Box Canyon

"We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us." C. Bukowski

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

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Inhuman Race

"A dream which comes true leads to other dreams." Alpinist Gaston Rebuffat, Starlight and Storm

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Looking Back With Gratitude; Looking Forward With Anticipation —

Gratitude: An attitude of appreciation and reverence for all things past — the munificence of downhill glides as well as the lessons of uphill ascents. 
Anticipation: Looking forward to Gratitude.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Above the Fray on a Beautiful Fall Day

Fall came mid-September this year, early by a couple weeks. But aspen and oak brush colors have been in a brilliant and beautiful holding pattern. I wish I could say the same for the forecast, as today is the first of 10 to 12 days of rain, then snow, followed by more rain and dismal grey clouds that tend to suffocate needy outdoor types. Could be the time has come to bail Goldie out of jail.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Head Over Heels Part II...The Fun Begins Where The Trail Ends

"Remind me to get my depth perception checked," I said to Bobbie, who either couldn't hear me over her grunts and groans and heavy breathing, or couldn't care less about anything I had to say while battling a ridiculous slope of slip-slide talus. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Head Over Heels, Literally and Metaphorically

We are taken by surprise on Tuesday's drive over Red Mountain Pass, looking for some new "dots" to add to our grid. Autumn colors are about to peak, earlier than usual by a week or more. Even though it happens every year, the kid in me can't help feeling it's brand new.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Blind Faith

There was no turning back. Gasping for breath, lost in a surreal swirl of clouds that spawned flashes of lightning and chest-rattling thunder, we'd come too far, worked too hard, and suffered the worst in an attempt to claim El Diente's summit.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Woods Lake to Navajo Lake

Stretching both my legs and the limits of a senescent memory on a lonely Woods Lake trail, I recalled how, even as a child, it never took long to outgrow my front yard and neighborhood. I must have been four or five when we moved to an almost new tract-home on La Mirada street in south Phoenix. Only a few blocks distant, South Mountain filled the frame of our living room's "picture window," as did the flash-boom summer monsoon lightning storms that discharged on its rocky ridge-lines.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Tranquility In Paradise Basin

Well, it's not far down to paradise, at least it's not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility
Oh the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see
Believe me...
A song by Christoper Cross

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

When the cure is worse than the disease...

A couple days after our Camp Bird Road exploit, Leon wants us to ride our bikes over to Log Hill and race each other to the top. Oh how he loves to beat me up on that ascent.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Macho-Geezers Tackle Camp Bird Road

"There are no limits, only plateaus. And you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." Bruce Lee

Friday, August 24, 2018

Martha drops by, and Leon swims two lakes on one hike...

Last week a longtime friend, Martha, came up from Albuquerque to spend a week with her daughter in Montrose. It had been a while since Martha had hiked a mountain, let alone above timberline. So she called Bobbie. Who better to call for an alpine "fix?"

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Minnie Gulch

Imagine skimming along at 13,000 feet, an undulating path underfoot. You're alone, above timberline, above the urban fray of political bullshitters, tedious Face-bookers and mass murdering psychopaths...above all the sordid megalomanic news of corporate greed and corruption. I tell ya, folks, now more than ever, depleted spirits cry out in desperate need of a wilderness recharge. Nothing—not drugs, alcohol or money—fills empty vessels with peace and contentment quite like a lonely alpine trail.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Tale of Two Hikes: Conclusion...

This planet is becoming too populated. Just as birds have wings to fly a crowded nest, man has legs to seek out solitude and wilderness.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Lost and Found on Shaky Ground: A Tale of Two Hikes...

Maybe it's time for a hearing test, or maybe a listening test. Whatever. Who am I to point a finger... 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Climbing Duco: An Exercise in Mental and Physical Maintenance

"I discovered a passion to live my days fully, a conviction that will sustain me like sweet water on the periodically barren plain of our short lives.”  Jonathan Waterman

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Red Mountain 3 to Red Mountain 2: A Gobsmacked Ridge-Run

We had all day to play above timberline. No threat of thunder and lightning, just deep blue sky overlaid with a smattering of vaporous white clouds, and a carpet of endless rolling tundra to hike on... now all greened up from recent monsoons. Perfect time to dig something out of the ole bucket of lists and get 'er done...

