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Friday, May 16, 2014

Thanks for the memories - Onto a new objective EVEREST 2015!

I sit here in my kitchen, battling some stomach bug that fights on after 10 days, and think about what lies in store for me over the next 10 months.  Here is a picture of the current suspect:
Amoebic Dysentery
I'll get over it soon (I hope) but I am really excited about what lies ahead.

Climb on!

My resolve to climb on Everest remains and I plan to climb in Nepal in 2015 barring any unforeseeable snag with our permits.  Today, I want to thank all of you who supported me over the past year.  Without your words of encouragement, I would have had a harder road to travel.  Each of you contributed in your own way and I thank you all for your support.

Thanks to my family, I can

I want to devote my post today to my family.  My wife Kathy accepted a tremendous burden when she married me many years ago.  That burden continues today as I embark on one adventure after another.  She supports me throughout all my crazy ideas - often defending my actions to those who cannot fathom why a husband would go gallivanting off to the nether regions of the world.  I love her because she sees nothing crazy about my craziness.  She thinks my adventures are sane.  It is a wonder we have a functioning household with two crazy people running it.  Well, actually, we let our dogs run the house.  Kathy, thank you for all you have done for me and plan to do for/with me in the future.

My son Patrick supported me in his own way by helping Kathy while I was away.  He asked questions about my preparation and devoted himself to working out and training for his upcoming years in high school.  Patrick is a teenager and, true to teenager form he remained quietly supportive and hopefully not terribly embarrassed by his old man.  During my preparation, he would accompany me on runs - even when he didn't want to run.  Now, he runs on his own without any prompting.  You see, this training thing is contagious - kinda like an amoeba but a more healthy contagion.  Patrick, I thank you for all your good-natured support and look forward to climbing with you soon.

Thanks to my brother who took time out of his medical practice and time away from his family to come support me before I left.  He has always been a great supporter from my early days in triathlons when he bought me equipment I sorely needed to today when he offers me medical advice.  I know I would not be as prepared without his help and that preparation just makes me more confident to focus on what matters most - the climb.  Thanks Sean for all your help and continued support.

Thanks to my dad who supported me even though he was the one who required support.  He is probably too proud to admit it but he needs some support at times.  While I was gone, he had a few accidents and my family decided to shield me from the grim news.  I placed a call to him while I was in Thukla to see if he were still planning on coming to Nepal.  The cascade of events that hit him hit me too.  Glad he was OK but I was disappointed that he could not come out and enjoy the trek.  Regardless of his trials, he always remained positive on the phone and supported me before, during, and after my climb.  

The rest of my family from my in-laws to my huge family of cousins, aunts, and uncles were all cheering me on.  I want to thank them all but plan to do so in person.  My next stop on the post-expedition recovery is to head out to Manassas, VA to party with the clan, show pictures, and tell stories - some true and others extremely embellished.  Later this summer, we head out to the pacific NW to see the rest of my family and do a little summer climbing.

I thank you all for reading my ongoing story.  Please stay tuned for more updates as I now prepare for Everest 2015.  My wife, son and I will climb Aconcagua in December 2014 so I am really looking forward to that adventure.  We also plan to climb Rainier in August when we visit family.  Come join us if you are in the area.  If all goes well, we might have Sam Chappatte and Brendan Madden join our trip to Aconcagua- right guys?  I'll plan the expedition, you guys just get to Mendoza, Argentina.  As Alan Arnette (climbing K2 this year for Alzheimer's charity) fondly says....climb on!