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Monday, December 30, 2019

Snow Chores

Red Mountain was recently closed due to heavy snow and avalanche runs. CDOT crews rotated through the night...carving passages, plowing snow and risking life and limb to the fickle whims of Mother Nature. They also fire off rounds of mortar shells in attempts to trigger potentially deadly buildups of snow that plague Highway 550 South all winter long.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Eve Hike

Christmas is a good time to take a break from our usual geocentric lives and—with appropriate humility—fathom that neither the world nor the Universe revolves around us.

Friday, December 20, 2019

The Price Of Admission

Red Mountain Pass:  Though bitter cold, the sun promises to shine...a good day to get high.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Tracking Bejeweled Mounds Of Powder Snow

Dawn brakes crisp as the thermometer hovers just above zero degrees. Half asleep, coffee in hand, I want to feel for myself. But the sliding glass door to the deck resists my tug...frozen tight in the closed position. 

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Monster Inside Named Will

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster."   Nietzsche 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

"Into The Wild"

In the wake of a series of slipstream winter storms that pummeled high mountain passes—as well as our vertiginous bobsled-run driveway—the sun returned just in time to righten my snow-globe world and brighten my mood ring.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

"Our feet may leave, but not our hearts"

"Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts."  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

It Takes A Superabundance Of Photos To Wrap Up Zion

Saturday was Jello-set to be D-Day from Southwest Utah. I say "Jello" because after a record-breakimg 160 days without a drop of rain, the skies opened up and delivered record-breaking amounts of moisture...inches upon inches seldom seen in high deserts. With all that rain came cloudy, cooler than normal weather. And it just kept getting colder and colder and colder. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Clouds Part Over The Red Sea

Thanksgiving is a family time, but my family always seems to be scattered to opposite sides of the USA, if not the world. Somehow, though, everyone attempts to reunite this time of year...usually back east. But this year, they came to us here in Zion...some driving through blizzards to get here, some flying to Vegas and renting a car to get here. So, including us, we have 10 Johnsons here... all "motel-ed" up in Springdale, near Zion's gates where we are camped at the campground. In spite of the rainy and snowy weather today, we will get outdoors for a while before partaking in a feast. (Miss you Brother Dan and Elaine!)

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Ode To Tripod Rocks, Hanging Tough Against Time and Tourists

Three freakishly improbable rocks, all in a side-by-side alignment and supported by a tripod of three fragile, highly eroded columns...way out in the middle of nowhere.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

12 Miles To Paradise

In order to experience rare solitude, dazzling colors and soul-quenching freedom around Zion, you need only to walk, ride, run or paddle quietly in any direction. It's "out there," if you are willing to work for it.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Conclusion: The Back-A-Beyond Wilderness Behind East Temple

Wilderness is the Promised Land we seek and need. It nourishes, nurtures, and restores our urban-blighted souls.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Checkerboard Mesa Hike With Juliet and Chris

With chilly weather on the way, we put Capitol Reef in or rearview mirror...over Boulder Mountain with its see-forever views and groves of aspen still clinging to their autumnal regalia.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Capitol Reef Hike-N-Bike: Frying Pan To Cassidy Arch Spur, Back To Frying Pan to Cohab Canyon

Utah's Waterpocket Fold is a stupefying sub-feature of the equally stupefying San Rafael Swell. Then again, isn't all of Utah stupefying?

Monday, November 11, 2019

Capitol Reef: Five Days, Five Hikes...Starting With Navajo Knobs

It's been a long, long time (decades) since our one and only hike to Navajo Knobs. I remember my feet being sore for days after. That it pushes 10 miles with over 2,000 feet of elevation gain/loss (according to the Gaia App) you'd think once was enough. But the day was sunny and calm and warm...warmer than it should be...and we awoke to a strange and unusual sensation of feeling strong. Well, perhaps it was time for a reprise.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Slanted Slot Conclusion

The goal is to draw your last breath with no regrets. Regret keeps us locked up in the past, a place where what's done is done and there ain't a thing we can do to change it. Today, however, is full of choices, so we go...out "there."

Friday, November 8, 2019

"New Dots" In A Slanted Slot

I've decided, in the interest of keeping the BCB "fresh," to randomly intersperse some of our better "Real Time" outings...just to keep readers awake.  We took a little hike yesterday. I say "little" because it was short, but oh-so-sweet.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

San Rafael Swell and Goblin Valley

"Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter."  John Muir

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Goldie's For Sale By Owner!!!

Picture yourself Boondock Camped in the vast American West...for free!!!  Yes folks, Goldie's For Sale!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Seven Days In Fall: Like God, On The 7th Day I Rested (While Everybody Else Worked Out)

As you may notice from the photos, I've jumped ahead for a sneak peek this year's meander to Southwest Utah. We loaded Goldie to the gills and have been out for two glorious weeks...tromping through red dust and sandstone, which to me, is akin to Heaven!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Seven Days In Fall: Day 6

And what is life, really, but the moment?
Now is where the past leaves off.
Now is where the future begins.
Here and now is all and everything...
Gone in a heart-stopping flash.
On The Wild Edge,  David Petersen

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Seven Days In Fall: Day 5, New Route to Ice and Island Lakes

Ice Lake is fast becoming one of the most popular hikes in Southwest Colorado. It's no surprise to us, we continue to go there every year to gaze spellbound into Ice Lake, one of the bluest lakes we've ever rested eyes on. As dazzling as Ice Lake's sky-blue water is, it's the ragged, rustic, iron-bleeding cirque setting that sets it apart from the likes of, say, Columbine Lake. 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Seven Days In Fall: Day 4, Corbett Creek/Dallas Loop Hike...Plus A Surprise Party

