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Day 114: 11/15/17 Moab plane ride and highlining: amazing amazing times!

Miles: 0 Steps: 7,055 Vertical gain: 0 feet Liquid consumed: 100 oz. Wildlife: Rabbjt, cattle Faith in Humanity: Karl for the plane ride!!!! Mia for the amazing company and place to stay, Bibi for the ride to check out Highlining! So good today! What an amazing day! Still really riding the high from it! So so so so good! Woke up and chilled on the couch while the busy house prepared breakfast and went to work. Mia and I then hung out and talked, listened to some music and ate some tasty toast. I made a huge mess temporarily while sorting through all of my food. I needed 5 days to be ready to put in Naomi’s car, and 8 days for the walk from Moab to her car. That’s a ton of food and organizing, so I got to work! Karl called and delayed our plane ride for an hour which I was pretty happy about so I could organize and plan more. He and his amazing wife Melinda picked us up at Mia’s house and we were brought to their house which wasn’t really a house at all: they live in an airplane hangar! An RV parked inside a hangar, actually! Right next to their plane which is right next to their own airstrip! Incredibly cool. Steve, the gentleman I met who was with Karl in the 4x4 a few days ago on the trail was also there. The 5 of us got along splendidly and chatted excitedly. Before long, we were hopping in the plane! A 1978 Cessna 4 passenger! I was able to sit shotgun which was really cool. This whole thing was just amazing and surreal! We took off and were within minutes flying literally inside a canyon with walls towering on either side! The next hour and a half or so were so spectacular: canyon after canyon, the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers, so much more! He generally took the route I’d be hiking in the coming days which is really cool, too! Definitely a day of Fly The Parks for me which Id never expected to do. We flew over the needles district and Maze district of Canyonlands National Park which looks absolutely spectacular. Next I got another big surprise: I got to pilot the plane! For probably 10 minutes!!! Ahh, almost had to pinch myself to see if it was real! I took so many photos and videos, hopefully some will turn out! Next we landed and kissed the ground to mark a successful flight. But it wasn’t over! Next we were treated to a lunch of bagels with cream cheese (it wasn’t cream cheese it was something better that I don’t remember what it’s called), tomatoes, roast beef, cheese, and some cookies and fudge for dessert! Freaking fudge! So awesome. We chatted for quite a while then Mia and I were driven back to her place. Thank you so very much for your kindness, I hope our paths cross again. I really enjoy Karl’s outlook on opportunity and living the life you desire through hard work. And Melinda was quite the adventurer herself, onetime building a makeshift raft to drift the Mississippi River for a few months back in the day. Very cool! We were only at Mia’s place for a minute or two to pick up some water and warm layers and were picked up by Bibi to go check out Highlining, one of her favorite activities. What is Highlining, you ask? Walking on a 1 inch wide rope over a several hundred foot drop (with a harness and safety protection, of course)!!! It was a beautiful drive on Mineral Bottom Rd, I believe. A short jaunt to the canyon ledge and we arrived just in time to see someone launch themselves off a cliff on a rope swing that he apparently spent all day rigging up. Looked absolutely insane! I watched in awe as several climbers highlined above the cliffs. There was a rope set up only 2 feet above the ground that I tried, but was absolutely horrible at and decided I didn’t want to get hurt so I stopped rather quickly. It was incredibly inspirational watching the others though. This is definitely added to my list of potential things to do after this trip. I’m absolutely horrible now, but it could be really fun to practice close to the ground and eventually attempt to Highline. It’s really appealing because it’s so safe. The lines are all essentially triple backed up and you’re attached to the line twice as well. Supposedly only one person has died and they were doing something totally ridiculous apparently. So, it’s more of a mental struggle of trusting your gear and overcoming the bodies natural instincts of being terrified to be above a 500 foot drop while bandaging on a one inch wide rope, haha. Anyway, it was really cool to check out Highlining. Thanks so much for the ride Bibi. Also, you’re an amazing person, great to meet you! Back at Mia’s house we had a tasty meal and drank some cheap wine and generally had a great time. I stayed up pretty late talking to one of Mia’s roommates who was really cool as she really questioned and analyzed the things I said. We talked about a huge variety of topics before going to bed. Thanks for chatting! Oh my God, what a day!!!! Meeting a total stranger while hiking and then then taking you on a plane ride a few days later is some of the most magical trail magic I’ve ever received! I’m so lucky and thankful to experience all these great things. Thank you!

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