Posted by: harleyhawk43 | November 12, 2018

Another year flies By!


 © Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and harleyhawk43.wordpress.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Well it’s been quite a while since I last posted here and so I will try and catch my readers up. The last post dealt with last winter’s travels (See Wintering in Florida for details). That winter I tried North West Florida in the Ocala region and stayed in my friend/ Billy Ferguson’s yard in Citrus Springs. The price was great and I enjoyed my stay, but found I preferred Southeast Florida which is where I have arrived this winter. I have gotten to the point where I really can’t take any cold weather and there were several very cold spells in Citrus Springs ( temps below freezing at night).

But let’s back up to last summer before we begin talking about this winter. I left Citrus Springs around April 26th and arrived back in my summer campground on opening day, May 1st. Red Fox, who does not travel with me anymore (7 years full time was enough for her!) met me at Blackman’s Campground in Brant Rock Mass. and helped me unload and set up.

 

Soon we had the bikes unloaded and the Wolfpack backed in next to our deck (The deck stays on site all winter with cement blocks on it to keep it secure during the winter storms).

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As usual, we had all my grand kids over and many other kids from the campground would join in.  In the pictures below you will see a compendium of the summer fun.

 

Sadly, there are definite indications that Blackman’s may close at the end of the 2019 summer. If proven true, we will certainly miss being able to camp there all summer, but we will have had nine fabulous years there.

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We had, besides all the campground fun, the usual motorcycle and dory adventures.

Laconia Week

 

Dotti’s Annual Skimos Ride

 

October Bike Trip

Our third bike trip of the summer/Fall

 

Dory Tours

Two summers ago I started my Scituate Harbor Dory tours and they have been a big success. The dory I use is a 1968 Amesbury “Banks” dory and is the same dory I used during about 20 summers of harvesting Irish Sea Moss off the coast of Scituate MA. Dories are a traditional rowing craft, designed to carry heavy loads and withstand rough seas. If you are in the area next summer, contact me for your personal tour.

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Book Sales

We also had book sales events with my old mossing buddy, Gerry Pallotta, who graciously let me peddle my books at his table at Scituate Heritage Days.

 

That’s it for now. Next blog will cover my arrival in Delray Beach Florida on November 5.

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | February 20, 2018

Wintering in Florida


 © Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and harleyhawk43.wordpress.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

*************************************************************************************As explained in our previous blog, we had a big change-up in our normal winter routine this year. Red Fox stayed behind at her condo in Newburyport MA, while I drove the Wolfpack down to Citrus Springs Florida. Red joined me for a few weeks recently for a respite from the New England weather and we had our usual good time together, intermingled with our normal, strong personality, disagreements. This blog will cover the time before she arrived (November 15 – January 31) and then our adventures while she was here.

Arriving at the Ferguson Estate

I have known Bill Ferguson since 2000, when I was 56 and he was 45. We met at the Manomet Mystery Riders weekly motorcycle ride, out of Gellar’s Ice Cream Shop in Manomet, Plymouth MA. Now here we are, 18 years later, with me camped in his back yard. We both still have our motorcycles and our Toy Hauler Campers, as you will see in the following video.

Bill was the person who originally got us interested in Toy Haulers (large travel trailers in which one can load motorcycles, dirt bikes, snow mobiles and other such “toys”), just before we bought our Wolfpack in 2010.

 

 

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Hanging out with Smitty and Big Bill

We took several local motorcycle rides during November, December and January. Smitty is another buddy of ours from Massachusetts.

 

Motorcycle ride to Leisureville in Boynton Beach

The day after Christmas I motorcycled down to Boynton Beach to visit Gerry and Liz Maher at their home in Leisureville. It was a long ride (around 280 miles), but well worth it to see my friends, Gerry and Liz, and their new friends in Leisureville. Pictures follow.

Red Fox Arrives

The long awaited arrival of Red Fox heralded a frenetic flurry of activity- First she had to unpack, then rearrange the entire trailer, then check out the nearby hiking and bicycling paths, then prepare for the Superbowl, then prepare for three motorcycle trips, two day trips and then a five day jaunt. I will let the photos do the talking (except there won’t be any Superbowl photos, because it was not so super).

