Wednesday, February 20, 2013

(MUST READ) Krispy Kreme Challenge - Raleigh, North Carolina February 2013

All Pictures and video are at the bottom of the post, but this one is worth reading. You will never believe it, so you should REALLY READ IT!

What a day, you could feel the excitement in the car or should I say in our stomachs, as we started our drive south towards Raleigh, North Carolina. We were off for an exciting weekend of stretching our stomachs to the max.

It started almost a year ago when Dan The Man, Gary Nolan and I did "The Jog 'n Hog" last July. That event consisted of running 2 miles, eating a quart of Uncle Dave's Vanilla Ice Cream, and then running another 2 miles.

One thing I have learned in my over 50 years of life, there is always a bigger mountain to climb. Once we completed "The Jog 'n Hog" we looked for that bigger mountain, and we found it.

"The Krispy Kreme Challenge" We will run 2.5 miles, eat a dozen Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (2,400 Calories), and run another 2.5 miles all in under an hour. This race got it's start in December of 2004 with a dare from a few college students, and in the last 8 years has grown from just a few students at N.C. State to over 8,000 runners from all over the world, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for The North Carolina Children's Hospital.

Dan The Man recruited a few additional participants for this event. Jerry "The Stomach" Green, and John "I can eat anything" Maguire. We knew these two additions would really round out our team. Everybody except Gary Noland, met up in Northern Virginia for the 5 hour drive to Raleigh. Somehow Gray Nolan thought after his stellar performance in "The Jog 'n Hog", he deserved to fly down and that is what he did. The four of us loaded in to Jerry "The Stomach" Green's Cadillac Escalade, a very comfortable ride.

It is important to realize we have 24 hours before the big race so there is still time to train. We left at 11:00 AM and got to Fredericksburg, Virginia just past lunch time, perfect timing, we noticed a Steak 'n Shake just off the highway. What is better for a good stomach stretch then a good steak burger and a rich, thick, milkshake. "Steak Burger?", you ask. It is made from steak, not ham, isn't it! What a great meal and an even better confidence booster.

As we continued down I95, we realized no one had made plans as to where we should stay. We started calling hotels and found out everything was sold out within 60 miles of Raleigh because of the race.

Never fear John "I can eat anything" Maguire is hear. Yes, John "I can eat anything" Maguire came up with a brilliant plan. For those of you that are old enough to remember the movie "Animal House", there is a scene where the frat boys go to the sorority house and act like they know a girl that just died. It worked great for them. With us being 30 years older than most college students, talking about a students death is kind of morbid, and there is a good chance it may cause us to be arrested.

John "I can eat anything" Maguire's plan was to go to the Tri-Delta sorority (we knew they had the lowest IQ) and tell them we were visiting John "I can eat anything" Maguire's daughter. That we had made a mistake, she did not go to N.C. State, but went to N.D. State (North Dakota), just made a wrong turn. The plan worked perfectly they felt so sorry for us they even gave us each our own rooms.

Our first order of business check in for the race and get some doughnuts. Like I said we were still in training. Jerry "The Stomach" Green bought a dozen, half vanilla and half Chocolate. We each had one, we all savored every bite. Come race day we would not even be tasting any doughnuts as they went down.

It was now time for dinner Jerry "The Stomach" Green had made us reservations at the Angus Barn. It was a 15 minute drive outside of Raleigh. What a great traditional southern steak house. We choose to sit in the bar, great service and the highlight was watching Jerry "The Stomach" Green consume his 32 oz. prime rib. The rest of us went small with 20 oz. Rib eyes.

About halfway through dinner I realized I might be in trouble. As I have mentioned before I get gout. One the medicines I take for gout is called Colchicine, before we left I had some aching in my right foot so I took a double dose of Colchicine, there is no way I wanted to get a gout attack with "The Krispy Kreme Challenge" only a few hours away. I forgot about one thing with Colchicine, the side effects! Here is what the drugs website says:

Colchicine. If you're unable to take NSAIDs, your doctor may recommend colchicine (Colcrys), a type of pain reliever that effectively reduces gout pain — especially when started soon after symptoms appear. The drug's effectiveness is offset in most cases, however, by intolerable side effects, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

I had totally forgot about the side effects, until it hit me. DIARRHEA, luckily our table was close to the bathroom I think I went about 3 times during dinner. Before we headed back to the Tri-Delta house I used the facilities one more time just to make sure I was empty. I was hoping that would be it. I was wrong, Jerry "The Stomach" Green is very lucky I have a strong sphincter muscle or his Escalade would be a little stinky right now.

