Small

Small moments can be profound. Feeling small and feeling the power of the whole world around you is huge! It doesn’t take a million dollars to have that feeling and it doesn’t take a glorified journey over the seas and up high mountains to get there; sometimes all it takes is a little walk or maybe getting up before the sunrise or staying somewhere after everyone else has gone. I like being small, I like this big world, I like being alone but not feeling lonely, l like the feeling I get when I know wholeheartedly that I am in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. So often, we marvel at the flashy things or we get caught up in trying to “be somebody” or we want appear a certain way…but I like catching the details of a ladybug’s spots while I sit on the side of a peak, or spotting the freckle on someone’s pinky finger, or finding elaborate doodles on discarded napkins. Dare to be small, dare to find magic in unassuming moments, dare to see the beauty in a pebble in a boulder field on a mountain, dare to stop talking, dare to listen to the wind beneath the wings of the owl in the barn, dare to do things for the sake of doing them, dare to forget about your “big break”, dare to be alone for a moment in this great big world…and smile before the ride is over.

14ers climbed so far this year: Quandary, Pikes, Sherman, Belford, Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross, Huron, Elbert, La Plata,  Princeton, Longs, Castle, Conundrum, Yale, and Shavano.

And then there’s this http://foundmagazine.com/

Thanks for the link Dale!

 

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Sparky at sunrise on Longs Peak

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From Keyhole on Longs: it’s a true dance looking back and forth at the moon and the sun

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Sunrise on Longs

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Longs

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Sunrise before hiking up Sopris

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Sunlight through the ceiling Near Winfield

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Carbondale hike with Cousin Heather

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Elbert

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Elbert

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La Plata’s Summit View

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Flower on Sopris

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The Homestretch on Longs

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Butterfly on the descent of Castle and Conundrum

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Summit of Shavano before the Hail Storm

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Summit of Yale

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Sopris

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After the steep glissade between Castle and Conundrum

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Descent of Longs

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The Trough on Longs

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Outhouse at the Matchless Mine

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Mt.Hope with Twinkle and Guthrie (while Ali did Quail)

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Three riders in Leadville

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Leadville

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Leadville

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A visit to Heather’s

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Close-up!

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Heather and her best pals at sunset

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Kindness

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CUTENESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The puppy named Honey at the Laundromat

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School is OUT!

It’s not about writing like they told you to in English class. It isn’t about numbers. Perfection does not exist. Balance is temporary and finicky for a reason: to keep you moving. It isn’t about being like anyone else or beating them. It’s about the moment. It’s about being open to the actual adventure…open to-‘engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.’ Everything I have done is small and fairly insignificant on a large scale. But I can tell you a good story about every town I have been to, about the people I’ve met, the mountains I’ve climbed, the horses I’ve ridden, the crazy jobs I did, and all the times I’ve embarrassed myself. For me, it’s not about quantifying anything or putting a grade or a time limit on things. Life isn’t a race or a test. School is out. Breathe freely and live your fleeting and finite life!

“Some of his classmates mocked him for earning his keep as a janitor, but others were mesmerized by the stories he wrote of his wide-roaming life…” (Haley, pg. 3)

“He quit in a rage and became a hobo, riding the rails and experiencing the penniless subculture of vagrancy. To his surprise he met brilliantly read men among the tramps…” (Haley, pg. 2)

-Wolf, The Lives of Jack London by James L. Haley-

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South Park, CO

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South Park, CO

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Buena Vista, CO

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Buena Vista, CO

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Don’t know his name, but he was nice, and he let me take his picture

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Thriller

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Summit of Huron June 9, 2016

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Getting up to no good @ 14,000ft!

 

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I thought, I’ll just stretch my legs today and take it easy…but ended up feeling good and climbing to the top of Quail Mountain…in my bball shoes…totally unintentionally.

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Quail Mountain summit (13er)

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For being such an easy peak, Huron sure has good views!

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Last year at this spot, as I was descending, I told these poor old ladies they had another mile to climb and another 1,000 vert ft. but really they had only a few switchbacks left.

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Just out of the trees on Huron

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Sunrise on the Decalibron Loop with my new ice axe 🙂

 

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Click, Click, Click, Click

I had ducked out of the rain
Into Maria’s wedding day
And I sat there with her friends
And with her family
And I was happy

I wasn’t someone they’d invite
And I didn’t know the groom
Or know the bride
But when I stood next to her brother
For the photograph
He was laughing

Take another picture with your click, click, click, click camera
Take another picture with your click, click, click, click camera

Sure, I got pictures of my own
Of the people and the places that I’ve known
Here’s one: I’m carrying your suitcase
Outside of Alphabet City

But in someone else’s life
Where Maria is a wife
I’m on the mantle in the corner of the photograph
Smiling pretty

Take another picture with your click, click, click, click camera
Take another picture with your click, click, click, click camera

