Jim Dorsey # 1081 has long been associated with remote travel in Asia and Africa.
Tonight for a change of pace you will not go on a particular trip or to a specific place.
This will be a journey around the world to see just how different such things as housing, transportation, communication, and daily life in general, is from our cushy existence in an industrial nation.
We will leave the beaten path on a journey that will be quite unlike anything you will see in America.
Ladies Night -
Mike Smith & Rick Flores
The Amazing Underwater Photography of Dr. Mike Smith
Dr. Michael Smith has lived a very exciting and adventurous life.
He is a graduate of the United States Navy School of Sea Diving and the Navy School of Submarine Medicine.
He served on nuclear powered fleet ballistic missile submarines in the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
He was involved in testing of British submarine escape apparatus.
He has since 1955 been a military and civilian diver (scuba, hardhat, and mixed gas).
He also worked with NASA in 1963 testing the Apollo Astronauts restraint mechanisms on their giant human centrifuge.
Mike joined the Los Angeles Adventurers’ Club in 1997 and was its president in 2002.
He trained with the American Alpine Institute of the Sierra Club and the Palisades School of Mountaineering.
He is also trained in mountain wilderness medicine.
He has had mountain climbing adventures in the Tetons, Sierras, Cascades, Andes and the Himalayas.
His hobbies have included snow skiing, surfing, windsailing, white water kayaking and hot air ballooning.
He owned his own one-man submarine for many years that could dive to a depth of 400 feet.
He used this submarine at one point to search for a wrecked illegal drug transport plane.
His first love (after his wife Elsa) has always been the ocean and the creatures that occupy its depths.
He has been collecting seashells ever since he was a child growing up in North Carolina.
He has since that time compiled an extraordinary collection of exotic and rare shells.
He scuba dived for many years with a rotating group of friends on some of the most lush coral reefs in the entire world.
He has had diving adventures in the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, the Philippines, the Coco’s Island and the Red Sea.
On these trips Mike photographed the creatures that inhabited these remote coral reefs and visited many wrecks from World War II.
Mike’s is an accomplished professional grade photographer and he captured many amazing images on film.
These images have not been presented at the club for over 8 years.
Mike began preparing his final presentation for the Adventurers’ Club about four years ago but unfortunately due to his ongoing medical problems,
he has lapses in memory and has difficulty communicating, he was never able to complete this presentation.
Mike Smith and Rick Flores
Ricardo Flores joined the adventurers Club in 2006.
Since that time he has given numerous presentations about hiking, traveling and nature photography at the club.
He became friends with Mike Smith when he noticed that Mike had attended all of his presentations and always afterward offered enthusiastic praise.
The admiration became mutual when Rick visited Mike Smith’s house for the first time while they were planning a hiking adventure in the San Jacinto Mountains.
While there he saw Mike’s amazing underwater photographs for the first time and recognized Mike as a kindred spirit.
He knew at that moment that he would eventually help Mike complete his presentation.
In an unusual agreement between the two friends Rick will be narrating a presentation of Mike’s incredible life and photographs.
Steve Lawson, a club member and the current president of the Southern California Wreck Divers, will also be assisting in the presentation.
Steve accompanied Mike on his adventure searching for the sunken drug transport plane with the one-man submarine.
If you are an older member of the club you are familiar with Mike’s work and
will not want to miss what may well be the final chance to see Mike’s amazing photographs at the club.
If you are unfamiliar with Mike’s life and work you are in for a rare treat and
will not want to miss this chance to acquaint yourself with this great adventurer and one of the very best photographers the club has to offer.
Ladies Night -
Danny Thompson Resurrecting the World’s Fastest Hot Rod
Racing is full of unfinished business.
For Mickey Thompson, the famed driver and innovator, it was breaking the piston driven world land speed record.
He came achingly close in 1960 with the Challenger I, but broke down on the return run.
He struck back in 1968 with the Challenger II, but was foiled by a rainstorm which turned the track at the Bonneville Salt Flats into a lake.
On the 50th anniversary of his father’s original 406mph run, Danny removed the Challenger II from storage and brought it to his Huntington Beach shop.
Untouched for more than 40 years, he began the extensive process of restoring, retrofitting, and updating the vehicle.
Danny wants to lay his father's business to rest.
For him, that means using the Challenger II, a vehicle that hasn’t run since 1968, to break a world land speed record.
When the Challenger II was originally constructed in 1968, Sports Illustrated declared it "a rolling textbook in sophisticated automotive design."
Decades later, observers of its brief practice runs remained convinced that it was the fastest naturally aspirated vehicle ever built.
As we restore the liner, it"s outward appearance will remain largely unchanged.
