NOTE: Open post and then Single Click On first Post Photo to view an album in a more detailed, larger format...

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ironton: A Ghost Town Remembered and Revisited... Plus, A Red Mountain Summit With Arianna

Son, Caleb, and Dotter-in-law, Kelli, showed up with Arianna a couple of weeks ago. Bobbie and I were introduced to Arianna last September (2016) when she arrived in Lovely Ouray to attend Caleb and Kelli's wedding. Kelli met Arianna when she ran off to live in Denmark to test the waters of freedom, and they've maintained a friendship ever since.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Change of Hats

It's a beautiful day in Lovely Ouray. But here I sit on the sixth day of a hacking chest cold/fever/chills (moan) that only now seems to be loosening it's death-grip. On day two I felt better, thought I saw a little light at the end of what I hoped would be a relatively "short tunnel."  It turned out to be a train.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Far-Flung "All-Comer" Johnson Reunion

"Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water."  W. C. Fields

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Final Turnstile...

"Sooner or later you come back for that which (is) stored away, and sometimes it isn't there."  Off Ramp...Adventures and heartache in the American elsewhere, by Hank Stuever...

Monday, December 4, 2017

Leaving "Oz"

“I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas." Scarecrow to Dorothy, from "The Wizard of Oz."

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Groovin' Off Trail To View Parunaweep Canyon

Parunaweep is a Piaute Indian word that translates, "roaring water canyon," which, depending on the weather, could be any canyon in Zion. We took a break for lunch here, where sandstone "whitecaps" meet a tumultuous Red Sea...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

"The best things in life make you sweaty"

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous...and lead to the most amazing view."  Edward Abbey 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Gem of a Hike

Since we were camped nearby, Bobbie and I swung into Escalante Petrified Forest State Park for a short hike through some fossilized trees. Having seen a considerable amount of petrified wood, I was more or less there for the hike. Man-oh-man, did I ever underestimate this place. The grounds were littered with gem quality stones...more colors than a rainbow trout.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Brimstone Slot Proves More Cool Than Hot

Tired and battered, we found a spot of shade in which to lunch and recover from exploring slot canyons Peekaboo and Spooky. Our mis-guidebook said Brimstone Slot was only 20 minutes down-wash, which proved false on such a sunburnt day. Anyway, I'm glad for the the author's misguided optimism because, if truth was told, we may have left Brimstone for another day...as in next year.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Chasing Wonder in a "Spooky" Slot Canyon

"Those who are truly decrepit, living corpses, so to speak, are the middle-aged, middle-class men and women who are stuck in comfortable grooves and imagine that the status quo will last forever or else are so frightened it won’t that they have retreated into mental bomb shelters to wait it out."
Henry Miller, reflecting on the art of living in 1939. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Lucky Slots

Bobbie and I have slogged, slithered, and sloshed through many Utah slot canyons over the years, but none so slender, confining, graceful, and exhilarating as Peekaboo, Spooky, and Brimstone. Warning: If you are bothered by attenuated places, things like crowded elevators,suffocating MRI procedures, or hotel beds with sheets tucked tight as a straightjacket, these slots are not for you.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Crash and Bleed in Capitol Reef

"I was accustomed to being in far, far riskier environments. So I thought going into that canyon was a walk in the park - there were no avalanches, it was a beautiful day, and I was essentially just walking."  Aron Ralston

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Land of Lack-O-News Brims with Wonder

Picking up where I left off, easing on down the road from the massive uplift of San Raphael Swell to Capitol Reef’s canyons and thrones...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Bidding Farewell To Off-Season In Lovely Ouray....

Bobbie and I managed to squeeze in a town-hike before wind, snow, and cold arrived. Thought you might enjoy seeing Lovely Ouray all dressed up in fall colors. Today is D-Day, thus, of course, we are hauling the last loads out to Goldie with temps in the teens. I'm dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, so burrrr!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Hiking Autumn's Last Hurrah...

We harvested Ms Autumn's glory at her peak of ripeness, from on high to valley low. Though not a perfect "10" this year, fall lingers like a lost puppy with nowhere to go. It's a nice change of pace for mountain folk facing the inevitable prospect of 6 months of snow and cold. With that in mind we load Rv Goldie. She waits patiently in our driveway, itching to roll us west into fabulous Utah.  

