I was reading this article about the spring-loaded rock climbing protection piece known as a”cam”, and apparently this fellow, Ray Jardine, invented the modern version of something that has totally revolutionized climbing since then. Inventing the cam is something along the same magnitude with inventing the bicycle. It was really that ground-breakingof an accomplishment.
So I was impressed by this, and followed the link at the bottom of the rather limited Wikipedia article on Ray to his “Adventure Homepage”, www.rayjardine.com This guy is completely ridiculous. What he has accomplished in terms of seeking adventure, (which I don’t see as the ultimate goal of life by any means) is almost totally unprecedented. For example, taking 3 years to sail around the world or building your own kayaks which you then use to kayak 960 uninhabited miles in 38 days. He sells different kits for making your own homemade tents, sewing your own backpacks, your own hats, and more. He in a scientist, an engineer, and an inventor as well as a world-class explorer and adventurer. I think that is a really impressive diachotomy of books smarts and brave curiosity.
If you look out his webpage, in a column on the right side, you’ll see accounts of a lot of the things he’s done. I’m just putting this up because I feel like he is an interesting person and wanted to share some things I was looking at and thinking about. Ray reminds me of Uncle Sandy!
Here are a couple of shots from the climb Joe and I did Monday afternoon. The climb is called the Gallatin Tower and is located down Gallatin Canyon as you go towards Yellowstone NP and Big Sky ski resort. It was a great way to spend a relatively warm afternoon in Bozeman. I recognize the beard is getting a little out of hand. I’m going to do someting about that one of these days.
Its been a good week. Busy, but good. On Thursday I went rock climbing at one of the closest local areas, Practice Rock, with Joe and Luke. I had been there before but not since winter had arrived. I was quite proud of myself as I did my first 2 lead climbs using “traditional” protection. (You climb up with the rope trailing you, place protection in the rock, clip yourself to it, and keep climbing ) Leading a climb is more difficult (and scary) than being the 2nd person up. And trad climbing is another level of difficulty above just sport climbing (sport is where there are pre-placed bolts that you the clip the rope to as you climb)
It was a lot of fun and makes me look that much forward to summer where hopefully I’ll become familiar with all the local areas around here. I found out that the class I’m teaching is only 3 days a week. I did a fair amount of climbing when I was going to school in Chapel Hill, and not much since then. It has been a good to return to something I enjoyed so much.
There was also a “Pow Wow” here at MSU this weekend, about a block from my house in the basketball complex. I’d never been to one but I believe they are much more frequent in the western part of the country. It was really interesting, and I could go on for awhile about that as well. However, for the sake of brevity here are a couple of low-quality films shot by my camera and then sent through You Tube to make sure they end up looking extra cruddy.
I recently found out that I will I have a job for the first summer school session here teaching Statistics 216. It is the introductory statistics class and what I’m currently teaching. I really enjoy the material and feel like I’m learning a lot to get to the level where I feel comfortable lecturing on it.
It also pays fairly good money (especially for Bozeman). Hopefully it will be all the work I have to do in the summer. I’m also looking forward to having the opportunity to teach this material again so soon, I feel like it will be easier than if I waited a whole summer. Furthermore, the 1st summer sessions ends on June 29th and school doesn’t start again until August 27th! Now I can make definite plans for the summer.