Arriving and ride to Sleepy Hollow

 

Tarpon Springs Area, High Octane Saloon, Bonita Springs and Fort Lauderdale

 

 

 

 

Pictured above are; Janice Marshall, Bill Ferguson, Smitty, Ruth Connolly Roberts, Jean Connolly Cochrane, Barbara and Ron Horwood, The Red Fox, Gerry Maher, Liz Maher, Carol Edmonds,  Chris Bongarzone and a Manatee playing the piano.

So, not anywhere as exciting as our previous 7 years of full time RVing, but still a very good winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | November 7, 2017

Winter approaches and The Hawk Readies for his Flight South.


© Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and

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On November 1st, Hawk and Red Fox departed our Summertime Campground in Brant Rock, Marshfield MA. We were “The Last Man Standing” since the majority of campers close up shop at the end of September. That is the official close of the season, but one can purchase the extra month of October with permission from the campground. After October 31, the water is turned off and all trailers either are in winter storage or off for warmer climes.

This particular year, our 8th of full-time RVing, we did not depart right away since we had a wedding to attend on November 11th. Instead we dropped our trailer (a 2006, 30 foot Cherokee Wolfpack) at a local trailer shop for its annual road preparation maintenance and then headed for Red Fox’s Condo in Newburyport. We are there now, as I write these words, fixing up her condo (it was rented out for the last 7 years and now has to be refurnished). 

Our plan this year will be a modified one, with Hawk taking the Wolfpack to Florida (instead of Arizona, as we have done the last 4 years) and Red Fox staying behind as she decides what to do with the condo (live in it full time with trips to Florida to join me, or possibly sell it).

We wintered in Florida our first three years on the road, with Springtime side trips out West and then traveled directly out West the next four years. This year we will be in the Dunnellon/Crystal Springs area, on the West Coast of Florida, camping in a friend’s yard. Prior to leaving Brant Rock, we had a busy October, readying The Wolfpack for travel and celebrating four family birthdays, including my own, on Halloween.

Motorcycle Trip to Chatham MA on October 17th, including stop at long lost buddy, Jack MacDonald’s house, in Sandwich MA.

 

Grinding and Rust Proof Painting of Truck and Trailer

 

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Steve and Kathy come to visit from Ohio

We met Steve and Kathy at Ebbtide RV Park in Fort Myers Beach in 2011-2012 and had visited them at their Ohio home several times after that. Here they come to visit us in Brant Rock. We took them to Provincetown, Scituate Harbor and Plymouth Plantation.

 

Plymouth Plantation and Plymouth Rock

 

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Halloween at Holly and Kenny’s and Hawk’s 74th Birthday Parties

 

Hawk’s three birthday Parties

I had three birthday parties because when you get this old you don’t know how many more you might have!

 

 

 

Storm of October 29

On October 29th, New England experienced a severe Cold Front passage with winds exceeding hurricane strength in some areas. At Brant Rock we were spared electric power loss and downed trees, but The Wolfpack was battered by 60 to 70 mph winds all night.

 

Departure on 11/1

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Posted by: harleyhawk43 | September 22, 2017

Summer Ends and Fall begins


Well, summer flew by and The Wolfpack is now preparing for its annual migration to warmer climes. We were making decent progress until Tropical Storm Jose decided to spend 4 days in our backyard, with 30 to 50 mph winds and occasional torrential rain. Nothing compared to Florida and the Caribbean, however.

During the summer we had multiple Grandchildren visits, sleepovers and cookouts, all of which were great fun. Below are a few highlights.

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As you can see, we had a blast with the kids. Before we show you more, we interrupt for a short commercial-

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Now back to the fun! Here are a few shots from our annual pilgrimage to Scituate Heritage Days, where I was able to “Hawk” my books on Irish Sea Mossing and a few of our “Gypsy” books.

20170806_11071220170806_11142320170806_115129Hawk with Geoff Diehl

(The mighty Road King, posing with various celebrities, including Geoff Diehl, candidate for the U.S. Senate).

Annual family trip to Marshfield Fair-

Dory Trip with The Grandkids

That’s it for now. More summer and early Fall highlights in our next installment.