Once we got back to the house I ran so fast for the bathroom I am sure the girls were in shock, I am sure they were in more shock from the noises and smells that came from the bathroom.

The DIARRHEA persisted through night. I bet you the N.C. State Tri-Deltas never let 5 middle aged men stay at their house again. With little to no sleep I met Dan The Man, and Gary Nolan an hour before the race. Gary had a rental car so we drove to the start of the race for a 4 mile warm up run. I was sure I was over my stomach issues at this point or hoped I was.

I was not! At mile 3 of the warm up run, I was in server pain, fortunately for me Gary Nolan had noticed a student union, yes there were Porto-potties at the race, but with the length of the lines I would not make it. The Student Union was prefect. I was hoping this would be my last time taking a duce for a while.

It was now race time, the start was a little chaotic, 8,000 people, this was billed as a family fun run, so you had no idea how fast people would be. The race started at 8:30 AM and it was 8:32 before we crossed the start line, many people were simply walking.

The course was hillier than we expected, our first mile was an 8:25 pace some uphill during that first mile. Our second mile was 7:36 pace, though mostly down hill. We were now a half a mile from our doughnuts and 16 minute into the race. We had 44 minutes left to run 3 more miles and eat a dozen doughnuts.

Now about a quarter mile from the Krispy Kreme shop we noticed the street was lined with empty tables. Both sides of the street and down the middle, as we continued our run we saw the tables now had boxes of doughnuts. Dan The Man, Gary Nolan, and I, had run together. We were not sure where Jerry "The Stomach" Green, and John "I can eat anything" Maguire were. We assumed they were behind us as their names imply their focus was more on the eating than the running.

As we passed the tables with the doughnuts we grabbed our boxes. Dan The Man, Gary Nolan in their infinite wisdom started eating right away (smart move) I waited until we found a spot in the parking lot and got settled in.

As I was eating the doughnuts not worrying about the time I noticed Gary Nolan had 3 doughnuts left, Dan The Man had 6 left and I had 7 and was not feeling so hot. Up until this point the DIARRHEA was a distant memory, now my thoughts were moving more towards vomit. I stayed focus and kept eating. Then I realized Gary Nolan was done, we could not have been there much over 10 minutes, Dan The Man had 3 doughnuts left, I still had 7.

I was very fortunate that Gary Nolan and Dan The Man were staying rooting me on. Dan grabbed his last 2 doughnuts and I still had 5 to go. I doubt we had been there 12 minutes at this point, Dan The Man was now done. FIVE more doughnuts! Finally my last doughnut and one bite to go, NO! It took 5 bites to finish what should have been just one bite. We had been in the eating area a full 18 minutes.

We showed our now empty doughnut boxes and were back running. Our first mile was down hill and we ran a 7:55 pace, our second mile was up hill and we ran an 8:06 pace, we could feel the sugar kicking in. The last half mile was at a 7:59 pace. As we approached the finish line I was very happy, we could see the clock, under an hour, 57 minutes and 7 seconds based on our chips.

No DIARRHEA and I did not throw-up, at least not yet. As we came through the finish line there were patches of throw-up everywhere, the worst part you could see the chunks of undigested doughnuts in the vomit. It took all the strength I had left to keep those doughnuts in my stomach.

We headed back to the Tri-Delta house to shower and find Jerry "The Stomach" Green, and John "I can eat anything" Maguire. It ended up they were just a few minutes behind us. They actually did the first half of the race faster than us by a minute. They ate the doughnuts about twice as fast as I did, luckily the sugar helped my run and I beat them with running speed, not eating speed.

It was 11:00 and we had not eaten breakfast yet and we were all getting hungry so we decided to check at The Roast Grill. The Roast Grill serves some of the best hotdogs you will ever have. We each had a couple and then headed home.

Not sure what or where I will head next so that is it for now. If you have any ideas post them here or on Facebook, I will consider anything





Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Colorado January 2013 Skiing and Hiking.

 All Pictures at the bottom of the post!
(Everything you are about to read is true, that is if you think it is!)

I am getting use to the thought I will never visit my village in Botswana again. To distract myself I decided to try to get some skiing in, "try" is the key word here. The snow in Colorado has been as bad this year as last year. My last trip skiing we got lucky and had some snow, but since then there has been little to no snow.

