Simon the Adventurer

What is the deal?
January 2, 2012, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Nature, Photography, skiing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The light this season has been really nice vivid sunsets, great cloud formations, Sunny more often than not, Wait a minute it’s Winter not Spring!  Colorado has been suffering through a strange winter season, attempting to subsist on awful ski conditions, man-made snow coating most of the runs and thousands of people skiing over it makes for a depressing season.  I’ll be the first to admit, I have a problem, the white powdery substance is the answer to my addiction I really want to go ski.

There are currently two schools of thought among the locals the first is hopeful sighting historic records as a magical tome that dictates relief after a long and patient wait.  “Just wait,” they say “The longer you wait the harder it will hit”
I’ll believe it when I see it.
The second school speaks of the farmers almanac, it is usually accurate stating that this is just a dry year.
Either way this makes dreams of shooting ski sessions really hard, there are few people willing to huck themselves off a rock with no snow to land on.  So it is landscapes and sunsets for the duration of the dry spell, remaining skeptical of the outcome.


Bumming and Booming
March 7, 2011, 7:54 am
Filed under: Photography, Places, skiing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

It seems as though there are times in which we run headfirst into our own mortality.  Repetition in exciting and fun, but potentially dangerous, activities is asking for trouble.  It’s only a matter of time, no matter how careful, we will trip up, it’s human nature, we expect the same result (definition of insanity) a “grandly fantastic day” every time, and the unthinkable happens and we/I end up with a bum leg.  I haven’t skied but once in the past week, I broke my streak at 110 days.  After having moved so very fast down hill I have come to a stand still, moments seem like time is in slow motion.  The usual cooking of breakfast is slowed to a  crawl, the pop and hiss of my eggs appears to be grossly elongated because there is no rush to get me to the gondola line, totally bummed.

But Boom! there are a great many things that need to be done.  Finished my taxes, Boom!  Reorganized my website, Boom! ( check out Steamboat under Landscapes)  I have showered regularly, Boom! (seriously there is a direct negative ratio of ski:shower days)  I’m about to finish reading a book, Boom!  What to do with all the time?  Pretty big fan of making other peoples days it doesn’t take much, Give wine to my coworkers, Boom!

Soon I will heal and be back on the snow, I will cherish the day, Boom!

There was a great November
November 14, 2010, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Photography | Tags: , , , , , ,

There was a great November,
the snow it fell down deep,
filled with things to remember,
The days were short, down to sleep.

To live well to live in richness of spirit, a goal sought out by many but oftentimes as fleeting as the seasons.  I have looked back upon life, brought about as only a birthday can, the past few years have been magnificent.  The wonderful memory aid that is photography has played a large part in the reminiscent process.   I have taken many thousand photos in all, a glimpse of time that can only be relived in memory, every shot tells a story.  Upon looking I had the chance to reconnect with friends and places distinguishing moments from yesteryear.  Forgotten memories remembered:

Those simple thoughts brought about by good archiving.  Archive and live well.

Pikes Peak
October 21, 2007, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Pikes peak-

“What are we doing?”

“Lets just go to Colorado Springs and then we’ll see”

This is a time where planning would have made this trip quite a bit more successful. We arrived in Manitou Springs at about 4 o’clock after checking in with the Pikes Peak highway rangers and finding out that there are no campsites besides Barr camp on the mountain as we had hoped. The smell of antifreeze loomed in the air making our endeavor a little frightening considering how far a way we were from home, but it’s not something I haven’t dealt with before. After letting the car cool a little, we proceeded to the trail-head unsure of what awaited. The spontaneity of the whole thing was a little daunting this time even though I had made reservations with the campsite online but hiking to it was the biggest problem because it was 7.5 miles down the trail and we had only a few hours of daylight left.

