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

Friday, December 24, 2021

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Embracing The Suck

Notice Lovely Ouray in the above photo, nestled at the base of our soaring, snowcapped San Juan Mountains. Bobbie and I departed early, before sunrise spilled into La Crevice, for a loop hike that proved a lot more challenging than we thought it would.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Story Behind Old Horse Thief Trail

It was early morning, about sunup, when Bobbie and I began trading suggestions for our daily hike. A recent spell of dry and mild weather had pushed the snow-line back up to 10,000 feet or so, even more on south facing slopes. We decided to give Old Horse Thief Trail a go...snow or no snow.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

There Must Be 50 Ways To "Overlook" Lovely Ouray


Some of the finest views lie at the end of difficult climbs. And there's certainly no lack of nearby trails and/or peaks from which one can "overlook" Lovely Ouray....

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Oh Danny Boy


It's that time of year. High up groves of aspen—now all but bare of leaves—assume a austere stick-figure mood. Old Man Winter lurks just around the corner. Time is of the essence, now, as we try to squeeze as many outings as possible before the snow and blow and the death pall of insipid grayness creeps down mountain. Thus we are motivated, to soak in the last vestiges and muted remnants of color that lingers in and around Lovely Ouray.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Ms Autumn's Last Hurrah: Dwarfed By Aspen—Drenched In Color—Dog-Ass Tired

Fall collapses into winter as I pen this post. Higher up, aspens and oak brush beat a retreat to dormancy. Leaves are fast to lose their grip on color when fall yields to the calendar. Every year, pre-winter winds strip Ms Autumn's golden leaves in a death-spiral, where they lie in rot in the muck of muddy trails. Thus, I am thankful that we caught Ms Autumn at her brightest, wandering in her radiant light, filtered through warm golden hues that never fail to usher joy, a joy to just be outside and alive.

Monday, October 11, 2021

The Perilous Path: A Deep Backcountry Reprise

To me, and hopefully most of my dear outdoor type readers, the most appreciable aspect regarding hiking, biking or even walking (yes, walking), is that there's always a trail or road or park path to suit even the most surly outdoor snob (me), a place where one gets to pick their preferred resistance and difficulty level. 

Monday, October 4, 2021

Abandoned Mines and Ghost Towns: A Dazzling Autumnal Color-Trek In The San Juan Mountains

I suppose it's curiosity that drives Bobbie and I to push deeper into mountainous backcountry...that and a compulsion to be alone.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Recent Random Rambles

"From dream to dream and rhyme to rhyme I have ranged / In rambling talk with an image of air: / Vague memories, nothing but memories."  William Butler Yeats

Monday, September 27, 2021

Plan B


Success is not so much determined by how one carries out Plan A, as it is how one copes with all of life's Plan Bs.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Another "New Dots" Hike Requires A Wade Across The Animas River

For every sortie into new territory, we connect more new dots that reveal the lay of the land. It's slow, painstaking work that requires an investment of  decades. But we love every step, as, one by one, the rugged San Juan Mountains reward us with secrets. Who knows, maybe someday all these new dots will complete the "puzzle" and we can throw away our hiking maps and apps.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

New Dots!

Studies show that human beings crave/need novelty, lest we wither on the vine of life. While Bobbie and I love the excess and convenience of nearby trails, there's nothing like "New Dots" to recharge legs and soul. It fends off boredom (stagnation?) to climb out of comfy grooves every so often and break some new ground...be it a trail, changing jobs, new relationship or uprooting to someplace different. 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Happiness Is Finding A Hidden Lake...In A Secluded Basin...With A Challenging Ridge Line Summit

 The route is vertiginous, to the degree that you can almost feel the flow of talus underfoot. That the the whole hillside doesn't give way and slough downhill and close the Jeep road access is beyond me.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Exploring The Upper Reaches Of Blaine Basin, Below Mount Sneffels Seldom Trekked North Face

It is said that "familiarity breeds contempt." Perhaps that's why the grind up to Blaine Basin is among my least favorite hikes, that and the fact that a good 80 percent of it winds through monotonous can't-see-the-mountains-for-the-trees forest. Thus, I almost begged off the invitation to accompany Bobbie and good friend, Martha. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Reflections At "The Ponds"

A negligible western wildfire haze softened the atmosphere , lending a pastel painting ambiance to our Red Mountain surround. Summer's lush green grass at "The Ponds" was on the wane, as chlorophyl beat a slow retreat to dormancy. In a week or two, our above-timberline mountain playgrounds will fade to slopes of tawny gold, and remind us of Ms Autumn's steady approach.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Old Dog, New Tricks

When it seems like you can't change what's going on around you, it might be time to consider changing what's going on inside. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Finding Purpose By Movement In The Outdoors

