Sunday, August 30, 2009


Sooooooooooooo it's kinda been a WHILE since I've written a post!!! My bad been very busy!!!!:) YESTERDAY we had our SECOND middle school hike of the year!!!! 15 students, 5 staff, and 20km of hiking!!! HOLY SCHNIKEE!!!!:) Alarm goes off at 6:30am and packed up 6 LITERS of water, and of course on the way to school stopped off at my shop and got 2 more liters of water AND Tiger cookies!!!! The usual for hike day!!!;) Arrived at school for an excellent breakfast of fried eggs and cereal!!!!! We walked down to Ridgewood and met the troops!! All 15 were waiting and ready to go around 8:30am!!! We took 4 taxis to near a spot called Cloud's End and unpacked there!! So we had 15 middle schoolers 7/8th grade, 5 staff and one adult chaperon!!!! I had 8 liters of water, lunch, 50 cookies, and some other minor things in my pack ready to go (it was kinda heavy, but BRING IT ON)!!!!:) The first 1/3 of the hike was on cement!! It was very mossy on the way down the cement so we had to be careful when hiking downwards!! We hiked downhill the first part and then took our first break right before our nature trail incline!!:) The middle school girls asked for a break EVERY 15 minutes it seemed!! The middle school guys just kept asking is it lunch time or how far have we gone EVERY 15 minutes!! Needless to say it got VERY repetitive VERY fast!!! And of course the pace some of them had was sooooooo SLOW!!! Like walking through cement it seemed!!!! We kept saying COME ON COME ON let's go let's go!!! Trying anything and everything to speed up their pace!! A couple of times we took the stragglers, and not being chauvinistic, but they were often the girls!!! Our goal was to make it to Bhadraj Hill by 1pm!! That's 10km over a 4 1/2 hour time frame!!! Hopefully we can make it and not have to turn around before that!!:) Especially with the pace some of them were walking at!!! We make it to our first checkpoint around 10:30 and that was the bottom of the hill about to begin our incline on the nature trail!!! We ascend up hill and make it to this open area with a little stone platform that is about half way from the start of the nature trail to Bhadraj Hill, and take our second break!!! Now the moods are starting to change from the girls and they begin to whine about being tired and not wanting to go to the temple and blah blah blah!!!:) Continuing on, Matt and Suman are at the back pushing the girls while I'm in the middle, and Stephan and Titu are in lead, leading some of the guys to our final checkpoint before lunch and Bhadraj Hill!!! We arrive at this house on the lower part of the peak where we take our final break before climbing Bhadraj Hill!! It's about noon right now, and we make it to the top of the hill by 12:30, so we totally made it within 30 minutes!! Very awesome!! We have lunch and the rest of the hike cont....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


So we make it to Thatyur around 12:30, only a 4 hour hike down, compared to last weekend's 6 hour hike down!!!:) We stopped and got some food again and while we were waiting for our food we did a leech check, since we didn't really want to stop and check for leeches WHILE more leeches would crawl up our feet and legs!! WELL I thought I had gotten all of the leeches earlier, and then I lift up my LEFT PANT LEG, and if you look at the picture this is what a I saw!!!:) Not really shocked anymore at the blood, but definitely shocked I did not feel the FREAKIN THING SUCKING AT MY LEG!!! That must have gotten HUGE!! I never saw it, cause once it's full off your blood it just disappears!! It knew salt was coming if I found it!!;) BUT after all of the blood was wiped away it was as big as a misquitoe bite!! So don't be thinking holy cow that bite must be huge, no, it just appears it is from all the blood around it!! It does help to pour salt on it after you get the leech off to quickly neutralize the blood and wound!! It may burn, it may not!! It hasn't burned yet, but others said it does!!:) YOUR MOVE!!! After searching for leeches we sit down and eat our rice and dal!! Half the group got chop suey that was really spicey!! Made Nicole cry which was hilarious!! I asked Tim and Matt if their's were and they're like no!! Haha in your face Nicole and your weak pallet!!! Finished lunch before 1:30 which was when their taxi was leaving to take them back!! THIS TIME we had a mix of people going back!! Dave AND Nicole joined me for the hike back this time!! Matt road in the taxi cause he had lesson plans to write, oooooh to be a student teacher!!:) But it was sweet having a party of 3 heading back, so more people to remember our way back in case of lossness!!:) Which the way back we took was EXACTLY the same as the way up!! So basically 1% chance of getting lost, especially having Dave and his brain AND G.P.S. with!!:) No worries there!! We head back at 1:30 and make excellent time the entire way!! It was 9 miles heading down to Thatyur this way, so we had 9 miles going back!! Since it was the same way going back I'll just skip ahead to any exciting moments!!:) We head through Magra again and are SO ready for LEECH TRAIL!! But we must have sucked up all the leeches going down, because on the way back there were NONE!!! And we were looking for them!!:) Got back on Tehri Road around 4pm!! So had about an hour hike left!! Now compared to the last 2 hikes, my legs were REALLY feeling it this time!! I literally had to keep up a brisk hiking pace for their to be no cramping or pain!! Dave and Nicole noticed this when I would walk ahead like 300 feet then wait for them to catch up!!:) We finished our hike at SouthHill at 5:35pm and at 17.9 miles!!! SO CLOSE!! But Nicole had to walk home which was at LEAST .1 miles, so she made 18 miles!! Dave had to walk uphill home, so he easily made that .1!! And I had to walk to Woodstock then home!! Which is like 2 miles there!! SO we ALL made our goal of 18 miles!!!! After Nicole and Dave split for home, I ran to Woodstock which felt REALLY good!! To actually bend the knees when moving was a different feeling than the past 17.9 miles!!! Arrived at Woodstock and collapsed on the floor with soreness!! Matt was in the LL watching movies!! I stretched it out then we (Nicole, Matt and I) headed to the dining center to await dinner!!! PLEASANTLY to our surprise the dinner ROCKED!! PIZZA!!!! A perfect surprise for us!! We each had 4 little circle pizzas and I had 4 bananas!!! Soooooooo good and perfect for a nice end of a hike!!!:) After dinner I walked home and FINALLY finished my last Saturday's post in my journal!! 15 freakin pages worth!!! Average journal entry is like 3 pages!!! So yeah that felt good to get done!! After doing that WENT TO BED AND RESTED THE MUSCLES!!!!!:) That was the weekend and I'm sticking to it!!!


6:30AM RISE AND SHINE IT'S HIKING TIME!!!!! Sunday Hike to be exact!!! Not Saturday!!!!:) BUT that doesn't mean breakfast is different!! Walked to Woodstock and again on the way got the usual: water, cookies, and gum!! Same stuff in my bag as last Saturday!! Figured if I survived last Saturday with what I had, why add anything!? Especially since that would make my bag heavier and possibly tire me out quicker IF we got lost again!!;) So arrive at Woodstock and have another delicious breakfast!! SCRAMBLED EGGS, POTATOES, TOAST, AND WATER!!!! Packed a pbj and some bananas in the pack and Matt, TIM, and I were off for our hike and to meet up with the rest!!! Same as last week we met the others at SouthHill and headed off on Tehri Road, same direction and path!! However, this time we weren't exiting Tehri Road at the GAP, BUT we passed the GAP, passed the Chai shop we stopped at on our very first hike and continued on Tehri Road!! Different to our first hike, this time it was CLEAR as day!! Absolutely beautiful out!!!:) Walking down Tehri Road with the view on our right was simply stunning!! The rolling hills and clouds placed ever so perfectly around the hills was amazing!!! We passed the Himalayan Weaver's shop and took a side trail off Tehri Road and onto NATURE'S TRAIL!!!:) There was a stop along the trail that was a scenic overlook and it was perfect!! Standing on it you could see down the valley for miles!! After that we entered LEECH trail!! It wasn't called that, but might have well been with all the freakin leeches we saw!!! Cookie had the best technique and that was SCREAMING her lungs out when she saw a leech climb up her boot!!:) Everyone else was more calm and simply grabbed the leech and threw it off!! Both techniques worked equally!! One more louder than the other!!;) I thought I had all of my leeches off, but you'll find out if I missed any!! And since last Saturday leeches don't really freak Matt or me out anymore since we had a BILLION on us sucking our skin!!:) Our first checkpoint on the hike was Magra!! Made that with ease in the first 2 hours!! There was a small village there, not too big and a lot of mud around to walk through!! After Magra it was pretty similar trail throughout to Thatyur!!! Matt and I saw our EVER so helpful road that lead us to our lost adventure last weekend!!! Took a picture of it and never spoke of it again!!:) We passed these two girls playing in the water on the way to town and we continued asking them if we could take a picture, but they kept saying NO NO and kept playing in the water!! They really enjoyed that water!!! SUNDAY CONT...