On this trip joining me in my niece Lauren who has changed her name to Grandma Molasses. Accompanying Lauren is Sam "he is not my boyfriend, boyfriend". As usually we are staying at my brothers.

On our arrival we discovered Jack Daniels and his new wife would also be joining us. I had not seen Jack Daniels since we skied in the Spring of 2011. On that trip Jack Daniels tore up his knee in a fairly bad skiing accident. What happened was Jack Daniels always takes a duce between morning and after skiing and that day he for got. That was all she wrote. This was Jack Daniels first trip back to Colorado since the accident.

It was noon and the weather was perfect for a hike, 60 degrees. We decided to hike at Three Sisters Park. What a great way to stretch our legs after a long flight.

Today we are going to ski Winter Park, it is Sunday and with so little snow we were hoping the crowds would be limited and we could get some nice runs in on the limited slopes.

It turned out to be a good day of skiing, Scrappy, Grandma Molasses, Sam "he is not my boyfriend, boyfriend", and I, skied together. Scrappy knew where to ski and where we might find snow. Jack Daniels still recovering from his injury stayed on the green slopes with his wife.

The next day we skied Copper Mountain. It was Monday so the crowds we very small. We found some blue blacks with very few skiers, all was good. Scrappy met up with a friend so we were on our own.

I am in training for the Krispy Kreme Challenge, which is a running race where you run 2.5 miles, eat a dozen doughnuts, run another 2.5 miles, all in under an hour. A good bit of the training is eating. So we decided to stop at the Empire Dairy King for some Ice Cream.

Today we would take a day off from skiing. A day of rest, NOT! We drove up to Flatirons, just outside of Boulder. We did a 5 mile hike to Royal Arch. The elevation change was 3,000 feet. With the warm temperatures it was a nice alternative to skiing.

After the hike we had lunch in Boulder at Pasta Jay's. On our drive back to Evergreen we stopped at both Buffalo Bills Grave Site and Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Dinner was at Virgilio's for their famous Virgilio Pizza, which is the worlds largest pizza. What a great training tool.

Our last day of skiing and Scrappy's 18th birthday. We headed to Copper Mountain. We told Scrappy since it was his birthday he decide what we would do. He said,"Ski black diamond slopes all day". That is what we did. The conditions were just OK, but the slopes were empty so it was perfect. After skiing we had a nice dinner out.

Before our morning flight, Sam "he is not my boyfriend, boyfriend". Grandma Molasses, and I stopped at Jack - n - Grill ( for a 7 lb breakfast burrito. They have been featured on Man vs Food. Since I was in training I took on the challenge and won.

Next stop Raleigh, North Carolina and the Krispy Kreme Challenge.




Thursday, February 7, 2013

Botswana January 2013

All Pictures and Video are at the bottom of this post.

Before I talk about Botswana I wanted to give an update on Andrew, I met Andrew on my last trip to Senegal, he was departing on an around the world sailing trip on a 12 foot sail boat. Three days into his adventure he was rescued by the Spanish Navy somewhere off the coast of Morocco. Right now this is all the details I have as I find out more I will let everyone know what happened to Andrew.

We left Dakar at 5:30 AM for a very easy 8 hour flight - Dakar to Johannesburg. We had a very pleasant dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel at the Johannesburg airport. We stayed at the City Lodge, which is also right at the airport.

Day 1 Travel to Botswana.

I decided to fly to Manu, Botswana instead of hitching a ride. Maragrite was with me plus being my last trip to the village I thought I would spoil myself. Normally I would try my luck hitching hiking which can take anywhere from one day to three days.

Upon arriving at the Manu airport I was surprised to see the village elders were there to greet me. This was very strange as I have never been greeted at the airport before especially since I rarely fly. I could tell by the looks on their faces this was not a celebratory greeting, something was wrong. As I walked up to greet everybody and give them all hugs, I got a very cold reception, it was explained to me that the elders had read my post about me moving on, and leaving the village.

I found this interesting since I own the only PC in the village, they must of used my PC to access the internet. To make a long story short, it was explained to me that I was no longer welcome in the village, a village I had spent the last 7 years working in. There would be no good byes, they had all my stuff boxed up. They told me once I had a new home to let them know where it was, and they would ship my stuff. I knew that would never happen, my stuff was now their stuff.

I said, "The hell with them". I had 6 nights before my flight out of Johannesburg was schedule, so I figured Margarite and I should have some fun. Margarite was all for it. I had some contacts at Wilderness Safari, I gave them a call, things were quickly scheduled. It was a "You wash our back, we wash your back", kind of deal. They were short a pilot so they traded me doing a flight for them, in return I got three nights each at two different safari parks. The best part, I had no idea how to fly a plane.

