“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein
"Life is good...it says so on my ball cap." mej

Header Photo: Bobbie, putting the finishing touches on one of our many backyard 13ers.

Friday, July 21, 2017

"True Adventure," part II...On Fate, Destiny, and Random acts of Blindness


Picking up from the last post, Bobbie and I were studying the precipitous, sun-cupped slab of frozen snow that stood like a raised drawbridge between us and a 13er summit. Undeterred and un-deteoured, I ventured onto the ice in order to test its resilience against attempts to stomp/carve a reasonable path. They were promptly rebuffed, which hatched a kaleidoscope of butterflies in my stomach. I could feel toes trying to clench a grip on the snow through the soles of my boots. One slip and I'm a human bobsled, going for the "gold."

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

On True "Adventure;" Confessions of a Malcontent with holes in his Genes


It's easy to say I'm not cursed, that I am blessed: lucky in just having the chance to come...steal a moment in such a high place. Andy Kirkpatrick, Psycho Vertical.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

An Abram summit with the Swift Family Anderson




You see it from afar, sandwiched mightily in a noticeable gap, a snowcapped pyramid as magical and powerful those found along River Nile in Egypt. It's true what they say, you know, about the Powers inherent in Pyramidal shapes. I've seen it for myself. Weird shit...like finding my normally dull pocketknife honed to a razor's edge after ascending Abrams Pyramidal peak. And then there are stories...rumors of old men with vasectomies who, upon return, impregnate unassuming women with tied tubes. FYI Geezers, lest you desire putting yet another rugrat through college or your Social Security check halved by child support payments, I recommend abstaining from sex for at least a week after climbing Abram.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The rat that gnaws inside


"Probably the thing that bothered me most...was not the fear of dying, but the fear of getting old and realizing I'd let doubt and fear stop me from living the life I'd really wanted to live." Andy Kirkpatrick, Psycho Vertical. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Humping Jane Doe


I've been to a mountain with a view that's insane,
It felt good to be out of the rain
On the mountain I can't remember her name
But there ain't no one for to give me no pain
La la la la la la la......

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Uncivilized Disobedience


My biggest problem was where to go. Too high, and I'm slogging through scrotum deep snow. Too low and I'm closeted in a damp, dark, dismal forest swatting at mosquitoes.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Another Ride on The Red Dragon


"I needed to escape from normality. To leave the din of my life, leave...thoughts and troubles behind. The only thing that always seemed to be simple was this piece of rock." Andy Kirkpatrick, Psycho Vertical

Sunday, June 25, 2017

MOAB, Paper Boats, and Mother Cabrini


Using only duct tape and cardboard, Colorado School of Mine students hold an annual contest/race to see who can build a paper boat sturdy enough to withstand the rapids of Clear Creek in downtown Golden.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hypoxic Junkie


I was in a funk last week (you may have noticed). It was one of those glass-half-empty weeks; barely energy enough to do what I need to do in order to keep a grip on sanity. It takes a toll, doing what I need to do in order to combat the minute by minute scroll of apocalyptic headlines.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Campfire Promise Kept


31 years ago, lakeside—in the burgeoning morning twilight on the first day of summer—a small wedding party climbed into a couple of rickety wicker baskets attached by rope to hot air balloons. With a deafening blast and flame, they ascended in unison...earth shrinking, love expanding...smiles all around. An acrophobic Justice of the Peace wondered out loud why in Christ's name he ever agreed to this gig. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tread Softly Upon My Dreams...