So Saturday, for those in America who do not know this, was INDIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY!! And also Korean Independence Day!!! BUT apparently Woodstock throws a HUGE festival for their Independence!! And it was awesome!! Colorful, men and women had to dress in their formal clothes!! I wore my Kurta and Pyjama's!!! The flag raising ceremony started at 9:30am in Parker Hall!! We were going to do it at the actual outside flag pole BUT it was a little too wet for that, sooooo we had to move the pole inside AND raise the flag inside!!! After that we had some guest speakers along with a Korean game and the history of Korea's Independence!!! Then these really sweet Indian dancers did a dance on the history of India!! Unless you knew the history it was kind of a confusing dance!! You could tell what was happening but not the significance of it!! There was no dialogue or facts to go with the dancing so we had to guess what was happening!! ALL I KNOW is half way through the dance they played the game Kho-Kho, a tag game we teach in Phy Ed!!!!;) This was Saturday morning!! After the dance there was DELICIOUS INDIAN food down in the quad for all to enjoy!!! Different vendors set up with exotic Indian food!! Basically an Indian buffet!! So did this for about an hour, then Matt and I drifted off to the Lyon's Lounge to replace the usual Sunday lazy day with a lazy Saturday!! BECAUSE SUNDAY WE HAD A VERY NICE HIKE PLANNED FOR THATYUR AGAIN!! This time we planned a shorter way down!!! Saturday night we headed over to the Farley's for some AMAZING pancakes, cooked by Chef Nicole!! They had an entire breakfast dinner planned, but Matt and I really got into this one corny stupid horror movie called Storm Warning, and missed that!! But apparently there wouldn't have been enough food for everyone anyways if we showed up!! Apparently we eat a lot?!?:) Who knew!! Luckily though there was pancake batter left so she made me 8 pancakes!! All delicious and sprinkled with chocolate powder!! After pancakes it was MOVIE TIME!!! The Incredibles!! Watched that while people were going in and out to Megan/Jenny's place right next door playing games!! After the movie we all herded over to Megan/Jenny's and played some Catchphrase!!! There were some interesting guesses made and some very interesting gestures and hints!!:) I left shortly after we started watching cause we had a very long hike tomorrow and needed some sleep!! SUNDAY HIKE NEXT!!:)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday!!!!!:) cont...

We're winding down the cement road, everything looking very fresh and familiar in our minds since it has been only a week!! If it wasn't foggy during our hike back, it would have been a very BEAUTIFUL hike!! Which we'll make another time, with a Hindi speaking friend to translate for us!! But for now we're going solo and only Enlgish speaking!! We wind around some hills and forget how many hills it is until we reach their house!!! So we kept saying, oh it's the next one, oooh no no the next one!! Nope the next one!! We knew we weren't lost but just forgot how many hills it was until we were on the right one!! Well the answer is 4!! It took 4 hills until that 4th hill came and we came around the bend and sure enough the wide open area along with the house was right there!! We walk the deja vu path to their house again and sure enough the two are there making some dinner and almost like they were expecting us!! Not surprised at all and very friendly again to greet us!!:) We say hello and again they offer their stools to sit on!! Walking in the room for a second time brought back pleasant memories of the first time!! While they made dinner which we did not want at all, cause we didn't want to impose on their dinner!! But he insisted we have some Chai and since we said no the last time we couldn't refuse it again!! They brought in cups and nice warm chai and sat down while we sipped our chai!! At that point we handed them our gifts and since we didn't speak Hindi we didn't know really their reaction!! Their faces were somewhat happy but I think overwhelmed as well!! Almost like it was too much!! But they accepted the gifts and THEN brought in food to feed us!! We at first said no, but couldn't really translate that to them so we ate the food not to offend their hospitality!!:) The food AGAIN was amazing and we offered them some but they refused!! We got through half the meal and said we had to go!! Said our goodbyes once again and took a picture with them!! The wife was very hesistant but the husband was all for it, we think!!:) We hiked back to civilization again and met up with the rest of Woodstock Staff at the Tavern!! There ordered a delicious fruint punch AND my fruit ice cream!! A very fruity night!! Everyone else arrived at the Tavern around 7, while we got there around 8ish cause of the hike!! We asked if everyone else had major traffic to deal with because of Indian Independence on Saturday!! They said OH YEAH!! The streets were so chaotic and full of cars/taxis it was pretty ridiculous!! So many out of towners, THAT WEREN'T US!!! Cause we're true Mussoorians!!:) Freakin tourists!! But the streets are so narrow, so it only takes 2 cars to cause a traffic jam, one trying to go uphill and the other trying to go down!! At the Tavern we had an awesome time!! Telling stories, jokes and trying to throw little pieces of paper in each others drinks!! This went on for a couple hours, until there was a backup of people waiting for a table!! The waiters and owner kind of pressured us to leave!! All we wanted was our songs to sing and then we would have happily left, BUT the guy literally said, when we tried to request them, the owner will not let me cause he wants you guys to leave!!:) That was our final clue to hit the road, and it was getting pretty late anyways!! So we wanted the check and of course that took like 15 minutes to get!! While all these people at the door were giving us evil stares!! Like what can we do?!? We don't have the freakin check!! As we were figuring out the checks, other customers started hovering over us so as soon as we got up they literally took our spots that instant!! Kind of rude won't lie!! Lousy out of towners having no manners!!! All we were trying to do is have is some fun!!:) We left the Tavern and walked back to our houses!! On the way home Greg and I stopped by the Clock Tower Cafe and I ordered a nice pizza while Greg ordered a carrot cake! BOTH were delicious!!!:) Ate that, paid the check and went on our seperate ways!!! Got home around 11pm and was planning to write in my journal and finally catch up!! As soon as my head hit the pillow I was out!!! Completely wiped out!!! And that has been this past week up to FRIDAY NIGHT!!!


