Monday, August 31, 2009

08_31_09 Henri the Acrobat

A quick entry today. The parrots and I enjoyed some fun today at the house. First, they had some of our new Mojito Mate tea. Gabbie and Ferne especially love it as evidence by happily shrinking pupils.

Next it was group shower time! The six of us had a blast. Grace and Ferne seemed to enjoy the bathing the most. It is no coincidence that they are still molting more than the other birds.

Following the shower, they all continued playing in their water bowls. When I headed downstairs to see them, I find Henri up on his rope again! Months ago I came *this* close to removing this rope thinking he didn't play with it. This is the second time I've caught him on it having a great time. It's the first time I got some photos (albeit bad photos) of him doing so.

Life is grand!

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08_27_09 Paonia, Crested Butte, Almont and Buena Vista CO

We headed west for a few days to do some mountain biking and visiting with friends. We loaded up the bikes and headed first to Paonia, CO. En route we stopped in a tiny little town called Marble (population 105).

According to Wikipedia: The town is noted as the location of a historic Yule Marble quarry along the mountains that began operations in the late 19th century, and from which the town draws its name. The marble of the quarry is considered to be of exceptional quality and has been used for the Tomb of the Unknowns, as well as for parts of the Lincoln Memorial and civic buildings in San Francisco. It was also used for the construction of the Equitable Building, a historically important early skyscraper in New York City.

After enjoying a drink on the porch of the store, we headed to our destination for the evening: Paonia, Colorado. This is Naomi's home town (she did the flowers at our wedding). There we met her and Jeremy W. for a delicious dinner and conversation.

Dinner was fantastic, conversation was a riot (especially Jeremy's imitations - we are still laughing) and Paonia is awesome. Dave is trying to figure out how we can live in Paonia and earn a living!

The following morning, we headed to Crested Butte for some mountain bike riding. Dave selected and easy/intermediate trail which was pretty fun. I wiped out a few times (my least favorite being the attempted impaling of myself using the handle bars on a tump over. Grrrr). Still, it was a beautiful area and my bike really is terrific. While I ended up a bit beat up, it wasn't from the rattling of my brain in my skull, but rather falling over. Repeatedly. Doh.

After this trail, Dave took off for a gnar ride. This advanced ride turned out to be quite fun for him. During this time, I sat in a coffee shop and enjoyed the area. Crested Butte doesn't look like other big-name ski resort towns in Colorado. It's quite vast and homes sit on many acres. Dave is trying to figure out how we can live in Paonia and earn a living!

After dinner in Crested Butte, we drove to nearby Almont to stay in the Almont Resort. The cabins were fun and right on the Taylor River where it meets the East River to become the mighty Gunnison River. We enjoyed dinner and a nice before turning in. We slept with the windows open so we could hear the river rushing by all night. We must have slept well because neither of us heard the seeming large bear turning over a trash dumpster (the kind a big truck empties) very near our cabin. It was an impressive feat and made it clear that the bear was not only hungry, but also angry!

Our original plan the next morning was to mountain bike ride near Almont. However, we decided to drive aways and ride to a tiny town called Tin Cup. This plan was also abandoned because of the rapidly deteriorating weather.

It was cold! And raining. And we were happy that we weren't on our bikes or on the original road ride tour we had planned. We'd have been totally hypothermic.

Instead, we just did some sight-seeing including checking out the climbing at Taylor Canyon, and looking at a nice overlook at the Taylor Park Reservoir.

We kept cruising spending a little time in Buena Vista, Co. It was Sunday and it because clear that Buena Vista is closed on Sunday. We filled up with gas an headed home.

As always, it was great to come home!

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08_22_09: Dave hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

Dave here... So, since the "summer" of '09 has been quite cool, unstable and wet here in CO I haven't had much motivation to head up into the high mountains and get stormed on. However, the forecast for Saturday Aug 22 was for hot and stable weather. So, I packed up a small day-pack with some calories and some clothes, pulled my dusty ice axe out of the closet and headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a longish day hike.

I planned to hike from Bear Lake up to the Loch, then over to Andrews creek, slog up Andrew's Glacier to the divide, hike the divide south and then head back down to Bear Lake via the Flattop Mountain trail. The hike is maybe 10 or 11 miles total and covers some really pretty terrain. The weather was great and very few people ventured very far from the parking lot that day, so the hike was nice and quiet.

I enjoyed a trail lunch up on the divide in the company of six bull Elk. One of the Elk had a 14 point rack! I've never seen a rack that large. He was also the most mellow, but still kept an eye on me as I moved to within fifty feet of them, but no closer. The hike down from the divide provided some really nice views. Once down I got to enjoy driving through the throngs of tourists in Estes Park on my way home. It was a really nice way to spend a summer Saturday!

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Friday, August 21, 2009

08-21-09: The crew heads to Boulder Canyon

Jim & Barney are heading home tonight (or at least to the airport hotel). Before they go, we decided to head to Boulder Canyon to do some climbing they might like.

We headed to Cob Wall - our goal was Northwest Face (5.8+). The approach required some boulder hopping - at least for the guys. I walked through the creek to avoid a slippery-rock face-plant.

We hiked up the grueling 3 minute approach to the base of the climb. Like a train, we ascended the mighty Cob Rock - Dave, then Jim, the Barney and finally like a caboose, up I came.

After scrambling back to the base, Dave and I climbed some 10b thin face and crack to the left of the original route. Then rapped down.

The guys were ready for some people watching and beer on the mall. So off to Pearl Street for some pizza and drinks. We failed to get any photos on the mall, but did grab some while we were climbing.


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08-19-09: Dave, Jim & Barney climb the Third Flat Iron

We've had lots of fun since returning from the Sierras. First, the birthday party at Betasso. And second, Jim came from Chicago and Barney came from Madison, WI to visit for the week.

On Wednesday after work, Dave, Jim and Barney hiked to the base of the third flat iron and took off. I believe it was Barneys first time on the formation. Jim has climbed it though it's been many years.

I wasn't there so I can't say much - but given the photos, it looks like they had a great time!

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