated. This is like our daily journal of your experiences.
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    The simplicity in me is complicated.
    I live in my own little world, but that's ok. They know me here.
    Redskins Fan - Emeritus

  14. #14

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    Marine Corps Virginia

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    Today is a day of rest and tomorrow I'll be 'off the grid' for 5 days. We've hit some great brew pubs for dinner the last 2 nights. Get our 'briefing' this evening and then we're off.

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  15. #15
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    Florida State

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    Have a great trip John! I sure do envy you right now!
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

  16. #16
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    Oh yeah...John, the meteor shower starts this coming weekend and should be going pretty strong while you're out there. Have fun watching that in those big skies out there!
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

  17. #17

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    Marine Corps Virginia

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    Yeah...I saw that...hopefully we get some clear night skies to see the show.

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  18. #18

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    Marine Corps Virginia

    Default Epic Trip Countdown

    From outside our hotel room in Bozeman...

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  19. #19
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    Florida State

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    Fat Tire beer, specifically on tap. You'll love it.
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  20. #20

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    Florida Atlantic

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    Fat Tire is so overrated...
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