Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Catching up with New Wendys

It's catching on all over.

This is Hell's Half Acre Canyon, a tight side canyon just off the narrowest part of Aravaipa Canyon in southeastern Arizona. These are all members of the Arizona Backpacking Club who were brave enough to wander into this most wild and wonderful spot with me. A special shout-out to Tiffani, whose BAGP (Big Arse Gorilla Pod) was kind enough to support the photo.
In photo (left to right): Mike Stivers, Me ;), Linda, Mike Eichinger, Tiffani Allen, Sarae Hoff, Carrie Vande Burg, Angela Romain, Anne, Cherie Clements
Aravaipa Canyon, AZ 9-2009

Here I am on another ABC trip, this time to the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon. This is the moment where, after having searched the canyon for nearly an hour fearing I had dropped and lost my camera, I realized it was just in another side pocket. Nothing is quite as relieving as realizing you're just a little bit of an idiot, rather than a huge idiot without a camera!
West Fork Oak Creek, AZ - 8-2009

And now for some awesome submissions from trips I missed:

This is Kat, aka 'Snakemarks', on her first visit to the Chiricahua National Monument. Another hikearizona buddy, she was overwhelmed with the spectacular scenery and amazing rock formations that are found on the Echo Canyon/Wilderness of Rocks hike. I think it looks like she's holding up the whole of the mountain range all on her own!
Kat - Chiricahua National Monument, AZ - 8-2009

Randy sent me this one from his backpacking trip to Mt. Baldy in eastern Arizona. I have a feeling that Baldy's are found in just about every state - sometimes more than one. See a peak with a rocky top and amazing views - call it Baldy. You've got a greater than 50% chance of being right!
Randy - Mt. Baldy Wilderness, AZ - 9-2009

Brian visited Multnomah Falls in Oregon - one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the world. You can just see the jubilation that adventure brings!
Multnomah Falls, OR 8-2009

More crazy backpackers visiting Havasu Falls. Denny (above) and Bob (below) had a great trip - though poor Bob had a photography mishap and wounded his big toe. I guess there's no goin' to the market for that lil' piddie for a while! I certainly appreciate his efforts with the floatie - even if you can read some of the pain in that victory in his face.

Denny and Bob, Havasu Falls, AZ - 9-2009

And last but by no means least, we have what was termed a "premature Wendy" by Tim on his way up to Mazatzal Peak...a tough trail by any account. Sure, it's usually best to throw the pose on top of a peak or in a moment of unique victory. But maybe just being alive, outside and lovin' what you're doin' is victory enough! I definitely give it high marks!

Tim , Mazatzal Peak, AZ - 9-2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Separate Blog Just for Throwin' the Wendy!

This is an experiment that began not to terribly long ago, and is already growing with startling speed! You see, several of my online buddies noticed that when I was really feeling good, on top of my game, or completely victorious, I would do the same photo pose. They began calling it "the Wendy".

Well, when someone pays you a compliment like that, you have only two choices: blush furiously, deny the accusation and hide -or- embrace it with all you've got. I suppose my character sort of made it only one choice, and soon, I was doin' "the Wendy" wherever I went!

Hutch's Pool

Mt. San Jacinto

Manning Camp

Then, a friend shared an inspirational video with me. Seems this guy, Matt, started filming himself doing this silly dance of his all over the world. You can get the whole story at his website, but what it boils down to is that his video became such an internet phenomenon that he started getting paid to travel and make more silly videos. Then, he started to get TONS of emails from people who wanted to dance with him. And so was born the video that I saw:

So suddenly, I thought, hey! I could do the very same thing with 'the Wendy'. Well, sorta the same thing, only without the movie and music part. Or the getting paid part. Life's about more than money, though, right?

Seriously, I already had people sending me photos of themselves doing the Wendy when they hiked and traveled:

Like Angela on the Arizona Trail:

Angela 5-2009

And Shannon with her big sister in Kohler-Andre State Park, Wisconsin:

I LOVE teamwork! They've definitely perfected the way to do it without striking
close friends in the face! - 7-2009

Mike on the Maxwell Trail - 6-2009

How hard could it be, I figured, to find people to do the Wendy WITH me? The pose just screams fun and celebration - and I see so many places that are full of fun-having, celebration ready folks! Determined to make my mark upon the silly internet gimick universe, I decided to go for it. Get EVERYONE to throw a Wendy!

My first attempt was at Antelope Canyon in northern Arizona. This was highly successful due to the fact that it is a) a popular tourist attraction and b) sort of a captive audience. I think half of the folks in this shot didn't even speak enough English to know what was going on- but they had a great time anyway! (Maybe they think 'doing the Wendy' is some sort of new yoga move!)

Antelope Canyon - June 2009

Then I went rappelling at the Practice Wall up on Mt. Lemmon. SO cool! Surviving that was enough to make everyone feel victorious. I particularly like the extra bit of spark the girl on the right gave her pose! There's a girl who's just waiting to find her own signature move...

Mt. Lemmon Practice Wall - Aug. 2009

And I kept getting more entries from those brave enough to try it on their own, some with spectacular results!

Some are more direct in their imitation:

Me at Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Sept. 2009

And Joe Bartels in Salt Creek, also Grand Canyon Sept. 2009. Gotta give the guy credit - he practicaly invented the term "throw a Wendy"...
(at www.hikearizona.com - my favorite online community!)

Then it came to me:

Havasu Falls - Sept. 2009

The whole world needs to see these! And, they need to know about the amazing places that people are celebrating life. This sounds like:

a reason to blog.

Have you thrown a Wendy yet?