 

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© Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and

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with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | July 3, 2017

The Grand Canyon Hike-Part 4


Day Four

On day four, after our strenuous day of hiking to Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls, during which we had to ford many streams, climb down and up an extremely steep set of ladders and creep through rock tunnels, we had another light to moderate day of short hiking to two additional waterfalls, Fifty Foot Falls and Hidden Falls (we opted to just do Fifty Foot and then hike back towards camp and revisit Havasu Falls, the Falls we had gone to on Day 2. The reason we all were taking it relatively easy on Day Four was that Day Five would be the day we had to pack up and hike out, not a day we were looking forward to.

Here are the best pictures and a few video clips-

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(Captain Furey gives the troops the day’s agenda and marching orders for the next morning, when we will be hiking out.)

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(A good view of Fifty Foot Falls)

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(The perfect outdoor shower)

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(Long Range view)

The Serious prep  (and pep) talk by Captain Furious for the hike out on Saturday

Red Fox Repeating the Team Leader’s Instructions 

Red Fox Interview

Soon Day Four was over and we returned to camp to begin organizing our camp for departure the next morning. There would be no breakfast that last day (Day Five-Saturday), but we would have food left over from our four days worth of prepacked lunches and we would have an opportunity to purchase coffee and snacks at the Supai Village on our way out. After yet one more night of fabulous sleeping under the stars, looking out through the top of our tent (no rain in four days), we arose early and began packing. We needed to get our three large mule packs ready (30 pounds each) and pack our backpacks with water and food for the 12 mile hike out.

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Soon we had packed up, taken our bags to the mule depot by wheelbarroww, hiked to the Supai village, purchased our coffee and snacks and began the remaining 10 mile hike out of the canyon. My backpack load was much lighter (only one day’s worth of food instaead of four), but soon my right knee began to act up again. Captain Furious suggested some caffeine energy paste and ibuprophen. Reluctantly I took it. I was using my two hiking poles to take the weight off my right knee and wearing a double knee brace, part of which Ernesto and Kim had given to me. We hiked on, taking several breaks and making sure we were drinking plenty of water. We had left the campsite at 6:30, the Supai Village at 8:00 and were aiming to crest the canyon by 1 or 2 p.m.. We had three groups, the fast group, the medium group and the Turtle Group. Guess which one we were in. Towards the end we arrived at the point where the gradual incline gave way to the steep incline. We were tired and hot, but game and determined to not embarass ourselves. We gathered our remaining reserves, gritted our teeth and moved slowly but steadily up the steep, swithback incline trail. Way above we good see and hear the speedy and moderate speed hikers.

As we approached the final series of switchbacks, we heard a series of shouts, urging us on. It was like the end of a marathon race! We were being cheered by the crowd to raise our spirits. One last rest break and we broke for the final stretch. Cheers rang out as our weary Turtle band gutted out the final yards. Finally we arrived at the top of the canyon, in the same spot we had descended from five days earlier. Cold beer and watermelon were awaiting us and we were ecstatic!. We had done it. Red Fox and I were the oldest by about 10 years and the average age was mid to late 40s. We had done it at ages 70 and 73. We had some serious bragging rights. Captain Furious had watched over his hiking flock during the entirety of the tour and had prepared us well.

After our Coors, ice cold beers and watermelon, and making sure our bags were loaded into the bus, we thankfully boarded the bus and prepared for 5 hour ride back to Orange County. After an hour we would be stopping at  pizza hut for what, to us, would be the best pizza we had ever eaten (we were ravenous). After devouring the pizza, we settlrd in for the remaining 4 hours of bus travel. We watched movies on the bus, hugged each other, sang songs and wallowed in the wonderful ambience of the experience we had just had. When the bus pulled in to Orange CA, many of us were very melancholy. It was over. An experience few have ever had. New friends, great memories and huge satisfaction of achievement.

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© Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and

harleyhawk43.wordpress.com,

with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

This does not apply, to pictures supplied by others, of course. In particular, those pictures provided by Curt Morrison, Theresa Perreira Fox, Alicia Castillo-De La Luz and any other photos within this blog that were borrowed from other hikers

Thanks to all who contributed. An experience we will never forget!

