26 August 2007

Julia's 1st day of Kindergarten

Exciting day for Julia and us ... Here's Julia waiting for the school bus w/ Mia - maybe a bit of apprehension in her face.

Then there's the picture of Julia's face lit up and excited when she see the bus (featured to the right).

The final is Julia stepping into the bus.

Our life won't be the same ...

23 August 2007

Wyoming's Bighorn Range - Climbing & Exploring

If I felt my job was secure until retirement, I'd want to move here. Even if I didn't .. Mia vetoed any such ideas quickly though. She needed face to face contact for her work. I work remote and need only a decent internet connection. Such is life. Maybe later...

The Bighorn Mountains are the most easterly mountain range in Wyoming. The Winds are to the West and the Tetons West of that. The Bighorns are more sedate than either but the exploration potential is huge - especially from the pure rock climbing perspective. Dolomite/ Limestone is everywhere and not just the little cliffs like Wild Iris or Sinks. It would be expensive to live here for a climber. Think of the cost of bolts for new routes ... I saw the alpine rock only from a distance - more jaw dropping terrain. And the Winds a few hours West. Damn! As I said .. maybe later.

Climbing was good in Tensleep Canyon. We checked Raven Wall and vicinity and French Cattle Ranch. Above Raven Wall is an "Indian" ice cave. Even in hot weather, you need a pullover to climb nearby. It blows cold! The 5.10s on Raven Wall + a number of new nearby routes made for a great day. French Cattle Ranch was a hike but well worth it. Good quality and long routes.

On a rest day, we drove up to Lower Medicine Lodge Lake via Hyattville. Beautiful country but it took about 2 hours on 4x4 roads. Glad it was Mia's idea. The hike around the lake was calming .. after hitting my head on the roof for 2 hours. This convinced me I need an on board compressor so I can air down the tires and air them back up after the goods. I wish I had a fishing pole and some time here but we were out of food and everyone was getting grumpy.

We drove North to Shell Canyon semi Baja style (i.e. fast) and it still took an hour to get to a paved road. (Shell Canyon could see a lot of route development on granite. Just frigging heartbreakin'. No one around to climb the stuff.) We found a nice restaurant in Shell and ate. We were lucky. It seemed to be one of two places in town and it was reservation only. They took pity on us since we were early. Wagon Wheel restaurant - good place - reserve a place on the deck if you have a chance.

On the way home, we found the "perfect" camping place. This will be the subject of a later post.

Pics are here. Enjoy!

21 August 2007

Black Hills - Climbing, and the Harley Culture

We picked a loud time to climb in the Black Hills. It was the week before the Sturgis Harley motorcycle ralley. We saw thousands of bikes every day. The campground was filled with them and their fanatic culture - awake at dawn, cleaning their bikes before even taking their morning pee. Crazy like Islam might be to a Christian fundamentalist .. They were all nice folks though!

The good part was that all the climbers were elsewhere, the climbers familar with the ralley anyway. We had the climbing areas to ourselves. We would have been climbing all day except for the daily afternoon rain and the draw of good ice cream in Custer.

Bill Daniels and his daughter, Sara, joined us for a day so we could get a couple of decent climbing shots. Above is Bill on Hrum Hroom, a great 5.7 in Custer State Park (official site, map). Many climbs in the park are quite run-out so no sniffing at 5.7s here. We also climbed in the Rushmore Needles. See a nice climbing shot of Julia here.

At some point, we said enough and left for Tensleep Canyon in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. Stay tuned.

Black Hills pics, including motorcycles, here!

01 August 2007

Leaving Crestone .. for now

Kept looking in the mirror as I headed West on County Road T. Hard to leave. Couple of wet spots appeared on my shirt. Must be a quick cloud burst through the open window ...

We had a fantastic 6 weeks of experience here. Now it was time to hand it back to the our great renter.

Coming home to Boulder was not really like coming home. It was like coming to a different familiar place. A place where the weeds need whacking and where it seemed harder to schedule free time to exercise. In Crestone, free time meant exploring. In Boulder, it's excercise. Maybe that says it all and I just need a change. I dunno what it is .. maybe Boulder has become boring ...