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WEEK 37 2006

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Saturday 16 September 2006

Saturday - down to the boat, to work on the head. Ugh. But it's not something to ask your friends to do. But I was tired, and it took a couple of phone calls from friends to get me on the road by 11 am.

I got down to the boat, and it looked great. There is at least one coat of varnish on the bright work, and several coats on one of the gunnels. The gun'l paint stripe looked good, but was rather uneven, so it'll probably get sanded and repainted for a smoother finish. But that's just picky - things are starting to look good.

I did what I had to, and then spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning. I've owned the boat almost three months, and a lot of debris and dirt had built up inside the boat. The exterior fiberglass needs work, but I don't want to be messing with chemicals and cleaners until the bright work is finished.

Friday 15 September 2006

Friday - more planning.

In the evening it was a visit to the LPAC and music "from around the world". Actually it was music from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Tazihkistand, Mongolia, Japan, etc. So, while the singer/dancer had a nice voice, I didn't understand a word. Still, it was different.

Thursday 14 September  2006

Thursday - working on the test plans.

Wednesday 13 September 2006

Wednesday - the fire that started over near Lake Piru is still burning, I guess. There is a lot of smoke in the air. And it's keeping the temperature down, I think.

Gave my presentation. Acckkk. I enjoyed the other proposals, though some were pretty wild stuff, not really ready for prime time.

Tuesday 12 September 2006

Tuesday - I'm reviewing some proposals, and have to present one myself tomorrow, so that at up the day. Not a lot to say about that.

I mentioned walking out to look at the D-21 drones the other day. There was a brief article in the center paper about how they are going off to various museums - and that their magnesium/thorium engine casings are radioactive.


 Monday 11 September 2006

Monday - back at work, keeping busy. CEV is heating up a bit - we need to come up with some test plans, but really don't have a lot of info to work with, at this point.

Sunday 10 September 2006

Sunday - down at the boat, doing little things.

The Mt. Whitney hike, continued, Labor Day afternoon, evening, and the next morning:

At the top of Mt. Whitney we met Reinhardt, someone we'd encountered a couple of days earlier, down near Horseshoe Meadows. He had come up the back way, walking, and was planning to do the John Muir Trail. He was, in fact, planning on doing, alone, the complete 211 miles in five days. He apparently holds the speed record for his age group - he turns 66 later this year and moves into the next age group - and wanted to see if he could best his own record. He's quite a character - no pack, just a bag and some beans to eat.

He planned on staying the night in the little cabin at the top of the mountain, since it didn't look like there would be any lightning.

I wandered over to the edge and looked down. It's rather scary, even after a couple of days among some fairly abrupt drop offs. There were a number of survey markers and benchmarks on the slabs of rock at the top. Give that they are all just sitting on top of rubble it doesn't really make much sense - they must shift and move each winter when the mountain ices over.

While Dave and I rested Pradeep arrived. We decided to go down together - it was clearly going to be after dark when we got back to the bottom and a group is a lot safer for night hiking. We left the top at 4:00 pm, and I estimated at that point that it would take an hour or so down the three miles to the trail turn off. It was two hours - we weren't picking up much in the way of speed downhill. A bit of a wakeup call about what sort of speeds to expect. But we kept on, and were down to Trail Camp at about 7:00pm. It was starting to get dark at this point, we'd just turned on our headlamps and Pradeep took out his flashlight. We had to decide between staying there and continuing on. Dave and I had emergency temps, sleeping backs, and supplies, Pradeep not much. We decided to go on.

There's not a lot to say about that. It was difficult, harder than the uphill of the morning, but not unbearable. My incandescent light wasn't nearly as powerful as Dave's multi-LED headlamp and so he went first. Pradeep came next, and I followed. For a while Pradeep had gone on ahead - rather too quickly for safety we felt, but then his flashlight began to malfunction, and he stayed with us the rest of the trip. It worked fairly well, and the hiking poles everyone carried were a godsend. I lengthened mine, kept them in front, and they prevented the occasional stumble from turning into a fall.

Eventually we arrived at Whitney Portal, and Pradeeps' friends picked him up, and they were off. Dave and I were too tired to drive anywhere, and slept in the Explorer. I had no problem in getting to sleep, and nothing woke us up, until hours later when the sun was up!

So, roughly three thirty to two thirty - twenty three hours. I felt remarkably good - no blisters, mainly just sleepy and tired. And incredibly smelly.

Picture of the Week
The hut at the top of Mt. Whitney

Photo Notes: An amazing vista, looking west past the hut from the very top of Mt. Whitney.

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