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What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 3, 2011

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Photo of Alaina Shelton

“We drove the Alpine Loop in Colorado. You have to have a Jeep to do it.”

Photo of Tim Kuhlman

“Backpacking in Colorado. We climbed a 14er.”

Photo of Taylor Fulton

“I went hang gliding once in the Tennessee mountains.”

Photo of Jeremy Scott

“When I was little we found a boat and rode it up and down the creek. That was pretty adventurous. We were about 9.”


pure_republication 6 years, 9 months ago

I rebuilt the oil fields in Iraq from May 2003 until Sept 2006.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm glad you made it back!

I'm sure there were some bad scenes over there.

Pitt_Mackeson 6 years, 9 months ago

I got the newspaper off the porch this morning. I'm taking great strides.

Pitt_Mackeson 6 years, 9 months ago

But seriously, the most adventurous trip I've ever taken was when me and my Boy Scout buddies went on a High Adventure up to the Boundary Waters in upper Minnesota. Canoed 100 miles in six days. Didn't see a single moose though........ but on one portage our guide caught the scent of a bear (he somehow knew how they smelled?..) anyway that was one hell of a time. I'm old now.

John Spencer 6 years, 9 months ago

Scuba diving in the Great Barrier reef.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

The most adventurous thing I've ever done is totally shocking. I still can't believe I did it! And the people that know me can hardly believe I did it either.

I didn't used to have a fear of flying, but I was placed in a few very dangerous situations in a small single engine airplane. The exact model was a Cessna 210, and any aviation expert that reads this will realize these were incredibly dangerous situations.

Leaving out the details of exactly how the pilot did it, we ended up hearing a crackling sound coming from all over the airplane. The pilot suddenly became very serious, and announced that we were going to take a very gentle trip back to the airport and land. Instead of his usual jovial manner, he was very attentive to the empty sky in front of us. I thought the airplane was on fire, and it certainly did sound like it.

After a while, the other passenger asked the pilot what that crackling sound was. The answer was: "We stressed the structure. It makes that sound when it returns to its previous shape."

What? The wings and the whole airplane is "returning to its previous shape"? I was terrified.

Another time we were flying at night, and suddenly the pilot looked back and forth at the wings, and looked alarmed. He shook the stick, and the airplane didn't rock at all! There was only one explanation that I could think of, and that was that all the control cables had broken, and we were going to die. But no, it was just that the wings were covered with ice, and we were just about to fall out of the sky. That's the flight characteristics of the Cessna 210. We got permission from ATC to drop from 11,000 feet to 9,000 feet, then the ice melted, and so we lived.

Then later, same night flight, the engine started skipping beats. The Cessna 210 is a single engine airplane and so engine problems are a serious matter. That means you better start looking for a place to land, head towards it, and plan to be in a glider real soon. Instead, the pilot kept on flying, the engine kept skipping beats, and it went on for a very long time, because a nonstop flight from Lawrence, Kansas to Binghamton, New York is a very long flight in a Cessna 210. Totally against FAA regulations, because that leaves you with less than 20 minutes of reserve fuel when you get there.

But it was a "have to get there tonight" situation, and that was the pilot's idea. Later I learned that the engine was skipping beats because one of the two magnetos had failed. It was under an FAA recall, and it was illegal to fly with one of them out of operation. But we lived, and made it to Binghamton.

That's where my phobia of flying came from. I had a bit of a problem with PTSD over some of that, and ended up in the hospital in the middle of the night one time.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

That leaves out a lot of the real scares. But, there is that length problem.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 9 months ago

Same pilot? Same Cessna 210? Sounds like it. And the pilot sounds like a complete assh*le who should have lost his license.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

Yes, same pilot. But quite a while later he was employed by a man I know to co-pilot a double engine airplane, but I don't remember the exact model.

I heard second hand that he had changed in a very dramatic way in the years following those events.

He was very insistent that every flying rule in the book be strictly adhered to. Apparently an event had occurred that scared even him.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

Well, this is getting long! So, on to the most adventurous thing I’ve ever done. I was driving in the Mojave Desert in California, and there was a big sign that informed me that I could stop here and have a ride in an ultralight aircraft. I knew the statistics about ultralight aircraft, and they're not good, especially the two passenger ones. But I slammed on the brakes anyway! I had to do it!

I was confident and brave and told them about all the flying lessons I had taken, and they wrote down all my identification and who to call if I died. Then I had to sign about 15 documents that stated I was aware of the risk and was going to do it anyway. Then, a witness to me signing all the documents had to sign them all also. After that, they would have no liability for my death at all.