Bobbie and I are up early today, shoving food into backpacks, filling hydro-bags with water, wolfing down coffee. We are getting ready for an "Anniversary Hike" (31 years of marriage, preceded by 4 years of living in sin), an attempt on the summit of Mount Abram. Though warm lately, I can see from the deck that much snow lingers about its pyramidal peak. This attempt may prove to be premature; I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

More Mountain Spam... A Windy Hike to Ouray Overlook and a couple new Glacading Videos from Black Bear hike


Another day in paradise...even if we didn't get above timberline (sigh) nor conjure up a single drop of adrenaline (double sigh).  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Serendipity on the Mountain; Breaking Glorious New Ground on the Shoulders of Trico Peak


Sara N. Dippity found us wandering around in the mountains yesterday, and stopped to say "Hello." It's been a while since our paths crossed. Then again, maybe I'm underestimating her cunning ways of slipping in and out without notice, you know, all those little things in life that we sometimes take for granted. The "thing" with "Sara" is, she only meets you halfway. It's up to us to get out of our chairs or cars.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Way to The Bridge of Heaven Goes Straight Through Hell


Bridge of Heaven is a long, but Heavenly hike; 10.6 miles roundtrip from our doorstep, to be exact. Old Horse Thief Trail adjoins the Bridge of Heaven Trail on a grassy ridge line I can spy from our living room. When put together, the two trails ascend an astonishing 4,000 feet in just over 5 miles, and lands you on a precipice that overlooks a cavernous glacial basin...so eroded, so rotten of rock, so impossible to traverse that Big Horn ewes choose it as the ideal place to "lamb." 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Perseverance Is Key To Twin Peaks Summit




It has been an exhausting, thus grand week, having notched three colossal hike-ascents on our "climbing belts." Number two was a summit on Lovely Ouray's sentinel, Twin Peaks. It's a hike to my liking, a grinding workout with a thrilling payoff, and no logistics beyond checking the forecast. Simply walk out the front door and trek.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Treading Lightly" (concluded) Plus, a "glacading" video for your amusement



In regard to extreme outdoor endeavors: Embrace them as challenges...un-forgettable, un-regrettable moments of triumph that carry us through doldrum times, or when such things have slipped beyond our grasp.  Box Canyon Mantra: 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Treading Lightly on Red Dragon's Back


 From exceptional minds comes wisdom so simple and lucid in its expression that even I can grasp. Here's a few reminders for those whose priorities need adjustment:  "Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. Khalil Gibran, and, "In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play," Friedrich Nietzsche,  and my favorite, “Play is the highest form of research" Albert Einstein.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ice Ice Baby...




It was a fast and furious weekend that ended all too soon. Caleb and Kelli just departed for home and Bobbie just left for a day of work at Mountain Fever. Other than the rhythmic groan of an overpacked dishwasher, I am left alone in the post-party vacuum of a too quiet house.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Insult to Injury...A Bonus Post


And the Weather God has spoken. Rumors of Old Man Winter's death are greatly exaggerated...

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.



It wasn't my intention to "go dark" at Brother Dan's dinner table. But you know how it is, one thing (beer) leads to another (beer) and before I know it there's a pile of "guts" on the Lazy Susan centerpiece, and they look a lot like mine.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Rekindling The Bro-mance



Well now, before setting the BCB's sail for Toledo, let me take a sec to mention that Spirit Airlines is in the headlines again. Funny how when you don't pay or treat your employees worth a damn they don't bother to show up sometimes...and riots break out in airports. It's about time people. Rise up! Reward abuse, deceit, and uncaring corporate behavior by taking your business and money elsewhere, and start by NEVER FLYING Spirit Airlines AGAIN! Now on to more pleasant topics, a trip to Toledo to see kinfolk.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Spirit Airlines: The Art of "Fee-Mongering"



Scammed, swindled, schemed, stung...snookered, shafted, snowed, slighted, spoofed...suckered...shell-gamed, and slick-willyed; that's how we felt after flying Spirit Airlines. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Devil's Advocate



Recall that riding time in "Klondike" was cut short this year...thanks to a routine drug prescription that couldn't free itself from jaws of ineptitude wrapped in 47 rolls of Bureaucratic "Red Tape." We are home in Lovely Ouray as I write this update, watching it snow, and with much to share. The prescription debacle is resolved, at least till then next time I need to refill it...now 60 days and counting. I've managed only a single bike ride since Klondike (sniff), a long, steep, grunt up Camp Bird Road to its namesake mine.  