Well I know I've been slacking on keeping up with my blog BUT nothing really blog worthy has happened during the week!!!! It's pretty much the same everyday!! We're still in our Cross Country unit for mostly every class except grades 1/2/3 which is working on movement currently!! So this past week we brought up our classes to the top of Chukkar Hill and ran their cross country route that they will run for Inter House Cross country day!! WHICH is a really sweet day when the entire school shuts down for this day of running and competitions!!! STAFF INCLUDED!!!:) And each house competes to earn points for their team!! Eagles of course will dominate the Condors and Merlins!! Sorry Red and Green but TEAM BLUE ALL THE WAY!!!:) Tuesday night was laundry night so I went over to the Farley's again and while laundry was washing and drying we watched Harry Potter 6!! Watched that twice and yet have not seen 1-5 and really have no desire too unless with a group!!!:) Sorry but give me Rocky 1-6 over any 1-6 anyday!!!!! Wednesday night some Woodstock staff went to the Tavern and I had the strawberry smoothie AGAIN!! SOOOO delicious!! We had a blast as usual singing our songs: Country Roads AND Zinhonsadnian!! I forgot the name of it, but it started with a Z and had the ooooooo's!! THEN THURSDAY CAME AND IT WAS THE FIRST DAY OF AFTER SCHOOL SPORTS!!! OF COURSE we're in monsoon season and JUST as school got out it DOWNPOURED!!! Thus we had to cancel the first day, very similar to a certain Shakopee summer tennis first day!! JENNY I told you, use your powers elsewhere, leave India alone!!!;) So we had to cancel the first day and only the inside sports continued, TaeKwonDo, Table Tennis and Climbing Wall!!! THEN yesterday came along!! FANTASTIC FRIDAY!!!!:) Not only Friday itself was awesome but the expectations for this weekend was on the verge of happening!! We had planned a trip to our savior family after school Friday, so Friday during school just flew by!! After school Nicole, Matt and I packed up our things from school and headed to the outskirts of Mussoorie again!! On the way their I had to stop home and pick up my somewhat still wet hiking and VERY smelly hiking boots, along with my camera!! We also stopped at some stores to pick up our gifts we were going to buy for them!! First was a random store which we bought a plastic cricket bat and ball for their son, and some jewelry for the mom!! Then the bakery for some baked desserts!! Next the grocery store to buy some hard cookies that will last longer than the baked goods!! Finally we stopped at a tailor and bought them a nice blanket!!! After we packed up that we headed for the road that winded downward from the bazaar to the hills of Mussoorie!! It was all too familiar again, BUT this time it was light and a little foggy!! Hike cont....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

August 8th, 2009....a date that I'll always remember.... Part 7

I leave the bathroom all nice and clean and refreshed ready for some FOOD!! ESPECIALLY PIZZA!!! I sit down, take off my sandals and let my feet breathe, probably not humane in a restaraunt, so sue me!! I order an Orange Fanta to get those sugars back, and a WATER!! Then the pizza comes and it's mouthwatering amazing!! The first bite was hot but I didn't care, the heat warmed up my entire cold wet body!! Unlike at the house, I had my appetite back and ready to devour a pizza!! Knowing not to over eat myself after not eating for so long, I had only half a pizza and boxed the rest! Also, I wanted to save room for strawberry ice cream, get some calcium in my bones as well!;) I paid the bill, tipped the waiter 100 rupees for a 500 rupee bill, I didn't care if that was a lot the meal was amazing and the service again was perfect!! On the walk home the emotions finally came out!! Tears galore from being tired, and exhausted, and staying mental tough for 9 hours (6 of those being lost)! It felt really good to get that out of my system!!:) Made it home and immediately took a shower! Washed the blood off the feet from the leeches, washed the stench of sweat and India rain off, and soaped up everywhere!! After my shower I got the leech socks out of my bag and sure enough the 2 leeches I left in there were still there, poured a CRAP load of salt on them to make sure they were dead, they died!!:) Turned on my i-pod and within 5 minutes I didn't even make it past 2 songs I was out like a light!! Didn't even notice Stephan getting home at 1am!! Also, apparently Nicole called like 8 times from 11-12 to see if I made it home safe, yeah didn't hear that at all either!! This morning waking up felt not to sore but looked at my feet and whoa, leech holes everywhere! 4 holes on my right foot and 1 on my left! Emotionally just drained, no energy at all, and was so glad it was Sunday, lazy Sunday! After gaining full consciousness I caught up in my journal! Once again my hike post will take up a lot of pages!! Last hike entry was 9 pages! I started this one, got to 3 pages so far, and that's at the temple! So have lots to write still for that! After that downloaded my photos onto the computer, all 275 of them from the one day hiking trip!! And then headed to Woodstock for some lunch! That was a very very very long walk to school!! I could feel the soreness now and still no energy at all! Made it to lunch at school, and since lunch 12:30 I've been blogging and now finally caught up!!! I hope everyone had an amazing Saturday, at least a dry one!! And for those just waking up or will eventually have an AWESOME Sunday!!!!:) One last thing, I highly advise running a marathon once in your life, you never know when you'll need that mental toughness and muscle to accomplish and overcome extreme obstacles in your life!! And don't panic if you turn left when you should have turned right, if you stay focused, calm, and collective you will come out just fine!!! I finally got my wish of an exciting adventure in India!!:) Just glad to be back in the real world and not lost in the hills of Mussoorie for 6 hours!!! Love you all and happy smiling!!!!!!:)

