Posts Tagged ‘Jefferson’

Produced by Cameron McKirdy

If you follow Survival Bros, then you know I just got back from St. Louis. I had too much fun there. Now, it’s back to the grind, and making videos. The short video above is what it’s like to be inside the beautiful Gateway Arch. The ticket to the observation deck is $7. The pods that took us to the top are tiny. They uncomfortably sit five. It took 4 minutes to float up via elevator. From the peak of the arch I had a spectacular view of all St. Louis. It’s a fascinating, and lively town, especially if you enjoy baseball, beer, and BBQ. But the arch was the highlight of my trip.

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By Cameron McKirdy

And I’m off. My friend Amy and I ditched foggy, freezing Oregon for the colder landscapes of Missouri. I will be back in four days.

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I packed light. I only have a crammed carry on. My bag has wheels, but I refused to use them, at first. I didn’t want to be one of those people, carting stuff around. Too late. I look funny. At Portland International Airport I had my first run in with the TSA. Yay! I opted out of the naked body scanners. They are the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. They have “submit” written all over them. I could only stare at the sheep going through the radiation chamber. Arms up, feet wide. Sadly, nobody saw my junk yesterday. I went through the metal detector, with my hands out of my pockets. But I got busted by a TSA officer. With a very serious face on, he asked me to step out of the herd. I forgot to take a metal credit card style multitool out of my wallet. Oops. I was spanked. He took it, saying that the edge was a blade. It’s not. It’s a dull can opener. There goes $3. I could have shipped it to myself for only $11. I put my Jordan’s on and went to my terminal. Then I spotted Rogue. We had breakfast there, with beer. Apparently you’re required to drink before boarding. Rogue was out of the Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon beer, so I made my own brew, dipping bacon in my IPA. Dank.

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I flew at 10:30am. We were late taking off, because the flight crew flooded the plane filling up on water for the sinks, and drinks. They said they had to make sure the electrical systems didn’t get damaged! Great. I played Tetris to Salt Lake City, where I caught another Airbus. I still have the Tetris theme song stuck in my head. While waiting, I charged my IPhone 4S via USB at a station. That’s where I found a cool, pink, clip-on USB 4GB thumb drive. I can’t wait to see what’s on it. Soon we boarded for St. Louis. It’s a 3 hour flight. That’s where I’m at now. Running on 4 hours of sleep, downing mini pretzels, watching the First Class passengers getting pampered.

I have no idea what’s next, but we are going big. Doing touristy things. I’m pumped to try a few eating challenges around St. Louis. I’m starting one at a Pizza joint called Crazy Beaver Pizza Lodge. I hope I don’t pop. Fear not, I’m a Professional Eater. True. I was ranked 45th on Earth, and I’m still the best eater in OR. I think I will do a pulled pork sandwich challenge, and maybe attempt to drink 5 real milkshakes in 30 minutes. Bring it.

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Attempting a deep dish pizza eating challenge at Crazy Beaver Pizza Lodge in Grafton, Illinois.
Today was wild. It started with a chocolate chip apple cannoli and coffee. Then we went sight seeing. First, my tour guide Sara took us to an old Confederate jail site called Alton Prison. It’s always good to brush up on history, and pay some respect. The place is allegedly haunted, so we didn’t stay long. Next we visited a memorial of the world’s tallest man. Robert Wadlow was 8 ft 11.1 inches tall! I sat in a bronze of his giant chair and was dwarfed. That was cool to experience. His pituitary gland kept producing human growth hormone, so he never stopped expanding.

With that in mind we devoted the day to eating and drinking for glory. It was the 13th annual Fast Eddie’s Day. I had only heard the legend of this badass landmark. The bar was bigger than expected. My crew and I got in early, and placed our orders. As you can see from the picture of the kitchen, the grub is a bargain for sure. I had a half pound cheeseburger with onions, and steak with green peppers on a stick named the Big Elwood. I also scarfed shrimp, and sipped Blue Moon. I would have eaten more, but I was preparing, and saving room for a pizza eating challenge going down hours later.

In Grafton Illinois we ran up a bill at the Crazy Beaver Pizza Lodge. I tried fried pickles, fresh mozzarella sticks, and delicious deep-fried ravioli! While this was going down, my massive 5.5 pound deep dish Chicago style pizza was baking to perfection. I thought I could eat it all, but failed. It was the darkest moment of my life. I need counseling. I want to go back, hungrier. The cozy Crazy Beaver had ridiculously amazing finger food. After fighting off a food coma I watched Ted. It’s funny.

Today was unforgettable. Tomorrow is near. I’m going to peep the St. Louis arch, and explore downtown. Stay tuned. Peace.

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Wow. What a few daze. I’ve been treated like a king by my tour guides, and eating like one. Yesterday, we checked out a river museum, drove around St. Louis, and stopped every few minutes for another course. The highlight of the day was going up into the famous arch. I was impressed by the simple beauty of the design. The pod elevator system to get to the top is clever. It’s kind of like riding an indoor ferris wheel. I had fun snapping pictures, video, and creating the panorama seen above. Going inside the arch was a rush. I felt like making love in it, but had no takers. Just a couple that wanted to film. I was kidding folks. I did score in the gift shop though, getting a flattened penny for my brother and I. There’s also the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial inside. http://www.nps.gov/jeff/index.htm Right when I walked in a robotic William Clark started talking to me about the importance of silver trade dollars. I know robot, real money is where it’s at. Ecola State Park even had an exhibit. That’s towards the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail in Cannon Beach, OR. Ecola is the recreation area I featured in my video about staying at the Hiker’s Cabins on Tillamook Head. I read a couple of the explorer’s journal entries from that Oregon Beach. Like me, they ate elk meat to survive.

