“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein
"Life is good...it says so on my ball cap." mej

Header Photo: Bobbie, putting the finishing touches on one of our many backyard 13ers.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

With Every Obstacle Comes Opportunity…


In the previous post Bobbie and I were about to head up Red Mountain's switchbacks to do some high altitude snowshoeing on the pass (11,000 feet).  It was the first clear day after a series of holiday storms that left several feet of snow in the high San Juans. About 3 miles from town we found Highway 550 South barricaded for "avalanche control." Ugh… 



We U-turned and zipped down to the Amphitheater Campground road. What's it been, maybe three of four years since we'd snowshoed up there? Being a recent convert to the Glass-Half-Full School for the Emotionally Impaired, I now understand that Obstacles are actually Opportunities in waiting. We adjusted our "Jello" plans and were thus able to sidestep the disappointment of full sun on "Red." Maybe it was a fortuitous detour, given the high avalanche warnings up there…   
   

We found people camping in spite of the cold, long nights. :)
We had managed an early start because the sun rises early on Red Mountain Pass. Not so in the Amphitheater; it would be shaded and cold snowshoeing up against the southernmost crown of mountains that encompass the Amphitheater's massive bowl. Temps hovered near 5 degrees. After only a mile I opened a couple of packets of "Hand Warmers" to insert into my wool mittens. Those things really work! The rest of me was fine, as the trail was steep enough to break a good warm sweat. Here are a few Black and Whites to cool you off… :)  






Finally, sun. Ahhh, night and day… and yes, those are some really big pine trees.






















Here is Bobbie's watercolor painting from the last time we snowshoed up into the Amphitheater, "Portland Mine in Winter." She warmed it up a little :)

23 comments:

  1. Thanks Mark, great photos! Just so you know, I am enjoying my hiking vicariously through you and Bobbie. Rehab is moving along, today I am down to one crutch and the boot, progress, progress. Happy New Year.

    Jim

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    1. Good to hear… soon you will be down to a hiking pole, which is "license" to hike. Glad you enjoy snow, from a safe distance :)
      mark

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  2. Bobbie's watercolor is just nothing short of gorgeous. I am so happy to see all that snow and snowshoeing sounds great but 5 degrees, not so much. You guys are intrepid. Loved your title, I have a hard time getting to that spot with my big obstacles. Smaller ones aren't so difficult. Wonderful pictures of so much snow.

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    1. Well that will bring a smile to Bobbie's face :)
      The title is simplistic on the surface, but underneath full of truth. One day at a time, too… you seem to have a handle on that, Thanks
      mark

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  3. Gorgeous photos but I'm one of the winter wimps--we spent Christmas in Montana and were very glad to be back in Arizona early this morning. Question for you Mark--how are you dealing with the Live Writer/Blogger debacle??

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    1. Thanks, Guys… Truthfully, there are times when I have to force myself away from the fire to the outdoors. But I"m always thrilled once I get started!!!
      As for Live Writer/Blogger, I really don't know what all the fuss is about since I don't use Live Writer. I've always just posted to Blogger and it seems straightforward to me and so simple. I know other bloggers that seem to hate posting that way, but for me it's always been problem free… just drag and drop photos, or download, and write. True, you do have to be "connected" to Blogger type out a post and have it "remembered." But for when I want to do a post and can't be connected I just compose on "Notepad" or some such thing, then copy/paste to blog with I'm connected. That's never been a big deal to me…
      Thanks for your comment and question,
      mark

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  4. Great hike. Love Bobbie's painting

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  5. Snowshoeing is something I would love to try some day...and your scenery is spectacular! It's a good thing you were able to work up a sweat to compensate for the bitter cold.

    LOVE the watercolor!

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    1. And I would love to wade your beach…
      mark

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  6. Snowshoeing at 11,000 feet and temps hovering around 5 degrees. Wow. You guys are tough. Love that beautiful watercolor!

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  7. I just love Bobbie's watercolor!
    Glad to see your legs were covered up this time :-) You guys are tough, as are those people camping in that kind of weather. We're having a hard enough time dealing with the 50s!

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    1. Thanks… I did have to resort to long johns under my shorts :(
      Temperatures are relative, aren't they… We will soon be freezing in southern Arizona when it drops below 60.
      mark

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  8. Haha, timely post. I was just arguing with myself about going out for a hike after looking up the "feels like" temps for here (11). Time to dig a little deeper into the winter clothes bucket and head out. Wish I had those beautiful snow covered pine trees to walk through! I guess snow covered corn stubble will have to suffice. :)
    Beautiful painting of Bobbie's!

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    1. Yes, I am the little Imp in your head… "Go outside, it's good for you… hike the corn stubble." :)
      mark

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  9. You two are our Super Heroes. It's just too beautiful for words. Especially as I view the photos while sitting by the fire. :)

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    1. Ha, "Super Heros?" Turn up your fire, more snow hikes coming :)
      mark

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  10. What a beautiful hike! I just sit and smile as I slowly drool over your gorgeous photos and that spectacular hike. One day I will convince John that we would like to snowshoe:) Thanks for sharing with us:)

    Please tell Bobbie the watercolor is gorgeous.

    Wishing you both a Happy, Healthy New Year!

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    1. Come on John… it's not that cold when you are working hard :) I hope you do snowshoe… it's best above timberline tho :)
      mark

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  11. Very nice photos! Bobbie does very nice work! To you two, I say thank you for sharing another year with me.

    Happy New Year!

    John

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    1. Thank you Kristin and John… our pleasure :)
      mark

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