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Friday, September 30, 2016

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Over Red Mountain and Through The Woods to Silverton...

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns. George Eliot

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway, yay
And I wonder if I'm really with you now
Or just chasin' after some finer day  
"Anticipation," Carly Simon

Monday, September 26, 2016

Autumnal Interlude in "B Flat" cont.

For apparent lack of alternatives, and thanks to a still fully charged Energizer Bunny hiking partner, I commit to the task of making Richmond Pass, climbing on, going higher and getting smaller... till shrink-wrapped like a some provisional plaything for the amusement of capricious gods.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Autumnal Interlude, in "B flat"

On the heels of Last Dollar Road, Whipple Mountain, and a pint of bitter at the Brown Dog in To-hell-u-ride, we moseyed up The Million Dollar Highway to have a peek at Ms Autumn's progress.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Last Dollar's Canopy of Gold

Autumn days. It just doesn't get any better around here, a time when Summer's heat and tourism are on the downswing, and every leaf becomes a "flower."

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Not So Mellow Yellow

Though within a Nolan Ryan's stones-throw of our mine shack, it had been some 15 years or more since we'd hiked Old Baldy. The lasting impression I had was that it had been a rutted, steep, and extremely HOT hike through uniform-green oak-brush that provided scant shade for refuge from a July sun. At higher elevations sun and temps can beat a hiker/climber into a state of desiccated submission. By noon-thirty all I could think about is puckering my lips to the brim of a sweaty 20 ounce mug of well hopped IPA. But this is mid-September, cool and clear as the spring water that spills from our mountains. Hillsides around Lovely Ouray are alive with on-fire red and orange oak brush leaves, and pockets of yellow-flamed aspen lick at cobalt skies.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Gimme Shelter

The promise of a fair day was quickly broken by dark clouds and white sheets of Corn-snow. For a good while it pelted with some fury, stinging bare legs and arms like a swarm of bees. On with the jackets, on with the hike to Silvercloud Mine, on with the "show," even as thunder rumbled from afar.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Someday Country

I sometimes fumble along the written page here amongst the walls of Box Canyon. Putting into words the physical and emotional connection between a man and his geography is difficult. My tongue is often defeated by its meager vocabulary, so when the phrase I desperately seek to "turn" doesn't budge, I resort to someone who better expresses the concept. This being one of those moments, I offer David Malouf's words from "An Imaginary Life:" Here, the immensity, the emptiness, feeds the spirit, and leaves it with no hunger for anything but more space, more light—as if one had suddenly glimpsed the largeness, the emptiness of one's own soul, and come to terms with it, glorying at last in its open freedom." 

Friday, September 9, 2016

True love requires "true grit"

I had hoped to do a prenuptial photo shoot of Caleb and Kelli on The Dragon's Back summit of Red Mountain 1. But once again, the weather didn't cooperate with the forecast. Winds gusted near 40 mph while we waited, and waited, and waited, for Old Sol to show his face through threatening black clouds. I wasn't about to tempt Zeus and Thor on some exposed ridge line... risk a funeral instead of a wedding. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"It's better to burn out than fade away..." Out Of The Blue on Redcliff

From my September Plaindealer column: Not far from Lovely Ouray, in the hinterland depths beyond Owl Creek Pass and under the shadow of iconic sentinels Courthouse Mountain and Chimney Rock, a meager but passable dirt road parallels the West Fork of the Cimarron River. The road’s vector inches nearer and nearer the West Fork’s boulder-ridden riverbed, where it soon deteriorates into a bone-jarring 4X4 trail rough enough to rearrange internal organs.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Fly on a Rhinoceros's Ass... Connecting "Dots" on Saint Sophia's Gnarly, Bloodletting Ridge

...The inner voice that drives and disturbs me, that will tomorrow push me again along the paths of life; that voice is not the wisest one in my soul, it is the spirit of agitation for which the earth is too narrow and which has not known how to find its own universe. Isabelle Eberhardt, "Writer, Explorer, Radical individualist," 1877—1904.