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Asleep at the Wheel

"Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some loving here today...ya-aah" 
"What's Going On," Marvin Gaye

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Your Weekend Digital Muse

On a bench above Lovely Ouray, the return route for our twice-weekly (read: weakly) 8 mile walk-with-handweights, Bobbie and I take a break and rest our eyes on Lake Lenore. It's a bucolic, Mayberry-like setting, what with the rainbow of inverted canoes lying in repose near shore, leaves of quaking aspen fluttering in the breeze, and a Whitehouse massif backdrop that, lately, lives up to its name. About the only thing missing is "Opie," skipping stones on the lake's placid green surface, while Andy and Aunt Bee look on in admiration.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Climbing Jacob's Ladder

"And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon the place and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it." Genesis 28:10-19

Monday, September 25, 2017

I Feel Your Pain

The day after a profound autumn downpour in Lovely Ouray, Bobbie and I joined a group of hiking friends and their dog-children for a hike up to (one of several) Ouray Overlook viewpoints. There is nothing quite like the aroma of wet leaves and foliage, a dusting of trackless snow on the trail, and the feeling of drawing deep breaths of chilled air to better set the mood for a transition to winter. Ahhhh...

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Weight Walk Along the Uncompahgre on a Fall Day

Friday was a walk-with-weights day, but we woke to thick fog, gusts of wind, and sheets of come and go rain. Oh the weather in Le Crevice lately. It's still too warm for snow to persist on the peaks, and schizo aspen and oak brush don't know whether it's spring, summer, or fall. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Indulging My Courthouse Compulsion

There are certain hikes that one never tires of repeating. For me, Courthouse Mountain is just such a hike...particularly this time of year.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ten Miles at Timberline with Long-Hiker Gayle

Bobbie and I got together for one last hike with the peripatetic "better half" of  Life's Little Adventurers, Gayle. With Jim on Injured Reserve from a Pickle Ball mishap, we were free to wander around at timberline to our heart's content.   :)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mind Over Mountain-Matter

Left of center—scarcely noticeable when photographed at such an angle—lies noble Twin Peaks, two of the jewels in Lovely Ouray's mountain crown. "Little Sister," another jewel, stands alone right of center, a solitary lesser sibling, rivaling for attention.

Friday, September 15, 2017

"Them Changes" on Half Moon Basin Hike

With sincere apologies to Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles for Copyright infringement, I give you "Them Changes."

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Making The Most Of Numbered Days

We've been lucky this summer. Up till the past week or so, southwest Colorado has not been subjected to most of the haze and smoke from infernos north and west of here. But for the monsoons extending their stay well into August, there go we. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Agony That Leads to Ecstasy

“To try to understand another human being, to grapple for his ultimate depths, that is the most dangerous of human endeavors.” Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy

Thursday, August 31, 2017

In Search of Thin Air: Chance and Challenge on High

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct (to Hell)."  Charles Dickens

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Absent Without Leaving

Not even my Bobbie App could remember when we last hiked to Hope Lake; 20, maybe even 30 years?  The only thing I recall is that we turned around at Hope Lake Pass...didn't hike the measly extra mile down to water's edge, something inexcusable by today's standards.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipsed by Oscar

“The roads of life are paved wide and skirt the mountains. And these very roads are choked with a steady stream of pathetically pedantic travelers who in reality have no intent of traveling. And if we are to discover the real travelers, much less join them, we will find them out on precarious paths that defy the roads and scale the mountains.”  Craig D. Lounsbrough

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Summiting Hayden Mountain with Friends

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and winds long to play with your hair.”  Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

On Second Thought...

"I could dance with you until the cows come home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows until you come home."  Groucho Marx

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Secret Garden: "Jesus on the mainline, tell Him what you want..."

We set off at the crack of dawn (ok, 7:15). It was a dual-purpose day: goal one, get some exercise; goal two, photograph wildflowers up in The Secret Garden. But sometimes Jesus doesn't answer my prayers, and lately, it seems, He doesn't even take my calls.