August 8th, 2009....a date that I'll always remember.... Part 6

The rain at this point is in full force. I'm wearing a very breathable light long sleeve training shirt, and Matt's wearing a t-shirt and shorts. He luckily had an umbrella so that helped a little even though the rains were coming all which directions. We made it to another top of the hill when THANKFULLY I see in the distance the village we saw from earlier. Of course to get to that village, there was this opening of flowing rapids and puddles galore. With water flowing rapidly beneath our feet towards the village. We slid down some rocks and into the puddles, not even thinking about leeches at this point, just trying to get to the village. We SPRINT through the rapids and make it to this stone wall out of the water. We walk down a path towards the first house we see, and I walk past first and see no one there so I keep moving forward. Luckily Matt was a little ways behind and calls me back, cause this man is at the door inviting us in. We walk up their path and under their roof. He had a wife and kid, probably all wondering who are these two and why are they walking in this weather. But this family in my eyes are saviors. They invite us in like we're family. They set out these stools and invite us to sit. Both Matt and I, out of energy sit down and just collapse. Exhausted. After a minute or so we remember to check for leeches on our feet, running through the water like that. Of course we find just a few..... we take the flashlight shine it on our feet and one by one we start pouring salt on the leeches. Luckily I brought some. I had 5 on my right foot, 1 huge one, the other just getting settled. I had 4 on my left foot, 2 huge ones already sucking blood, and 2 others trying to get settled. I had one on my upper leg and one under my right knee. Matt had a ton on him as well. So we each one at a time went outside and started to pour salt on them, watch them curl up, then immediately grab them and fling them off, stepping on them once they landed on the ground. After that I dared to take off my hiking boots and socks, sure enough 3 more leeches (big ones) were on my right lower part of my foot, all well established and making huge divets in it. QUICKLY poured salt on them and then checked my left foot. Luckily only found 2 little ones trying to establish sucking. But it's crazy to think all they need is the smallest of holes and they can get in their like "that!" I mean these leeches went through my hiking boot, then through my sock, and finally to my skin. And you don't even feel them doing this. After we have sat and napped a little bit, this man comes back with cookies. We didn't know what to say we were so speechless with thanks. We tried signing thank you to him, of course he only spoke Hindi, but an attempt that I think worked. I slowly ate mine, feeling the signs up vomiting if I ate them to fast. But Matt luckily had the stomach he could eat with ease, which is all I cared about at that point cause I know Matt was struggling with the food. Once he had that in his system he took over with the lead. Asking if I was alright and trying to strike up convo. All I could muster was hmm mmm. But I could get 2 cookies down. Then the man turned on the tv and we watched a really cheesy Bollywood movie with the main guy shooting up everyone. That brought smiles to our faces, not big ones but enough to calm our nerves a little. We did constant leech checks every 5 minutes, and sure enough every time we found a couple here and there, trying to establish on our skin. The power went out, and we lost all lights and tv, so I went outside (by this time it was night, about 7:30pm) and I saw the GREATEST thing we've seen in the past 6 hours!! THE LIGHTS OF MUSSOORIE!!! We asked the man earlier and pointed to Mussoorie and we knew it was somewhere over that hill, but seeing those lights at night made us feel so much better! We attempted convo with the man again and found out his daughter went to school in Mussoorie and he knew of Woodstock! So now the confidence is slowly coming back, if this man knows of both Mussoorie and Woodstock School!! He asks us if we want rotti (bread) and some other foods we didn't know what they meant. We said yes yes yes yes yes, thank you thank you thank you. His wife started the meal, while both Matt and I tried getting in a quick nap in the chairs. Matt commented that you know when you're exhausted when you can fall asleep in a stool bent over, which was very true. So we caught up on some much needed rest while they made dinner. The smell from the next room smelled soooo good. While it was cooking he came back in the room with clothes. Now this house was 2 rooms, and was barely filled with materials. This man who didn't even know us offered the clothes off his back to warm us up, we couldn't say yes to that. But just the gesture was so amazing and powerful. Then they brought in the most delicious meal we've had in 6 hours. It was rotti, some type of dal, and chai tea. Now the tea we didn't drink just because it could possibly be tap water, and no good there. But everything else was fair game. All I could eat was 2 pieces of rotti, which when nervous and focused I'm not a huge eater, so I knew that would be okay. I was just happy Matt was going to town on his food cause I knew he needed it to reenergize. So Matt was getting reenergized I was still focused on the trip home. The man then came in with blankets and sheets to start making a bed. Now he was offering us a place to sleep. This was truly a miracle and the nicest/kindest thing that anyone could ever do for another human being. We declined the bed and sleeping cause we knew we had to get back tonight otherwise some may get worried if we didn't make it back that night. So we said no no no to the bed and waited for the rain to stop. Another motivator that had us not stay the night was this HUGE spider right above us by the light, did not want that crawling around us in the night. Finally the rain started to simmer down, not end but not a downpour at least! In the distance I heard this man doing some late night prayers, I checked my watch and sure enough it was 8pm, and it was the same chants I hear everynight at home!! Then we heard the dogs!! So both were unbelievably comforting sounds and again grew our confidence!!:) It was around 9pm when the rain finally stopped. We knew this was our only chance and had to take it. I gave the man 1500 rupees for their troubles. We packed up, checked for leeches and followed the man with his flashlight to his path. He pointed to Mussoorie and shook hands and he was very grateful, but not NEARLY as grateful as we, and we wished so much we could communicate with him how much thanks we had, but I think he may have gotten the point...hopefully. We head down the path and within 10 minutes we see the greatest thing ever: CEMENT road!! A sign of civilization and close to a real town!! Not shortly after we see this single headlight coming down the path, it was a scooter, another great sign of things to come! We head up the path and to the Langdon School, which is what he said we would end up at, he also said bazaar/marker would be there too. We enter town just relieved to be in some type of civilization with other people around!! We walk up the path and more zig zags, but this time we don't care aobut the zig zags! When we reach the top, Matt quickly recognizes where we are, the MAIN BAZAAR close to the Clock Tower!!!! Walking towards the split to both the main bazaar and my house, we give a big man hug to each other and congratulate a HARD fought battle mentally and physically to get home and couldn't help but think what would have happened if we chose left way back there and not right! We didn't even want to think about that outcome at all. After we split our ways I headed straight towards the Clock Tower Cafe, knowing a LARGE PEPPERONI PIZZA was waiting to be eaten by me!! I didn't know if they were open or not but it didn't matter I was headed there to find out! I see the clock tower, I see the cafe and BAM it's open!! I walk in to the greatest smell in the world, baking dough!! I sit down just exhausted, even the waiter came up to me and asked are you tired? I explained to him I just hiked with a friend from Tatur and left around 1! Before I did anything I took off my boots and quickly put on my sandals that were packed in my backpack, luckily! That felt soooo good! My boots were soaked and a little blood soaked from the leeches! Cause after you take off the leech the hole that it creates still has blood coming from it, you can pour salt on it to neutralize it, but minus the slight burn pain it still doesn't stop it completely! Went to the bathroom and washed my hands for 5 minutes! They were a LITTLE dirty from the hike! Dinner and Sunday cont....

August 8th, 2009....a date that I'll always remember.... Part 5

We choose....... the right path towards the advice of the villagers. Now it has started to rain, but luckily not heavily. In the distance we heard thunder and Cookie told us earlier that monsoons usually never occur on the opposite side of Mussoorie, thus going to the right would lead us into the thunderstorm and possibly monsoon, but that was a risk we had to take. At the top of the hill this random walker with an umbrella was walking downhill towards us, we asked Mussoorie? and he pointed towards the way we were walking, which made us think we made the right choice back there! However, all these locals have pointed that direction for Mussoorie but no signs of it yet. The rain has started to increase now, not downpour monsoon but not light rain either. We walk towards another hill, uphill of course, and come around another corner and still nothing, no signs of Mussoorie, no locals to ask directions too. Now this is 6pm, 5 hours since food and straight hiking, so yeah we're getting to the tired point. I ask Matt how he's doing and his right calf has tightened and has signs of being a little dizzy. Immediately we stop, I pull out my bananas that all but 2 were kinda still good, gave one to Matt the other I ate, and then gave him some gum to keep trucking. Matt felt better now, got some energy back, motivated us to keep going and we were on our way, through the DOWNPOURING rain at this point. We are still going uphill and the paths are definitely getting soaked so sliding was a definite possibility. In our heads I know we are both thinking these hills would never end. I'm saying the Lord's Prayer over and over, and praying. Keep on asking Matt how he's doing, cause I knew without food he could fall fast. So we're in a negative situation right now, but we had to keep trucking, knowing that village had to be coming up soon. We turn another hill corner and yet again nothing. Now it's getting pretty bad. No clue when and where this village would come and not knowing how long our bodies can hold out in the rain. We started up a little convo to keep hopes up. One of our convos was how we were SO thankful that we train for triathlons (Matt) and marathons, otherwise our mental state of being may be faultering at this point and muscles definitely would not be able to continue. That kept us going, I was getting my second wind just knowing that village had to be coming up and to push Matt to keep going knowing if he went down it would NOT a good scenario.....