Saturday, July 21, 2018

"Soberly Astonished" on The Ridge to Gilpin

“Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are men to rocks and mountains?” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Missing Peace; and Stellar Light, Shadow and Color on Gilpin Ridge...

"What we want from art is whatever is missing from the lives we are already living... Something is always missing. Jane Hirshfield

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

One Hike, Two Lakes and Four Tired Legs...Oh, and one pair of Ptarmigan, but not in a Pear Tree

I sent out invitations to a few friends to join us for a hike to Bullion King Lake and beyond. Bobbie and I have been itching to try the "beyond" part—up and over the saddle/pass above Bullion King basin—a cross-county search for Columbine Lake. In the ineffable words of Gomer Pyle, "sir-prize, sir-prize, sir-prize;"  Nobody responded to my invitation. Maybe it was the vague wording...or the distinct possibility of an endless, high altitude traipse across tundra and scree and boulders that ends with a 911 call...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Gem of an Idea

"Time itself is our tragedy and most of us are fighting some kind of war with it."  The Faraway Nearby, Rebecca Solnit

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

When Words Fail...A pictorial essay from an extraordinary rove Into new territory

Perspective is such a relative construct. When in a room indoors we sense the boundaries and fill it to the brim with self. Only when outdoors, on top of a mountain, can we realize that we are not the story. Just a ripple from a pebble tossed into the sea.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Chasing The Muse On Bear Creek Trail

"You can't always get what you want...but if you try sometimes, well you just might find, you get what you need." Rolling Stones

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Soaring Ascent Up Mount Abram...because it's there and because we still can and because we still remember the way

"Stories are compasses...we navigate by them, build our sanctuaries and prisons out of them. To be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra..." The Faraway Nearby, by Rebecca Solnit

Monday, June 18, 2018

Silence Is Golden

My story-garden oft goes untended during summertime. The hoe becomes rusty lying in untended dirt. Long days beckon. Priorities shift to play. Time slips into the future. Weeds overtake produce.  

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The price of admission

“I have no desire to suffer twice, in reality and then in retrospect.”  Sophocles

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Part II of Red Mountain 1...

There is no better place to reunite with who we are, what we're made of and to better understand our limits than mountains and wilderness. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

"Jesus Loves Me This I know;" Gray-Copper Gulch to Red Mountain #1 Summit

Bobbie had to work yesterday so I would be flying solo. I was in desperate need of a summit and not just any summit would do. No, I needed a mind-blowing, Land of Oz, come to sweet Jesus and weep kind of summit.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Going About My Business

So I'm sitting in my faux leather hearthside chair. It's early of a morning and my abused, aching legs are gently propped on a padded footstool. I'm half crippled from vigorous back to back days on the trail. 
My iPhone pings; a short text from Leon reads: "Log Hill?"  Ugh...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Fear and Self Loathing in Lovely Ouray

It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous. Resign yourself to be the fool you are... we must always take risks. That is our destiny."  T. S. Eliot.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"Tapering" Sucks

Since being roped into the Black Canyon Ascent by my 1% body fat biking/hiking/swimming/running pal, Leon, ten days ago, I’ve been “cramming” like it’s finals week back at SMSU. Yes, just like those nightmarish party-now/study-later days of youthful lore, I stand before you naked and afraid and unprepared for a "test" I got wrangled into whilst heavily sedated with I-can-do-anything endorphins following a silly little bike race up Log Hill. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Oh The Joy and Hazards of Being a Male Geezer

In order to race up Log Hill, Leon and I must first ride 16 miles of county backroads—from Ouray, through Ridgway and beyond, to a brightly labeled "Danger: Natural Gas Line" post that serves as a makeshift starting line at the base of "the Hill."

