Quick Trip Up the Mountain

This afternoon we took advantage of the weird weather we are having in Tucson and the family headed up to the General Hitchcock picnic area on Mount Lemmon.  It’s the stop right before Windy Vista.  It was a beaugeneral-2tiful day and the pines provided just the right amount of shade.  After a bite to eat we went up the Upper Green Mountain Trail.  We just went up to the first vista and turned around, it ended up being about 1.5 miles round trip.  One thing the area did have is a lot of trash.  Water bottle caps and glass everywhere.  Even down the first bit of the trail there were plastic wrappers and food bits that the birds were running off with.  I wish people would keep these areas clean, we all go out to areas like this so we can experience nature and it’s sad when you see two beautiful blue birds fighting over a Cheeto.  I picked up a bit of it but there was just so much everywhere, everyone needs to do their part and leave no trace.

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Moving to Denver!

So… we are moving to Denver!

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I was accepted to an amazing job up there for three years. I am so looking forward to moving too. I have not lived somewhere where it snows on a regular basis in over 11 years, so the family will need thicker jackets.  I am very excited to get to somewhere that has so many outdoor activities to. Just from some quick browsing there are some high altitude passes that you can drive too, lakes and rivers, and more hiking than we can shake a stick at. Once we get there I’d like to get into mountaineering. My time doing search and rescue has left wanting to learn more, collect all the skills! I want to learn high-altitude and ice/snow skills. So if anyone knows any clubs that will help a complete newbie get started please send me the info.

SAR Field Team Leader – Resources

A recent seminar/discussion group about Field Team Leadership was conducted and led to some very good questions.  I’m posting the resources that we used for this, I’m sure there are more so if you know of something go ahead and put it down in the comments… as long as it pertains to SAR operations & the Field Team leader.

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Leadership

Seven Components of NPS Operational Leadership

OODA Loop decision making process

Situational Leadership

Crew Resource Management

Emotional Intelligence: There are several free tests out there but the best resource that I have used personally is the book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0

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Risk Assessment

SAR Tri-fold Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment SPE and GAR

SPERISKASSESSMENTMODEL

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Case Study

Tunnel Creek

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Additional Reading

Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills

Phycology of Search and Rescue

Strength Finder 2.0: Great resource to identify your personal strengths.

Note:  I’m not claiming any of these documents as my own, just collecting them all in one place.  If there are any copyright issues just send me a message.

New Hammock!

One of the most difficult things to plan for is my sleeping situation whether it’s for my 24 hour search and rescue pack or for camping.  I’ve seen more and more people switch over to a full hammock setup for camping and they are light enough to just keep in the SAR pack so I thought I’d give it a try.

Deciding to get a hammock was the easiest part. After that you need to decide if you want to make one yourself, or buy one.  Then there are cinches and whoopie slings and tree straps….then what material… then a tarp…  The best explanation that I found was a series of videos from Shug on YouTube.

After figuring out what I wanted to go with I found recommendations for where to buy from on https://hammockforums.net/ and decided to go with Dutchware Gear.  Almost every set up I saw had something from this guy on there.  I went with a 10′ PolyD with 4′ tree straps, whoopie slings and an adjustable ridgeline.  The customer service was some of the best from any company I’ve dealt with and they answered any questions I had via email within the hour.  When I got the hammock the quality was DWStickerFinalamazing and I was glad I decided to buy my first one rather than make it myself.  I can’t wait to get out and use it for an overnight!

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Foto Friday – 3

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My family and I recently went to San Xavier Del Bac Mission south of Tucson.  There we so many examples of symmetry there but this caught my attention the most.  These beautiful bright colors lined the bottom third of every wall.

https://outsideluke.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/tucson-mission-trip/

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Symmetry.”

Tucson Mission Trip

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Picture-12Recently we went down south of Tucson to visit a couple of missions.  The first destination was the San Xavier Del Bac Mission on the Tohono O’odham Nation.  It was founded in 1692 by Padre Eusebio Kino.  The current building was finished by 1797 and is the oldest European structure in Arizona.  (http://www.sanxaviermission.org/History.html)  The first thing you notice when you pull up to the massive building is the fact that one of the towers is unfinished.  This is due to the fact that buildings that were ‘under construction’ did not have to pay taxes…  The building is incredibly white and almost too bright to look at in the mid-day sun.  When you step inside you begin to appreciate the blazing white outside and it reflects the heat and keeps the insidePicture-8 is very cool.  Most of the restorations have been completed and what you see on the inside is as original as it’s going to get.  The colors are vibrant and the statues are amazingly detailed.  After walking around inside for a bit we ventured into the museum.  It is currently under construction and some of it has been closed off.  There wasn’t much in the way of exhibits or light for that matter.  Further to the east of the building is the gift shop, it is very clean and very affordable.  On the way out we stopped by one of the stands that had Indian fry bread…oh man that was good, both as a bean version and as a cinnamon honey one.

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Picture-30Next we went a bit further south to Tumacácori National Historical Park in Tubac. This is not a functioning church and is run as a national park. The site is well maintained and the museum is astounding. I wasn’t expecting the quality that we saw way out in the middle of nowhere. There was even a statue of Padre Kino, who also founded this mission in 1691 as the Spanish territories expanded north. There are plenty of exhibits on how the building was made and even an example of an O’odham house that was built in 1997. There was even a sweet couple making fresh tortillas for a small donation to the grounds. This is a great day trip for families but try to hit it up before the cool weather disappears; there is a lot of walking outside to visit these sites.

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Foto Friday -2

Im a day late already on only me second week of doing this… not a good start.  I was trying to come up with something for the weekly prompt but just couldn’t muster anything.  So instead I’ll give you these sweet pictures of a Bonneville that is down the street.  The Arizona climate is perfect for making some beautiful artwork of cars.

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 The car was for sale until he saw these pictures and fell in love again. 🙂