Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Duane Godfrey – New Zealand

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

When we exchange contact info at ski schools or competitions, pledging to meet again, I am very fortunate being able to travel and visit fellow skiers.

My recent trips to NZ were highlighted through spending time with Kathy and Roger Duxfield. These two are the ultimate hosts/tour guides and we had a wonderful time experiencing this beautiful country. Every day was a complete pleasure and full of two things I love – exercise and seeing new things.

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On my first arrival in early Dec, I hiked for a few days then got hold of Kathy and met her and her son Jaydn at their ski lake – the Piarere Waterski Club. We both did a bit of skiing and earned my first NZ waterski federation badge. It is a very interesting site and we enjoyed just cruising around the Lake while Kathy gave us a guided tour of location and showed us around the club where they hold their tournaments.

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Later in Jan after my daughter’s wedding in Tauranga, we drove down to Putaruru and spent a few days with Kathy and Roger. Roger is jack of all trades and master of all – has lived an exciting life and could keep us entertained with his ongoing adventures and misadventures through his travels and endeavors all around the world. Early the first morn we took in the twice daily milking of approx 250 cows while Roger explained all that goes into ensuring quality control through a computerized system – all brand new to this city slicker. We went into town that afternoon to drop off a couple bicycles for repair then walked around town while Kathy saw a chiropractor about her neck injury – pretty unfortunate and we will all hope she recovers soon.

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Kathy and Roger were busy planning day trips and they almost got us way up island for some scuba diving. The tanks were sold out so we opted to stay down south for a hike along the Terawera trail with Kathy’s healthy and fit parents. The hike has you follow the river downstream and it literally disappears down a few holes; you can hear and feel it rumbling after it vanishes. About 1/2 Km later it reappears blasting out of a mountain face.

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The water is a beautiful blue and forms quiet pools with a deceptively strong current in the middle. There I totally skinned my knuckle to the bone with an unsuccessful Tarzan rope entry into one of the pools. (This was preceded by bruised face and back from perfect 3/4 gainer and splendid 1 and 1/4 back flip layout from a cliff at Mclaren Falls…I defy anyone to duplicate this feat!)

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On our last day, Kathy drove with us to the Waitomo caves and got us a great deal on a tour of the caves famous for the glowworms. We departed north bound in two vehicles and stopped in the visit Peter and Teresa Old who have turned a quarry into a world class ski lake. Again, typical NZ hospitality while enjoying the company and scenery from the deck of their lakehouse. Peter ran me down the lake a few times behind his Sanger with SFH.

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To top off the trip I rocketed down his 100m waterslide, thinking as surfaced in the lake “gee the water is really itchy”!  That itch was two elbows totally skinned in my not have sense to keep my arms tucked in as I approached terminal velocity. A quick coating of polysporin and off we raced for AKL and the trip home. Numerous reapplications of polysporin over the next month gave a nice reminder of how much fun we had…and look forward to more, though forewarned of proper bobsled technique and maybe brushing up on vine swinging and the high divin’ act.

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Twas a great trip. Many thanks to the Duxfields and this sport of barefoot skiing that attracts quality folk and creates friendship with like minded people from all over the world.

– By Duane Godfrey

 

Jim Forster: My Travel Destinations

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

As the tournament season winds down, for most of us, our focus turns to work and/or school. We still continue to ski, but as Fall is upon us and Winter approaches, the weather and cooler temperatures reduce the opportunity to ski. I would like to share with you some of my recent travel experiences, since I’m not sure how many of you get the opportunity to travel to other countries. I am very fortunate that my chosen profession affords me to travel all over the world, as I just returned from a 15 day trip to South America and Africa. I left Brownsville, TX. the night of September 16 ( this was a technical stop for fuel and to swap crews, as the trip originated in Oakland, CA. ) and flew to Rio de Janiero, Brazil, a 9 1/2 hour flight, where we spent 2 nights. Then it was off to Windhoek, Namibia on the continent of Africa, a 7 hour flight and the weather over the South Atlantic was absolutely beautiful! Not many aircraft cross that far south, but it was a smooth flight. Namibia used to be called Southwest Africa and gained its independence from South Africa in 1990. It’s a progressive country and fairly modern, having been settled by the Germans and their influence was seen everywhere. My crew and I booked several game safaris and spent the next 6 days exploring the wildlife on some of the largest private game reserves in the world. All the big game animals of Africa were seen and the scenery was spectacular! I actually got within 2 feet of a female cheetah, as they are pretty calm compared to the other big cats.


Th
en it was on to Maun, in the northwest part of Botswana,  a short flight, only 50 minutes. but Botswana was a big change from Namibia. Here we were in the ‘bush’, as this was in the Okavango Delta, a part of Africa that all the animals come to water and feed themselves. It was very hot, about 100 degrees and there are several game parks that are protected from hunting and poaching. We spent 5 days there and took a safari in to the Moremi National Park and really saw the animals in the wild and up close. Elephants, giraffe, lions, hippos, water buffalo, zebras just to name a few. They truly are magnificent animals up close and in their natural habitat, no bars or fences to keep them in, it made me appreciate just how much that they need to be protected. We then took a boat tour through the delta, and it was very much like being in the Everglades. tall grass and water for miles. That’s were I came in close contact with a large group of elephants and at times, was as close as 20 feet! We probably saw about 200 elephants that day, pretty amazing. There were stretches of glass, calm water and all I could think of was how much that I’d love to ski on it. But there’s no skiing there as the water is full of hippos and crocodiles :-(. Oh well, I can still dream about it though.


