Monthly Archives: March 2009

Back in the USSA

And now back in the states again. My last couple of weeks in Scotland have flown past, managing to get a bit of climbing done (yes there were sunny spells) a bit of Kayaking and even a two day trip down the River Earn with my Dad. Dad has lived over 40 years of his life somewhere in the Earn valley and wanted to explore the river (after an aborted attempt and a run in with a dead sheep/capsize last year). It was kind of the wrong time of year but we did get an amazing first day of sunshine through some amazing scenery, a cold night by the side of the river and then a whole lot of snow on the last day. The trip was great, to spend time with dad and also canoe a beautiful river so close to where I grew up.

Unfortunately as I was preparing to leave Scotland I found out that a good friend and colleague Travis Lizzotte passed away. Travis was living his dream and living life to the full and his loss to the world is immense. More on the amazing person Travis was can be found on the memorial page on Facebook. I am now back in the USA to work a 50 day Wilderness Educators course to start of another season with OBUSA. Finally time to work again, a bit of a shock to the system…

The put in for the River Earn (Comrie)

Paddling into the snow storm on the 2nd day
Ice in the pan, morning in the tent
Below the 1st portage (the weir up river swamped us)
An ancient monument – exploring a castle on the first day
Matthew pretending he isnt struggling! the final moves of the imaginately named “the arete”(E1) at the Hawkcraig
The Abseil into The Hawkcraig, Edinburgh
From left, Travis, Amber, me and Steve on prouty point in the sisters wilderness last summer
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The Whirlwind. (end of grand canyon and beyond)

Already the grand canyon trip seems like a while ago but thats probably due to my laziness in not finishing the blog. We did eventually make it to Lake mead. Unfortunately Ryan left in a helicopter as he said he had an infection though its more likely that he just didn’t want to do any of the flat water rowing. The last few days were crazy as the river cuts through the silt built up from the dam leaving big crumbling mud cliffs on either side. By this stage there was no power left in the river and the last few miles were tough, head down and get on with it rowing and trying not to focus on the 2 miles an hour boat speed. Suddenly the Japanese tourists in speed boats dont look so stupid. An early morning saw us pull into south cove take out to wash the gear and our ride back to civilisation but only after the driver had given us a full run down on a months news.

For me it was then a quick changeover straight from Flagstaff to see Becca in New York. It felt very strange to be back in “the real world” and definitely took me time to adjust though as soon as I was in New York, Becca whisked me up to Vermont where we house sat a beautiful old Inn for some people Becca used to work for and I got a quick tour of some of Vermont.

Then within a week another massive change back to Scotland and the wonderful Scottish winter. Rain that is. Since I’ve been back its been a whirlwind of catching up with people along with bits and pieces of walking, kayaking and climbing. Next up is a canoe trip down the river Earn with my dad.

Dont worry folks I will soon be back at work…….
Rowing into the Lake Mead eveningEarly morning sun across the Lake as we derig the boatsSome cold washing of boats (and people)The Whitford house Inn in Vermont Becca trying to avoid the camera on an icy cycle ride in New York

A sudden change. The New York Skyline from Central Park above and a storm rolling across Rannoch moor in Scotland
Scottish winter mountaineering at its best. Robin sheltering below Ben Lui
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