August 8th, 2009....a date that I'll always remember.... Part 4

Sorry no pictures from here on, focused on getting home!! You'll know what I mean!! So we arrive at the gates of Mazatan and start walking through town!! Heading towards the lower part of town because that's where I thought the school was the locals, which were gathered there like they were expecting us, started yelling!! We turn around and point Mussoorie, and they point in the opposite direction!! So we start walking towards the way I thought they were pointing too, when AGAIN they were yelling!! We turn around and they point towards this other road!! So we have a good laugh over it and start walking through the town!! Get to this hill with a bull on top drinking some water!!! Coming within 10 feet of it the bull QUICKLY turns at us and starts charging us!! We're like what the heck and just BOOK it the opposite direction!! Some locals from before saw us and knew we were confused and lost, so again they pointed us/lead us to the path that will take us to Mussoorie!! And of course that path includes going past the BULL again!! We start towards the bull and again the bull quickly looks at us, all flinchy we back up 10 feet, but no charging this time!! FINALLY the woman owner of the bull controls it and leads it up the hill away from us!! We quickly run past the bull, the guy in lead had a rock and stick in hand to protect us, yeeeeeeeeah I felt real safe there!!!:) They take us uphill into another part of town, yeah NOTHING looking familiar now, like before!! No school in site and now we're like ummmm okay? Kinda hesistant! They tell us to take this and then pointed in this zig zag direction around the hill staying parellel with the valley luckily!! So we take this trail downhill and cross this stream and head back up hill again! Once again we come around another curve in a different hillside and of course everything looks the same! We decide to stay with what's working and that's continuing with the valley on our right side, as long as we have that as our point of familiarity we should be okay!! We're headed down hill once again when we see this small boy walking up towards us! We ask him Mussoorie and point in the direction we were going! He says!! Thus we keep heading in the same direction when we come to a split and turn around and point towards the valley, which of course is almost pure rock and very slippery from the stream!! He yells "CI, CI"!! We look at each other and continue on UP the rock valley!! After the valley there are these 2 women above us and we yell up to them "Mussoorie" and point in the diretion we were headed, they yell ci!! So we're kinda feeling good seeing the entire way we've been headed in the right direction!! The time at this point is 4pm!! We've been hiking for almost 3 hours! And no Mussoorie in site!! We've definitely figured out we are also taking the long way home and NOT the short way like we thought!! Heading up another hill we come around another turn and of course the site is the same!! More hills and no Mussoorie in site!! At this point we're not too worried but would love to see some kind of form of Mussoorie or a village with possibly a taxi, but no!! We take the ladies advice and go uphill and come to our FIRST top of hill!! At the top of the hill we SEE nothing!! More hills!! We head down hill and towards another hill that we figured on the backside would be Mussoorie! In the distance we see a house with power lines! Following the power lines down the hill we say "amneste" (hello) to these ladies and ask/point Mussoorie? They point in the direction we JUST came from, so our first wrong way and hopefully our last!! So we travel BACK up the hill and on the top of the hill were little kids! We reluctantly ask Mussoorie, and they point in the same direction we were going, so that was good! We pass an old lady and again asked "Mussoorie (with pointing) and she points the direction we were going, and also signs to us zig zags along the hillside to the right!! We come to a split either left or up with a zig zag path!! Chose zig zag like she said!!:) Again we head up ANOTHER hill, zig zag back and forth!! Up and up and up!! AT least our 5th hill we've headed up at this point, and we're at 5pm right now!! We head up the hill and close to the top we see this woman with her cow and ask again "Mussoorie?" She points, of course, UPHILL! There are 3 choices, left and up, right and up OR straight and up?! We choose the middle one and turn around and asks "Mussoorie?" She says ci, so we continue another uphill adventure!! Now on the top of this hill we see a house and what could be a road to the left of our hill!! We head back down hill again towards yet another hill! Now on the bottom of this hill we have a choice left or right!! Left would be towards the house and possible road we saw, however, if we went right it would be going with every advice we got from all the locals and telling us zig zag around the right side of the hill!! The choice we made didn't seem like a big one at the time, but that choice may have saved us from big trouble looking back....

August 8th, 2009....a date that I'll always remember.... Part 3

So Dave, Cookie, and Nicole part ways from us, and Matt and I are on our own!! Before we head off into the wild Matt buys 3 liters of water which as you will learn is a FANTASTIC decision!!! We head off onto the trail that will lead us to the road!! Which only took about 15 minutes!! At this point we're thinking holy cow this way could be only about 3 hours!! Cause the road took us straight through the hills and not up and down like we came before!! It bypassed all of that and took us to the same construction workers we passed on the way there!! So we're feeling really good, we're in a recognizable place and we still have the valley off to our right!! We see this little boy a couple minutes past the construction workers that was getting water from this broken water main!! We pass him and see him following us up the road!! Then he disappears and we figured he went home or something up a different trail!! Not 5 minutes later we come around a bend and BAM he's freakin in front of us!! We have no CLUE how he did that!!! We assumed it was magic and he can transport to anywhere he wants to!! So we were VERY impressed with his magic skills!!:) We walked behind him a couple more minutes when we PHYSICALLY saw him go up a different path and knew we would not see him again!!! Not 5 minutes later AGAIN we didn't see him!! HA fooled you!! So we're walking on this road, going around turns still with the valley on our right!! Everything is going perfect!!! We come around this next turn and we don't see the road continuing!! I'm thinking oh there's probably a little trail that we can't see cause it goes down hill!! We come to the end of the road AND NOTHING!!! COMPLETE END!! No little trail, no trail ahead of us that we could improvise to get too!! NOTHING!! So now we're like ooooooo crap!! We turn around and start looking for another trail or SOMETHING that would continue us along the valley and to Mazatan!! (I'm not sure if it's called Mazatan but it starts with an M!!) We can't see Mazatan from where we are, BUT we do know for sure if we continue along the valley we will see it eventually!! So there's this green patch of hill that goes straight down and we see at the end of it there's a path that would take us to another path that takes us around one of the hills!!!:) So our main goal at this point is to get to Mazatan cause we know our way from there at least!! We hike/slide down this steep green hill and hook up with the path!! We past this farmer and his wife, who I'm sure seeing 2 white guys hiking happen every 5 years!! We keep heading down hill and hop over this river falls, which I took a pee break and Matt took a water on head break!! So newly refreshed we head up hill (which will be a theme if you continue reading!!) And when we come around the hills turn sure enough there's Mazatan in the distance!! Okay now our next goal is to find a path that will lead us to that destination!! We look on the opposite hill side for a path, and sure enough we find one!! We follow it back to our hill and BAM we see that path that joins the other path!! SOoooooooo once again we head down hill and see this bridge and we're like YES!! This bridge joined us with the path that we saw would take us up the hill and around to Mazatan!! We hike UPhill again and turn the corner and we see Mazatan only a km away now!! Continuing on the trail we head through some houses and step fields and BAM we see the main entrance to Mazatan!!! Okay now we're like pressures off, we know our surroundings again, let's find the school here and go on the trail we came down on and head home!! Easier said than done!!! The most intense hike next...

August 8th, 2009....a date that I'll always remember.... Part 2

We continued through some step farms and up the hill towards our next checkpoint the wooden temple!! Our way there we went through an Arizona/desert type trail with lots of rocks and heat!! We come to the top of the hill and look down and see these horses running wild and a beautiful field!! It was very cool!! And of course in the middle of this was OUR TEMPLE/CHECKPOINT!!! As seen in the picture it was this old traditional wooden temple!! Really cool!! We rested here for 15 minutes, ate our boiled eggs and Tiger cookies!!! Also, this local villager came up and rested with us!! Cookie could partly communicate with him!! We found out we were exactly half way from Mussoorie to Tatur, so this was literally half way point!! And it was 11am!! We predicted the hike to be 4 hours!! Yeah we were half way at 3 hours!! So we knew we had a VENTURE ahead, and we took the long way!!:) We started off again, saying goodbye to our friend and walked through this MINNESOTA looking trail!! A lot of pine trees and the trail was very clean and Minnesota nice like!! That was comforting and brought back memories of the cabin in Duluth!!:) After the pine trees we came to an attempted road!! It was gravel but big enough for cars!! Which was disapointing, because it was SO nice to walk from the Gap to Tatur WITHOUT any noise polution!! Get away from all forms of civilizations!! So we're walking down this gravel road and come to a huge gap in it with these road workers working on it!! They look at us thinking what are they going to do right now!! BUT we show them, find OUR little own detour and get right past that divet in the road!! We turn the corner on the hill and BAM there is Tatur in site and only a couple km away!!! Down the hill we go through random houses and a village just outside of Tatur! The arrival at Tatur was an experience on it's own!! School was just getting out at this point, because it was 1pm, and EVERY single school kid was following us it seemed!! It was so awesome!! They were attempting English with us, asking our names, where we come from!! And the older school boys were TOTALLY checking out Nicole, and not in the discreet way!! They literally were just staring at her every minute!! Hilarious!! We arrive at Tatur and Cookie asks this guy to take us to an eatery!! He takes us to his restaurant where we had rotti (flat bread), potatoes, and dal (spicey soup)!! SOOOO GOOD! And definitely gave us ENERGY FOR THE TRIP BACK!! After lunch we walked to the bride and went down to the river underneath it!! Dave took off his shoes and totally went in for a dip!!! He said it wasn't as cold as he thought but it still felt refreshing!! We headed back up to the road again and Dave, Cookie, and Nicole found their taxi driver!! Before they left Dave and the taxi driver showed us the way to the road that will take us straight back to Tehri road and Mussoorie.........or so we thought

The most intense hike back of our lives continued next.....

