Monday, May 24, 2010

Switching Gears


I just shot off my last paper a few hours ago to complete my graduate studies in education. It feels pretty good to finally be done after three years! I've got lots to look forward to now, including a best friend's wedding in Washington DC, an expedition up Denali, a trip to Western Canada to see my best amigos from the Aconcagua110 expedition, a week in Nantucket to decompress, and then a journey across the country with my brother, Tom, to start a new chapter out in Southern California. If this isn't living I don't know what is!
I also just got word that my guide and friend from Mt. Elbrus, Vern Tejas, just reached the summit of Mt. Everest for the tenth time! I will see him in a few weeks when he guides the Denali expedition. Man, talk about stamina...
I will be spending these final weeks ramping up my training in order to get my legs strong for the expedition. I hope everyone is well! 'Till next time, Mike out.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Some details

The Denali expedition starts June 13 and I'll be climbing with Alpine Ascents International for the third time. I can't say enough about this company! They are truly the best and I understand why they have been named the "Best Adventure Company on Earth." I am extremely lucky that I will be climbing Denali with Vernon Tejas, one of the world's best mountaineers. I climbed Mt. Elbrus with him last summer, and as soon as I heard he was guiding the June 13 AAI trip to Denali I sent out an email within minutes securing a spot on the team. It doesn't get much better than this, my friends!
I want to thank Jim Bennett and Jon Sonneborn of Reallygoodstuff ( for believing in this project and helping me get from place to place. It wouldn't be possible without them.
My plan is to climb the Seven Summits, raise money for Save the Children's CHANGE Initiative which combats childhood obesity in this country, then give presentations to kids about eating right, exercising, staying healthy, and going after dreams. I hope you all will come along for the ride. It's gonna be a good one!
'Til next time. Mike out.

My sites:
facebook page: Seven Summits for Save the Children
donation page:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Procrastination Nation


I should be finishing a ten page paper on critical thinking buuuuuuut am instead playing with my new toy (Mike on Denali). It's nigh impossible to concentrate on finishing grad school when all I can think about is scaling the highest peak in America. Soon enough.
This wouldn't be possible without my dear friend, Kurt Hunter, who has set this whole thing up for me. (Kurt and I climbed Aconcagua together this past winter.) Kurt Hunters are few and far between and you'd be damn lucky to meet one in your life. So here's to you, amigo.
I hope ya'll will come on a journey with me to the top of the "High One." It's sure to be a thrill.
'Til next time. Mike out.

How to Use the Map

Once you install the plug-in, the Google Earth map at the top of this blog will keep the currently reported position in view by automatically updating the camera angle. You can just leave the page open and let it do its thing if you like. The current position will be updated about every 15 minutes.

However, this 3D map is also fully interactive and tons of fun to play with!! Explore! Click on the track marks! They will show you interesting travel stats.  Click and drag the map left and right or in and out with your mouse or use the navigation controls that appear on the upper right side of the map:

From top to bottom, these controls allow you to:

(circle with the 'eye' icon) change the view from the 'camera' including spinning about the compass. My favorite is to click on the 'N' which will cause the map to orient North up.

(circle with the 'hand' icon) move the camera around - left, right, in, out (same is click and dragging on the map).

(+ - slider) zoom in and zoom out of the map

Become a navigation expert (and impress your friends) by checking out the full user documentation on Navigating in Google Earth. It's worth a look!!

Have fun!  If you have any questions or are interested in having a 3DGeoTrail for your own adventures, contact us at RainOn.