Many of you have been asking about Bob. So here is a quick recap of where he’s been, where he’s at, and where he is going.
As most of you know he spent the past few years arranging his affairs to permit him to spend the rest of his life traveling. It became reality last Summer when he tripped around the USA visiting friends, family and places.
He returned home in the Fall spending November and December busy with his annual feed the less fortunate programs. For those of you who don’t know — every year he anonymously provides traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to Abuse Shelters, Homeless Shelters, Disabled Shut-Ins and several other places. This year he was able to provide 5,600 Thanksgiving meals and 7,200 Christmas meals.
FRUIT WINTER FESTIVAL
In December he received word from his Danish friend, Louise, that a group of about 40 people were gathering in Chiang Mai, Thailand for the Fruit Winter Festival in January. Louise is a former TV Journalist. Here is a short video she made about the festival while enjoying the activities.
Besides enjoying the festival and Chiang Mai he did some filming for a documentary he is working on.
From Thailand he went to New Zealand where he hooked up with a friend with a sail boat who took him to Pitcairn Island where he visited for 10 days. Pitcairn is the island where the mutineers from the HMS Bounty ended up (remember Mutiny On The Bounty?). Their descendents populate the island to this day. It is the most remote and least populated country in the world. A 2 mile rock in the middle of the Pacific. The only way to get there is by boat. While there he visited with the people learning about their history and culture. Click Here to visit the website for Pitcairn Island, it’s history and culture. Pretty interesting place, to say the least. Amazingly, they even have Internet service on the Island!
He did a lot of filming while there but still has to edit it. Here is a short video (not his but it gives you an idea of what it is like on a 2 mile rock in the ocean) of getting around on Pitcairn Island on Interstate 1 which traverses the entire country (island).
He also did a lot of scuba diving around Pitcairn Island and the outer islands. You can watch this documentary about the waters around Pitcairn to get a glimpse of what he saw in the Pitcairn waters. WOW! Amazing! Beautiful! Is what flashed through my mind. Except for the sharks!
Check that one off his bucket list of adventures.
After the Pitcairn adventure he got an email from some friends inviting him to join them on an ice climbing trip. So for the rest of February and into March he was in northern Colorado and Idaho ice climbing. If you’re like me, and never heard of ice climbing. Here is a video of ice climbers, to give you an idea. Umh, no! I won’t be doing that anytime soon — if ever!
The group he was with filmed there little adventures up an down the giant icicles but haven’t edited it yet.
EARTH CRUISER TEST DRIVING
In April he started test driving one of these Earth Cruiser vehicles in preparation for the Silk Road expedition he’ll be joining.
He’s driven it to the tip of Baja to test it on rough terrain, deserts and beaches. After that to Death Valley for extreme hot weather testing. Now he is someplace in the northern Rocky mountains testing it for extreme winter weather conditions. He is taking it to the most remote places he can find with extreme conditions — like to places with no roads or even people for 100’s of miles. He said so far he is averaging 900 to 1,000 miles per tank of diesel fuel. But, he’s carrying 4 additional 5 gallon cans of diesel — just in case. As you saw in the video it has 2 water tanks, plus he has another 20 gallons in reserve cans on board. It even has satellite Internet connection. He said as long as he can refuel every 900 miles or so, and find rivers and streams to refill the water tanks, he can go forever in it.
JMT AND MOUNT WHITNEY
He’ll be testing it until late June when he’ll pick up his permits for a solo backpacking trek on the JMT. He has been on the list for the JMT for about 2 years. So, he is excited about finally being able to get the permits.
After he picks up the permits he’ll head back home to prepare for the 240 mile 35-40 day through hike. He’ll be starting on the trail in mid July at Mount Whitney — at 14,496 ft. the highest peak in the continental United States — on through King’s Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park, Ansel Adams Wilderness, and ending in mid August at Yosemite National Park.
So you can experience what he’ll be seeing, here is a video made by his friend Stephan when he made the same hike in August 2014. He did it in 20 days which didn’t allow many rest days. Or just hanging out at cool places. He wished he’d had more time to spend on the trail. So, Bob is planning on 35 to 40 days on the trail so he can spend a few days at enjoyable places on the trails, or just take a few rest days along the way. Stephan didn’t know about duct tape so suffered a lot from blisters on his feet. Bob is taking 2 rolls of duct tape with him in case he gets blisters on his feet, so he won’t suffer the pain Stephan did. Plus, Bob has been an avid hiker and mountaineer for years so it’s doubtful he’ll experience the feet and leg problems Stephan suffered. Cell phone and Internet service is nearly non-existent on the JMT, except at resupply points. He’ll be checking in from each resupply point. Also, he’ll be carrying a satellite GPS emergency alert notification device — in case he needs emergency rescue assistance.
SILK ROAD EXPEDITION
When he returns from his JMT adventure he’ll start preparing for the Silk Road expedition to travel from Xi’an (Chang’an) China 4,000 miles along the Old Silk Road to Rome. He plans to, as much as possible, travel on the original old Silk Road trade routes dating back to about 220 BCE.
For those of you not familiar with the history of the Silk Road here is a link to the Wikipedia article about it — Click Here to read it.
Here is a video of a 12 part documentary series filmed in the 1970s showing the first section of the China end of the old Silk Road. Since viewing the documentary series in the early 1980s, he’s had it on his bucket list of things to do someday. It looks like someday has arrived!
Talk about extremes in terrain, weather and cultures — this has to take the cake! Now you know why he’s test driving the Earth Cruiser vehicle.
That about does it for what he’s been doing. As if that’s not enough. Geez, I don’t know how he does it. I’m half his age and can’t begin to keep up with him! Get this — while he’s been doing all this stuff he’s also working on two documentaries, creating a 67 video tutorial training course, writing 4 new eBooks, and God only knows what else!
What have all you Saigon Kids been doing? Feel free to share with us in the Comments below.