Wednesday, November 3, 2010
In any event since, I dunno, January of this year, there have been a large number of republicans who have been very critical of the president, congress, school, healthcare and whatever else. Okay, so being critical of things does not neccesarily equate being a hypocrite, sure, but this peticular brand of critisism seems a little misguided and boardering on the irrational, misplaced side. It all republicans who make this error; from my observation it's the people who, when they walk into the room, tip the whole house to the right or the people who are republican because it's morally wrong to be a democrat who are guilty of misplacing their casuistic blame.
I'm talking about the people who treat a decision made by a democrat, no matter what the intention or the possible outcome, as being based on a socialist agenda and therefore inherently evil (McCarthyism?).
How is this hypocritical? Regardless of your personal moral or political beleifs, a person who says they believe in the consitution (I choose the constitution for this example because it is pretty well accepted as good) should, inherently, support certain things. When a person says the are patriotic they should recognize that the system of government we have in place is set up to protect the rights of the people. The intrinsic rights of everyone, not just yourself, are to be protected so far as they don't infringe on the rights of anyone else. So far so good?
Where some people seem to drop the ball is when they forget that we live in a democracy. A democracy is, by definition, rule by the people. In our particular brand of democracy the people vote on officials who will represent their ideas and the officials vote together for the nation as a whole. The idea here is that the laws we come up with will be representative of the nation as a whole. Seems pretty straightforward, right?
How, than, can a person claim to love the US Government and reject the laws and elected officials put into place by it? I'm saying disagree with, I'm saying reject.
In my opinion, a person can love or hate candidates to their hearts content, it is their right to do so, but the appropriate time to reject them is voting time. After a president is elected it is impossible to reject them and still believe in the constitution. The way I see it, after election day, if you don't like the results, you can blame the system for being flawed and you can start your campaigning for the next election but if you believe in the constitution, you support your president at that time.
To do anything else would be un-American.
After about 30 minutes of trying to find where we actually dropped into the Canyon, we saw this little guy marking the way. If not for these two Cairns, we would never have known this was a trail. We were a bit sceptical even after seeing them, which says something of the steepness of it...
The trail was very, very steep at parts. It involved scrambling on all fours in some areas and straight up down-climbing in others. We're pretty hardcore though, so we didn't need to take off our packs ;)
We stashed some water when we reached the fork in the trail. We planned on dry camping at this site the last night, which means that we would camp where there was no water source. We needed the cache of water for the hike on the last day.
After the fork in the trail we hiked a couple miles to the Esplanade. It had some pretty cool mushroom shaped rocks and is pretty much the only consistently flat stretch of the hike:
After the Esplanade we descended the Redwall, which is by FAR the most brutal layer of the canyon to punch through.
Here's a view of the inner canyon as we neared the end of our descent:
After descending into the canyon, crossing the esplanade, punching through the Redwall, traversing Surprise Valley (as hot and sunny as you could imagine) we finally reached Thunder River. I can't stress enough how beaufiful Thunder River looked, with it's breathtaking multiple waterfalls, after diving into the bowels of the earth. I also want to point out that, at this point, most people have camped out for a night. We did it all in one day. Heavy.
We had a quick lunch of summer sausage and crackers by this little mini waterfall, and than continued to our Day 1 campsite:
Our campsite was right beside the river, providing a nice source of water to filter from and was right up against a rock-face, which provided a good amount of shade. It was overrun by mice, so we were forced to hang our packs:
On the morning of Day 2 in the Canyon we left the well beaten path and followed beside the Colorado River up and down several small cliffs. This was easily the hotest day, with temperatures reaching the mid 90's and no shade. It was all well-worth it though, as this trail led us to Deer Creek, in my opinion the best part of the hike.
Deer Creek and Deer Creek falls were absolutely breathtaking. From the slot canyon, which in some places is around 100 feet deep, that the creek winds it's way through to the huge waterfall where it makes it's way into the Colorado, it was amazing.
After we had our fill of breathtaking rock formations and waterfalls, we set out for our campsite.
This is where the photo's end for now, unfortunately. I will add photos to this next section after I have pulled them from my memory card and converted them out of their current format (NEF).
At day three we made the decision that we would punch our way out of the canyon completely, bypassing the last night on the esplanade. It was something we had kind of toyed with for a while, as the prospect of camping dry was not a fun one. The thing that finally made us decide was a mass of very ominous-looking rain clouds coming in over the rim. Camping in bivy sacks in the rain did not sound appealing.
So on day three we punched out of the lower canyon, passed the redwall and up the final ascent. It was a grueling death-march.
On the way we passed a group of Argentineans, who we had take out picture. When we described how we did the hike in three days one of them mentioned "See, I told you it was possible." For some reason, this made it worth it ;)
I finally peaked the North rim at around 4:30 (admittedly about an hour later than the rest of my group, yikes).
It was a great trip, definitely the mostly physically and technically challenging I've ever done in the Canyon, but I would recommend it in a second to any serious hikers who are looking for a challenge.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Oh, and just for fun, check out the website I just put up/am in the works of finalizing: www.brianlwillis.com/socialmedia.html