I could go on and on about all the details, but the gist of it is that I completely lost all my bravado when we barely made it over the top of the big saguaro cactus at the end of the runway. After that, it was pure terror.

That happened in 1997, and I have never been in an airplane since.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

I'll keep you in mind in case I ever need a favor!

(Would you still do me a favor even though we're not total strangers?)

kernal 6 years, 9 months ago

I take it that means you're going to foster one of the LHS dogs for five days while they fix the floors in the shelter?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into.

But maybe that would be kind of fun if I got along well with the dog. I usually do with dogs though.

But someone is going to have to talk the management into it, and that might be a serious problem. The dog would have to be housebroken, very well trained and behaved, very little barking, none at all in the night, and it cannot weigh more than 50 pounds. Otherwise, it's out of here and directly to the pound. That's the management's rules here, no exceptions.

Someone would have to come up with the $50 pet deposit and I don't know if if it's refundable, maybe it's just a fee. It might be higher by now, I'd have to check with the management. And, the $50 deposit was for a cat, which I was considering some time ago. I never checked to see what it is for a dog. It might be higher.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

One of those unplanned pregnancies, huh?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

I had to much radio at King Radio to ever consider radio again!

I scribbled that out in the middle of the night, you can tell by the time stamp. What doesn't show is that I was sehr betrunken.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe I should have kept down to this:

I took a job with a company that did aircraft flight testing. I didn't understand what that really meant.

As part of my job, I was a passenger in a small airplane that was doing stress testing maneuvers, and I didn't realize what was going to happen. So, I was surprised when the airplane wings were overstressed and developed structural problems.

The airplane just about broke into pieces, then we and all the pieces would have fallen 10,000 feet into Clinton Lake. We had to do the stress testing over Clinton Lake because there was a serious risk of that happening, so we could not do it over any populated areas. No one told me that before the airplane took off.

A couple months later on a company trip at night, the wings iced up. After a while, the pilot noticed that he had completely lost control of the airplane. Then, just moments before we fell to earth and crashed, we got permission to descend to a lower altitude. Then the ice melted.

Then, the engine just about quit and it sputtered along for a few hours the rest of the way to New York because we had to get there. The pilot didn't tell me he knew the engine was just about to konk out the whole way there.

Two days later, the airplane was not flyable, because it wasn't possible to get the engine to start again. The engine problem had been serious, and we had flown hundreds of miles at night that way. The engine was repaired in New York.

Then the airplane got bumped in the hanger and wasn't flyable again because of that. The tail had to be replaced.

As a result of all that, I had an episode of PTSD, and ended up in the hospital in the middle of the night.

After all that, I developed a phobia of flying.

Yes, that is much shorter and clearer. I understand that now that I'm sober.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 9 months ago

OK. As I wrote earlier (before reading this), the pilot WAS an asshole. And he should have lost his license. There's "stress testing" and then there's sheer stupidity. That asshle screwed up your life. No excuse for that. No excuse whatsoever.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

Can't argue.

And I can say that now because he's not my boss anymore!

William McCauley 6 years, 9 months ago

Ok, that "rest of the story"...... stress testing? where was your bail out rig if there was such a good chance of a structural fail.... Hmmmm ya might not want fly with that guy much unless your prepared to exit the aircraft in flight.... please do so before it spins....

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

Odeo & thuja:

I had to laugh out loud at the two of you. I got a private message from someone that just loved the original version of the story!

RoeDapple 6 years, 9 months ago

"Most adventurous?" Sorry, that info is not up for discussion . . . (caint talk boutit)

RoeDapple 6 years, 9 months ago

Although I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

6 years, 9 months ago

My most adventurous was at 20 yrs old to go live in Germany for 3 yrs and had a second daughter that was born over there.

Armored_One 6 years, 9 months ago

pretended I was an illegal immigrant and tried voting for someone other than Brownback...

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

That's a scary thought!

How did you summon up the courage to do it?

independent_rebel 6 years, 9 months ago

Yet the school board makes kids who live by Holcom Park but go to that school near Taco John's on 23rd Street walk across both 23rd St and Iowa St. I've seen too many near misses! Bus those kids!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

Hunting prairie squid with a bean-shooter.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

'Live mice in noodles' shuts Chinese takeaway Friday, 3 December 2010

A Chinese takeaway was ordered to shut down after two live mice were found in a box of noodles.

Environmental health inspectors found the rodents in a gnawed box of dried noodles in the store room of the Dragon Palace Chinese Takeaway on London Road in Westcliff, Southend, Essex.