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Escape To "Which" Mountain

You know that frustrating feeling, the one where you have a weeks-on-end aggravating itch that can't be reached?  Well, I was finally able to scratch that itch the point of bleeding. We'll see how long it takes to heal.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Adjusting the ole Seasonal Sail...

It's comforting in one's old age, to realize there's no such thing as a wrong turn when you don't know where you're going.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

"Closer to Home"

"I've been lost now, days uncounted, and it's months since
I've seen home. Can you hear me, can you hear me, or am I all alone?"  Closer to Home, Grand Funk Railroad

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Paint my wagon, please...

''Wherever we look there is but a wilderness of rock,'' wrote Maj. John Wesley Powell, the Colorado River pioneer and one of the first "whites" to gaze upon Moab's labyrinth of canyons. ''Deep gorges, where rivers get lost below cliffs and towers and pinnacles—ten thousand strangely carved forms in every direction—and beyond them, mountains blending with clouds.''

Thursday, April 12, 2018

MOAB comes to MOAB

...At least the M and B half of the acronymic moniker (bestowed by your's truly) that represents Maia, Owen, Anita and Brent. They brought food, bikes and beer, so of course they are welcome to our table...but not our living quarters.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

"Oh the canvas can do miracles..."

The night after Bobbie traded me for her "hearth" in Lovely Ouray, I nursed a lusty, menopausal male notion to reprise "Alaska," a favorite circumferential loop in Klondike's HillsI knew my body was't yet conditioned for the "marathon-ish" four-plus hours of uphill grinds and "vice-grip" descents, but, assisted by 3 cups of dark roast "liquid courage" the next morning, I figured the best way to get in shape for "Alaska's" nether-lands is to ride Alaska's nether-lands. You'd think there'd be laws regarding Old men and caffeine...especially in Utah.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Life In The Key of C

6 AM, 20 some miles north of Moab, a bachelor in paradise waits on sun and temps to rise enough to straddle his Bad Habit Cannondale and put in some single-track time. Bobbie’s home in Lovely Ouray, working on her second cup of coffee, snug as a bug by the hearth.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

On Routine...

Every road, after a few miles, forks into two, and each of those into two again, and at each fork, you must make a decision.  C. S. Lewis

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Beautiful Day...Felicity on Hangover Trail

 "It's a beautiful day," I screech in the worst "Bono" imitation ever, then proceed to butcher U2's lyrics like slaughterhouse sheep. My felicity is boundless on Hangover Trail. I've got the sun's warmth on my face, a cool breeze at my back, and views to die for. "It's a beautiful day."  

Friday, February 16, 2018

Wistful Reminisce in Jerome (revised due to a dropped paragraph that explains Bobbie's connection to Jerome)

I'm in the mountainside town of Jerome, Arizona, casting a reminiscing gaze over the expansive Verde Valley. Bound by snowcapped San Francisco Peaks to the north, familiar vermillion cliffs to the east, and Mingus Mountain to the west, Verde Valley holds a hoard of memories that range from happy to sad. But I've been coming to this area since before I can remember, and it feels as comfortable as a pair of old cotton sweats.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

On The Road To Irrelevance

"Everywhere he looked, he could see the most vibrant world of life that had no need of him...that would not think for a moment of his vanishing...have no memory of him...would go on without him. He began to fear his imminent death, not because he would die but because he sensed that he had never really lived as he wished. The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Drifting South...The Heat is On

This belated Havasu post comes to you from just north of Phoenix, on the shore of Lake Pleasant, where it's less than "pleasant." Temps soar into the 80's under skies that aren't cloudy all day. Yes. It's tying or breaking records here and the extended forecast shows no relief in sight. "Might as well go home," Bobbie mutters, a trail of sweat trickling from her brow. "Goldie doesn't do 80's very well neither do I."