To say that a Mount Abram summit begins with a serious, near vertical grind is an understatement. For some reason, it reminds of my grandparents ladder-like attic stairway, a narrow, near vertical shaft constructed with 4 inch treads on a 12 inch rise. Somehow, and at great peril, I might add, my Grandma Carder could traverse up and down that contravention of ethics and "building code" in 3 inch heels. Then, as if to elevate "perilous" to treacherous, Granddad never bothered to install a handrail.  The attic was crammed with odds and ends of "memorabilia," boxes and boxes of artifacts destined for a "someday" yard sale that never came to pass. If there is a "bright side" to getting old and crippled, it's that it will excuse long put off chores indefinitely, which, at some point, becomes forever.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Fun With Megan and Micheal


Great niece, Megan, and spouse Micheal, dropped by Lovely Ouray for a couple of days. The Pennsylvanians were on a 4 to 6 week road trip tour of the southwest. Unfortunately, record high temps, countless forest fires and a monsoonal deluge plagued some of their camping trip, they made lemonade out of lemons and toughed it out. And to think, it was their honeymoon?

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

On Wildflowers


"Wildflowers are the loveliest of all because they grow in uncultivated soil, in those hard, rugged places where no one expects them to flourish."  Micheline Ryckman 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Red Rovers Hike The "Reds"

Red was my father's favorite color. He loved red cars, red dresses, red apples, red neckties, and, of course, Arizona's flaming red sunsets. Anything red got his attention. Like father like son, they say, and this ole "red apple" didn't fall from the "tree."

Friday, July 9, 2021

Barstow Mining Ruins, and Flower Blooms In Spirit Basin


At over 11,200 feet, visiting the old Barstow Mine will certainly test the lungs of "flat-land" tourists. But it's worth every breath just to gaze upon immense piles of colorful tailings plastered against a sheer backdrop of green vegetation and mountaintops that soar into the heavenly blue skies of Southwest Colorado.  But wait, there's more! 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Our Mining Heritage: A Glimpse Back At The Boom/Bust Era Of Mining.

Bright and early on an unseasonably warm day, our threesome rolled south out of Lovely Ouray on the legendary not-for-acrophobs Highway 550. I was invited to join a couple of Hiker Babes with aspirations to become "Youtube Babes" (apparently, being in my "Hiker Babe Harem" wasn't good enough). Anyway, they needed stage names so Ruthie and Bobbie consulted their alter egos and came up with Ruthless and Reckless, "Two Old Broads" who get "high" hiking in our San Juan Mountains and further demonstrating to all that age is just a number. You can support the "Two Old Broads," Ruthless and Reckless, by subscribing to their Youtube Cannel. You never know what to expect from a couple of quirky gals who's motto is "It's not a hike if nobody bleeds." 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Taking On Lovely Ouray's Via Ferrata: Climb—Traverse—Descend Repeat


Bobbie decided she wanted to do something out of the ordinary for our 35th anniversary. Unbeknownst to me, she booked us on Lovely Ouray's newest adventure, the Via Ferrata. Cool! What's not to love, climbing harnesses, carabinieres  and clinging to cliff faces.  Surprise!  

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Monday, May 31, 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Thursday, April 15, 2021

"Don't flaunt what you didn't earn"

“The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.” Aaron Lauritsen, 100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip.  
Aaron said something else I agree with, which, more or less, goes something like this: Don't flaunt what you didn't earn. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Drawing Lines: MTB Axioms and Other Random Considerations For Simpleminded Geezer-Bikers

We are all on a quest for meaning...heroic journeys, from the time of the ancients to present day, begin with a call to adventure–a challenge or opportunity to face the unknown and gain something of physical or spiritual value. American mythologist, Joseph Campbell, who coined the phrase "Follow your bliss."

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

What Have You Got To Lose?

Even though we believe we grow up and move on from our volatile adolescence, deep down we're still just a conglomeration of hormones — the same ridiculous teenager, now worn around the edges by life. Jill Homer of "Jill Outside," The necessity and frivolity of personal challenges.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Reflections On The Intersection Between Pride and Practicality On The Corner of Nature and Freedom

"When you stay too long in one place, you forget just how big an expanse the world is. You get no sense of the vastness...just as it is hard to have a sense of the vastness inside any one person. But once you sense that vastness, once something reveals it, hope emerges...and it clings to you as stubbornly as lichen clings to rock."  Matt Haig, "The Midnight Library"

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Desert Solitaire: Finding The Wilderness Needle-In-A-Haystack On The Edge Of Megalopolis

Looking for "The Few" in a Pandemic Year. Never before have so many, driven so far, to join a mega-throng of urbanites in search of peace and quiet.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Friday, January 8, 2021

Wheels On The Ground

For me, mountain biking is a lot like love. One minute you're flying high, elated and elevated as a bird in flight. The next minute you're sprawled on the ground in a crumpled heap, accessing bodily damage and brain function. As in love, mountain biking measures out both elation and devastation, and the latter can happen in the blink of an eye.