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I am the Wuss-Man, coo coo ca choo


Slipping from winter into summer in Lovely Ouray is like slipping from your starched Sunday best into a ratty old pair of "sweats. It is our season of comfort, a time to pack away itchy wool and sticky Gore-Tex till October, and embrace the soft caress of loose-fit cotton. In most places, "Spring" means planting flowers and seeding gardens in a pair of shorts. Spring around here means 8 more weeks of winter.  

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Unscrupulous Bastards: "'Reality Bites" concluded


Finally, after wailing and gnashing of teeth, down to two pills, I get an automated call from Wally World. My prescription is ready for pick up... 1,200 bucks before co-pay...600 bucks after. It could be worse...

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Reality Bites: A Tough Reentry



This is my surreal front yard on a good day, which, unfortunately, today is not. So I hunker down in Western Utah's Camp Fairytale whilst a gale wind shudders Goldie's aluminum skin and rattles her Imax "sliders," now mucked by a recipe of one part spits of rain, two parts atomized red dirt.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Rocket Man



I woke up this morning and didn't smell the coffee. Somewhere in that Twilight Zone haze between Far Side dreams and full consciousness, 2 and 2 doesn't add up to 4. It's too cold, for one thing. Early bird Bobbie must be sleeping in.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Grumpy, Dopey, Sneezy, and Sleepy...On Travel, and Winding Down in "The Circumference of Home"



This update comes to you from a low bandwidth boondock camp on the westward side of Utah's Abajo Mountains, 7500 feet above sea level, deep in a forest of aromatic ponderosa. Finally, we outrun the stubborn dome of high pressure and resulting record-setting heat, and are able to go about our walks, hikes, and bike rides in coolness of body, mind, and spirit.  #heatsucks!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

When I was young like Juliet


Imagine you're a "Millennial" from Seattle. It's been cold and wet for weeks—downright dismal, with more drizzle and snow than should be allowed...

Monday, February 27, 2017

Honey Bee


For your entertainment/amusement, I offer a 4 minute video synopsis of Honey Bee, a real sweet ride...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Loving TMP


Thank God for people like C. B. Brown, a forward-looking citizen who, in 1929, happened to be Chairman of Pima County's "Parks and Rec." Ya see, it pays to do something magnanimous... something that lasts longer than than your measly lifespan. It's called "leaving a legacy," and future generations will continue to mention your name long after you've kicked the bucket-list goodbye. If you're lucky, you might even get a mountain named after you (Brown Mountain), and a mention in some insignificant blog post whose editor appreciates your foresight.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Condensed Milk


Playing catch up here... a barrage of photos on an almost Wordless Friday.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hiking Memory Lane


Eyeing our Vulture Peak objective from afar, I didn't have a single specific recollection of climbing it. But my Bobbie App says we did, and she's seldom wrong about such things. It's highly unusual for me to forget a "checkmark" on a summit during our Peak-Bagging youth. However, as my dear ol' Daddy used to say, when there comes a marital difference of opinion, always defer to beauty :).   

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This Is My Brain On Drugs


We moved south a couple hundred miles from Boulder City (the forecast made us do it). I write this from a boondock in the hill-dale shadows of Vulture Peak, a summit we climbed (there is disagreement here so I'll just say) some time around Y2K.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Through The Looking Glass


We had a couple more hikes around Boulder City... in between blasts of wind and spurts of rain. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Purgatory


I was watching the BCS Championship game the night before departing Lovely Ouray. As time ran out, I could have swore I heard Bear Bryant groan from his grave. Indeed, Clemson—down 14—came from behind, scored a touchdown with one second left on the clock, and beat almighty Alabama 35 to 31. Crimson Tide fans wept.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Forget "Resolutions!" Instead Make a "Plan," and Make it Happen


Bobbie and I had a New Year Eve eve snow-romp up to Commodore  Basin with son, Caleb, and dottor-n-law, Kelli. Lordy, it was such a beautiful, warm day... so nice, in fact, that if all of winter was "such," I could almost winter here :).