Guess what if you can use flight simulator software you can fly a plane I am living proof.

The first camp we stayed at was Savuti Camp which is on the Savuti channel located north east of the Okavango delta along the Linyanti fault line in Northern Botswana. I flew us form the Maun Airport to Chobe airstrip which was just a dirt field (this was my part of the deal). Once we landed Margarite and I were greeted by Lets our guide.

Once we got settled into our over the top fantastic luxury tent, we met up with Letz for afternoon tea and a safari drive. We saw Elephants, Giraffe, and many different types of birds. We returned at 7:00 PM for a quick clean up before having a gourmet dinner. "Honey, we are no longer in Senegal." Besides Margarite and I, there was a family of 7 as the only other guests of the camp, talk about personal service.

Day 2 Savuti Camp

Wake up call 5:00 AM, breakfast 5:30 AM and back on game drive. The last time I was on a game drive was back in August which was the winter dry season, it is now January and the wet season. There is lots of green, green trees, grass, etc. There is water, lots of it. This makes it harder to find the animals but better to photograph them. Our guide Lets still found tons of things to see. Many birds, lots of flowers, hyena, several hippopotamus, lions, elephants, giraffes, and others.

We had lunch, followed by a siesta, followed by an afternoon game drive. Lets is a fantastic guide, of similar caliber to Godfrey in Parfuri camp from last Augusts safari in Kruger Park, South Africa. Lets is not only a guide but also a professional photographer. This was fantastic, as Lets was very generous with the time he took showing us how to take pictures.

It rained hard just prior to the afternoon game drive, giving us a different perspective on the African jungle, the cloud formations gave beautiful pictures and a great sunset.

The family of seven left and local couple joined us, now there were about 10 staff members to serve 4 guests. Life is good.

Day 3 Savuti Camp

The morning drive was as great as the others, beautiful landscapes and animals. The roads were very wet from the rains the day before. Lets tried to drive across a swamp, bad move! It was a fun adventure digging ourselves out. We were so happy Lets allowed for guest participation in the digging and engineering of the rescue and retrieval of the land rover.

During our afternoon siesta we has a huge down pour (RAIN). It is the rainy season in Botswana and I highly recommend this time of year for safari. The rains usually do not last that long and bring out beautiful green colors from all the plant life which really accents the animals.

We had a very pleasant dinner the other guests, Dawson, and his VERY LONG time girl friend Nitty. We also had 4 more guest join us, they were from Long Island New York. So now the staff was spread among 8 guest, what service. This was our last night at Savuti Camp.

Day 4 Savutil Camp and travel to Vumbura Plains Camp

5:00 AM wake up call, we decided to try to get one more game drive in before we headed off to our next destination. Lets was hoping to get to show us some African Dogs. Unfortunately the lions had scared them off, so instead we saw a beautiful pride of lions, this pride had 9 members with 7 being male. It is rare to have that many male lions in one pride.

We said goodbye to Lets as he was heading home for his leave. His schedule was three months on, one months off.

We enjoyed a fantastic brunch, I need to mention how accommodating the chef has been for Margarite. Margarite has both gluten and dairy allergies. For every meal the chef made Margarite the exact same meal as the rest of the guest, except gluten and dairy free. As we were getting ready to leave the chef brought Margarite some gluten free baking products she could try at home.

Goodman drove us to the airstrip a 25 minute drive from camp. We were about halfway to the airstrip when Goodman got a call over the radio, African dogs just took down an impala out side camp. Our flight was to close to turn around and go back. "So close yet so far away", from seeing the African Dogs.

Miaka was our pilot, I choose to enjoy the flight rather than fly, I also find women pilots are much better pilots than men. The 25 minute flight was uneventful Miaka, put us down dead center of the Vumbura air strip.

We had a 50 minute ride to camp during the ride we saw wart hogs, wildebeest, zebra, baboons, and impalas. We thought Savuti Camp was over the top luxurious, well Vumbura Plains Camp put Savuti Camp to shame, and Savuti Camp was awesome. We found out Savuti Camp is considered a classic camp, while Vumbura Plains Camp is considered premier. Our tent had a custom deck with pool, indoor outdoor shower, beautiful bedroom area, as well as a living area.

Vumbura Plains Camp is located in the Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta is rightly considered one of the most incredible wilderness sanctuaries in Africa. It is the largest inland delta system in the world.