Times like these is when gear plays an important part, having only been camping and hiking for a relatively short period of time the hiking and camping gear that I have is somewhat heavy and exceptionally bulky for the trip we were about to make. For instance I have a three man tent that is sturdy and I have never had much of a problem with, (except for the zipper design) it was just bulky and hard to deal with. I usually put it in the stuff sack and strap it to the top of my pack because it is too hard to fit into the inner compartment. My sleeping bag while very warm is also kind of big. It is a 0 degree bag but it takes a third of my pack. The pack that I have is really cheap and horribly padded making it difficult to carry much weight. I did get a water filter that proved invaluable already because of the streams that run through the mountain side. The largest issue so far as parasites is called Geardia and this little guy is vicious. Residing in the mountain streams he makes his home in your small intestine for about 7 to 10 days and just feeds on what he finds there. Then each one of these parasites releases a cyst and you get sick, diarrhea, nausea and other nasty stuff making it rough going. This little guy at this point is very contagious, if you don’t wash your hands with antibacterial soap after relieving yourself. It is a sickness cycle that lasts about 6 weeks depending on regimented cleaning of the self and so long as your roommates don’t get it and give it back. Clean water it is for the both of us.

We started the accent at about 5 PM and worked our way up the switchbacks while joggers and families passed us as they were on the way down. There is a steep set of switchbacks to get started called “The Incline” that took us about 3.5 miles up with great views of the mountain town below. On the way we ran into some locals that offered the advice to camp the night at the top of the incline where it flattens out before moving up again to Barr camp. “You think it’s gonna rain?” Asked the jogger, “I don’t think so.” HA almost no sooner had I said that, the first big drop hit me in the forehead. The joy of mountain weather decided to give us a visit with just a bit of spitting rain to start, it quickly progressed to a heaver rain and quite a bit of wind but no lighting. We had to get out the rain gear in order to cover the essentials, the sleeping bags, and the tent; the rest could dry out over night because of the arid climate. Watching the weather is important because it can move so quickly at altitude but I had forgotten to do this because of the looming darkness of dusk. It rained for about 20 min just enough to get the trail a little better packed and us a little wet. We made it to the top of the incline and it was just getting dark which was fortunate considering the sleep that was needed. Seeking out a campsite was quick work, we pitched the tent and went to sleep.

I was going to make tea in the morning but after looking at the water situation I opted not to, we had a liter each and we would need that for the assent to Barr. Not knowing there was a stream not ¾ mile down the trail. -Early morning light is beautiful, there is purity about it coming over the horizon and hitting the mountains it seems to whisper the secrets they hold having been there from the beginning. The wise old mountain sits quietly steadfast and awaits your greeting of the morning. Solitary and unique the crests and meadows speak volumes to those who still wonder in the midst of these tree bearing giants.-

Shane and I fill up the water pouch with fresh mountain stream water that rivals any bottle of store bought sorry excuse for water. The next part of the hike was really nice it was more like rolling hills making their way through the forest as opposed to the steep manmade switchbacks. The trail was wide enough for us to walk side-by-side which always makes for much better conversation. It was unhurried and very pleasant ascending to Barr Camp through the deposits of Quivering Aspen, Spruce, and Pine. Barr camp was made by a dude named Barr and had originally set up a cabin at 10200 feet to have a way-point for his burro rides up the mountain. He made the trail and the cabin without the permission of the national parks association but after they found out what was going on it was already done and there wasn’t much they could do about it. We got to Barr camp at around 12 and after stepping into the cabin Neal and Teressa became the nicest caretakers anyone could ask for. I would suggest Barr camp to anyone that hikes pikes peak 10 bucks for tent camping and an all you can eat whole wheat apple pancake breakfast. Due to the rain and reports of hail, snow, and lightning we decided not to ascend to the peak that day. We would see if tomorrow would be better but we needed to be sure to get back to Denver by early afternoon because Tyler was getting in from some wedding. Breakfast was at 7 and it was fantastic, the afore mentioned whole wheat pancakes infused with walnuts and apple slices, slathered in peanut butter, literally breakfast of champions. It was a tough decision but it looked like summiting wasn’t going to happen, there was the thought of taking the cog train to the summit and hiking back down to camp but the 8 O’clock train wasn’t running and the 920 would have set us back too far. So down it was which is always disappointing oh well it was a great trip either way. We made our way quickly with a few stops for photos, down the hill and to the car and back to Denver.