26 June 2006

Monitor Rock - climbing, camping & fishing

Beautiful weekend. Mia, Julia and I drove up to Twin Lakes area Friday evening. We found a nice camp site in the Lakeview NF campground. Saturday morning, we hooked up w/ Bob, Inge and their son Garett. Scott and his grand daughter, Jade met up with us later. After Mia led a warm up, which felt hard to me, I somehow sketched up a sick, thin 10d. No stick clipping the first bolt for me though. Dumb as a brick, I would have busted my good leg if I fell. For sure, not 10d for short guys like me. Bob & Inge climbed awesome - pretty much off the couch.

The kids had fun swinging on the rope. Definitely click on photo for the full Julia effect. It was Jade's first time camping and climbing. Later she caught a trout, first cast. It was a whopping 14" (minus 10"). Some kids have all the luck. Bob actually caught a couple fish. Eight inches he said, hands spread apart the width between his wrist and elbow. :-) My reply won't be mentioned here. Hah!

More pics here.

20 June 2006

A weekend climbing near Redcliff

We met Christy, from Gunnison, North of Redcliff at the Homestake road and found a great place to camp. We climbed at Homestake Wall (our name) the next day. Left is a shot of Margit leading. Sunday, we climbed above the Hornsilver campground.

The usual shenanigans happened back at camp. The infamous folding collapsing chair struck again. Also Julia took an interest in yoga, following Christy's style.

I have to include a nice shot of the Redcliff bridge over the Eagle River at the mouth of Gilman Canyon.

19 June 2006

Julia's 1st swim lesson

I sat poolside and smiled the whole time. This picture shows the instructor teaching Julia how to blow bubbles.
More pics here.

15 June 2006

The mouse and the cherry pits

I heard a squeak from Mia's office. She yelled "there's a mouse". I came over and she pointed to the trash can. I looked in and saw cherry pits, a kleenex and a mouse. She had just thrown another pit in when something jumped. That's when she called in the pest patrol - me.

Graduation day from spring Gymnastics

Julia graduates, from gymastics, with a vengeance!
More pics here.

14 June 2006

The smell of fire

Today was hot and windy. Maybe record breaking hot. Perfect fire conditions. Sort of spooky because I expected something to happen.

After work, I went outside and smelled it. The smell of fire. I could smell it wasn't close though. We walked around the Wild Horse Circle loop and could see an unusual haze North, East and South. It wasn't pollution haze, it was different. After putting my girls to bed, I checked my RSS feeds. Yep. A fire in NW Colorado (3000 acres), a small one (12 acres) by the Wyoming border, another small one near Cascade (west of Co. Springs) and in WestCliffe (200 acres).

I'm still spooked, it's still windy and the summer is just starting. Glad that my nose is good.

08 June 2006

A fox visits my summer office

Working from the deck again today. A fox sauntered by in the afternoon for a drink from the bird bath .. then did some posing.

07 June 2006

Chipmunk Frenzy in Pine Brook Hills

1st Incident today:
Working in a home office makes it tough not to notice the wildlife. Today, I moved the laptop to the deck. I heard a very unusual bird call. Walking closer to the sound, I saw a chipmunk. Not the usual chipmunk mind you .. but a chipmunk with something large growing around it neck. I followed it around the garage to get a better look. A second chipmunk was wrapped around it's neck OR in it's teeth. Hard to tell. It ran under a boulder so I can only speculate. Could it be a cannibal chipmunk?

2nd Incident today:
Mia & I were talking on the deck. We heard some squeaks. We turned around to see a chipmunk falling to the deck. Did it fall off the tree? Was it dropped by a bird? Did it lose a fight to another chipmunk on the roof? In any case, it lay on it's back unmoving. Poor chipmunk. It didn't look good. 30 seconds went by while we watched it. I slowly approached. It jumped up, jumped off the deck (a 3 ft drop) and sprinted away.

What is going on here this year?

06 June 2006

Sangre de Cristo Mtns: A hike to Willow Lake

I was excited to hike to Willow Lake. Last time I was there was in the early '80s via a N to S Sangres backpacking trip. This hike was different. We hiked up the Willow Lake trail from Crestone.

Julia walked well but 4.8 miles uphill with 3250 ft elevation, according to my GPS, was a bit much for a 4 year old. We helped out when she was tired.

As we closed in on the lake, my eyes were glued on possible climbing routes. More on this only after I climb them.

The lake was beautiful, as was the hike. We were beat. We relaxed while Julia took off her pants and waded around the shore. She fell off a log, dunked herself and started crying. Mia, luckily, brought extra clothes. Here's Julia relaxing, at the lake, before we head down. Yeah, me stump was sore by the time we got to the truck.

Heading down, the clouds built up but no action. Rain is needed! Fire away skies, please!

Driving out we saw saw a Bighorn sheep next to the road. Mia took at pic out the window. The Bighorn looks like a statue.

More pics here.

05 June 2006

Teasing Clouds

Clouds showing off this afternoon but no action.
C'mon. Just do it! We need it.

Vintage trucks for sale in the San Luis Valley

I've been driving past this gem of a truck for a long time. I'm not up on military trucks but I'd guess it's a 2-1/2 tonner (deuce & a half). Nameplate says GMC. The for sale sign is so faded I can't read what it says ... at least without crawling through the fence. I wish I had a need for it. Pretty cool. It's sitting a few miles south of the 285/17 junction if anyone wants to check it out. As always, click on the images to enlarge.

This next one is less of a gem. An old International Harvester sitting next to Mac's diner (good food, btw) in Crestone. The truck has seen much better days. The door is roped closed. Front windshield busted. Priced at $700 or best offer. I think it'll be sitting there for awhile.

01 June 2006

Julia, the creator

This is actually sort of a 3D creation. Kids can come up with some pretty wild things. I wonder what Julia dreams of at night?

The Past: Blocking a school bus

While dozing this morning at 5 am, I was confronted with a random scene from my past. It must have been from 1986 because this was Mia's first Southwest trip.

We were driving through the Navajo Nation in Arizona, asleep at the wheel and desperately looking for a place to pull the truck over. Yet another sandy road looked good as the last. I didn't want to pull off the road because I only had 2WD. You see where this is going .. We crashed in the back of the truck and slept hard. I dreamt there was a horn, very load and persistent. Did I say persistent? My haze slowly dissolved as I slowly realized the horn's loudness and pesistence were not from my dream.

I looked around and there was a school bus full of native american kids wanting to get past. We dressed quick like, threw the climbing gear from the front to the back and got out of the way. The bus drove by with all the kid's eyes on us.