Once settled in we were offered lunch which we declined since we had brunch just a few hours ago. At 4:00 PM we took an afternoon game drive , joining us was a husband a wife along with their adult son. They were visiting from West Chester, New York. Our guide's name was Laz He told us it was short for Lazy, Lazy has a different meaning in Botswana than it does in America. He happen to be one of Lets's cousins, but he did not have the same guiding skills as Lets.

Lazy just drove, rarely stopping, as he drove he would point to birds, animals and yell out their names. "Kingfish at three o'clock, Elephant at twelve o'clock" I think you get my point. When he did stop we were so far from the animals, you needed the Hubble Telescope as a zoom for your camera to get a decent shot. The drive was not a total loss we did get to see a pride of lions and a pack of African Dogs.

After our game drive we had a fantastic dinner, great food, company, and service.

Day 5 Vumbura Plains Camp

Wake up is at 5:30 rather than 5:00 after a quick breakfast we were back out on the game drive with Lazy, he did a little better this morning, going slower and stopping a little more. The area surrounding Vumbura Plains Camp is wetter than Savuti Camp, we are now in the delta, the roads are much sandier and much of the land is marshes surrounded by natural waterways. We have been told that come April much of the land we are driving on will be flooded by the waters that flow from Angola, as Angola hit it's rainy season.

The rainy season in Northern Botswana is from October to March so we continue to get a few rain showers through the day.

Vumbura Plains Camp has a north and south section 7 tents in each all connected by a raised boardwalk. It had been days since we had run and we had been feeling stiff. Margarite and I did a quick 5K on the boardwalk, twice up and back. We got some funny stares from the animals watching us, which included, giraffe, elephants, wart hogs, and a few baboons.

After lunch we opted for a boat ride through the delta this was for two reasons, to get away from Lazy, and to get a different perspective. OB was our guide and Ola was our captain both were great. Joining us on the boat ride was Liv a volunteer at a local veterinary clinic in Maun, the Vice President of Botswana with his wife and teenage son. The boat ride was very educational. The view of the delta along with all the flowers (Lily's) was incredible. The captain Ola grew up on this waters and knew the area like the back of his hand. Both OB and Ola were from the same tribe and village. They showed us what reeds were good for making mats, how to make baskets, and even what Lilly roots you could eat.

Another great dinner and off to bed.

Day 6 Vumbura Plains Camp

Lazy did a much better job today he had his girlfriend MiMi join us and we think he was doing a nice job to impress her. Joining us in the morning was a couple from Toronto along with their daughter Warren, Melanie, and Montana. We saw a pride of three male lions about 7 years of age. Lazy told us this is a rare sight. Along with many other animals we saw a female leopard that was very pregnant. Lazy stepped up to the plate this morning. Clearly Mimi had an huge influence on Lazy's abilities.

In the afternoon we opted for a Mokoro outing. A Mokoro is a traditional dug out canoe made from local trees. In our case they were more modern and made of plastics. The area we would be touring was shallow water so rather than paddle we used a pole. Ola our captain from the day before was our polers. What a great experience. Lazy and Mimi were in there own Mokoro and were suppose to scout and make sure the area was safe, though once they hit the water we never saw them again. Ola did a fabulous job, Warren, Melanie, and Montana, joined us in their own Mokoro.

On the way back the polers jeep went ahead of us, over the last few days the water throughout the delta had risen about 8 inches, many of the roads were now completely flooded. As we made a sharp turn Lazy almost rear ended the polers jeep, which was buried about 2 feet into the mud, the differential was sitting on the ground with all four wheels off the ground.

Lazy made a half ass attempt at pulling them out. I am sure with a little help from the guest we could of got them out, but the mud was rather stinky and the Canadians really did not want to get dirty.

Another great dinner.

Day 7 Vumbura Plains Camp and my last day in Botswana!

Today is a bitter sweet day, I will be leaving Botswana not knowing if I will ever return. I decided I would head back to the U.S. there is a few months of skiing left. After that I will decided what to do next.

We slept in until about 8:00 AM then enjoyed a very pleasant morning, the sky was clear with a very pleasant warm breeze. We said our good byes and were off. It would be 30 hours before we are in the United States. This was such a beautiful ending to a 7 year adventure in my little village in Botswana.

From Vumbura Plains Camp we flew to Maun, spent some time in Maun, then flew onto Johannesburg for a 5 hour layover, then 16 hours to JFK.

That is it for now.