I really enjoyed my time in Namibia and Botswana, but everything must come to and end and it was off to London, an 11 hour 48 minute flight. Here, we took on an extra pilot as we require 3 pilots for flights over 10 hours. We landed about 10 PM and spent 2 nights there. The weather was noticeably cooler, about 68 degrees and we stayed at the Parklane Hilton, right across the street from Hyde Park. I always enjoy the hustle and bustle of downtown London and my stay was too short. The next morning, we took off and flew the final leg home to Oakland, another long flight of 10 hours 30 minutes. Our route of flight took us far north to 78 degrees Latitude, which is above the center of Greenland, before turning back to the southwest over the Artic Control areas of Canada and into the Pacific Northwest, finally landing in Oakland. What a trip! It was for me, a trip of a lifetime and don’t know when I’ll go back again. So when you’re wondering what to do with your spare time or a vacation, remember, the possibilities are endless, don’t be afraid to go out there and see the World!

Jim Forster

Being a Tourist in PA, for a Day!

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

We played tourist!

Our first stop Hershey, PA.  Mmmm the smell of the chocolate was mouthwatering.  We went on a tour through Chocolate World and learned about the entire

process of making the Hershey chocolate bar.  After the tour we walked through the store with walls of candy, it was spectacular.  On our way out of

town we waved goodbye to Hershey Kiss street lights.

Kisses Street Lights

Visiting Hershey PA

Not to far a drive and we visited the city of Landcaster and then onto the Amish Villages.  The tour informed of of the Amish way of life as we toured

through an old house.  It is a simple way of life that is extremely home and family oriented.  It’s a nice refresher to realize you can be perfectly

happy with family and the bare neccesities.  Life doesn’t have to be complicated like we make it out to be a good majority of the time.  Keep life

simple, be happy!

Amish Boy

Valley Forge National Park is located near the clinic site of our next tour stop.  We jumped on our bikes and headed for the trail, half way across the

parking lot we heard a loud PPPSSSSSSSSSTTTTTT noise.  Keith’s bike had a flat tire.  We decided to run walk the park, it was nice to see all the

history and get a workout at the same time.  We are truely thankful for all those who have fought and are fighting for our FREEDOM! God Bless them all!

The Barefooting Across AmericaTour Begins

Monday, May 16th, 2011

The tour begins!  5/15

Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman are off!  First stop Port St. Lucie, FL at the PGA tourney.  A great start to the tour Keith St. Onge tricked a potential world record of 13,100!  This is the first time 13,000 points has been reached in history. Woo hoo! After the tournament we loaded up the RV and headed north to Valdosta, Georgia.  The Cargile family was welcoming and allowed us set up on their property for the night. It was peaceful and a beautiful area full of lakes and open land.

Hitting the road early this time in search for a church.   Our navigation system brought up a church within one mile down HWY 75 so we pulled off.  We met a nice young woman and we asked her what time the service was., “Sunday school starts in two minutes.” She said.  Ummm, “What about the service?” We questioned.  Isn’t Sunday school for teenagers and younger?  She replied, “No, this is Sunday school for grown ups.”  We told her we had never been to a Sunday school for grown ups but we were willing to give it a try!  The church was in Lenox, GA and we had a great time and learned a lot from the deacon (Chad) that put on the Sunday school.

We would like to thank Chad for sending us this email and keeping us in their prayers for safe travels.  Thank you so much for welcoming us into your church. Here is what we received from the Church we visited:

“Keith & Lauren,

Hey ! I just wanted to let you guys know how much we enjoyed your stopping by for Sunday School today at Lenox Baptist Church ! It was a pleasure meeting you both and please stop by on your way back through. I pray for safe travels and good luck with everything you all have going on with your barefootin clinics!

In Christ,

Chad Sumner
Lenox Baptist Church”

The billboards along the way are entertaining feet follow us everywhere! Traveling from Valdosta to Atlanta we are hoping to meet up with some friends in Atlanta.  Followed by grocery shopping at Whole Foods in Marrietta, GA in search of Coconut Bliss and other healthy products!

It has been a blessing having my fiancé Lauren with me.  She drives the bus when I get tired and fuels me up with food when need be.  It has been interesting watching her drive this beast though!  A 34ft. motor home keeps you working the whole time while driving.  If it’s windy you feel it, when a trucker passes you it pushes you over and when you drive by a larger vehicle you feel the wind off it and you once again feel the wheel challenge you.  We are approaching Atlanta right now and I can tell Lauren is getting much more relaxed driving the Anytime Fitness Tour bus…phewwwww…I can relax a bit, but must take over the helm in the big cities.