Mt. Whitney Hike

Mt. Whitney Hike

***I wanted to document some past hikes/trips that I’ve taken.  I actually wrote the following shortly after the hike (way back in 2001).  I made some minor edits to the text but overall they are my words from 16 years ago. ***

It all started while I was still at school. During spring quarter of my freshman year at Northwestern University, my dad sent me an e-mail asking if I would like to participate in a hiking trip.  He informed me that the trip would be to Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states.  Other aspects of the trip comprised of the group being made up of five individuals.  I was the only one under the age of fifty.  The other group members included my father, my uncle, Mr. I-fu Shih, and Mr. Hsu.

To prepare for this hiking expedition, our group held practice hikes at a nearby mountain.  Mount San Antonio, a.k.a. Mount Baldy, is the third highest peak in the southern California area.  With a peak elevation of 10,064 feet, our group traversed this peak once as an entire group.  However, each member individually climbed the peak at least twice, sometimes three times, in his own separate groups.  These climbs were to help ensure that we would be in shape and ready for hiking the many miles of Mount Whitney.  There are four different trails one can take to reach the top of Mount Baldy.  I have taken two of the four routes.  The first route requires taking a chair lift to the start of the trailhead.  From the trailhead, the peak can be reached in 3.7 miles with an elevation gain of around 2,000 feet.  The other trail is considerably more difficult.  With an elevation gain close to 3,500 feet, the trail continuously climbs upwards, pushing my body’s limit.  That trail has a length of 4.3 miles.  A separate hiking experience I had to further my training occurred while on vacation in Alaska.  One of the expeditions offered at Juneau was a hiking trip.  I decided to take this expedition to help keep myself ready for hiking in the wilderness.  One other preparation tool I had been taking advantage of was that of running.  I would jog at least a mile everyday for a few weeks prior to our trip to Mount Whitney. Continue reading “Mt. Whitney Hike”

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Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, and last day in Tokyo

Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, and last day in Tokyo

Even though I was under the weather and tied to being close to a bathroom, the show had to go on and our trip wasn’t going to just end (even though I had fleeting thoughts of telling my wife to go ahead and I’d just go back to Tokyo and hole up in a motel until our flight home).  I’m glad that I pushed forward and finished off the trip.

From Kyoto we hopped on the Shinkansen again and continued our trip westward.  Our destination was Itsukushima, or Miyajima Island, which is located just off the coast of Hiroshima.  We initially thought we’d stop in Hiroshima first prior to heading to the island.  However given the time of day when we arrived in Hiroshima, we altered our plans and decided to go to the island first and would check out Hiroshima on our way back to Tokyo the following day.  To get to the island you need to take a ferry.  Strangely enough there are two competing companies but they operate right next to each other at the ports.  One of the ferries is operated by JR and since we had the JR pass, we could ride for free.  It was a very short trip (10 minutes) to get across the channel.

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As we approached the island, we sailed right near the large Torii gate that sits in the middle of the water.  I managed to snag a few shots even though it was quite foggy. Continue reading “Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, and last day in Tokyo”

Hot dog (hamburger) buns

Hot dog (hamburger) buns

For the 4th of July, we decided to do the ultra-traditional hamburgers and hot dogs.  I decided I’d like to try  my hand at making hot dog buns.  I had previously made some burger buns from a random recipe I found online.  I didn’t realize that you can use the same formula for both hot dog and hamburger buns.  This time I found another recipe on a random blog.  For the most part I followed the recipe that was laid out (since this was my first time making it).  I amended it due to the fact that I don’t have a stand mixer and therefore have to do all my mixing/kneading by hand.  The recipe called for letting the dough rest in the fridge for up to 24 hours so I made up the dough the night before July 4th.

Ingredients:

  • 500g All purpose flour
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp butter (can use butter as well)
  • extra oil to oil the bowl
  • 1 egg for the egg-wash

First I mixed up the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Continue reading “Hot dog (hamburger) buns”