Today we are touring AnheuserBusch. I’d also like to find a local coin shop for some silver of my own. We’re gonna explore more of the downtown area, and then hit the airport. I’ve had a blast. My guides have been amazing. Soon I will be back in Oregon, hustling. I’m planning to produce more HD videos, from product reviews, to hiking adventures. Thanks for following Survival Bros.

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(Survival Bros)
We did it. My dad and I drove from Redmond OR into the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, and backpacked to Pamelia Lake. Here’s what I know.

The hike in was unforgettable. The trail ran along a creek most of the way. We got there late afternoon, but the thick forest sheltered us from the Sun. The trail to the lake is perfect. A little rocky, but easy. There’s campsites all along Pamelia Lake. We scouted around and found flat ground near the water. There weren’t mosquitos earlier, but they are buzzing now. Where’s all the dragonflies to regulate?

I’d take a picture of our loaner two-person tent, but it doesn’t look right. It must be missing some rods. I have to get a one-person tent. How am I supposed to get a good nights rest with an old man snoring in my face?

There’s several water sources within earshot. I’m going to fill up the bottles, and my hydration pack later. My Dad’s been boiling his water, and using an Aquamira filter attached to his hydration pack, courtesy of Survival Bros. I don’t want to wait for my water to cool down, so I’m using Aquamira tablets, or drinking it straight from the source. I packed in aloe vera juice, coconut water, and yerba mate too.

Tomorrow we go hard, and pack light as we trek 16 miles in a big loop. We’ll take Hunt’s Creek Trail up to The Pacific Crest Trail. I’m wearing Nike ACG boots VS my Vibrams, because we will be plowing through some snow fields. That’s where a few people got lost just yesterday. It’s not well marked, and the hiker’s footprints melt. However, we have the map I’m holding, an internal compass, and a good gut feeling.

There’s all sorts of wildlife here. Ducks, snakes, beatles, bears, frogs, and birds. There’s millions of skinny trees reaching. They are so thick, it’s mind boggling. Pamelia Lake is a gem. You’re missing a ferocious sunset, as pictured below. This is one of the nicest lakes I’ve ever stayed at. It’s certainly the most private. Minus the bugs. My friends.

My advice, make sure to travel in front of people with gas! My dad has been blowing up the trail. Sorry, butt payback is gonna be brutal. Really, you can’t avoid my dad’s gas. The wind are always changing.

The forecast for tomorrow calls for more odor. We just split a freeze dried Mountain House Beef Stew. Dad described it as kinda chewy. True. Still, nothing satisfies like a warm meal. In the morning we carb load on granola and oatmeal.

There’s an ounce of daylight left. My bed is made. I like my new regular sized, Kelty self-inflating sleeping mat. It’s good when your in a small area for a short time. I can’t wait to take my boots off and lay down. We just found out were NOT in a designated camping site, but it’s too late to move tonight. Maybe we’ll relocate tomorrow.

(Day 2 on lake)
We just got back to camp on Pamelia Lake. We left around 8:30 am, and it’s now almost 6:30. What a day! Both my Dad and I set personal bests, going 16 plus miles on foot. I set the pace. When we took breaks I stretched, so I don’t think I will be very sore in the morning.

Approximately 300 people backpack the full Pacific Crest Trail each year. Most brave enough to attempt the feat give up. This hike is no joke. We did just a small part, but I got a great sense of what it would take to go all the way. We met three hikers set on going the distance. They were friendly, and took the time to answer my dads million questions, and compare maps. Props to anyone hard enough to do the full PCT, from Mexico to Canada. It takes months, not counting all the preparations.

To get from the lake to PCT we took Hunt’s Creek Trail. It was overgrown, and wet. The climb was intense, but we took breaks to grub, fill up our water containers, and explore. I ate mostly fruit bars, nuts, seeds, and turkey jerky. Thank God for Starbucks instant coffee.

I took lots of great photos today. We passed maybe a dozen lakes around Mount Jefferson. On the way I got caught in countless spider webs. I ended up with a fair amount of bites, maybe 25, but I didn’t have to resort to Deet thankfully. I’d defiantly hike the PCT again. I can’t wait to show the bros this spot. I want to party up where all the crystal clear lakes are. Nobody’s around! There is still patches of snow in some areas, but I used it to cool off. I kept rubbing the icy snow into my hair, and even laid on it once. Dad thought I was crazy. Duh.

I just jumped in Pamelia Lake for the first time! Refreshing. It’s so cold though. I would have skinny dipped, but we have a neighbor tonight. Now I’m laying down after making another Mountain House meal. This time I toured Italy, and scarfed lasagna with meat. It was way better than the beef stew.

Dad wants to build a fire tonight. Sounds like a lot of work, and it’s still warm outside, but it’s been a few months since I’ve built one. I’m game. We may hike more of the PCT tomorrow, but this is our last night on the lake. I’m also planning on mountain biking the nearby McKenzie River Trail. It’s one of Oregon’s finest. Another update from our road trip coming pronto! Peace peeps.

Cameron McKirdy

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