With oak brush and aspens above Lovely Ouray on fire with color, we set boot to trail again...weary from recent miles and altitude.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Seven Days In Fall: Day 3, Cutler Creek Loop Hike

"Give thanks for moments of wild abandon (that) lift us from our daily drudge and put us up on the silver screen, rather than out in the audience getting fat on popcorn." David Petersen, "On The Wild Edge"

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Seven Days In Fall...Day 1

"We all age and weaken and die. What we are, and are not, is largely a product of the choices we make. We only live once, and most of us don't even do that."  On The Wild Edge, David Petersen. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

More Idiom Than True: Overusing and Abusing The Term "Adventure"

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”  Ernest Hemingway

Monday, September 23, 2019

Listen To Your Daddy

Not yet ready to "call it good," not ready to wrap ourselves in a soft, warm quilt of wistful nostalgia while awaiting our heart's last beat, we push against the "hourglass" and boundaries of our Brave New, Septuagenarian World. It's a time to take risks...adventure out and be bold. If not now, when? for at this ripe age, we have less to lose with each passing day...

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Random Mountain Bike Adventures With Wildlife Sightings

Meaningful experiences are often found near the interface between order and disorder...a point beyond which "outcomes" tend to be more random than predictable.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A Non-Peaceful Rendezvous On "Big Red"

I can't recall the reason we were pressed for time. Suffice it to say that we needed to squeeze in a peaceful summit, and Big Red is a reliably quick, convenient, captivating, and, for the most part, quiet go-to peak. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Hike We Never Tire Of Repeating

The march of time is more acute when one season slips to another, be it spring's lush chlorophyl awakening, summer's fade from green to gold, or Ms Autumn's palette, decaying under winter's first blanket of snow. Seasons come and go in a blur...the onslaught of time marches on. 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Chasing After A New Route To Ptarmigan Lake

When Ruthie, a somewhat new-in-town friend and coworker of Bobbie, mentioned that a couple of gal-friends took her on a long hike up to Ptarmigan Lake and beyond to Imogene Pass, I was impressed. "That's a big day," I said, "must of reached a tad over 13,000 feet." 
"Yeah, like 7 hours," came her reply "with lots of steep, loose conditions and a couple wrong turns on the way back."

Monday, September 2, 2019

The Highly Eroding New Face Of Outdoor Recreation, & Rough Day On The Trail To Little Giant

Bobbie and I decided it was time to go in search of some new "dots." One of her suggestions peaked my interest...a summit on 13,400 foot "Little Giant."  Turned out my "spirit" was raring to go. But the flesh...not so much.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The "Stone House" Route To Columbine Pass, Then On To Oh-So-Blue Columbine Lake

A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye...looking into which, the beholder measures the depth of his own (soul).  Henry David Thoreau 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Two Tickets To Paradise

"The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see."  Edward Abbey   

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Wildflowers Lag Behind "Schedule" In Spirit Basin

The forecast for Monday was good, so I knew Bobbie would be ready to head up to the mountains after her 3 day shift at Bear Creek Gift Shop.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

New PR's For Dumb and Dumber In Camp Bird Grudge Match

Another week, another opportunity to finally beat Pal Leon in the "Summer Series," Man on Bike against Man on Foot. We are told by our parents—as well as most "successful" people like Bill Gates and Colonel Sanders—that it is struggle that shapes us more than triumph....that failure is the foundation upon which success is built.  Hmmm. It's either bull-hockey or I'm long overdue for the big dubya.  

Friday, August 9, 2019

"I'm Walking On Sunshine...and Don't It Feel Good"

We decided to take advantage of back-to-back days with scant threat of thunderstorms. Legs and toes were only moderately sore the morning after summiting Abram. So, with no consequential excuses to stay home, we decided rise early and effectuate one of our all-time favorite hikes.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Another Summit On One Of Lovely Ouray's Sentinel Peaks

Sometimes people wonder if we ever get tired of the same ole places and doing the same ole thing. Uh, no. There are hikes and rides and climbs worth repeating, if for no other reason than to get our daily exercise in the fresh outdoors instead of inside a stuffy gym on a boring machine. I don't even get bored doing a mile to a mile-and-a half at the pool (32 to 48 laps). Why? Because it's outside. It's no big secret. The key to staying fit as we get older is to find multiple ways to get our body moving. The more ways, the better the chance of success. That's it. Oh, and beautiful scenery helps...

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Gift Of Luck

"In life, there is no gift (so) overlooked or inevitable as failure." Can't Hurt Me, by Navy Seal, David Goggins 

Friday, August 2, 2019

"Heartbreak And Promises"

More not than ready, the alarm tolls for me at 5:15 AM. As I, quite literally, roll out of bed, a knot forms in my gut. Shit. It's race day. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

R. E. S. P. E. C. T.

"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

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Lightning Pass

Lightning is such a random thing, as unpredictable as life itself. It's one of few things that does not play by the "rules," and harbors no respect for the brave or fool or both.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Blood, Sweat and Tears of Joy: A Dazzling Interplay Of Light and Shadow, Clouds and Color,

With due respect for a forecast that called for afternoon thunderstorms, and considering our "Jello" plan for a lengthy hike above timberline traversing the Dragon's Back's long, exposed ridge line—we were half asleep at the wheel well before old Sol shed light on Lovely Ouray.