Tag Archives: Grand Teton

Feliz Navidad. Jackson Hole. Movember. Huh?


Saturday, Movember 12th at approximately 7:06am I was rudely awakened by the somewhat annoying yet joyful sound of my 4yr old singing “Feliz Navidad”. My first thought was… “WOW! my 4yr old not only speaks Spanish… he sings it too! bien hecho a mi hijo!”. My 2nd and less impressive thought… “It’s Movember 12th! Can we PLEASE get through Thanksgiving first?”. My 3rd and utterly random mind-boggling contemplation… “Who invented liquid soap and why?”.

Entrance to Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming USA

In case you’re curious… William Shepphard first patented liquid soap on August 22, 1865. In 1980, the Minnetonka Corporation introduced the first modern liquid soap called SOFT SOAP brand liquid soap. Minnetonka cornered the liquid soap market by buying up the entire supply of the plastic pumps needed for the liquid soap dispensers. In 1987, the Colgate Company acquired the liquid soap business from Minnetonka. Good God! That’s some Alex Tribec share on a first date only if you don’t want a 2nd date type Jeopardy knowledge right there folks! All nice and free from our friends at About.com.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming USA

Watching my 4yr old’s excitement as he recited Jose Feliciano in Spanglish (that’s part Spanish… part English – he’s FOUR), I came to the inevitable conclusion that like it or not… Christmas is only 6 weeks away, and will be here before we know it. Thanksgiving; however, is only 2 weeks away from us stuffing our faces with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pie pie pie and more pie. Celebrated on the fourth Thursday in Movember, it’s been an annual tradition since 1863. Unless you live in Malawi, Czech Republic, Bhutan, or England. Then, it’s just Thursday, Movember 24th.

I look forward to Thanksgiving every year, because it truly is an opportunity to reflect on everything I am thankful for in my life. My wife, kids, family, friends, health (well… sorta), roof over my head, and a nice job. No, this blog is not my job. Just an opportunity to bore the 7 of you who actually read my blog to death with my MUREMindless Useless Random Entertainment.

Elk Ranch Flats - Wyoming, USA

My friends… What would an Austin GlobeTrekker blog be without me complaining about my favorite subject… the WEATHER? I know we survived an insufferable 80+ days over 100F in 2011 for one of the hottest summers EVER here in Texas; BUT… it was 82F in Austin, Texas today. I think that’s my #1 problem with preparing my mind for The Holidays. It’s hard to think of Thanksgiving, turkey, Christmas trees, mistletoe, hot chocolate by the fireplace, and Frosty the Snowman when it’s 82F outside in Movember.

cross country skiing anyone? Mount Moran - Teton Range

Where are the seasons? Northeast USA. Iceland. Switzerland. Bavarian Alps. That’s where. Not here in Texas! I think that’s why we try to take vacations to cooler locations. Because we know for a fact that we will get plenty of heat in Texas to last us for the majority of the calendar year. Plus, it’s nice to go somewhere that has seasons.

The JACKSON HOLE Project - view from Cunningham's Cabin - May 2008
Oxbow Bend - Grand Teton National Park, WY USA
Willow Flats - May 2011 - Wyoming, USA

Which leads me to today. I was listening to someone discuss the three main subatomic particles of an atom and the positions of these particles within the atom and what electric charge they carry, when I found myself drifting out of the conversation to May 2008. In reality, it was just the girl at the Starbucks asking me “whip… or no whip?”; but, she might as well have been talking Physics, because in my mind… I was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

South Jenny Lake - Grand Teton National Park, WY USA
Jenny Lake - Grand Teton National Park, WY USA

It was already heating up in Austin, Texas. Surprise surprise, so May 11-17, 2008 my wife Anna and I decided to take a much needed vacation to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, U.S.A. We utilized the trip to celebrate our 2nd year anniversary (May 15th). Granted, we wholeheartedly thrive on visiting foreign lands, learning about the history of various places, and enjoy engulfing ourselves within different cultures; but, since we’ve traveled all over the world, we thought… Why not stay on U.S. soil and travel within our own country for once?

Buffalo Crossing! Gross Ventre Road - Jackson Hole, WY
Eagle at Oxbow Bend - Grand Teton National Park, WY
What you lookin' at Willis?
Moose on Moose Wilson Road - Grand Teton National Park
SLOW DOWN! Wildlife on Road

We honestly did not know what to expect from our trip to Wyoming; however, we read in “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” that Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park are a MUST SEE in the United States. I am happy to report that we were definitely not disappointed. Seasons my friends! SEASONS! Winter Spring Summer Fall!

Old Faithful Geyser - Yellowstone National Park, WY USA
Cascade Canyon - Grand Tetons - May 2008
Grand Teton - May 2008 - Wyoming, USA

If the great outdoors, nature, wild life, pristine clean fresh air, mountains and beautiful rivers aren’t your kinda thing… then this is NOT the place for you. Even though in mid-May, I’m not sure it was supposed to be snowing 6-12 inches of fresh snow, Wyoming was an absolute delight for us. A spectacular experience we like to call… the JACKSON HOLE project.

 

Since it’s now Movember, it’s not too difficult to think back to our time in Jackson Hole and find yourself in the Christmas spirit. What’s wrong with my spell check? Why do I keep typing Movember instead of November? Who invented liquid soap and why? What IS Movember? Allow me to jump on my soapbox. See… it all comes back to William Shepphard again!

Movember 2011 - JCooke (aka Austin GlobeTrekker) http://mobro.co/heycameron

Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men’s health in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. We are proud to join the battle against cancer by growing Mo’s in support of “changing the face of men’s health”. Right now, I’m rockin’ a killa MO, so… PLEASE support my crazy ass MO growin’ efforts by making a DONATION at http://mobro.co/heycameron. You can also check my progress throughout the month of Movember on the Team Hey Cameron! Mo’ Page.