Hawk and Red Fox

 

 

Posted by: harleyhawk43 | June 6, 2017

The Grand Canyon Hike-Part Three


 

 

After our first day in Havasupai Canyon, during which we relaxed at the Havasu Falls, we had a delicious group dinner and another wonderful night sleeping in our tent, under the stars. In this remote area, with no human created light at night, there are so many stars that you almost can’t believe what you are seeing. The next day, which was Thursday, May 4, our hiking leader, Bill Furey, had planned a vigorous 8 mile hike, one which would take us down steep ladders with chains embedded in the cliff for hand-holds, to another beautiful waterfall with a swimming hole. After ensuring that everyone made it down safely and some picture taking time, we moved forward towards another waterfall about three miles away. To get there we would hike through a beautiful canyon covered with wild grapevines, wade across streams, and then arrive at Beaver Falls.

Here you will see some of the best photos and a few video clips-

Mooney Falls Climb Down and Falls

Hiking through the Grapevine Canyon

 

Arriving at Beaver Falls

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Lunch and Swimming Time at Beaver Falls

Climbing back up the ladders at Mooney Falls

Videos

River Crossing

Grapevine Canyon Path

 

Mooney Falls on the way Home

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Posted by: harleyhawk43 | May 29, 2017

The Grand Canyon Hike-Part Two


© Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and harleyhawk43.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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When we left you at the end of our last blog post, we had just settled down in our two person pup tent for our first night of camping in the Havasupai section of the Grand Canyon (Southwest part of the canyon). We had a wonderful night’s sleep, listening to tree frogs croaking and other wilderness sounds as we dropped off to sleep. Awakening in the morning, we prepared for what hadbeen promised as a “Beach Day” at a nearby waterfall/swimming pool area, Havasu Falls. After a hearty breakfast, we hiked the short distance and frolicked in the water most of the day. It was good to rest our legs and relax in this paradise.

As you can see, we were all super relaxed as we swam, sunbathed and jumped off cliffs all day. It was hard to believe after our twelve mile arduous hike in the previous day. Below you can see Red Fox frolicking in the water, in the first two photos.

Returning to camp that night, we were amazed at the recovery we had made from the exhaustion of the day before. We would now have our nightly group dinner to which different groups were assigned each night to help prepare it. And then the next day would be a vigorous hike to two different waterfalls in what would wind up being about an eight mile, eight hour hike with swimming breaks and cooling off periods, as we forded streams.

To be continued—-

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Posted by: harleyhawk43 | May 25, 2017

The Great Grand Canyon Hike-Part One


© Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and harleyhawk43.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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When last we entertained you here on this blog, we were preparing for the hike of a lifetime, one which we had both wanted to do for decades. But first a little explanation-

We had spent this past winter in Southern California, at an RV Park called Newport Dunes, situated right on the back bay in Newport Beach. We were there as a change of pace from our previous 6 winters on the road, spent mostly in Florida and then Arizona, and also to be near Red Fox’s two sons and two grandsons. We had a relaxing winter and were beginning to make plans for our return to the East Coast in mid-April, when we saw a post on Facebook regarding a little known Grand Canyon Hike. Our attention was immediately riveted on the post for two reasons; The stunning pictures and video clips and the fact that we had both been desirous of hiking the Grand Canyon for a long time. Additionally, the poster was a relative of Red Fox. We contacted him that day and got the name of the contact for what turned out to be guided, group hikes to a part of the canyon that many people are not aware of.

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I have inserted a typical scene of this part of the Canyon to pique your interest. It happens to be at the southwest side of the G.C. and is visited much less that the more well known south and north sides. To further add to the allure, it happens to be the permanent residence, for the last eight hundred years, of the Havasupai Tribe of Native Americans. You cannot hike there without getting a permit and only 300 new hikers are allowed in each day. To make this somewhat clearer, only 300 per day are allowed in, so if any camp overnight, they count for the next day as well. This means, essentially, that no new hikers are allowed in until some leave as they try to plan for only 300 in the canyon on any given day.20170505_121011

Havasupai means “People of the blue/green waters” and you can see why by looking at the picture above. There are at least six stupendous waterfalls in the canyon, all exhibiting the same beautiful blue/green coloring in the swimming pools at the bottom of each fall. The color is attributable to the limestone deposits that occur throughout the canyon. Today there are about 650 members of the tribe, with most adult members making a living by working in the tourist trade. More on that later.

