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Saturday, August 27, 2016

"Rage against the dying light"

"It has come quickly... this crushing, industrial love of paradise. The pervert-free, less-trammeled, hundred-mile-view days were little more than two decades past, not so very long ago." The Anthropology of Turquoise, by Ellen Meloy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Postcard Pimp

Ellen Meloy had a glorious childhood. She ran amuck golden foothills of the Sierras in California, where grandparents carved a living from a sprawling family homestead. Roots ran as deep as the snow on Mount Whitney. A great aunt of hers spent summer's working fire-watch in a remote, ridge-top tower during the war, withstanding loneliness and lightening strikes and boredom. Ellen had access to a family hunting cabin in the high-up forests above the ranch. She'd sprawl out under gargantuan ponderosas on soft beds of pine needles, centuries in the making, surrounded by pinecones the size of beavers. She remembers staring at lazy clouds through pine-bows, torqued by a Pacific breeze. It was hypnotizing, the faint mixed scent of ocean and pine imbedded aromatic memories that would never be forgotten.

Friday, August 19, 2016


Sweat streaming, shirt soaking wet, but Twin Peak's summit was mine-all-mine, or so I thought. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Neither Rain nor Fog nor Darkness of Day nor Falling Rock... Headed up Black Bear

It's been raining so much around here that we've had a difficult time squeezing in hikes for Dehui. But he wanted one more morning hike on his departure day, something close and not to long. "Bear Creek," Bobbie and I said in unison.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Columbine Lake, Part II... Dehui's Second Wind

Now that you've had a few days break from this summer's Wildflower Spam, I will attempt to put the wraps on a season of wonder and begin the inevitable transition to (gasp) fall in the Rockies. All the signs are here... the chill in morning air, preseason football on tv, alpine meadows going from green to blond. Yes, as summer's incredible crop of incandescent candles go to seed, so does the end of our condensed summer hiking season draw near. While the rest of the country sweltered, there was skiff of snow on the peaks above Lovely Ouray after Monday's storm lifted.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The downside of fatalism (revised)

For those on the edges of their seats waiting for Part II of Columbine Lake (all two of you), I beg your indulgence. My Ouray County Plaindealer Column deadline snuck up on me again and it was a struggle this time. I was out of my natural "element," over my head trying to pen what ended up more of a political op/ed piece entitled, "Praying for Satan." I will get back to Columbine soon, but something happened to Bobbie and I yesterday that brought us about as close to the "end of the road" as we've ever been... which is saying something since we tend to hang out in that neighborhood quite a bit. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

To Columbine Lake, the "Milky Way"

From the land of sky-blue waters... 
Yes, Columbine Lake... pretty enough to be in a Hamm's Beer commercial.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sharing our "good spots" with Dehui... and a few Mountain Maggots

We've spent a couple of glorious days hiking above timberline with Dehui Yang. My concern that wildflower season might have evaporated before his arrival proved misspent.