“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein
Header Photo: Ms Autumn comes to the high country

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

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. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tread Softly Upon My Dreams...

Bobbie and I are up early today, shoving food into backpacks, filling hydro-bags with water, wolfing down coffee. We are getting ready for an "Anniversary Hike" (31 years of marriage, preceded by 4 years of living in sin), an attempt on the summit of Mount Abram. Though warm lately, I can see from the deck that much snow lingers about its pyramidal peak. This attempt may prove to be premature; I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

More Mountain Spam... A Windy Hike to Ouray Overlook and a couple new Glacading Videos from Black Bear hike

Another day in paradise...even if we didn't get above timberline (sigh) nor conjure up a single drop of adrenaline (double sigh).  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Serendipity on the Mountain; Breaking Glorious New Ground on the Shoulders of Trico Peak

Sara N. Dippity found us wandering around in the mountains yesterday, and stopped to say "Hello." It's been a while since our paths crossed. Then again, maybe I'm underestimating her cunning ways of slipping in and out without notice, you know, all those little things in life that we sometimes take for granted. The "thing" with "Sara" is, she only meets you halfway. It's up to us to get out of our chairs or cars.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Way to The Bridge of Heaven Goes Straight Through Hell

Bridge of Heaven is a long, but Heavenly hike; 10.6 miles roundtrip from our doorstep, to be exact. Old Horse Thief Trail adjoins the Bridge of Heaven Trail on a grassy ridge line I can spy from our living room. When put together, the two trails ascend an astonishing 4,000 feet in just over 5 miles, and lands you on a precipice that overlooks a cavernous glacial basin...so eroded, so rotten of rock, so impossible to traverse that Big Horn ewes choose it as the ideal place to "lamb." 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Perseverance Is Key To Twin Peaks Summit

It has been an exhausting, thus grand week, having notched three colossal hike-ascents on our "climbing belts." Number two was a summit on Lovely Ouray's sentinel, Twin Peaks. It's a hike to my liking, a grinding workout with a thrilling payoff, and no logistics beyond checking the forecast. Simply walk out the front door and trek.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Treading Lightly" (concluded) Plus, a "glacading" video for your amusement

In regard to extreme outdoor endeavors: Embrace them as challenges...un-forgettable, un-regrettable moments of triumph that carry us through doldrum times, or when such things have slipped beyond our grasp.  Box Canyon Mantra: 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Treading Lightly on Red Dragon's Back

 From exceptional minds comes wisdom so simple and lucid in its expression that even I can grasp. Here's a few reminders for those whose priorities need adjustment:  "Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. Khalil Gibran, and, "In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play," Friedrich Nietzsche,  and my favorite, “Play is the highest form of research" Albert Einstein.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ice Ice Baby...

It was a fast and furious weekend that ended all too soon. Caleb and Kelli just departed for home and Bobbie just left for a day of work at Mountain Fever. Other than the rhythmic groan of an overpacked dishwasher, I am left alone in the post-party vacuum of a too quiet house.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Insult to Injury...A Bonus Post

And the Weather God has spoken. Rumors of Old Man Winter's death are greatly exaggerated...

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

It wasn't my intention to "go dark" at Brother Dan's dinner table. But you know how it is, one thing (beer) leads to another (beer) and before I know it there's a pile of "guts" on the Lazy Susan centerpiece, and they look a lot like mine.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Rekindling The Bro-mance

Well now, before setting the BCB's sail for Toledo, let me take a sec to mention that Spirit Airlines is in the headlines again. Funny how when you don't pay or treat your employees worth a damn they don't bother to show up sometimes...and riots break out in airports. It's about time people. Rise up! Reward abuse, deceit, and uncaring corporate behavior by taking your business and money elsewhere, and start by NEVER FLYING Spirit Airlines AGAIN! Now on to more pleasant topics, a trip to Toledo to see kinfolk.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Spirit Airlines: The Art of "Fee-Mongering"

Scammed, swindled, schemed, stung...snookered, shafted, snowed, slighted, spoofed...suckered...shell-gamed, and slick-willyed; that's how we felt after flying Spirit Airlines. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Devil's Advocate

Recall that riding time in "Klondike" was cut short this year...thanks to a routine drug prescription that couldn't free itself from jaws of ineptitude wrapped in 47 rolls of Bureaucratic "Red Tape." We are home in Lovely Ouray as I write this update, watching it snow, and with much to share. The prescription debacle is resolved, at least till then next time I need to refill it...now 60 days and counting. I've managed only a single bike ride since Klondike (sniff), a long, steep, grunt up Camp Bird Road to its namesake mine.  

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I am the Wuss-Man, coo coo ca choo

Slipping from winter into summer in Lovely Ouray is like slipping from your starched Sunday best into a ratty old pair of "sweats. It is our season of comfort, a time to pack away itchy wool and sticky Gore-Tex till October, and embrace the soft caress of loose-fit cotton. In most places, "Spring" means planting flowers and seeding gardens in a pair of shorts. Spring around here means 8 more weeks of winter.  

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Unscrupulous Bastards: "'Reality Bites" concluded

Finally, after wailing and gnashing of teeth, down to two pills, I get an automated call from Wally World. My prescription is ready for pick up... 1,200 bucks before co-pay...600 bucks after. It could be worse...

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Reality Bites: A Tough Reentry

This is my surreal front yard on a good day, which, unfortunately, today is not. So I hunker down in Western Utah's Camp Fairytale whilst a gale wind shudders Goldie's aluminum skin and rattles her Imax "sliders," now mucked by a recipe of one part spits of rain, two parts atomized red dirt.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Rocket Man

I woke up this morning and didn't smell the coffee. Somewhere in that Twilight Zone haze between Far Side dreams and full consciousness, 2 and 2 doesn't add up to 4. It's too cold, for one thing. Early bird Bobbie must be sleeping in.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Grumpy, Dopey, Sneezy, and Sleepy...On Travel, and Winding Down in "The Circumference of Home"

This update comes to you from a low bandwidth boondock camp on the westward side of Utah's Abajo Mountains, 7500 feet above sea level, deep in a forest of aromatic ponderosa. Finally, we outrun the stubborn dome of high pressure and resulting record-setting heat, and are able to go about our walks, hikes, and bike rides in coolness of body, mind, and spirit.  #heatsucks!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

When I was young like Juliet

Imagine you're a "Millennial" from Seattle. It's been cold and wet for weeks—downright dismal, with more drizzle and snow than should be allowed...

Monday, February 27, 2017

Honey Bee

For your entertainment/amusement, I offer a 4 minute video synopsis of Honey Bee, a real sweet ride...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Loving TMP

Thank God for people like C. B. Brown, a forward-looking citizen who, in 1929, happened to be Chairman of Pima County's "Parks and Rec." Ya see, it pays to do something magnanimous... something that lasts longer than than your measly lifespan. It's called "leaving a legacy," and future generations will continue to mention your name long after you've kicked the bucket-list goodbye. If you're lucky, you might even get a mountain named after you (Brown Mountain), and a mention in some insignificant blog post whose editor appreciates your foresight.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Condensed Milk

Playing catch up here... a barrage of photos on an almost Wordless Friday.