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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 yesterday...to the point of bleeding. We'll see how long it takes to heal.

I am sooo relieved. Spring winds are settled, storms abated and clouds dissolved into little here-and-there puffs that serve to enhance a sky so deep-dark-blue you can almost see the stars at noon.

Thin air and un-graffitied snow awaits up on 11,000 foot Red Mountain Pass... 

My iPhone's lying weather app says temps will nudge 70 degrees for the next 9 days. Clear sailing, with the exception of one little rain-blip. Veracity or perjury? We'll see... 

Red Mountain # 3 is not so red after the storm

So I'm snowshoeing along, oblivious to politics and world problems, and this little saucer (it's not a ball, really) of snow comes rolling down the hill. As it came toward me it got bigger and bigger, gathering additional layers of snow. It reminded me of a cinnamon roll...

A happy camper with stars SUN in his eyes :)

And speaking of "Which Mountain," sometimes (ok, often) I take our plethora of "playground" choices for granted. I stumbled across this on the internet a few days ago and thought I would share it with you. Note the good fortune of the Four Corner States...

US States Land Ownership by Percentage:

Rank        %              %
  &         Public        Private
State      Lands         Lands

1 AK 95.8% 4.2%
2 NV 87.8% 12.2%
3 UT 75.2% 24.8%
4 ID 70.4% 29.6%
5 OR 60.4% 39.6%
6 AZ 56.8% 43.2%
7 WY 55.9% 44.1%
8 CA 52.1% 47.9%
9 NM 47.4% 52.6%
10 CO 43.3% 56.7%
11 WA 41.9% 58.1%
12 MT 37.5% 62.5%
13 NY 37.1% 62.9%
14 FL 29.2% 70.8%
15 MI 28.1% 71.9%
16 MN 23.5% 76.5%
17 HI 19.0% 81.0%
18 NJ 18.3% 81.7%
19 NH 18.0% 82.0%
20 WI 17.8% 82.2%
21 AR 17.3% 82.7%
22 VA 17.1% 82.9%
23 WV 16.5% 83.5%
24 PA 16.1% 83.9%
25 VT 15.8% 84.2%
26 NC 14.6% 85.4%
27 TN 14.1% 85.9%
28 KY 11.8% 88.2%
29 SC 11.8% 88.2%
30 MO 11.2% 88.8%
31 MS 10.9% 89.1%
32 LA 10.7% 89.3%
33 GA 9.7% 90.3%
34 ND 9.1% 90.9%
35 SD 8.9% 91.1%
36 MD 7.6% 92.4%
37 DE 7.4% 92.6%
38 AL 7.1% 92.9%
39 MA 6.3% 93.7%
40 CT 6.2% 93.8%
41 ME 5.7% 94.3%
42 OK 4.6% 95.4%
43 IN 4.5% 95.5%
44 OH 4.2% 95.8%
45 TX 4.2% 95.8%
46 IL 4.1% 95.9%
47 IA 2.8% 97.2%
48 NE 2.8% 97.2%
49 KS 1.9% 98.1%
50 RI 1.5% 98.5%
USA 39.8% 60.2%

A couple of surprises here, like Texas. Really? Four percent public lands?  

And poor Rhode Islanders, my heart goes out to you. On the plus side, you have an "escape hatch" in the Atlantic Ocean, a place of quiet apart from the din of urban-ness and speed-of-light living. I guess I would be a "sailor" if I lived in Rhode Island. 

Neck and neck with R. I. for least amount of public land is Kansas, another surprise, though I'm not sure why. Besides moving the hell away, I don't know what I'd be or do if I lived in Kansas. Maybe farm, raise some cows and hogs, buy a big honking tractor with AC, a dozen Bose speakers and a big screen tv and let the GPS guide the plowing and planting. In the end, tho, the plains are not wrinkled enough to hold my interest. Hell, I can barely drive across Kansas without getting a serious butt rash. That "poison ivy" itch would eventually overpower my love for "the land" and the real-people neighbors that dedicate their lives to feeding the rest of us. I'd likely sell out to a Big-Corp like Monsanto or Purina, take the money and run westward. Anyway, I thought the above breakdown would be of some interest, it was to me.

