Important – Do you know how to flag down a Helicopter?

I saw this in the Colorado news, thought I would share it. Do you know how to flag down a helicopter?

There are certain hand signals to use. Waving one hand like you are saying, “Hi” is not one of them.

I think many of us are shaking our heads at this. I’ve never thought about this as “training” we need. By instinct, if we were in distress, we would desperately wave both hands in the air to get the attention of the pilot. No way, would we want him leave without us on board.

The one hand wave. Benefit of the doubt, maybe the hiker was overly tired, could tell the pilot saw him and just expected the pilot to stop and pick him up? I find these situations maddening. WHO is paying for the helicopter to go rescue a hiker? And if the hiker is just “tired” and not really in distress, was this a true S.O.S call or a hiker feeling that he wanted a “FREE ride home?”

I’m sharing this, because I never thought about it before.

So, this is a powerful lesson. WAVE like CRAZY with TWO HANDS if you are stranded and see a helicopter flying over head. The same routine we would use if we saw a bear, right! Except with the bear, we do this to SCARE him away, with the helicopter, we are BEGGING him to land.

BY THE WAY – Anyone know what the hand signals are for crossing the street? You know, that instant where you lock eyes with the driver at a stop sign. He’s waving you to go ahead walk, you wave HIM to go ahead drive. Finally, you start to walk, but WHAT hand signal do you give to say, “Thanks, appreciate it, don’t run me over?” It gets so confusing. I’ve had that happen several times lately.

Happy hiking, camping or whatever outdoor activity you might be doing.

BE SAFE out there!

BAD Hiking socks!

I like walking/hiking. This year, I needed some new hiking socks. Due to COVID restrictions, I was lazy and did not go to a sporting goods store. I was at Costco in November and I was in luck. They had these great looking bundle of socks, 4 in a pack, great price. As you see from photo, they looked like a good quality pair of socks and the color was pleasing. So, I bought them. They’ve been comfortable.

Fast forward three months. This is how my socks look now. Really worn out. I thought if I need to see a foot doctor, I would just show him the bottom of my sock. He could determine from that how I am walking, and where foot pain is coming from.

In the past, I leaned toward Smartwool and Darn Tough brand of socks. They are very pricey, no question, but they last for years. Personally, I think the Smartwool run a little narrow.

Well, this year I’ve learned a valuable lesson. Quality of socks does make a difference if you want to use them for walking/hiking. These socks from Costco are nice socks, but they were meant for every day minimal walking.

So, GUESS where I am headed today? YES, Smartwool shopping!!

Spring is here, ready to get back out there and walk. The weather is finally warming up. I’m also searching for some good podcasts to listen to as well. Any suggestions, please share.

Happy Spring!

Climbing Mount Si

imageI climbed Mount Si this past weekend. I’m sure you are wondering about it, so I will refer you to Washington Trails Association’s (WTA) website where they have a write up about this climb. WTA is the nation’s largest state-based hiking non-profit organization. They do a great job of promoting all the different hikes in Washington.

Mount Si is a 8 mile hike round trip. I wanted to challenge myself by climbing a mountain, but this was a tough climb. Some of the reviews referred to this hike as a “challenge,” I thought it was more than that, at times, “tortuous.” I guess it depends on what shape you are in, and if your boots are working properly. Some people were whizzing by, obviously having done it before.

The picture I took is of the view from the top. It was spectacular and a perfect day. I even got an interesting bird in the photo.  Anyone know what it is?  There was a cute chipmunk who was running around, not afraid and hoping for food along with some small birds.

chipmunkThe climb took us about 3 hours up the mountain. Going down was tough, because it was steep and my shoes were not cooperating. I didn’t have enough cushion in them and my feet kept moving forward. There were a few times that I hoped a rescue team might come by, my feet were hurting so much, but that miracle did not happen. My friend made a joke that I was not going to be able to manifest it. So, I gave up on the wishing, and focused on getting down.

There were quite a few hikers with dogs and even some who were carrying babies in their packs. I hoped they were in good shape climbing up, because it could get rocky and one stumble and over the cliff you go. One poor dog was so little and panting furiously. I wasn’t sure he/she should have been on the climb. For sure this dog needed some water and “fast.”

Last night, I was sore and stiff and not able to think about my next hike. Now, it is a day later, pain in the legs is subsiding and I am READY for the next challenge. Although, other hikes at 4 miles round trip are going to be easy compared to Mount Si. I hear Rattlesnake Ledge is a good one.

Mount Rainier, the BIG HIKE, that will have to wait!

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

imageNot long ago, I wrote about finding the Dragon Boat Racing group on Well, a few weeks ago I received a message about a NEW Meetup called, “Climbing Kili.” I immediately knew what that was. I opened the message to learn more about the group. I have always thought of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, so I found it interesting that this message came to my email.  Destiny?  Timing?  I decided to go and find out.

imageIf you haven’t used, you should try it. If you find a Meetup you like, you RSVP that you are attending. sends you a “reminder” message of the meeting date and people comment like they do on Facebook. For example, 12 people scheduled to attend and about 2 hours before the meeting time, people sent messages on “why” they couldn’t come. That was a bit annoying, but I still decided to go hoping a “few people” would make it.

Turns out it was great. The Meetup organizer was a very nice Australian woman who had climbed Kilimanjaro a few years ago and said it was fantastic. She was also a travel agent and has been to Africa many times. She started to fill us in on the trip. She climbed with two ladies who were in their 60s and one woman in her 30s. They ALL made it to the top. They were all in good shape, but not hard core athletes. As they were in different parts of U.S., they communicated by email regarding training. The organizer did long hilly walks on the weekends and in the gym used the stepper a few times a week. She used a normal type of hiking boot, nothing super expensive. She said they didn’t use or take expensive clothes with them either, they get so dirty. At the end of the trip, they left their hiking clothes and boots with the carriers – they appreciated having these things. They don’t have good shoes.

imageThe best time to climb Kili is Sept/Oct, Jan/Feb or early March. This is a 7 night / 8 day package. She said you hike 6-8 hours a day. While you need to be able to hike, Kili is more about acclimating to the altitude. The men in the photo carry your main baggage, the camping equipment and food. You just carry your very personal belongings as you hike. There are different types of packages, so you have to investigate online the cost of what “you” might want to do, i.e extra days, hiking a more secluded trail with less people, etc. She told us about the Machame Route, nicknamed the Whiskey route.

Great group of women at the meeting. One had just climbed Mt. Everest Basecamp, which was exciting. Two others talked about climbing Mt. Rainier in Washington and Machu Picchu (lots of stairs) in Peru. Turns out Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the Seven Summits. Fun to meet like minded adventurers.

We are considering September 2017, she said there will be a full moon at that time.

If you’ve done the climb, share your story!