Austin GlobeTrekker - Wyoming USA - May 2008

Still not convinced? Here’s some MO info. Get it? MO info. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ok, that’s enough. But seriously…

The Movember Effect: Awareness & Education, Survivorship, Research
The funds raised in the US support prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. The funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Together, the three channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.

For more information on the programs we are funding please visit the following:
Prostate Cancer Foundation
LIVESTRONG, The Lance Armstrong Foundation
Awareness & Education
Global Action Plan

Feliz Navidad and Happy Thanksgiving my friends! CHEERS!

Sunset @ Antelope Flats - Jackson Hole, WY USA

 TRAVEL | EXPLORE | DREAM | DISCOVER

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The Everest thing…


“Two asthmatics are on a mountain…” It almost sounds like the beginning of a bad joke you’d hear in an English pub, or down at Ginny’s Little Longhorn – one of my favorite dive bars right here in Austin, Texas. But, that’s how TRAVEL starts out… Right? Storytelling. Reading a blog (like this… hopefully), spotting an exotic location in a magazine, seeing some beautiful backdrop in a movie, talking to somebody about their vacation, watching a TV show that inspires you to seek life’s adventures – The Amazing Race, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Dhani Tackles the Globe, or my personal travel inspiration – Globe Trekker w/Ian Wright and Megan McCormick  (Pilot Company). No matter what the medium… Find your Everest thing…

Oxbow Bend
Oxbow Bend - Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming USA

I’m an enthusiastic fool when it comes to TRAVEL. Add a sucker who is willing to be a partner in crime and help me push beyond my physical limitations as an asthmatic, and you’ve got my fellow asthmatic buddy Nickerson. We were working together for a large technical corporation named after the owner. No… there’s no Mr. Google, Mrs. Apple, or Sir Facebook, so you’ll figure it out (if you don’t already know). He moved from Chicago to Texas, then realized that wasn’t a drastic enough culture shock for him, so he and his wife moved to Singapore. He even found time to start up his own TRAVEL company – Beyond Travel. After what seems like 5 or more years, they’re are moving back to Texas in June 2011. As a proud Texan (more specifically… Austinite), I understand; however, I’m incredibly annoyed with myself for never making the trek East to visit them and explore Asia (one of the continents I MUST see!).

Sunset - Gulfo de Papagayo - Guanacaste, Costa Rica

The Everest thing… So, how did the conversation start? I don’t remember. Wait… sure I do. I was running my mouth on Facebook, because my wife was away on business in Costa Rica. LOVE that place! Spent a week there for our honeymoon up in Guanacaste, Costa Rica – Gulfo de Papagayo (May 2006). That has absolutely nothing to do with this story. Anyway, I was looking after my sons (Cameron and Jordan). A little adventure I like to call… KIDWATCH 2011. Somewhere between Day 3 and Day 9, I finally lost all rationale and sanity and blurted out that the 17mo old was conspiring with the 3.5yr old, and swore the cat was in on it. It led me to this now famous statement…. “I think I might move to Nepal and train with the Sherpas. Everest 2020 baby! Who’s in?”

The rest of the exchange went something like this…

  • Mark NickersonCount me in! Trying to find time to get out to Kathmandu this spring

    February 25 at 9:43am ·
  • Jason CookeCrazy or not… I’m really serious about Everest. If I get this bronchiothermoplasty surgery for my lungs this year (or next) then I want to set a goal to reach Everest Base Camp @ 17,000ft before I turn 50 in 2020. Nickerson… let’s do it! Going to test myself in Bavarian / Austrian Alps (Austria/Germany) and Julian Alps (Slovenia) this May.

    February 25 at 9:56am ·
  • Mark NickersonI also have a goal of getting to base camp! Yea we WILL do this! Two asthmatic old wheezing fools risking an embolism just to go sit halfway up a mountain. Sounds about right!

    February 25 at 10:00am ·

Nickerson has it all planned out for 2020 (or sooner so it seems). In his words, the biggest expense is the flights – getting to/from Beijing. From there, taking the train down through Xi’an and on to Lhasa in Tibet. The nice thing about the train is that you start off at sea level and at its highest point reach about 16,600 feet above sea level. The journey takes about 3 days. Should help with altitude adjustments necessary for the trip. From Lhasa, we would then want to fly to Kathmandu, then hire a truck to drive us BACK to Lhasa; but, with stops along the way at monasteries, and of course, Everest Base Camp (17,000ft).  Factoring in time for sightseeing in China, Tibet and Nepal, plus, the fact you have to apply for special overland permits in Kathmandu (which takes a couple of days) and the transit time itself, the estimate is a solid two weeks round trip from Beijing to Beijing. Then he finished up his statements by saying “much jealous of your trip to Slovenia. I’ve been wanting to get there for donkeys ages. See you guys soon!”. Really? Really? See… Nickerson inspires me! You never know who you will meet that could change your life… for the better.

The Lone Star Flag
TEXAS! The Lone Star Flag - OX Ranch

In reality, that’s what this blog is all about. TRAVEL| EXPLORE | DREAM | DISCOVER. Sharing stories, meeting crazy cool and interesting people, building relationships, and in the process… hopefully learning a thing (or two) about the world we live in and the amazing cultures that make up this smorgasbord /ˈsmôrgəsˌbôrd/ we call Planet Earth. It’s a fascinating place! We’ve sent people to the moon… Doesn’t it only seem fair we discover a bit more of what’s in front, behind, next to, and all around us?

Join the Conversation! What’s your “Everest thing…”?