August 8th, 2009....a date that I'll always remember

SATURDAY MORNING!!!! HIKE DAY!!!!:) ALARM GOES OFF 7am!!! Wake up and head to Woodstock for a BEAUTIFUL DAY of hiking ahead!!!;) Stopped on the way to pick up the usual: 3 waters, cookies, and gum!! Arrived at Woodstock at 7:45 ready for some delicious breakfast!! WHICH IT WAS!!! French toast!! EGGS!! BREAKFAST POTATOES!! AND WATER!! Sooooo yummy!!! Matt and I waited at Woodstock until 8:10am for anyone else that may be arriving for the hike, yeah no one!! So we hiked to SouthHill to pick up Nicole!!! Who of course was ready to go, and I wouldn't be surprised if she waited outside from 6am, unlike her 10 minutes that she said she did!!:) Seeing last hike she was on the dot with the waiting time!! HA!! We head from SouthHill to Hanifl Centre where we meet the Wiebe's!!! Dave and Cookie of course were coming along!! They wouldn't miss a hike EVER!!! It was funny, when Dave was coming down Cookie was still walking around the corner, so all we saw was Dave first and we're like ooooh Cookie didn't make it, Nicole was very saddened, and then we saw Cookie and she SCREAMED "OH YAY"!!!! A very happy reaction!! We hiked the same route as our very first hike down Tehri Road, except the difference this time, is when we arrived at "The Gap" we went West down a hiking trail right off the Gap!! So we turned left, went down this very slippery (as Nicole can attest for) cement trail and I found several shortcuts!! Granted not TRUE shortcuts, BUT I made them shortcuts!! And after 5 attempted shortcuts I got another NEW nickname, this time Shorty!!;) So now I have: Petey, Steve the Pirate, and Shorty!! HECK YES!! After my last shortcut of basically sliding down mud and very THORNY bushes I gave up on finding new shortcuts!!!:) Even though this trip was predicted to be a 4 hour hike we thought it would be easier getting to Tatur than it was to Rajpur, just because 3/4th of the trail was nature and gravel, instead of PURE cement like Rajpur was!!! Our first checkpoint we were heading for was a little town called Mazatan, which Dave and Cookie knew from their last trip to Tatur!! On the way we passed these trees that we SWORE came out from Dr. Seuss!!! They were straight up and down with the littlest of branches sticking out, but looked very unique and cool!! We hiked through the trails and on our way we passed many cow farmers walking their cows up the paths!! And of course when we walked behind the cows we scared them and made them run ahead so the cow farmer had to go chase them!! WHOOPSIE!!:) We arrived at Mazatan and the first thing we saw was a SCHOOL!! AND this time the school teacher was real cool about us talking with her and her students and taking pictures!! They used the oldschool chalk and chalkboard slates!! It was real cool!!:) The elementary students were very shy, but once we started taking pictures and showing it to them they opened up!! Then we passed the jr/sr high students and they were doing advanced algebra outside!!! And were very well behaved and focused!! EVEN with a BEAUTIFUL valley in front of them!! I know I couldn't focus if I had that view as a classroom!! We walked through the town and felt like giants, cause their doors were very small and it seamed like you could palm the door!!:) It was awesome!!! Cookie "The Pathfinder" talked to some locals and found us a way up the hillside to our next checkpoint!!! We went one way, while Dave though he could find a quicker way!! Of course with the Pathfinder on our side we found the fastest route!! So we had to wait for Dave, I went up the hill to look for him and that view was AMAZING!!! Our hike cont...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!:)

Today was the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!! FIRST DAY AS AN OFFICIAL TEACHER!!! After today I will officially have TEACHING experience!! So I can say to people, oh yeah I'm an experienced teacher!! No big deal!!! 5 years at UMD and it's go time baby!!!!! Woke up this morning, almost HIT the ceiling cause of the massive jump I had out of bed, soooo kinda excited!!!:) Got ALL of my first day materials ready and packed in my backpack for the nice run to school!!! WHICH ran the ENTIRE way!!! 20:34!!! Not a new record, HOWEVER, backpack weighed 5 pounds heavier than normal!!!!! Made it to school for some DELICIOUS breakfast, the most important meal of the day OF course!! Gotta get that energy for first period and start off with a BANG!!! BANG BANG!!!!! First period today was cancelled due to an assembly and a chance for new students to meet with their advisors and get their day planned out!!! THEN THE TEACHING BEGAN!!!! Second period came along and it was my 6-1 class!!! 6th graders!!! We're in our fitness/CC (cross country) unit!! Pretty nice starting off with running and getting the students back in shape!! AND READY FOR INNERHOUSE CC COMPETITIONS!!!:) Ajay and I started the class off together, just to get me into the swing of things!! Then half way through he left, I took over, and began TEACHING SOLO FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!!! No supervising teacher, no 14 college students watching my every move, NOTHING!! It felt soooo relaxing and nice to do what I was taught to do!!!!:) We did a nice little warm-up, then had time for a nice walk/hike up towards Edgehill and then back down again!!! After 6-1, we (Ajay and I) had 8-3!!! 8th graders!! Now this one we are assigned to team teach so Ajay took the lead and I helped out, which was definitely okay!!!:) I don't want to be stepping on any toes right away!!;) So we did almost the same thing with 8th grade, except had them run hills and steps!! YAY!!! Get them back in shape and ready for the September competitions!!! THEN it was LUNCH TIME which was 1 hour and 40 minute break!! Holy schnikee was that long!!! But when the new gym is up and running that will be for ROCK CLIMBING and WEIGHTROOM!! Can't weight for that!! After lunch it was 7-1 and 7-3 time!!! End the day with seventh grade!!!:) They were awesome students as well!! Had a lot of fun and they worked real hard on the hills and steps!!! The last class 7-3 by far were the most enthused and excited to be there!! So that was amazing to end the day with them!!:) It is going to be an AMAZING AND AWESOME AND FANTASTIC 3 years I predict!!!!!!:) AND I heard the 10th grade is a really sweet class which we'll see about that TOMORROW!!!!:) Have a FANTASTIC WEDNESDAY EVERYONE!!! It's just starting for some of you, for others you won't be waking up for 4 more hours!!! LAZY!!!!!:) Mussoorie OUT!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009


