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Starkweather Beer Company

 When I moved back to Madison to attend law school in 1987, we moved to a crappy little apartment near the banks of Starkweather Creek on the unfashionable east side.  Today, the east side is booming, and one of the newer brewpubs is called Starkweather Beer Company. It was Saint Pat's Day.  While Guinness is a decent light-bodied stout, I opted for Starkweather's dry Irish Stout, named "Jamestown Jackdaw." Coming in at 5.9 ABV, it had a malty chewable backbone.  It's a new favorite stout for me.  Julia had Late Winter Haze, a New England IPA that didn't have as much fruitiness as she likes in a hazy.  It was still well-executed. We walked down the street to the Harmony Bar, where Julia enjoyed a complete corn beef and cabbage dinner.  I opted for the Reuben sandwich.  Mine was washed down with an Edmund Fitzgerald porter from Great Lakes Brewing.  Julia enjoyed her Chaos Pattern IPA from 3 Sheeps Brewing.  Both are great beers. Justin update:   After a long h

Inca Trail: The Sun Gate

It was October 1st and our last day on the Inca Trail.  At 4:30 a.m. we received the word to pack up our gear so that the porters could break down camp and head down the mountain.  During the next half hour, we drank coca tea and had a light breakfast of fruit and bread.  Then all of the porters rushed down the mountain with the gear.

Next, most of the tour groups headed down the mountain in the dark with  headlamps on towards the final checkpoint.  We stayed behind at the empty camp for the next hour.  Freddie explained that the final checkpoint didn't open until 6 a.m.  The other groups were going to bunch up in line where there were no views, no bathrooms or places to sit.  So we sat on a rock wall with Freddy and waited for dawn.


It was pleasant enough and a lesson in patience.  About ten minutes to six, we hiked ten minutes and arrived at the checkpoint just as the office opened.  As Freddie predicted, there was a long, standing line of hikers, waiting.  They got in two minutes before us.  Freddy smiled and winked.

Not a race

The trail was mostly flat or gradually descending with one exception:  the Monkey Climb.

Then suddenly we were there:  the Sun Gate overlooking Machu Picchu.

Julia asked me not to post the photo, but she cried tears of joy just before the group shot above.  We made it!


greg said…
A guide can make or break an experience. Sounds like you have one of the good ones.
John said…
We had to the opportunity to observe quite a few other guides. We were very satisfied with Freddy's job performance, and he was a nice guy too.

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