Who IS this guy?!

'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

FLATIRON, BITCHES!

I've been an avid hiker in Arizona for a couple of years now, mainly in the Phoenix area and farther south.  I live in Michigan but I travel to the area a couple of times a year on business and when I do, weather, time and travel-companions permitting, I try to make sure there's a free day either at the beginning of the week or the end to hike some of the trails and mountains in the area.  Until last year, most of the stops have been primarily tourist destinations: Seguaro National Park, Shaw Butte, Camelback (both the Echo Canyon and Cholla Trails), Piestewa (aka Squaw Peak) and Piccacho. Those last three will certainly give an out-of-towner good workout, but last March I tried one that even the locals will admit is a fair challenge: The Siphon Draw trail, on the Superstitions Mountains, up to the Flat Iron at Lost Dutchman State Park. It took me four tries, but yesterday, I FINALLY made it to the top.

My first attempt, back in March of 2014, ended when... Well, you can watch the video, or just skip to 8:10.  It ended with some really bad luck:


I have no pictures or video from the second attempt.  Not worth it, as me and my partner that day didn't make it even a third of the way up.  It was ~100° F, so not a good day to attempt this.  Realistically there was no way I/we were making it to the top that day, but I'm happy to say that he said "quit" LONG before I did.  (You can't always be the strongest or the fastest, but you can always be the toughest.)

My third attempt, this past Monday (Feb 16, 2015), started out later than I expected, as my flight out of Detroit was delayed 2 1/2 hours, and had to be aborted as I risked running out of daylightFear makes you weak, but pride makes you stupid. And, being a Liberal, I'm sure everyone can guess which I will choose when faced with either weakness or stupidity:


BTW... Please disregard every statement I make in that video that includes a NUMBER: 1/2 way up, 3 miles, 1000's of people, etc... Pretty much every estimate I make in that video is off, to a truly absurd degree. I know I've made some mistakes here before, but that video is just beyond the pale in that regard.)
But on Friday's attempt, Feb 20, 2015, my fourth, I finally made it to the Flat Iron:


I said earlier that fear makes you weak but pride makes you stupid... Well, there's more to that: Courage is not the absence of fear, it's finding the will to face it.  Wisdom is not knowing all the answers, it knowing when you don't. And strength isn't being able to do everything on your own: It's having the wisdom and courage to ask for help (and accept it) when you need it.  And I didn't make it to the top on my own.  I got a hand right at the end, scaling the last wall before the top, from a very kind (not to mention patient) local.  I shared a lot of laughs and got a lot of encouragement from fellow climbers along the way, including another tourist/hiker who I exchanged fist bumps with every time we passed each other taking a break as we leap-frogged up the trail. (He made it to the top before me, but then waited for me to make it up.) I got some first aid from a woman with a 1st aid kit on her after I cut up my knee.  I managed to return that favor right away: She stood up and then immediately lost her balance and I quickly grabbed her arm, saving her from a nasty fall. 

The people you meet along these trails and hikes are truly some of the friendliest you'll encounter (a very close second only to fellow mountain bikers, in my experience.)  I wouldn't have made it up without them, and I thank each and every one of them for their help, encouragement, companionship along the way, and congratulations at the top. And some heart felt congratulation to that German tourist, who was significantly more afraid of heights than I am: Well, done sir. And good courage! (Thanks also to all of the very helpful trees along the way, always ready and able to lend a helping hand, and a hearty fuck you to all those scumbag cacti that just got in way! Also the rocks. You guys suck too.)

The other thing I kept telling myself: If Dad can face what he's fighting, for a third time now, I can sure as hell can get to the top of this god-damned rock. Well I made it, Dad. And I'm sure you'll pull through as well.

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