STUDENTS ARE HERE!!!!!!!!! Today is an off day but not an off day!! There isn't any orientation scheduled, so had off in that sense, BUT definitely had a lot to do for WEDNESDAY!!! FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!! FINALLY!!!!:) Got to school around 8:30, had some breakfast then worked the rest of the day!!! And by work I mean writing down ALL of my students into the gradebook!! Got up to 9th grade, only 2 grades left to put in!! BUT IT'S SO COOL TO HAVE MY OWN GRADEBOOK!!! Feels soooooo professional and amazing!!!!:) After putting in all of the names took a lunch break and then went for a lovely afternoon run!!! DURING my run I felt this wet little bump hit my leg!! Turn around, A beautiful alaskan husky (named him Gorty), was running behind me!! Now in America totally would have pet him, but HERE no way!! Too many diseases sadly!! So tried ignoring him and thought he would stop!! HECK NO Gorty was determined!!! He ran with me 20 of my 30 minutes!! It was sweet! AND half way on my run ANOTHER dog joined the group!! I called him Tron 4000!!! So Gorty, Tron 4000, and I went for a nice run today!!! After my run worked out on the playground, and with all the students around it was fun to see them copy my exercise and try to outdo me, yeah no good, BUT at least they were trying which was awesome!!!!:) Did my stretching and then came to the Lyon's Lounge and STARTED TO BLOG!!! We're on hour 2 of blogging!! SO YOU BEST ALL BE HAPPY I'VE FINALLY CAUGHT UP!!!!! CRIKEY!!!!!!!!! Tonight's plan is more lesson planning and getting ready for Wednesday!!!!!:) Hope everyone has an AMAZING Monday AND ENJOY THE READING!!!!!!:)

SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY!!!!!!! Possibly Monday too, you'll have to READ IT!!!!!:)

SATURDAY NIGHT WAS INTERESTING!!! Walking home to home was SWEET!! I got out of the gate of Woodstock and BAM Son, my landlord was driving by on his scooter and TOTALLY offered a ride!! HECK YES I TOOK IT!! So first ride on a scooter in Mussoorie!! It was AMAZING!! Wind blowing in my long, flowing hair of 2 inches!! Animal poo flying up off the road into my teeth!! Okay maybe no poo, but it was a pretty dirty road!! We took the lower road home, instead of upper!! The view was amazing but a lot of garbage and fecal matter!! Made it home and IMMEDIATELY took a shower!! Smelled so bad!! Let's compare the smell to pig sty+marathon after sweat+cow fart+my natural smell!!! Yeah it was bad!! Took the most refreshing shower ever!! Then was definitely craving carbo's and pizza, so had to go to Clock Tower Cafe again! Walk in and WHOA, hello smoke!! Apparently they blew out their electricity and smoke was everywhere!! Of course their ovens didn't work, so no pizza!!:) BUT had some American Chop Suey which was equally delicious!!:) Had that while I was being pushed to the back of the restaraunt by the windows because it was too smokey in the front part!!!! After dinner headed home and was planning to write in my journal, got out my journal, rested my head on the pillow, that's the last I remembered of that!!!:) Was out like a light!! Woke up Sunday morning stiff as a board!! BUT had a great night's sleep!!! Sunday was another relaxing day!! Wrote in my journal for 9 pages worth, average amount of pages has been around 3, soooo YEAH a lot to write about!!:) Walked to Woodstock around noon and chilled in the Lyon's Lounge with Matt the entire day watching movies!! Especially THE SIMPSONS MOVIE!!! Hilarious!! Spider Pig, Spider Pig, does whatever a spider pig does!!:) Left Lyon's Lounge around 8pm after Pirates O. C. 3, and went to bed by 10pm!!! So a GREAT but non exciting Sunday!!!!!!!

SATURDAY!!!!! HIKE DAY!!!! ALL DAY!!! PART 4!!!!:)

UPHILL TIME!!!! We arrive at our original pick-up spot, now known as the "drop-off" spot, and head to the trail!!:) On the way back Dave and Nicole weren't cool enough to join us, they were too busy shopping and emptying there wallets!! So Matt and I started the ever so fun ALL uphill hike to Mussoorie!!! The first 15 minutes were probably the MOST brutal of the entire uphill hike!! It was HUMID/HOT and wearing black rain pants was no good with that!!! Matt and I were sweating like pigs on a hot day! If pigs sweat?!? Anyways so first 15 minutes we had to stop, grab a drink and catch our breath!! We're like what the heck, Matt a triathloner, myself a marathoner, getting winded in the first 15 minutes, there goes our manhood!!!:( Just kidding, but seriously it was brutal!! After our stop the rest wasn't too bad!! We head up the hill and of course it wouldn't be a hike if we didn't get lost!! We're walking along and sure enough we hear the waterfall getting louder, UH OH!!! No good!! Because the entire way down we heard the waterfall but NOT that close, even when we headed down!! So now we knew we're going the wrong path!! We turn around and we're like yup don't recognize......that! that! that! that! and that!! BUT Matt, stealth eye catches a side path that looks like it goes up! We figure it will join the other path, SO we take it and SHAWHAMMY back on the correct path!! Heading back on path we make it to the top and back on the LOVELY cement path!! That was brutal again on the joints and knees!! Holy crack joints batman!! Matt hips were hurtin, my right foot was blistering and rubbing on the back!! BUT we're tough and slowly earning our manhood back from that first rest!!:) At this point we're at record time!! No MAN or WOMAN before has gone this fast uphill, Guiness Book was with us to make sure we were on pace!! We were!! Ahead of record pace by 3 minutes and 13 seconds!! We pass SGC (St. George College) and the bridge, make it up to our choice, and of course we can't remember which path was the shortcut, and we end up taking the longer path!! BUT still on world record pace, ahead by 2 minutes and 53 seconds!! We start seeing Wynberg-Allen property so that is a GREAT sign!! We head up the road and see the sign for WA High School pointing DOWNWARD! We're like crap how did we miss it!?!? BUT I luckily knew where we were, we came out on the South side of my apt. instead of the North way which we took in the beginning!! So now the record pace is down to 35 seconds, so we're sprinting at this point!! Guiness is right behind, we dive to my apt. steps and STOP THE CLOCK!! We SET THE RECORD BY 3 SECONDS!! You can see us in the book next year in the 2010 edition!!!:) Under Master Hikers!!;) After we celebrate with some bro hugging, we hike back to Woodstock to try and beat the taxi's back!! We chilled at Lyon's Lounge and loved it!! Took off the shoes, Matt had this HUGE blister cut on his right ankle, AWESOME, and I had minor blisters, not as cool!!! We watched Dead Pool (Dirty Harry), and I left for home around 5pm for some much needed dinner!!! Saturday night and Sunday cont.....

SATURDAY!!!!!!! HIKE DAY!!!!! ALL DAY!!!! PART 3!!!!


We made it to the nature part of our hike!!! OUR SECOND CHECK POINT!! From here the rest of the way was butter!!! All Dave was worried about was getting to this point of the hike, now were are here and it's a straight shot to Rajpur!!! Well not straight shot, but one single hiking trail!! This trail was beautiful!!! On one side was a lovely 4000 foot drop BUT a view you could see for miles!! Specifically the valley in the earlier parts, AND Rajpur in the later parts of the hike!!! On the other side of the trail was cliffside!! Mostly green and bushy as seen in the pic!!! This part of the hike was much more giving on our knees and joints!! Nice rocks and grass to support our feet!! And holes every so often to go poo in!! Okay just one, but it was a nice plumbing system!! Flowed all the way down to the valley!!! Half way down the hike we made it to a rockslide!! This baby was sweet to cross!! One false move, and SHAZAM you fall and slide 3000 feet down the hillside!! No pressure!! We all made it across safe and sound!! Then 3/4th along the way we make it to pure rock/sliding trail!! This is where our skiing pays off!! Both feet pointing right, then left, then right, then left!! Very fun and very effective!! Of course heading almost down to the Rajpur road we get to this mini jump down!! Dave goes first, nails it! Matt jumps, nails it! Nicole jumps, nails it!! Apparently all of those jumps loosened the earth, or I'm really heavy, cause when it came to my turn I jump down the earth just moves down and totally wipe out going backwards!! NO BLOOD!! Keep on going!! It's all good!!!:) With my expert PE balance I catch myself with my left hand!!;) haha but still failed the PE nation with my inability to land the jump, I fail you all!!:( We hike up to the road and continue to our meeting point, where the taxi will pick us up!!!:) It's a round piece of cement with a tree growing out of the middle!! It's at a 3 way part of the road, so it just made sense to meet here!!! Taxi comes, 7 people pile in to a 5 person taxi, AWESOME!! The true Indian way!! We first drive to KKM Leprocacy colony where we bought the most amazing clothes for a reasonable price! After KKM and our tour of the looms we head to DEHRADUN for lunch!!!! Of course we pick the true Indian restaraunt of McDonald's!!! McMaharaja, the beast of the Indian McDonald's!!! It wassssssssss interesting!! Good not great!! I was kinda hungering for a true McChicken BUT it still did the job!!!:) Hike up continued after this.....