They also found mice droppings "throughout the premises" and two dead mice on the floor, a spokesman for Southend Council said.

Clipped from:

Note: That happened in Great Britain, so no one should get worried!

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

Years ago I knew someone who had a rather interesting story about Jim Nabors also.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, that's a good test, and it's free. There's a few other things they check for too.

But after Paris Hilton,,,

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

There's a 3,000 character limit in here, so he'll have to section it.

But Bill Gates gave us a scroll wheel for a reason, and that's in case someone think's it's not interesting!

RoeDapple 6 years, 9 months ago

Shooting golfballs on the sandbar carries a certain amount of risk . . .

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Spending nearly 4 months on our honeymoon in the states without a personal motorized vehicle.

  1. Left Tulsa,Okla on bicycles in September heading to California

  2. About 300 miles later, a wife with aching knees and a few nights camping we stuck our thumbs out with a sign that said Albuquerque. After turning away a few here comes a college dude heading back to Univ of New Mexico. Put our bikes in the back of his pick-up panniers,tent and all. Arrived in Albuquerque just before nightfall.... what a deal.

  3. After 3 weeks bicycling Albuquerque,visiting friends,eating damn good food off we went to the train depot. Boxed up the bikes,got on the train,enjoyed the club car the next thing you know we are in LA in the middle of an Art Fair. Loaded up the bikes,headed for the bike trail on the ocean and got a nights sleep over yummy steamed vegetables.

  4. Next day hit the bike trail looking for a Youth Hostel. Instead a cyclist caught up to us then invited us to his Mom's place who fixed a wonderful meal and put us up for the night. On the way out the door she loaded donated some jars of multivitamins.... she was a Shaklee distributor and her son had recently biked around the perimeter of the USA. Sooner or later we found a Youth Hostel in the LA area and stayed about 3 weeks.

4.Off we went heading to San Diego and found another Youth Hostel. Celebrated Halloween and Christmas in San Diego. During that period we assisted a sail boat person to Cabo San Lucas where we pitched a tent and stayed two weeks or so. Hitched a ride back to San Diego with an LA cop to get back to the bikes we had stored at the Youth Hostel.

  1. Before long we had hitched up with a young lady who had bike rack on the top pf the car that would carry 3 bikes. Off to the east coast to visit in laws and celebrate New Years. Along the way we found ourselves in the Sonoran Desert at sunrise = breath taking. Spent a few days in New Orleans then the young lady dropped us off at the inlaws in Monkton,Md ... kind of a Baltimore in the country burb. After hangin with the inlaws for about a week we put the bikes on a train and began working our way back to Tulsa.

Most all of our experiences were spontaneous reactions of the moment. We had no idea we would gone that long. Being without a car for that long was a unique experiment. BTW the San Diego Wild Animal Park was awesome.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

That sounds like a great adventure!

And for sure, the San Deigo Zoo is wonderful, I went there many times when I was stationed there. It's claimed to be the best zoo in the world, and I believe it.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 9 months ago

I ate some tacos in Nogales once. Then I spotted the chihuahua breeder down the street. It gave me pause...

kernal 6 years, 9 months ago

Never ever eat the food in Nogales unless you've drunk a bottle of Pepto Bismol every day for three days before you go there. At least that's what we use to do. But then all of those tequila worms we ate may have helped kill off any live critters in the food.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 9 months ago

Lol, Gandalf! And speaking of paws, the groundhogs are holding a CritterFest in my barnette. Tunneled under the shelving, they did, and slung all kinds of dirt up against the entry door. I just saw one of the big nose bastids in the yard. If he heads for the new perennial garden, we gonna tussle. That'll be a grand adventure right there.

RoeDapple 6 years, 9 months ago

Have put the pinch on 5 moles this season. Just when I think I'm done the hills rise again . .

When they set off the trap you can hear their little screams . . .

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

I've gone skydiving a few times. Great fun, and not the wimpy tandem jump either. I'm talking jumping out on my own, with others who held straps at my side, but I wasn't connected to them. I pulled my own ripcord and landed all on my own. One time was from above 14,000 ft, which meant 60 seconds of freefall. It was a warm day and when I opened my chute it proved to be a little too big. I kept catching hot air pockets that kept me afloat for what seemed forever. It was amazing. That was by far the best time.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

I've heard skydiving is wonderful, but I don't think I could ever do it. The first problem would be to get me into the airplane at all!

There is a "skydiving" adventure you can have without actually jumping out of an airplane. The machine has an enormous fan that blows the air upwards that is covered by a screen. You get above the fan and then you glide around the air, just as though you are falling from a great height. You can keep on doing it as long as you want.

