Destination: Dominican Republic

A very last minute vacation, Michelle and I are headed to the Dominican Republic this evening on JetBlue 821. We’ll spend tonight in Santo Domingo and then (hopefully) rent a car tomorrow morning to drive inland.

Our intent is to stay in Jarabacoa for Thursday and Friday night. During the day on Friday, we’d like to do something active; this looks like hiking or canyoneering at the moment.

Saturday, we plan to head to the beach for a couple of days. This may mean taking the rental car back to Santo Domingo and a bus to Punta Cana, or keeping the rental car and driving further to Samana and Playa Bonita. Sunday, I’d like to get a few dives in.

On Monday, we’re headed back to Santo Domingo for an evening of music and food, and sightseeing the following day. We fly back to NYC Tuesday evening.

That’s the rough itinerary; changes obviously tk. I don’t plan to have any access to email while I’m down there, so the best way to reach me is by text: (971) 998-5407.

Escape to Maine, Memorial Day weekend edition

To get out of the city for Memorial Day weekend, Albert and I found cheap tickets (~$200/roundtrip) on JetBlue and flew up to Maine to meet up with Will for three days of hiking. It was epic.

Friday consisted of: getting leftover guacamole and chips from a lady at the airport restaurant, a four hour flight delay including a twenty-five airplane wait for the runway, 2 am tortellini pizza at Otto’s, and arriving in Bangor, finally, at 4 am.

After an early wake-up call Saturday morning (noon), Will, Albert, Will’s girlfriend Elyse and I drove to the coast to hike Acadia. It was a cloudy day unfortunately, but the hiking was great. Starting at the top of Cadillac Mountain, we dropped down one side to Jordon Pond and back up a sketchy Class 3 or 4 scramble with non-existent protection. Finishing just as darkness fell, we did about 8 miles and a couple thousand feet of vertical. For dinner and drinks, we went to Geddy’s in Bar Harbor.

Sunday became our gorgeous rest and recuperate day. Albert and I rented mountain bikes (his a Cannondale and mine a $2,500 Santa Cruz) and, with Will and Will’s friend Andrew, rode through Bangor City Forest for a couple of hours. This include water crossings and a leech. Afterwards, we drove to 4 Points BBQ for an early, incredibly filling dinner. I had spare ribs and beef brisket, heavy on the Kansas City BBQ sauce.

For Memorial Day, our big goal was the summit of Mount Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain and one end of the Appalachian Trail. Waking up at 3 am to snag a parking slot (there ended up being plenty), we started hiking around 7 am, scrambled thousands of feet up Abol Slide, and summited just after 10 am. It was a lot windier than the forecast said. We took Hunt’s Trail, another popular route, for our never ending sketchy scramble down the mountain. I got back at 2 pm, Albert at 2:30 pm and Will and Andrew at 2:45 pm. In total, Katahdin was about 9 miles in length and around four thousand of elevation gain.

Three days of awesome.