Peace Out from the world's biggest gym, our little piece of Heaven,
mark and bobbie

Left to Right: Leon, Mount Sneffels and your's truly...
Next up, Leon and Mark put in a 40 mile bike ride in order to race up Log Hill. The Geezer Olympics are on, baby.  Today I'm crippled from the effort it took to keep up with that scrawny ole Texan... 😰  Guess I'll head down to the Hot Springs and soak away some soreness. It's a good soreness tho...the kind one gets when they mix endorphins, companionship, accomplishment and Panoramic Scenery...
“I have no depression in my life whatsoever—literally none. I have sadness, and joy, and elation, and satisfaction, and gratitude beyond belief. But all of it is weather, and it just spins around the planet. It doesn’t sit on me long enough to kill me. It’s just ideas.” ~ Jim Carrey


  1. Drool. The spring snowshoeing is so good right now in the Indian Peaks as well, and I can't partake because of a broken toe. Such is life, I suppose. Beautiful photos.

    1. Ouch! Sad how something so small can cripple outdoor ambitions. I hope you are a quick healer. M.

  2. Looks like Leon will push you even farther than you would push yourself this year, if that is possible. Gorgeous blue and white, but too much snow for me! Looks cold, in spite of your shorts. Those numbers were fascinating.

    1. Like I need something to push me (Ha). A little friendly competition and company takes the mind off the miles. Leon has talked me into running the Black Canyon Ascent, and I've only got two weeks to get ready :( 6 miles over 2,000 feet of elevation gain. YIKES! In younger days I would routinely put in sub 60 minute times, with a PB of 53 minutes. That was 25 years ago (sigh)....

  3. I found the list very interesting and sad for all those not near at least 50%.

  4. Looking GOOD and the scenery ain't to shabby either, just don't know how you handle all the UVR.
    Looks like there is a pretty good snow pack in them thar hills, just not falling at the lower elevations I guess.Just read on line about the coming battle for Colorado River water, now theres a nightmare that's going to spoil the water parks industry and the backyard pool parties in the South West.Isn't it funny how Mother Nature is going to have to show up and whip Mankinds butt,who put her in charge of the chicken coop anyhow? :) hey somebody has got to beat some sense into the homo sapien hordes. Strange, the human brain is the greatest miracle on the planet but so few use it.
    Enjoy the New Hot Springs pools....we'll be watching.

    Stay thirsty my Friend

  5. Yay Oregon!! I love our home state for so many reasons, including the all of the public land -- which astonishingly, includes the coastline.
    Beautiful photos of your pure white snow and cobalt skies.

  6. Those pics of the San Juans with snow and blue skies are almost enough to make me ignore my dislike of cold weather.

  7. Looks like my new home state is about as close as you can get to #1 without being #1! The clarity in your photos is just amazing. Those pristine white slopes are so beautiful. Love, love that header!

    1. Your location is just about perfect, too...mild winters and close enough to mountains or desert as needed. You chose well.

  8. Loverly photos of snow and sky! could almost breathe the crisp air and hear the well-packed snow crunching under my feet as I read your post. And interesting list of public/private lands per/state, too. Despite living near almost a third of TX's public lands (Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, and Sabine Ntl Forests), it's too dang hot, humid and buggy to enjoy those public lands most of the year. And when it's winter, hunters are there. You and Bobbie are living in Shangri La!

  9. When you wrote that you scratched your itch to the point of bleeding I was afraid there would be blood on that brilliant white snow! Glad that was just a metaphor.
    Just finishing the Black Canyon Ascent with only 2 weeks of training would be an accomplishment! I'm confident you will do great.

    1. My fear is that, someday, it won't be a metaphor. :)

  10. Beautiful to see the white snow and the blue sky.
    So sad to hear that you scratched your itch till bleeding. You can keep ice cubes on that area where you get terrible itching. It will be nice for you to feel and get rid of the itching:)

  11. It sure is gorgeous country but no thanks to all that snow.

  12. Public lands are not always "public". Just closed off. As full-timers roaming throughout the western states, we constantly run across areas that are "Closed". Although I like the idea of public lands vs. full on development, there is a federal land grab going on that is not necessarily good for those wanting public access. As for the snow, bring it on. We're heading your way in a couple weeks. Probably gone by then. We'll be waving toward your IMAX from the hot springs.


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