The first thing I have to say is how much I love my hiking companions: Gary & Laurie, Mark & Lori, and how grateful I am to them for inviting me in the first place, for allowing me to accompany them, for taking such good care of me with their GPS devices, water filters, stoves, dinners, water flavoring powder and headlamps, and especially for coming to my rescue when I hurt my arm. But besides their generosity and care, I thoroughly enjoyed their company as fine human beings. Thank you for making this trip so wonderfully memorable. I quite literally could not (and would not) have done it without you.
HOW IT CAME ABOUT
When Geyser Gary proposed this hike to me at the beginning of 2007, I impulsively said yes. Then I realized what I had agreed to and knew this time I had to do what I didn't do last time - Be Prepared.
Note: See "My Fairyland Adventure" several reports below (scroll down)
Gary's proposal for the hike included his wife, Laurie; their friends and fellow Loons Mark (Alphawolf) and his wife Lori, and also another Loon who hadn't quite managed to get to Fairyland on his first attempt, Dan M. I knew all these people were roughly my age, which was not the case on my first attempt in 2001, with 20 year olds Jake & Leslie, mountaineer-club Loons Tim A and Betsy and various other young but experienced hiker/climbers. That group hiked at a clip that wore me out. This hike would be more leisurely, camping 4 nights, with time to rest in between. So, I joined a gym and got to work. I did cardio training, leg and arm strengthening and some specific exercises that prepared me for stepping over endless deadfall. I also got myself used to carrying a pack for a long distance and made sure my boots did not cause blisters.
But enough about my preparations - on with the story!
Thanks, as always, to John Uhler for starting it all; to Doug Dance for his original inspiration and help in creating these trip reports (P.S. BUY HIS BOOKs!) and Special Thanks this time to both my original attempt hiking companions: Tim A, Betsy, Jake, Leslie, Matt and Mary who got me far enough to make me want to try again; and my return trip comrades: Gary, Laurie, Mark and Lori for making it possible for me to say "I made it to Fairyland!"