The description of it sounded great, that's one I would do!

Scott Overfield 6 years, 9 months ago

Signed in at the AT&T store as Juan Valdez.

riverdrifter 6 years, 9 months ago

I, too did the sky diving thing when I was young. 1299 jumps. The best was when I passed through a swarm of honey bees. What the heck were they doing at 7,000 feet?

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

Too chicken to make it 1300, huh? : )

1299 jumps is pretty awesome. I can see how people would want to make it a full-time hobby.

riverdrifter 6 years, 9 months ago

I don't believe in superstition because I believe it brings bad luck. :( Broke a bone in my foot on 1298, did one more and went to the Dr. who told me not to jump for 8 months. By then, I'd moved on to the next big thing: a bass boat. So, I'm stuck on 1299 forever.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

Eating C-ration spaghetti and meatballs whilst keeping the godless commies on their side of the border in what was then West and East Germany. The spaghetti sauce was such a wildly unnatural color that I'd generally wait until after dark to eat it so I wouldn't have to look at it while shoveling it down.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

That's a comical way to let them know you don't want the job!

Or, were you trying to get a job as a comedian?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

I think there is a good chance of finding some there. They do have security guards, and they can't all be stupid.

blindrabbit 6 years, 9 months ago

gandalf: Likewise had a swim call above the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench (35,814 feet deep and deepest place in ocean) in 1964 while on USS Haleakala (AE-25). Captain steered around just to make sure he located the deepest location. Kind of spooky knowing you have almost 7 miles of water beneath you. Put whale boat overboard with M-1 gunner to ward off any shark and sea snakes.

Rae Hudspeth 6 years, 9 months ago

I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

Other than that, I found out that driving the Hana Highway at night is pretty adventurous. Stopping is even scarier. Never been in such pitch black dark before.

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

I was 30 years old (30 years ago) and had a son who was about 1 year old. I started a business. Two years later the twins came along and I started another business. 10 years later, with a pair of 10 year olds and a 13 year old.....I started another one.

I risked my health (both mental and physical), my marriage, and my money on starting businesses. Today, my kids are grown, my marriage is still intact, and I am semiretired.

Today, life is good. 20 years ago life was hard. Today I teach school because I loved my work, and I loved my kids. Today my kids (students) and my work are almost the same thing. I'm glad I took the risks. It was worth it.

pace 6 years, 9 months ago

I got married a couple of times and had kids. That was much more adventurous than when I hitchhiked 150,000 miles when I was young or faced down an armed robber. Maybe the most dangerous thing a woman can do is say "I do".

Liberty275 6 years, 9 months ago

Not exciting, but cool none the less was being introduced to and speaking with James Rosenquist at the opening of an art exhibition in Tampa.

some_random_person 6 years, 9 months ago

Spearfishing and scuba diving with no prior training. At least I was smart enough to take a dive knife with me.

Sandra Ward 6 years, 9 months ago

When I was about 15 years old, my mother and little brother and I went to see some relatives in Provincetown, Massachusetts. We got into a small plane at the Boston airport. There was a woman sitting next to the pilot, and in back of everyone, there was a small boy with the luggage piled all around him. The pilot didn't get the front passenger's door closed all the way, and while we were in the air it flew open. She grabbed it, which resulted in her shoulder being dislocated. The next thing we knew, we were looking down at the ocean, sideways. The plane had rotated and we were just staring into the waves. The pilot, completely calm, got us back to the airport. The woman got out and went to the hospital. Everyone else stayed in the plane. It was at this point, just before the second take off, that we heard a small voice asking someone for help. It was the little boy in the back! The luggage had fallen all over him and if he hadn't been able to speak nobody would even have remembered he was there. I don't know where his parents were, but he didn't belong to anyone on that plane.....(Oh those days when FAA regulations didn't mean anything.....forgot to mention that my little brother and I were seat belted in together and that the plane was seriously overloaded!)

Sandra Ward 6 years, 9 months ago

By the way, did the indoor skydiving thing in Holland. Awesome experience! You get five jumps of one minute each, with an experienced skydiving instructor there to assist you and teach you tricks you can do. You basically just step through a doorway and then try to control how the wind bats you around. There is someone at the wind velocity control, so they can help you. And, they make a video of the entire session, so that you can appreciate how crazy you looked trying to do things!

Sheryl Wiggins 6 years, 9 months ago

just last week I tried to cross the street at Oxford Circus in London at rush hour and mostly inebriated.

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