We contacted the tour guide immediately and found out there were two slots still open. We wired him half the money that night and would pay the other half on our first practice hike that Saturday. We were very excited! I had wanted to do a G.C. hike since 1968 when I had attended Arizona State University for a graduate degree. Red Fox had been thinking about if for 30 years! Everything was falling into place. We knew we were destined to do this hike now. The Karma was there. We also knew we would probably never get another chance. Why? We were both in our 70s and although in great physical condition, we knew that could end any day and suddenly. Furthermore, this particular group hike originates in Orange County CA., which was exactly where we were camped!

Now we had to catch up with all the other hikers (44 of them) who had signed up months ago and had been practicing since January. We did four practice hikes during April (see our previous posts) and were judged as being ready for the hike by the leader, Bill Furey.20170408_113342

Now we had to go over all the supplies we needed, most of which would be carried up and down by mules. Fortunately, we already had some of the essentials; Pup tent, sleeping bags, air matresses, back packs, hiking boots, hiking poles, flashlights and chargers for our phone cameras and other cameras. The hiking group would supply all of our breakfast, lunch and dinner meals except for the breakfast and lunch on the first day, as we drove from Orange County CA to Hualapai Point in Arizona. Below, you see our motor coach and our hike leader, Bill Furey. We boarded the bus in Orange CA at 10:30 p.m. and drove approximately 6 hours to a McDonald’s in Kingman Az for breakfast. No one got much sleep. Then another two hours on squirrely roads to Hualapai Point, at the edge of the canyon and the trailhead.SAM_3480

Now, we formed up outside the bus as the sun began to rise! 6:30 A.M. at the edge of the G.C. and the beginning of 5 days of total mind blowing scenery and experiences, all the while bonding with the other 44 hikers. Our three thirty pound duffel bags were loaded on our mule and we hoisted our back packs onto our backs. I was carrying four days of lunches in my pack which meant about 25 pounds total (this would prove to nearly be my undoing before we covered the 12 mile distance to our campground).

After a short pre-hike talk and picture taking, our intrepid band began the 12 mile hike down into the canyon. Spirits were high in spite of the lack of sleep. We all sensed we were on a very special trip. After an hour of steep switchbacks, we reached more level ground and began hiking through some mesmerising scenery as we gradually continued downhill, towards the Havasupai Village. At the 5 mile mark we broke for lunch and a much needed (for me anyway) break.

After lunch we continued on, marveling at the scenery around us as the canyon walls became steeper. We could feel the shedding of all our usual worries and stresses and the gradual feeling of being in touch with “Mother Earth”. As we moved along my right knee began to act up from the weight of my pack and I fell behind. We had a “sweep” behind everyone, so there was no worry about my being forgotten. The sweep, whose name was Kyle, kept a close eye on me and was in radio contact with our leader. Our next stop would be at the Indian Village at the 10 mile mark. My knee was hurting more and more and about 1/2 mile before the village Kyle had to take my pack. I was limping badly even though I was leaning heavily on my hiking poles to take the weight off my knee.

Finally we reached the village where we took another blessed break and where the General Store had some delicious frozen Mango Bars. After the rest and Mango Bar, I took my pack back from Kyle, figuring I could make the final 2 miles to the campground.

My positive attitude lasted about 1 1/2 miles and then the miniscus began to cave again. Much to my chagrin, Kyle had to bail me out again. Oh, to be in my twenties again!. Finally we arrived at the campground after about 5 or 6 hours of hiking. The campground consists of scores of sites all located under cottonwood trees and mostly next to a stream or in close proximity. Red Fox was off to fine a prime site, but I had to just sit down and rest. She wanted to go a ways down the river away from the area where we would be gathering for meals, but I told her I could not muster the energy. We settled on a site about 1/4 mile away and I managed to wheelbarrow our three duffels from the mule drop-off area to the campsite. Red then did most of the setting up of the tent while I blew up the three air matresses. We just wanted to get set up before supper and nightfall. If you’ve ever been tent camping, you know that at this point we had no idea where most of our belongings were. Finally we were set up and headed down to supper.

