Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My oh my. I really should start updating this thing more often. I'm getting old and my memory for the events of the past 9 or so days gets a little hazy over the course of the week. Garrett and I are at another coffee shop in downtown Tucson - he is studying, of course. I am blogging. It never ceases to amaze me how he can spend hours reading a textbook filled with paragraph-long mathematical equations...

So, by the looks of things I haven't done an entry since last Monday. We're about to cover a week and a half of material, so grab a caffeinated beverage and hang out - this may take awhile...

Last Monday night, Garrett and I along with his friend Matt went out to a couple of bars and a pizza place. Getting fairly drunk on a Monday night is not something I've done in a long time, but it certainly beats sitting at home watching TV.

Tuesday morning / afternoon, my friend Delphine and I did a 14 mile bike ride along the Rillito Trail in Tucson. I rode my mountain bike (Jacques) for about 7 miles or so until the trail dead-ended at the highway, then borrowed Delphine's road bike (Puddin') and special shoes to ride the 7 miles back. I've decided that I need to purchase a road bike ASAP. The amount of energy I exert on the mountain bike is kind of ridiculous compared to how much I exert on the road bike. I'm pretty sure I'd be able to complete a century in no time if I could drop 1K on a decent Specialized and train for a month or so.

That evening, Garrett and I went to a local used bookstore before going out for the usual dinner and drinks with his friends. It reminded me a lot of Gardner's in Tulsa - wonderful selection, well-organized, good prices, and completely addictive. Garrett found this great book there - "Physics for Poets." Essentially, all the basics of Physics in a nutshell for humanities-focused students. Copyrighted in 1970, I thought, "This is going to be kind of pointless and boring", but I started reading it the next day and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Thanks, Garrett. :)

On Wednesday, we had an invite to go over to Matt and Sarah's house for dinner, drinks, conversation and ping-pong. We had tofu, steak and veggie kabobs, wine, beer and jupiter-sized chocolate chip cookies for dessert. After dinner we set up the ping-pong table. By this time we had all had a little too much to drink, and it made the game much more exciting (and rather pathetic since 2 of us weren't so talented). After that we got a fire started in the pit in the backyard and sat around talking for an hour or so. Good times.

Thursday I have absolutely no memory of what I did. No, I wasn't drunk. I'm just getting old and have trouble remembering things.

Friday, I walked around campus and checked out the graduate student art exhibit. There's a pretty great museum on campus, and I guess they have the Master's thesis projects on display for everyone to see right around graduation time.
That evening, we met up with a bunch of people at Zachary's for drinks and pizza (my now- regular diet) and then to Espresso Art on University Blvd. for hookah-smoking and a nice chat with Jon, Delphine and Casey.

Saturday, Garrett and I went out and spent most of the day shopping for camping supplies to prepare for our Grand Canyon trip. We realized that there's probably no way we're going to be able to secure a backcountry camping license in time for the trip next week, so we may have to explore other options (like camping on the side of a busy highway next to the South Rim village and hoping no one runs over our tent). The Grand Canyon is a busy and popular place, apparently. :)

Sunday was a pretty great day. Delphine suggested that we do a hike together at a place called Picacho Peak, so on Friday night we made plans for four of us (Delphine, Casey, Garrett and myself) to make the half hour drive out there and do the hike. It was seriously hardcore (at least in my opinion). The hike lasted for about 5 hours total from the base to the summit (3374 ft.) and back down, and it was suggested that each hiker take along 2 liters of water. Thank god we heeded the advice of the park ranger - I needed every ounce of that damn water.
Check it out ---> Picacho Peak
I'm so freakin' proud of myself for completing that hike. It was probably something that in a normal situation would have been a bit too much for me, but I had good friends there that helped me push through it. There were places where you literally had to smear the cliff face with only metal cables to hold onto that kept you from falling to your death. It wasn't even all that helpful, because I ended up getting my arm sliced open on one of the loose wires, and Delphine had to patch me up with her first aid kit. Sounds like I'm being overly dramatic, but I promise you I'm not. Crazily enough, we ran into a couple of families that had little kids doing the hike. KIDS, I tell you. Like, 8 year olds. NUTS! Maybe that's what happens when you are raised in Arizona by a couple of hiking-enthusiast parents. You become a badass before you reach your 10th birthday. After the hike we ran over to Dairy Queen for lunch, where Delphine treated all of us to ice cream. I needed it. Really, I did.
That night, we rested and watched "Apocalypse Now" and "The English Patient". Movies and a couch were about all I could handle after a morning like that.

Monday, Garret and I drove up to Mt. Lemmon to camp for a couple of days at Rose Lake Canyon. We figured it would be a good way to test out the camping equipment he had just purchased, along with the new hiking boots that Delphine so generously gave me. We had a good time, aside from having to deal with the freaking freezing cold weather that plagues elevations that high at night. Since we were stupid and unprepared, all we had cover-wise was an unzipped sleeping bag and a single sheet for warmth. Suffice it to say that we didn't sleep soundly either night, but at least now we know to be prepared with many blankets for the Grand Canyon trip. We ended up sharing a camping area with two nice middle-aged guys who were working on a construction project in Summerhaven (a small mountain town about 1000 feet up from Rose Lake Canyon), and they caught trout from the lake both nights that we were there and provided us with hot fish dinners. We also had a delicious lunch at a place in Summerhaven called "The Cookie Cabin" that served the best damn cookie I've ever tasted. It took up a whole plate, and made my tummy very happy indeed. :)

So...that's the best I can do for now. We leave for the Grand Canyon on Sunday morning!

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