How's about a nice holiday in Sweden this year?
Lookin' All Buff... Taken at the beginning of the trail to Mt. Whiteface in the White Mountain National Forest. Rob Havasy
Birthdate 5/19/70
Height 6'-0"
Weight 180 lbs.
Shoe Size 9-10
Foot Type Not wide, not narrow, but flat as pancakes. And, I rarely get blisters.
Preferred Temperature Range Arctic. The colder the better. I can eat icicles and shit snowflakes. Above 80o F I get cranky and miserable. My motto: "Summer Sucks!"
Preferred Trail Food MEAT! Barely cooked and plenty of it. I'll leave the nuts and berries to the fuzzy little forest creatures. That way they get plump so I can kill and cook them.
Best Survival Story (aka "The Stupidest Thing I Ever Did") My partner and I were in the Platte River Wilderness area on the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. We had been hiking for 3 days, and it had rained the entire time. It was early in the season and night-time temperatures were dropping into the mid 30s -- morning frost was not uncommon (this was June, by the way). Well one night he decided that he couldn't spend another night in the woods shivering in his soaked, poorly insulated sleeping bag. So we decided, at around 5 pm, to try and make the 4-5 hour hike out of the woods and back to the truck. That's when the lightning started. Well, it actually started just before we came out of the tree filled river valley to begin the climb over some exposed ridges that seperated the river from the plains on the other side. By now it was close to 8:30 pm and raining so hard that even with headlamps we couldn't see more than 4-5 feet in front of us. Except for when the lightning lit up the trail, which was, by that point, so frequently that I finally turned off my headlamp for the last hour of the hike. So here we are, on an exposed ridge (the highest in the area of course), in the middle of the most intense lightning storm I've ever seen, with nothing but knee-high sagebrush for 1 mile in any direction, hiking in the dark in a torrential downpour, following a trail in a slight gully that was rapidly filling with water. Many of you have known that you can count the number of seconds between a lightning flash and the accompianing clap of thunder and determine the distance to the lightning strike. I believe that something like 6 or 7 seconds equals one mile. At this point, counting "one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, etc." I remember vividly seeing my partner's outline in the flash and getting as far as "one..." before the clap of thunder. We're talking a few hundred yards here. Don't ask me why we weren't blown to pieces, but somehow we made it out without being drowned, fried, or breaking a leg. Not the brightest thing I've ever done.
Coldest Temperature Experieced January, 1991. West Dover, Vermont. Air temp -21o F. Wind chill gusting to < -70o F. I was outside for 7 hours running a rope tow at the ski area where I worked (one of only 5 lifts running due to the wind). I had only a 2 sided shelter, and wasn't moving much because my knee was in a brace since I had torn 2 ligaments a month previously. The ice collecting on my beard reached down to my collar, and every time I blinked my eyes froze shut, even in my goggles. The gas in a can for our snowblower turned slushy. And if I could do it again tomorrow, I would. I told you I liked it cold.
Hottest Temperature Experienced May, 1996. Moab, Utah. Air temp 103o F in the shade. It was 113o F above the rocks in the sun. It was so hot that the snowseal liquified and ran out of the leather in my boots. But it was a dry heat -- just like the kind you use to cook your Thanksgiving turkey.
Hiking Experience I started hiking and camping on short overnights in northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania. Came to New Hampshire in 1988 for college and never left. I was a volunteer with the Student Conservation Association for 16 weeks in 1992 and worked for the Recreation Management Department on the Medicine Bow National Forest outside of Laramie, WY. Spent 12 weeks doing wilderness area trail patrol, trail maintenence, and backcountry user impact surveys with one partner. We often left home on monday mornings and came back friday evenings having lived out of our packs the entire time in between. We mapped and judged user impacts on dispersed wilderness campsites. We removed those that were too close together or needed time for recovery, and cleaned up the heavily impacted ones. I was a qualified wildland firefighter and had a "red card" issued by the Forest Service. I was a ski-instructor for 8 years during and after college and have worked outside in every kind of New England winter weather you can imagine from driving January rain to the cold mentioned above. Now, I mostly spend my outdoor time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but I have hiked and camped in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. I have a B.S. degree (Keene State College '92) in Environmental Science (specialization in Ecology and minor in Analytical Chemistry). And, I can walk on water and communicate telepathically with birds and forest creatures. I'm so cool I'm in awe of me. A simple monument would be fine, there's no need for a parade.