After supper we went back to our tent, over which we had not placed our rain cover (no rain was predicted for our entire stay) and settled in for a night’s sleep in paradise. We were able to look up through the tent canopy and see a multitude of stars in a sky unmarred by any manmade light. We slept like two logs!

(To be continued)

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Go to

http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk

or to “Hawk’s Books” (www.facebook.com/harleyhawk1943) on Facebook, for details on ordering our 3 books on our travels, “Hawk and Red Fox-Modern Day Gypsies”, Volumes 1, 2 and 3, or text me at 617-605-6594. 

BookCoverImage 3 - Copy                                                   Book Cover Image for Gypsies Vol Three


© Hawk Hickok Hickman, 2008-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hawk Hickok Hickman and harleyhawk43.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Go to

http://www.nstarsolutions.com/store/home.php?provider=harleyhawk

or to “Hawk’s Books” (www.facebook.com/harleyhawk1943) on Facebook, for details on ordering our 3 books on our travels, “Hawk and Red Fox-Modern Day Gypsies”, Volumes 1, 2 and 3, text me at 617-605-6594. 

BookCoverImage 3 - Copy                                                   Book Cover Image for Gypsies Vol Three

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On Saturday, April 8, we participated in Grand Canyon/Havasupai Prep Hike II. If you have been keeping abreast of our adventures, you know that we landed the last two slots on a five day hiking and camping adventure down into the Grand Canyon and out again (if we make it!!!). Everyone has been practicing since January, so even though we do a lot of hiking, we were somewhat behind the “eight ball” as far as our fitness for this demanding hike was concerned. Anyway, after a grueling 10 mile hike the week before, we once again formed up for this week’s hike. This hike was at Crystal Cove Park, near Laguna Beach. We would be on the land side of the Pacific Coast Highway, hiking up into the foothills.

Being the conscientious persons we are, we arrived early, at about 7:30. We got all our gear ready (hiking poles, lunch, water etc.), and waited for the other hikers to arrive. By 7:50 no one else had arrived. We began to get concerned. Were we in the right place? There were two parking lots in close proximity and we thought we might be at the wrong one! We walked hurredly over to the other one (about a quarter of a mile away). No one there! We were very concerned now. I made a couple of calls and texts to the only hikers whose contact info we had and got nowhere. We hurried back to the original lot and spotted some people. They had just been late arriving. We bagan to calm down. By the time everyone was ready to go, it was 8:30, so we would have been fine if we had arrived late. Here are a few pictures of the gathering group, including the hike leader, John, who actually backpacked a toddler on the hike!

Soon we were off and immediately began hiking uphill! This was a little disconcerting, because usually there is a flat stretch at the beginning of most hikes, but not in this case. We hiked up a rather steep grade for what seemed to be at least 2 miles. Then, even when the trail leveled off for awhile, it then when up and down rather steep grades for another mile or two. Finally we came to a restroom break area, grabbed a quick snack and were informed by John that we had about another 1/2 hour of hiking before reaching the halfway mark and our lunch spot. Most of this was uphill as well. When we finally got there, these two hikers were very happy to be able to rest and eat for a bit.

After about 20 minutes, we were told to “saddle up”, and off we went again and, would you believe it, we were still hiking uphill! Unbelievable! Finally we leveled off and even began to descend. Then we went through a narrow path where we were completely enveloped in Wild Mustard Plant. It was both beautiful and eerie (See the following pictures and video). I had to hold back to get some pictures and videos and got left behind. Red Fox was upset that I was holding people up, but I just had to get the filming done.

We continued downhill after the Steven King, “Children of the Giant Mustard Plant Jungle” experience and hiked for what seemed forever on what became steep downgrades. Now a new problem arose! My big toes jamming into the toe box of my boots. Fortunately I had trimmed my toenails down. We finally arrived back at the parking lot, weary but self satisfied at completing Part II of our prep hikes. Ester weekend we have no hikes, but then two more the following two weekends, followed by the Big One May 2nd!

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Huntington Beach Woody and other Antiques Car Show

Yesterday, Sunday, April 9th, we went to see Red Fox’s Grandson play soccer and then went to the weekly Huntington Beach Pier, Woody/Antique Car Show. They have this show frequently, maybe every week. Anyway, I will just show the car pictures, because they are all fabulously gorgeous.