Posted by on Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Filed in: Fun Travel, Kermit Weeks
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Galapagos Trip!

Teresa, Katie and I headed down to the equator for a trip to the Galapagos last summer and had a great time.  I had actually been once before in the seventies when tourism first opened up and was on the first boat ever to give tours.  The government of Ecuador has done a great job leaving everything natural and the birds and animals still aren’t bothered in the least bit by human visitors.

Katie checking out a Galapagos Tortoise in the wild

We got a chance to see the tortoises, fur seals, all sorts of birds, land and marine iguanas, and lots of flora and fauna.  Katie did her first ocean snorkeling and did a great job, even when an eight foot shark swam under us!  She loved swimming with the fur seals.  I bought a T-shirt down there with a statement by Charles Darwin that totally ties in with how I see life and the Fantasy of Flight concept -

“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.

It is the one that is the most adaptable to change!”

If there is one thing I’ve learned in life . . . the only thing consistent in it is change!

Kermit "getting into" the Galapagos experience!

In the long run, the Fantasy of Flight concept is all about taking a step beyond what you perceive yourself to be.  I’m not sure I’ve evolved much but we’ve all got to start somewhere!  In my case, I suppose it’s from the ground up!

Kermit

Reno 2009 b smallI just got the numbers in from my Gee Bee Book sales at the Reno Air Races and I’m really excited.  Last year I sold out of 550 books and this year I sold another 500+ books! 

I wasn’t sure what kind of response I would get because of all the books I sold last year but they kept selling.  There were many new buyers as well as some past buyers that wanted more.  Many of the past buyers came by to tell me how much their kids loved the book and wanted to know when the next one would be out.  I took that as a challenge to try and get the next one published in time for Oshkosh and Reno next year!

This person purchased 10 Books for his family and friends!
This person purchased 10 Books for his family and friends!

 

I have already begun researching and writing the story, which will be called “The Spirit of Lindy!”  Again, it all begins at Fantasy of Flight and you can probably imagine what might happen.  I will be introducing at least two new characters and have a couple of cute ideas that will make it a fun story.  The message in the book has the potential to be more powerful than All of Life is a School. 

The animators I used for the first book just finished about 20% of the latest Disney film, “The Princes and the Frog!”  So, it seems I am working with the best.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Kermit

 

I just got the final results in from my Oshkosh sales.  While I didn’t sell as many Gee Bee Books as last year, I definitely sold more product!  Last year was the first year the book came out and I sold 420, although I did run out of books with three more days left of the Fly-In.  This year I sold 350 Gee Bee Books, as well as, 100 Audio Experience CD’s, and 120 Wizard of Orlampa DVD’s.   EAA rolled out the red carpet for me and gave me my own spot, Kermit’s Corner, in the EAA Wearhouse Merchandise building near Aeroshell Square.

kermit's corner

I introduced two showings of the Wizard of Orlampa in the EAA Museum Theater and got a great response.  When I arrived for my second showing on Thursday morning, the AV guy came out and told me it was the biggest crowd he had seen all week!  All the seats were filled with many people sitting in the aisles!  I also got a chance to read the Gee Bee Book several times at Kid Venture and gave away six Gee Bee Books as prizes.

Handing out three Gee Bee Books after reading to the crowd!

Handing out three Gee Bee Books as prizes after reading to the crowd!

On Thursday night, at the Young Eagles event, I was an auction item and my Vision Tour package including an airplane flight raised $4000!  All in all it was a great trip!

Kermit

I just got back from Alaska and the Iditerod Dog Sled Race.  When I was Heli-skiing with Sean Tucker the week before he got a call from a corporate friend that had some last minute cancellations and got us an invite!  We were wined and dined with great food and great friends and had a great time!

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The first day we got to see the start of the race in downtown Anchorage and I bumped in to Gov. Sarah Palin!  When she was campaigning in Florida she made a campaign stop at Fantasy of Flight compliments of the Republican Party.  I happened to autograph a Gee Bee Book for her son Trig and gave it to one of her helpers to pass on.  After she officially started the Iditerod Race by cutting the ribbon she happened to walk towards me holding a baby.  I asked if it was Trig and she thanked me for the book and introduced me to her husband, who likes to fly.

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Later our group got out to a giant glacier by helicopter.  It’s ice flow ended at a frozen lake at about 700 feet above sea level and continued up to about 6000 feet!  On the flight out, Sean and I couldn’t help but notice all the great Heli-ski opportunities!  We landed on the lake at the end of the glacier and got to explore some ice caves.  It was the first time I had ever been to Alaska and it was certainly the first time I ever had champagne on ice!

Kermit the Musher!

Kermit the Musher!

The next day we jumped into some airplanes on skis and flew out to a great lodge located at the third checkpoint on the 1150 mile race.  The next morning the first racers began to come through to stop to feed their dogs, have them checked, rest up, and head out.  By the end of the day all of the 60+ racers and come and gone and during the day I got a chance to do some snowmobiling as well as trying my hand at being a Musher with a team of eight dogs!  It was great fun but I learned not to try it after the dogs had eaten!

Kermit

blog-shot-heli-ski-11I just got back from my annual Heli-ski trip in Canada.  I’ve been doing this for almost twenty years now and we just had a great week skiing at the Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) Galena lodge.

For some reason when you say Heli-skiing, people somehow think you jump out of a Helicopter and ski down the mountain.  In actuality we just land on top of a peak somewhere with a Guide that knows the mountain using the Helicopter as our ski lift.

CMH has a number of lodges in the Canadian Rockies west of Calgary that cater to our addiction and it’s nothing short of heaven when the snow is great.  With about 25 square miles of ski terrain per lodge, we start with a 5-7 hour bus ride out of Calgary and are then flown in to the lodge by helicopter out in the middle of the Canadian Wilderness.  Once there, we retrain in the use of avalanche beepers, which every one wears, and helicopter safety.  With between 3-4 groups of 11 skiers per lodge, we get to meet, ski, and party with a lot of interesting people from all around the world.

blog-heli-shot-2-downsizedI got my good friend, Sean Tucker, hooked on this many years ago and he has been my ski partner for almost ten years.  Sean is arguably the top male sole airshow performer on the circuit and is currently sponsored by Oracle.

CMH keeps track of how many vertical feet you ski and once you attain “one million vertical feet of skiing” they give you a “free” ski suit!  Of course, I don’t even what to think about what that “free suit” cost me!  I am currently working on my “three million foot suit” and Sean is working on his “two million foot suit.”

Skiing the terrain is nothing short of unbelievable and consists of High Alpine skiing, which is above the tree-line, and tree skiing, which is through the trees on the lower parts of the mountains.  The scenery while Alpine skiing is breath-taking and I believe tree skiing is “the ultimate video game,” as you never know what’s coming around the corner.  Every run is basically fresh powder, every run is different, and it can be demanding at times.

blog-ski-shot-kermit-sean-3I’ve included a couple of shots to give you the feel of this fascinating sport, including a couple with Sean and I sitting on top of the world about ready to become “one with the mountain!”

Kermit

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