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GoRuck Navigator, Mt. Katahdin, and a Self Portrait

September 4, 2013

Another over night drive to the airport after a great few days in New England. This past weekend found me completing a Go Ruck event in the White Mountains in New Hampshire before heading up to Maine to see Mom and the family. GoRuck Navigator helped me to fulfill one of my goals of learning to properly use a map and compass. Knowing the basics seems like something everyone should know, in the age of the Internet and GPS just in case as well as to make sure we maintain some understanding of the way things used to be done. I say that knowing as I was trying to drop my rental car off one of the exits inside Logan Airport was closed and if all I had was a map and not Google maps it would have taken significantly longer to get to my gate. As it turns out I’m way too early so perhaps I should have used the map after all. For GoRuck we learned the map and compass, overland navigation through the back country, how to give an IV, proper ruck packing, water purification, water proofing, and even how to build a raft using just our gear and tarp. Was a great course and despite the rain the beauty of the White Mountains is breath taking. Our class even ended up killing and eating a snake so it was a pretty outdoorsy miss fit crew led by some of our nations current and former Special Forces professionals. I did not take a ton of photos but posted a few below.

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Home away from home, my hammock was pretty nice despite the rain.

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Our squad after rafting all our gear and swimming across Lake Iona.

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Good times for all around the campfire.

After Navigator I headed to Mom’s house to spend a few days with the family for our traditional vacation, albeit, short this year. While up this year Mom and I decided we would hike Mt. Katahdin in Baxter state park. The day we chose could have been better but we had fun despite the challenge and the torrential rain.

20130904-045418.jpgThe beach in front of Mossy Rock is looking pretty good.

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20130904-045504.jpgI do always admire the bridge on the way to Stockton Springs

20130904-045528.jpgOur pre hike dinner was at this place in Millinocket, ME which is the home of the TV show American Lumberjack. “La Vie De Bois”

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20130904-050312.jpgBefore the real bad rain started.

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20130904-050513.jpgI could not take any more photos after the rain really started and we reached a very strenuous section of the trail. We did not quite make Baxter Peak this year but given the conditions with water being ankle deep at times I think we did great.

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After the drive home we had a lovely dinner with Aunt Mary before exhaustion took hold. To capitalize on every minute in Maine my last day was plenty of tree chopping in the woods followed by an art project. This years project was stimulated by my friend Ellie advising that my goal list needed to include something outside the normal for me. So self portraits was our project this year. I think mine looks very much like a painting by a 4 year old but we still had a great time and the challenge was indeed outside my normal efforts. Mom and Aunt Mary’s paintings came out so well so I hope next year when we try again I can show some improvement in my art skills.

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20130904-051427.jpgSpending time with Mom is always so much fun and I always learn something. I think this time may have been learning to work together and access challenges and that if we work hard we can succeed by acting as if we will. In the the Ted lecture by Amy Cuddy, she summarizes the concept with the phrase, fake it until you believe it. During a chat with Mom I learned when one of my cousins decided she was ready to settle down she started acting more domestic and low and behold indeed is now happily married. Such a fantastic world we live in.

So much fun the last few days time to return to reality and get back to the office. Looking forward to a great
September, perhaps I will get some mail back from all these post cards?

Justin

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