swimming

Return to Fossil Creek Spring

I know I say this every time, but it's always true! This event has to be one of my favorites. We crammed 9 people into two cars and met up with 3 more at the trailhead. The hike down was filled with the usual mingling and sharing stories until we reached the waterfall almost two hours later.

To my relief, the water was much warmer than it was at Wet Beaver Creek last weekend. We jumped from the waterfall, swam into caves and through underwater tunnels. Joval, who has been to the last three events, brought a 90-foot slackline with him. He had the genius idea to set it up across the stream and hang our hammocks from it. Yeah... :D

I ran into a friend down there and met another guy who does what I do; we swapped info to combine forces on a future event! Even though I forgot my chest harness, goggles and scratched the shit out of my knuckles swimming out of the toilet bowl, the trip was still a total success! Until next time!!!

An Accidental Birthday Celebration

I didn't realize that I had planned this event on my birthday until it was too late - which was fine because I don't think I would have wanted to do anything else. Nearly 20 people showed up before it was all done, one whose birthday was the day after mine! Once again, they were all amazingly cheerful and interesting: real adventurers; they are the kind of people I've spent the last year searching for. Many of them will be leaving Arizona within the next few months, while others have only just arrived.

Rock climbers, outdoor enthusiasts, college students, world travelers and more gathered bright and early. Most of us had never met, but it's hard to NOT along with these kinds of people. The group condensed into fewer cars, then left the heat and population of Phoenix for cooler air and adventure. I spent the 2+ hour drive getting to know the 4 others in my car, then the 3+ mile hike doing the same as a group.

We spent most of the day jumping in, freezing, warming up, and repeating the process. I led a short little hike up the canopied stream, we relaxed, ate snacks and eventually hiked back. I'm pretty sure everyone left with a little sunburn and a great memory. :)

Our lives intersect in such curious ways. I don't believe in destiny or fate, but that doesn't make the process any less magical; if anything, it is only more fascinating.

I'm super excited for this week's trip to Fossil Springs and even more cliff jumping! Until next time, cheers.

Fossil Creek: Biggest Meetup Yet!

The Meetup group is becoming more successful than I expected. Seven people attended the second event I posted there - which is about the number of new people I met after posting events on the Facebook page for an entire year. I think we can call that a success. I don't have a clue what this means for the future, but I'm ready to enjoy the ride!

Fossil Creek Waterfall (Trail) was the second event posted on Meetup; eleven people (and three dogs) showed up for a gorgeous day of cliff diving in great company. It was awesome to meet so many cool new people. Driving home, I told Andrew, "I don't think there was a single person that wasn't just cool as fuck." That group set the bar pretty high for future events, but I'm excited to see where things go from here.

I'll probably go to Fossil Creek again this year - despite the permit system that goes live in May, but if you would like to plan your own trip, check out my guide.

The first 7 months of my new life and "Max Level Adventures"

The list that began it all.
The list that began it all.

It's been just over 7 months since I started the Facebook group. Holy shit. When I started the group on January 31st, I had tons of ideas! It only took two months to do things I thought it would take me a year to accomplish. I went skydiving, bungee jumping in California, explored Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon (pictured), competed in an obstacle course, and biked/hiked in places I'd never been before. Running out of ideas began to seem like a very real possibility, but it never happened. The ideas weren't always specific, but they didn't have to be. All I had to do was decide what activity I wanted to do and pick a location. Cliff jumping? Let's check out Fossil Creek. Hiking? Let's check out Flat Iron, Biking? Let's check out Sedona.

Many of my ideas came from word of mouth. I would tell someone about my adventures and they'd say, "oh, man, have you heard of ______?!" And most of the time, my answer was "no" or "yeah, but I haven't been there." They'd tell me enough to pique my interest and I'd add it to the list.

The solution was pretty simple; I just started planning adventures for myself.

As time passed, I realized I had become a little *too* inclusive. I found myself planning too many events for people that would cut trips short because they didn't take it seriously or came underprepared. Or they would bail entirely. It took me a while to make the change because I didn't want to exclude certain people for the behavior of others. The solution was pretty simple; I just started planning adventures for myself. Then it didn't matter if anyone showed up because I still got to do what I wanted.

I suspected that being more selfish and exclusive would result in reduced interest - and it did to an extent. The number of sign-ups decreased, but the turn-outs remained about the same. In hindsight I realize that I was creating more serious followers while reducing the source of my stress. I had solved my problem just by relentlessly pursuing my passion - which is what I had set out to do all along.

It cost me a few old hobbies and friendships to get here, but those sacrifices taught me the difference between happiness and complacency. I've never been more excited about my future.