"Uncertainty is all. Crazyass passion is the staple of life, and persistence its nourishing force." Rinker Buck, The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
It's our 34th anniversary and, of course, Bobbie wants to celebrate by going for a hike. A short discussion ensues, followed by a decision on destination. It will be 13,000 feet. There will be snow. How far can we get? It's all the unknowns that drives excitement.
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Two days after Bridge of Heaven, the 3 "hiker babes," plus Your's Truly, headed up the Million Dollar Highway in order to hike the Richmond Pass Trail. There are several ways to get to Richmond's lofty Pass, but this trail is the shortest...thus, the steepest. Not 200 yards out of the "gate," we were already gassed. Note: Rate of Ascent + Angle of Ascent + Altitude + Headwind = Yards Till Gassed. Simple math.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Anyone who spends most of their time playing in the mountains knows the old adage: The harder the climb, the better the view. Of course there are less grueling choices for when hearts overrule Type One minds. But for me, well, they just don't feel quite as satisfying.
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Recall a couple/three weeks ago when our geezer hiker club failed in an attempt to hike up to Yellow Jacket Mine via Bear Creek Trail. Unfortunately, we were turned back by a precipitous slide area that had throughly eroded any trace of a trail, where one slipped step could send the slip-ee over a cliff into a roaring creek swelled with spring runoff.
Monday, June 8, 2020
I truly loathe the spurts and bouts of weather regression during spring, especially after a couple of teasing weeks of outdoor perfection. So our weather pulled a "Breaking Bad" a few days ago. We're nearing the fourth consecutive day of unnerving, tree-toppling wind that pack gusts to over 40 mph. Worse, the weather guessers now predict snow tonight.
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Thursday, June 4, 2020
Unless you happen to love post-holeing through knee to hip deep snow, hiking above timberline this time of year generally requires "equipment," things like snowshoes, gators, crampons...backcountry skis. We seldom prepare for lingering spring snow, thinking we'll just figure it out as we go...which usually translates to, if the "draw" is strong enough we'll just post-hole...end up with bloody shins from ice-shards, heavy soggy shoes, and frozen toes. But post-holing is not as much fun as it used to be. Nowadays, we try to minimized it to once a year. Fortunately, there's a solution around Lovely Ouray for hiking above timberline during spring's prolonged meltdown.
Monday, June 1, 2020
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
I've always found Upper Cascade Falls difficult to photograph, primarily due to the precipitous, and at times, vertical landscape that encircles this natural wonder. I think a drone mounted camera would be the best tool to photograph Cascade and other falls. Maybe I should give Mike of Ouray By Flight a call.
Sunday, May 24, 2020
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such moments, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready." Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
There are more than a few mountain mine locales that Bobbie and I frequent...scratch our sweaty brows in wonderment at how miners managed to cart hulking, cumbersome pieces of heavy equipment up to their hard-rock digs. One of the more astounding examples of this is Grizzly Mine, with its improbable narrow access literally etched into the cliff-face above Bear Creek. You'll find this trail less than five miles south of Lovely Ouray on the infamous Million Dollar Highway...another etched-in-a-cliff-face wonder, as in "How in the Hell?"
Sunday, May 17, 2020
As with the improbable evening primrose that blossoms from south-facing hardscrabble earth, life can be tough, fragile, and tenuous. Our task is to not surrender to our plight nor place blame on our assigned plot of gritty, parched soil that sucks us dry. Rather, we must live on in spite of peril, and blossom like the Primrose...
Today's thoughts, inspired by American poet and author Anthony Liccione.
Thursday, May 14, 2020
While cherry blossoms are likely wilted to Long gone where you live...carpeting your manicured, thrice-mown eastern blue-grass lawn with the sweet funeral flower fragrance that reminds us, at this point in time, of a welcomed death...we who reside here in the "upper-lands" endure winter's dawdling demise with unhinged agitation. The white plague turns us back from lofty, preseason destinations...places we need to inspire us with a renewed since of will-to-live in a world run amuck. Nature and solitude seem to be the only things that can take our minds off the current buttloads of contradictory blather-slather.