SATURDAY!!!! HIKE DAY!!!! ALL DAY!!!!! PART 2!!!:)

So we're heading downward now, ON cement, felt SOOOOOOOOOOO good on the joints!! You want paint go downhill on cement for an hour! Holy schnikee!! Now, Dave, our hike guide has not been on this hike for 14 years, so we don't know what to expect!! For the FIRST part of the hike he only had to ask clarification TWICE!! IT was pretty amazing!!:) The first time was checking if we were heading towards St. George's College, OUR FIRST CHECKPOINT!! Oh we were!! IN FACT, the students he was asking showed us a shortcut!! Took 5 minutes off our time, no big deal we know people!!:) We head down the road and into this mini bazaar and sure enough, past the random cow in the road (seen on facebook) was St. George's College!!! MADE THE FIRST CHECKPOINT!! It was 8:04am at this point!! We past SGC and right away we look up and see this REALLY COOL bridge!! It literally came out of Indiana Jones!!!:) Totally wanted to cross that, but we were on a time schedule, so NO time there!! We continued downhill on MORE cement, the knees were kind of feeling it at this point!!;) On our way to the nature trail (2nd part of the hike) we passed this really cute elementary school!! All the kids came out and said hello, it was awesome!! HOWEVER, the teacher did not think it was so awesome!! Being teachers we should have known better, BUT COME ON they were adorable and pretty much we'll never have that chance AGAIN!! Unnnnnnnnntil we hike to Rajpur another day!!;) So we quickly apologized to the teacher and continued walking!!!:) About 10 minutes after that we made it to THE NATURE part of our hike!! The old old British trail used by the British for the British to get to Dehradun way back when!! THE ONLY road at that time!!:) Nature trail continued......

SATURDAY!!!!!!!! HIKE!!!!!!! ALL DAY!!!!!!!!!!!:)

IT's HIKE DAY!! IT'S HIKE DAY!! TO DEHRADUN!!!! Actually the technical destination is Rajpur, BUT our OVERALL destination was Dehradun!!:) SO 6am, BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!! No it's not a truck backing up IT'S MY ALARM!! RISE AND SHINE IT'S DAY HIKING TIME!!! (Cool Runnings, anyone!?) 6am, got up tried making hard boiled eggs!! Could not have failed any better!! Eat your heart out Juliet Child!! Never turned on the stove to this point before, never tried filling a pot with purified water before, it was a morning of firsts!! I open the fridge, pull out the eggs, and sure enough EVERY SINGLE EGG WAS FROZEN!! Mainly the fridge's fault, but in the eggs' defense they have been in there since I arrived, plus a couple days before I arrived to my apartment!! Put the eggs in the pan full of tap water (no good right there), BUT I figure the boiling water will purify the water, a 2fer!!! Boil the eggs while cleaning the water!! Yeah that failed like a fat guy sitting in an airplane seat!! No good!! The water took literally 30 minutes to boil and at that point I had to go, so I broke open an egg and sure enough it was STILL frozen, decided NOT to bring the gross uneatable eggs to the group for breakfast!! Throw all 14 away and gather my things and out the door I go at 6:40am!! Now the plan was to meet at Woodstock at 7am, Ms. Nicole, Matt and I decided the night before 6am, but after talking to Dave figured that was not necessary!! So Dave and I decided to change the time to 7am and I would let Matt and Nicole know!! Well knowing this world of technology we live in I have 3 ways to try and reach them: phone, e-mail and of course facebook!! Send messages via e-mail and facebook, and try calling them!! Never got a hold of them by phone!! However, I did have a 4th backup plan!! I told Aman and Kate to tell Matt or Nicole that the time was changed to 7!! IT WORKED FOR MATT!! Aman saw Matt and let him knew, so Matt knew!! I had no idea about Nicole!! Apparently, 6am arrived and Nicole was waiting AT WOODSTOCK!! She leaves, goes home, at 6:40am NOW checks her e-mail and what do you know gets my message about meeting!! Luckily she made it and they start off from Woodstock!! I meet up with them about 7:15am, so they would have been 10 minute walk away from Woodstock!! We're all happy, fresh and ready to go hiking to Rajpur!! We take my normal way home all the way up to Wynberg-Allen Junior school!! Now if we were going to my apt. we'd take a right, however, we need to go down, down, down, down 5000ft. so we took a left (the downward way)!!! Start heading down and everything is good to go......

A LOT to catch up on!!!! Friday!!!

Friday was a pretty laid back day!!! Getting ready for Saturday's hike would be a good way to describe it!! Ran to school in the morning, WITH A NEW PR (Personal Record)!!! 19:36!!!!! A sub-20 minute run!!! THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!!:) So my muscles are ready to go for Friday!! During the morning and afternoon had some final meetings with Ajay, getting all the middle school sports ready and looking for coaches!!! Send out my FIRST all Woodstock Staff e-mail!! IT WAS PRETTY EXCITING!!:) It felt real official and real AWESOME!! After the afternoon meetings I had a chance to show off my soccer skills in front of Ajay and the staff, in our first staff soccer game!!! IT WAS A BLAST!!! I called our team the Yankees, just because we won a lot and everyone hated us for constantly winning!! They literally were scared of us, cause they kept putting out other teams before us, when it was clearly out turn!! No one wanted to face us!! Who could blame them though, we're kinda big deals!!! Two Phy Ed teachers, an assistant for Phy Ed, and 3 staff that were clearly in shape!! The ultimate team!!!:) TEAM RAMROD!!! AND it was amazing, the 3rd to last game we played, MONSOON season continued!! IT JUST DOWNPOURED!!! Of course that didn't stop us from playing!! I mean once you get wet, continue playing wet, cause you can't get any wetter!! YES WETTER!! Played 30 minutes in the continuous downpour that is Mussoorie Monsoon Season, MMS!!!;) We called it quits around 6:30 for dinner!! Gotta re-energize those muscles!! And plus I had to get some energy to walk home and go to dinner!! So dinner at the dining hall was more snack and energy boost to get TO my dinner, which was at the Clock Tower Cafe!! Left Woodstock at 7:30, no rain anymore, thankfully!! Arrived at the Clock Tower Cafe at 8pm and ordered the delicious penny pasta dish!! The Clock Tower Cafe is a VERY Western eatery!!! For example they have a lot of bumper stickers on the walls and CONSTANTLY play Western Music!! Felt very at home and very yummy!! Went here mainly for the carbo-loading for the massive hike tomorrow (Saturday)!!! After dinner, went home and just crashed because I was so exhausted from the day, and the fact I had to get up at 6am for THE HIKE!!!:) More on the hike, after this..........:)