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Showing posts from 2013

Creating My Story - Pecha Kucha

Flattops Wilderness Backpack

After years of trying to execute a backpack trip and journey into the western Colorado Flattops Wilderness, a friend and I set out for a three day loop hike in September. It was in this area where Arthur Carhart of the US Forest Service surveyed during the 1920s and recommended it managed as is; where Wilderness was born. This area is known for its wildness and remote rich ecosystem and wilderness values. The 25 mile loop trail followed mountain streams, wound around large alpine lakes, got lost in the abnormally wet dense spruce/fir forest, opened up on top of the Flattops where the trail completely disappeared due to a lack of foot traffic and lead us to beautiful views and vistas.  Due to a lack of human presence, wildlife spottings were abundant. We encountered elk, eagles, schools of trout, fox, coyotes and we even came upon fresh bear tracks. The magical sounds of the elk bugling woke us up in the morning and also echoed through the forest long into the evening. Rainstorms brough

Labor Day Weekend on Avalanche Pass

Getting out and exploring ‘new to me’ places is one of my favorite ways to spend my time off. I literally spread the trail maps out on the floor of my small apartment and begin dreaming. I lay on the floor and trace multiple routes determining their distance and elevation, figuring out which would be best for easy day hikes, longer harder epic day hikes, and longer overnight backpacking adventures – my favorite. I always seek out the new uncharted un-highlighted (yes, I highlight all the trails on the map that I’ve spent time on) trails that I've never explored. Then I begin to list the possible routes in my notebook next to the list of my possible hiking buddies. After spending a couple hours speculating the best route for the perfect weekend, I then email the usual suspects – friends who also share my love and passion for exploring wilderness areas. After much planning, deliberation, and soliciting partners this time I ended up going by myself. Sometimes this is the best way anyw

Riverside Bluegrass

Upon receiving my new amazing Therm-A- Rest Sleep System, I used it on the banks of the Colorado River at Riverbend Park in Palisade Colorado at the Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Festival . I know this was not a backcountry experience, however sleeping on a brand new super comfortable sleep system made all difference while volunteering on the Green Team and enjoying this summer music festival for three days. My Green Team role involved working with a large volunteer team to divert all compostable and recyclable materials from the landfill while ultimately doing good for the planet and also enjoying some incredible bluegrass music in a spectacular desert riverside setting with friends. Hanging out in the huge Riverbend Park on the banks of the Colorado River was a treat. It was fantastic to be able to take a dip in the river four to five times a day as the June desert days are so hot and dry.  After long hot days on my feet both working and dancing, retiring to my most comfortable therm-
Aspen Daily News April 19, 2013

Unexplored Desert Canyons

After living in Western Colorado for nearly 9 years I finally went an explored a couple canyons off of Highway 50 that I’ve driven by often. Fully loaded in the small Subaru Imprezza with four people and the dog and all of our gear for the weekend, we took off for a weekend adventure in a new place. It’s such an unused area that the map selection is extremely limited. Unless we could get our hands on a USGS 7.5minute quadrangle map (yeah, most people don’t even know what those are) there are only very basic illustrated BLM maps available for download and printing. So with our crude simple map, we ventured the two hour drive from our small mountain town to Dominguez and Escalante Canyons along the banks of the Gunnison River. We had been told a couple anecdotal stories of this area including that there may be some rock art, there may or may not be a public bridge across the river, and that camping was questionable. With our limited knowledge we were psyched for the adventure. Arriving a

April 4, 2013 Letter to Editor