Saturday, May 9, 2020
A little down this Saturday, especially after reading a NY Times article this morning that suggested we might be living with the Virus for years, as it comes and goes in waves until we either develop "herd immunity" or a vaccine comes to our rescue. Though the Virus has yet to greatly affect our lives here in "Tiny Town"—we are doing pretty much everything we normally did pre-Virus, outdoor things like hiking, biking, exploring, etc. etc.. However! I am beginning to wonder if this "social separation" and mask thing is going be part of our new normal, at least for seniors, anyway. I must say: Of all the accommodations I've surrendered to this fucking pandemic, it is the handshake/hug exchange I miss the most.
I know, I know: It could be worse...
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Smack dab within the city limits of Lovely Ouray there's a steep, winding trail that will spirit hardy hikers up to the "Bridge Of Heaven." It's a quad-crushing 5 mile hike to the "Bridge," the last 2 miles of which involve substantial post-holeing through knee to waist-deep mounds of snow. Trust me, even the last week in April is considered too early to attempt "Heaven's Bridge" without snow shoes. In fact, some years June's pushing it...unless, of course, you like post-holing and bloody shins.
Sunday, April 26, 2020
"To everything a season: A time to embrace...a time to refrain from embracing" On "Hope," and Getting Shit Off My Chest
Just about now, in a "normal" year, I'd be rumbling up our driveway in Lovely Ouray...all worn out and physically fit from over a month's worth of hiking/biking/exploring Eastern Utah's notorious nooks. But this is not a "normal" year (oh how we took them for granted), so that Rv season-ending indulgence got blown out of the waterless red rock desert by the "new normal," for at least for a year or two anyway, maybe more. Revelations is upon us. Go ahead, stamp 666 on my forehead. But please make this C-shit go away.
Saturday, April 18, 2020
I went to Lovely Ouray's lone liquor store yesterday, only to find an eight-ish year old kid on a bike parked square in the middle of the store's entry alcove and effectively blocking my urgent mission to resupply the empty beer section in our fridge. I noted a lady inside at the checkout counter, purchasing a 12 pack of Coors Light. I asked the kid if he was waiting on her or someone in the store...
Saturday, April 11, 2020
We are boondocked in one of our favorite camps, amid the rolling, well bouldered foothills of the Catalina Mountains. It's a familiar comfortable spot, like a home away from home.
Friday, April 3, 2020
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
It fit my mood, an overcast morning forecasted to deteriorate into heavy rain with flash flooding. Bobbie and I ease into Greenwood Cemetery and park near the office. I crack my window and gaze at endless rows of headstones and monuments. They rise from a struggling lawn, caught in the seasonal purgatory between winter and summer—life and death. The veil of thieving clouds hijacks color, contrast, an shadow, lending a dismal pall to a long overdue occasion.
Friday, March 20, 2020
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Monday, February 17, 2020
The water looked so inviting. But, as we all know, "looks" can be deceiving. Belying the lake and landscape's superficial beauty awaited 54 degree ice water. So we skipped the "dip," opting instead to ponder the contradiction of so much precious water in one of the driest desert landscapes on earth.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Couldn't have asked for a better day to squeeze in one last romp in waist-deep snow. Well, waist deep for Kelli, that is.
Monday, January 13, 2020
Instead of reaching for my phone, I decided to kill time by thumbing through a back-issue of PleinAir Magazine while waiting to be called for my annual "wellness" interview. Thus, I stumbled upon an article headline that caught my interest: "The act of making art-making has a profound impact on one's brain, state of mind, attitude, will to live and stress levels."
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
"What do you want to do for your birthday," I ask.
"I want to go sledding," she replies. "And I want bacon, biscuits and honey for breakfast."