Certain modifications must be made to comply with modern safety standards
(we can no longer, for instance, deploy the parachutes by blasting off a section of the rear wing with compressed air),
but we are using the same chassis, the same aerodynamics, and the same hand-formed aluminum skin.
Step by step, Danny Thompson has maintained and expanded his family’s celebrated history in motor sports.
He began his career in Motocross, winning his first eighteen consecutive events,
before switching to cars and progressing through the Formula Atlantic Series, Supervees, and CRA Sprint Cars.
He won the opening night of the Mickey Thompson Off-Road Grand Prix, and continued performing as a Chevrolet factory driver for the next seven seasons.
After a decade of retirement, Danny came to Bonneville for the first time in 2002 and subsequently became a world record holder in multiple classes.
He gained further notoriety in 2007 for building and piloting the world’s fastest Ford Mustang in partnership with Hajek Racing.
TJ Korst - Horsing Around in Mongolia to Solo Kayaking the Mekong
From Horsing Around in Mongolia to Solo Kayaking the Mekong
Tales Taken From these Last Five Years
Ma Pang and TJ Korst Long Necked Woman in Northern Thailand
A believer in life-long learning, in 2010 TJ was thumbing through the course catalogue of a local community college,
when he hit upon a subject he knew little about: horseology.
He signed up, bought some boots, and after a few hours in the saddle, flew to Mongolia to equitrek through the alpine wilderness,
and see what else he could learn.
His solo adventure, encompassing the "10 best days" of his life on his horse Max, confirmed his long-held sentiments:
Life is better lived on the road.
Kayaking the Moei River, the Border Between Myanmar and Thailand
Come and listen to TJ’s tales of a few distant places and his ensuing endeavors:
camping the Great Wall, delving into Kung Fu at its birthplace - Shaolin Temple, practicing Vipassana meditation, filming a cooking show in Myanmar,
running a hotel in Thailand, celebrating New Year's at the headquarters of the Karen National Union, and his longest trip to date:
a two-month adventure solo kayaking the southern Mekong river, from Savannakhet, Laos, to Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
A foodie, TJ, is the producer and videographer of World of Cooking,
a series of shows that spotlights how ordinary people around the globe prepare meals for their families in their own kitchens.
On this trip, among his production locales were a yurt in Mongolia, a house at the base of the Great Wall,
and a bamboo hut in a Karen refugee camp in northern Thailand.
He is currently seeking sponsors for post-production work on these episodes.
Putting Lateen Sail on the Kayak
TJ, 55, is the kind of person who would rather spend one year in 20 different countries than 20 years in one country.
The former offers a calendar full of days more likely to be gilded in novelty, unique cultural perspectives, and self-insight,
all of which undergird his credo of life-long learning.
He takes a broad view of the word "adventure," finding it in both the large and small aspects of life.
In addition to traveling to about 65 countries, he has lived in Germany for 15 years, Japan for seven, and Thailand for four.
Tsaatan Boy in front of His Home in Northern Mongolia
Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet
Monk at Shaolin Temple, China
Sailing the Mekong River
Taking Transport to Take-Out Point on Salween River, Northern Thailand
Cindy Abbot Summit of Mt. Everest May 23, 2010 Photo Credit: Scott Woolums
At the age of 48, and with almost no mountaineering experience, Cindy Abbott decides to climb Mt. Everest.
A few months after that fateful decision, she becomes functionally blind in one eye and is subsequently diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis,
a rare, incurable and life-threatening disease.
Thirty million Americans have rare diseases and before her climb Cindy became an advocate to raise rare disease awareness for the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD).
After fifty-one days of working her way up the mountain, on May 23, 2010, she stood at the top of the world holding a NORD Banner and became
the 40th America female to summit Mt. Everest.
In the following months, Cindy wrote and published Reaching Beyond the Clouds: From Undiagnosed to Climbing Mt. Everest.
Cindy is once again reaching for the unreachable: To become the first woman to summit Mt. Everest and complete the 1050-mile Alaskan Iditarod Sled Dog Race:
two of the world’s most extreme adventure sports.
Cindy Abbot 2014 Start with the Boats Photo Credit: Larry Abbott
"My journey shows how adversity can elicit hidden strength, and I hope to inspire people to live life to its fullest and reach for their dreams."
Currently in post-production: Banner on the Moon - A feature-length documentary film chronicling Cindy’s journey from undiagnosed to
summiting Mt. Everest and running the Alaskan 1000-Iditarod Race narrated by Golden Globe & 4-time Emmy Winner VALERIE HARPER.
Cindy is 56 years old and lives in Irvine California. She is a wife and mother, and teaches Health Science at California State University, Fullerton.
The Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles thanks Shane Berry for recommending this speaker.