Are you tired of where you’ve gone?
And you think you might belong
In a moment when you step out of the rain?
And you’ve ended up in someone else’s frame?
And they’re memory now is never quite the same
You know they never even asked your name

Take another picture with your click, click, click, click camera
Take another picture with your click, click, click, click camera
Take another picture with your click, click, click, click camera
Take another picture with your click, click, click, click camera

A few poorly organized photos:

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I Ain’t Got No Type

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Summit of Bross

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A look at Democrat from Bross

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Summit of Democrat

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Summit of Cameron

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Summit of Lincoln

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Lincoln

When I am out on the road, up on a peak, taking photographs, or just doing something that calls for being present…that’s when I am happiest.  Not always the kind of giddy happy that is often associated with happiness, but more just…I don’t know…like I feel right, I feel real, honest, like I’m not doing a dance or trying to come across in any certain way…like I am acting with purpose and proper motivation.  That’s when I stop thinking about the past or the future…that’s when I am 100% in the moment.  No pipe dreams, no empty promises, no bullshit.  That’s when I feel like I’m in a whole different world, I can’t explain it very well…but it’s different than the “regular” world where I’m expected to be.  It’s where I am absolutely supposed to be though.

I’m eight peaks into the year, counting Cameron…but then…why wouldn’t I count Cameron.  The way 14ers are ranked, all the rules, all the technicalities…all of that shit is dumb!  Yesterday, I did the Decalibron Loop: Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross.  The snow was pretty decent…definitely a good amount of slides in the area…but nowhere really close to where I hiked.  I never put on the snowshoes that my sister let me borrow, but I did bring them the whole way on my back.  Coulda used them on a few short stretches, but it was easier just to muscle through, rather than taking the time to stop and put snowshoes on and then stop again to take them off and then secure them back on my pack.  I had my ice axe for the first time.  I didn’t necessarily have the extra money for it…but I am glad I have it!  Worth it!  Took my trail shoes back for the cash.  I can run in basketball shoes on the days I run, I’ve been doing it this long so I see no need for any fancy pants crap, and who really needs pinky toenails anyway? Maybe black and blue suits my toenail color best.

The afternoon before I hiked, I met a cyclist looking to get up the Decalibron Loop.  He told me he hadn’t ever been up a 14er.  I asked him if he wanted to borrow my extra spikes, but then he told me he was going to try hiking in sandals.  He seemed serious.  They weren’t good sandals…they were flip flops.  I told him he should probably wear his sneakers, at least.  Maybe it was a joke and I didn’t get it, but I don’t think so.  People do lots of crazy things.  The morning of my hike we passed each other as I came down Democrat and as he made his way to the summit.  He was wearing his tennis shoes and he told me that this one peak was enough for him.  I congratulated him on his first summit, he thanked me.

The hardest part of the loop is the segment between Democrat and Cameron, in my opinion.  When I did it last year that section seemed to go on forever, it’s not technical or anything…none of the loop is, really…except maybe the descent off of Bross…but there’s technical and then there is actually technical…and the loop isn’t actually technical in any way, I don’t think.  This year the piece between Cameron and Democrat seemed pretty easy…still a climb for sure, but I feel like all those treks up the incline and all those runs in Aiken Canyon this winter and spring paid off.

I caught up with the hiker ahead of me, as he rested on Lincoln.  Normally I don’t get too in depth in conversation with people when I hike, but this guy was pretty decent at keeping a conversation going.  He had his dog with him and she was quite tired.  A married couple caught up to us on the summit, and it seemed like a good time to dip out on the conversation with the dog hiker.  Not that I wasn’t happy to chat a bit, but I like to kinda get going and not hang around too long, in this case particularly, because I still had another peak to climb and I wasn’t sure how crappy that descent off of Bross was going to be between deep posthole prone snow and all the scree.  The forecast said it was going to be partially cloudy all day, but no t-storms.  However, as I trekked toward my last peak I heard a big grumble of thunder and the clouds started to roll in.  The sunlight played hide and seek behind the clouds that grew ever darker with each step I took.

It was a bit windy on Bross.  I took a few pictures and stayed long enough for the dog hiker to catch up with me.  We both made the call to make our way down right away before any storms caught up to us.  His dog was pretty hesitant during the entire descent: tired, sore paws, and a little scared.  But slow and steady….we made it down.  The dog hiker and I had a pretty good conversation, he was a nice guy who had seemed to live a pretty adventurous life.  We shared our opinions on how life should be lived, and we seemed to be on a similar page.  When we arrived at his car, we parted ways and I headed further down the road to my car, which I chose not to take through the initial patch of snow that all the other vehicles maneuvered through easily.  It added like 3 miles round-trip, but easy miles and nothing to complain about.

 

And now, it’s just time to plan my next step.  Nothing too elaborate or long-term, just the next step.  What’s the weather forecast for the next week?  How’s the snow on certain peaks? How much money do I have?  Can I make it through the summer?  Where can I pick up a couple jobs?  Should I shower?  Laundry?  Gear organization.

 

 

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