Friday, August 4, 2017

"Confused By All The Choices"

"I grew up exuberant in body but with a nervy, craving mind. It was wanting something tangible. It sought for reality intensely, always (as) if it were not there. So I climb."  Letters From a Man, John Edwards

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

An Ordinary Hike on Lovely Ouray's Perimeter Trail

If ever in Lovely Ouray, the Perimeter Trail is a convenient hiking option with, well, lots of options. This 7 mile circumferential trail encircles town, undulating over 1500 feet through hill, dale, and forest, and can be accessed, or bailed from, at numerous points along the way...in case you get hungry, thirsty, tired, or an insatiable craving for a Scrap Cookie from Mouse's Chocolates.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Terra Firma Versus Terror Firma

As with overbearing mother-in-laws who overstay their welcome, winter extended its stay in Lovely Ouray till almost summer, and I believe the extra snow may have put a dent in the usual wildflower extravaganza. That, along with a recent hail storm that shredded a good deal of alpine foliage, means I've yet to score the "LSD high" normally associated with wildflower seasons in the Rockies...I'm talking the glaze-eyed bejeweled kaleidoscope 3D Imax version of Fantasia kind. The search is on!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Strange Dreams

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, July 24, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

"True Adventure," part II...On Fate, Destiny, and Random acts of Blindness

Picking up from the last post, Bobbie and I were studying the precipitous, sun-cupped slab of frozen snow that stood like a raised drawbridge between us and a 13er summit. Undeterred and un-deteoured, I ventured onto the ice in order to test its resilience against attempts to stomp/carve a reasonable path. They were promptly rebuffed, which hatched a kaleidoscope of butterflies in my stomach. I could feel toes trying to clench a grip on the snow through the soles of my boots. One slip and I'm a human bobsled, going for the "gold."

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

On True "Adventure;" Confessions of a Malcontent with holes in his Genes

It's easy to say I'm not cursed, that I am blessed: lucky in just having the chance to come...steal a moment in such a high place. Andy Kirkpatrick, Psycho Vertical.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

An Abram summit with the Swift Family Anderson

You see it from afar, sandwiched mightily in a noticeable gap, a snowcapped pyramid as magical and powerful those found along River Nile in Egypt. It's true what they say, you know, about the Powers inherent in Pyramidal shapes. I've seen it for myself. Weird shit...like finding my normally dull pocketknife honed to a razor's edge after ascending Abrams Pyramidal peak. And then there are stories...rumors of old men with vasectomies who, upon return, impregnate unassuming women with tied tubes. FYI Geezers, lest you desire putting yet another rugrat through college or your Social Security check halved by child support payments, I recommend abstaining from sex for at least a week after climbing Abram.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The rat that gnaws inside

"Probably the thing that bothered me most...was not the fear of dying, but the fear of getting old and realizing I'd let doubt and fear stop me from living the life I'd really wanted to live." Andy Kirkpatrick, Psycho Vertical. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Humping Jane Doe

I've been to a mountain with a view that's insane,
It felt good to be out of the rain
On the mountain I can't remember her name
But there ain't no one for to give me no pain
La la la la la la la......

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Uncivilized Disobedience

My biggest problem was where to go. Too high, and I'm slogging through scrotum deep snow. Too low and I'm closeted in a damp, dark, dismal forest swatting at mosquitoes.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Another Ride on The Red Dragon

"I needed to escape from normality. To leave the din of my life, leave...thoughts and troubles behind. The only thing that always seemed to be simple was this piece of rock." Andy Kirkpatrick, Psycho Vertical

Sunday, June 25, 2017

MOAB, Paper Boats, and Mother Cabrini

Using only duct tape and cardboard, Colorado School of Mine students hold an annual contest/race to see who can build a paper boat sturdy enough to withstand the rapids of Clear Creek in downtown Golden.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hypoxic Junkie

I was in a funk last week (you may have noticed). It was one of those glass-half-empty weeks; barely energy enough to do what I need to do in order to keep a grip on sanity. It takes a toll, doing what I need to do in order to combat the minute by minute scroll of apocalyptic headlines.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Campfire Promise Kept

31 years ago, lakeside—in the burgeoning morning twilight on the first day of summer—a small wedding party climbed into a couple of rickety wicker baskets attached by rope to hot air balloons. With a deafening blast and flame, they ascended in unison...earth shrinking, love expanding...smiles all around. An acrophobic Justice of the Peace wondered out loud why in Christ's name he ever agreed to this gig.