The three mature ladies, our amateur private-eye trio, donning their glamarous red & purple hats are all over the world looking for young Benjamin Mazhari! Red Hatters Society’s Moscow Chapter is mysteriously super creative to help smuggle the young man back to the States, safely to his father. But does the plan work?? You’ll find this new and explosive ending only on the last page-and-last line!! Just released on Amazon Kindle e-books. Down loads are free for Prime.
NOTE #1: Our next volcano climb is May 15-19, back to the Haleakala Summit @10,023 ft. (Maui) This time (our second time) our route will be in reverse taking the Skyline Trail, down the crater first and back up 4 miles to the Summit. NOTE #2: Mysterious Lady M. of St. Lucia is ready to be formatted then edited and will be on Amazon Kindle early June. Thank you for your comments.
A successful climb:
Our guide Martin led our climb up 2 hours up and 2 hours down, one tough climb. First half is through dry scrub and dense jungle with peekaboo glimpses of the town of Soufriere & glittering Caribbean Sea. 2nd half is when REALITY HITS; no longer a trail but climbs around the volcanic spire on rocky steps constructed with some tree branch railings/steps through giant elephant ear plants, mango and coconut trees, all the way up. The shorter sister Petite Piton (3 miles apart) seemed dwarfed from our vantage point. Note #1: The Pitons are World National Heritage sites. Note#2: The raw material in the works for my next e-book is a plot set in St. Lucia and with twists of insurance fraud, offshore money laundering webbed around a mysterious Lady M. Note#3: Frankly, after the sleepless night before due to Friday’s JUMP-UP all-night street party under our Soufriere hotel room, it’s quite an achievement to be even standing upright here!
At the peak teasing the shorter sibling Petite Piton.
Above: Hey,Petite Piton! We’re up here. Below: A post climb cool-off with the help of our water taxi crew, Randall & Son.
They are two old giant volcanic spires…frozen in time…Our target on Feb.2nd is Gros Piton @ 2619ft above Caribbean Sea with our guide Charkar. A day of rest then Charkar will guide us up the highest peak of St. Lucia Island, the sleeping volcano Mount Gimie @ 3130 ft. The rear chambers of my brain already has a drafted plot for my e-book for this climb. No titles, no spoiler alert yet!
This popular alpine lake greets you, frozen solid, perched on a 5100 ft. ridge above Stevens Pass. but the best views await after an additional 150 ft. ascent to the ‘Rock Garden’ with impressive car size boulders with sand dune like snow formations in between. Temps today were 15-20F. Descended back down to the lake for our day-old pizza snacks, cookies & hot tea. Cheers!
One more volcano climb is off the bucket list!! Mauna Loa (sister of Mauna Kea @ 13,800ft)) is registered as the most massive mountain in the world, albeit some 200ft lower than its sister. Its caldera rim lays proudly flat @13,100. We trekked the Observatory Trail, although it isn’t a trail, just a climbers’ route, generously marked with lava cairns. Nov. 30th we started @6.15 before day-break for the 8 mile trek, down by 2.30pm, just beating the predicted storm. Imagine a barren surface for miles with dazzling shiny lava lobes, tubes, and flats, some twisted & braided lava layers, lots of scree and pumice rocks all around. No fauna, no flora and NO other hikers. Mauna Loa’s caldera is much more immense than Fuji, or El Teide or Mount St. Helen’s. It measures approximately 10 miles around. NOTE #1: My most recent e-book Murder on the High Rockies is now out on Amazon. Feel free to review it. NOTE#2: With all things remaining aligned, our next (2) scheduled climbs are on the island of St.Lucia, Gros Piton and Mount Gimmie, Jan.30 & Feb.2nd.
Mauna Loa Caldera 13,100 foot summit-35dgrs. 25+mph with gusts.
Embracing or resting???
Guide, Steve celebrating.
The ultimate loo [toilet] with spectacular view is a few feet to the left.
Above picture is 6000 level of the trail through the brilliant larches…. And below is the entire Entiat Range (from left) Seven-finger Jack, Mt. Maude (with white top) Ice Box Peak and Spectacle Buttes extending to the far right.
Carne Mt. @ 7085ft summit [pronounced as Carn] rewarded us with its spectacular Larch trees, sunny 50-ish temps which made the 6.5 hour-climb well worth it. But…I will refrain from lambasting the road condition of the last 2.5 mile stretch, which is Phelps Creek trail head road and that part was practically a car-killer.