Thursday, October 3, 2013

10_01_2013 Dave's Spectacular Alpine Photos!

This is a nice post that is a compilation of many beautiful Alpine photos Dave took in 2013.

This first photo is first light on Long's Peak. Dave took this photo when he hiked into Chasm Lake and Mt. Lady Washington area of Rocky Mountain National Park in July, 2013. 
A nice selfie taken just below Chasm Lake with the Diamond of  Long's Peak in the background. The Diamond is Co's premiere alpine face sporting just over 1,000 feet of vertical climbing - vertical granite - that tops out at just over 14,000 feet. 
Another view of the Diamond from a small finger of Chasm Lake.
Some nice columbines below Chasm Lake. 
The Diamond!  On Long's Peak. :)
Some cool flowers growing around a funky stump in the Cement Creek Valley outside of Crested Butte, CO. 
A late day long exposure shot of Cement Creek (outside of Crested Butte, CO). 
A small creek on the way to Hartenstein Lake in the Collegiate Peaks wilderness outside of Buena Vista CO.
A first! This is a photo of an American Three-Toed Woodpecker that Dave saw  near the shore of Hartenstein Lake. I'm totally jealous as I've still never seen one!
Dave's campsite for the night in the woods just off the shore of Hartenstein Lake. Unfortunately it rained it more than desired so he got to fully test his lightweight backpacking tent. :)  Success. :)
A creative shot on the shore of the lake. 
Just before sunset, the storm and clouds broke and provided some nice evening light on Hartenstein Lake. 
Sunset on Mt. Yale from the lake. 
Sunrise over Mt. Yale the next morning. Fiery red skies for about five minutes! :)
An early morning shot across the lake.
A nice little cascade in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. 
Indian Peaks Wilderness.
A view of Navaho Peak on the left and Apache Peak on the right from the shoulder of Shoshone Peak in Indian Peaks Wilderness.
A view toward Apache and Navaho Peaks from the summit of Shoshone Peak. The Isabel Glacier behind Dave melts down into a very cool circular tarn at the base of the glacier. 
A Rock Ptarmigan displaying his fine alpine camouflage and furry legs. (Callie is jealous as she's not seen one).

10_01_2013 Miscellaneous 2013 Photos

This is a fun post. This post has a random assortment of photos from the year.

First up is Pente the super cat. She is sitting in her tube that resides in the living room. This, in her mind, makes here invisible and allows a great starting point for an ambush of anyone who walks by. 
This photo is of our weekend in the Crested Butte area. We set up camp then hopped on our mountain bikes and rode up Cement Creek. Fun time. It was beautiful weather during a gorgeous time.
A *gorgeous* photo of hummingbird. I admit it, I can't be certain of the ID of this female hummingbird. I think it could be a Calliope, or maybe a Rufous. I wish I could ID the girls better.  Regardless, this is a fabulous photo!
Ah, it's our personal assistant Pente again. This is a great photo especially since she has that cat thing that makes her look away from any camera. Great shot.
This is from our recent weekend in Grand Junction. The first evening we were there, a fierce storm was brewing. This was early in the evening...
And this was a bit later. A giant storm cell moved across the horizon like a scrubbing-bubble. Gorgeous!
And finally, from the same weekend, the B&B we stayed in. You can see me on the closest upstairs deck - that was our room named the 'Sunset Room.'

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

09_29_2013 Birthday weekend in Grand Junction - Tour of the Moon and Climbing

After the flooding week,  a very cool (and well-received) presentation at the university on some research my colleague Lynn and I completed, and a whirlwind trip to DC where some of us from the National Academies briefed the Hill on another report we worked on (also well-received), I got home, hopped in the car and we headed to Grand Junction.

Dave made reservations at a B&B in Grand Junction for by birthday weekend. If we wanted to get outside to play, it had to be on the western slope - stuff is still a mess at home!

The B&B sits atop a hill in Grand Junction. Beautiful home with beautiful views. When we arrived, it was cold and windy. This turned into a gorgeous red and stormy evening. The rest of the weekend was perfect.
This is the view from our room looking toward the Colorado National Monument.
Saturday we suited up and rode the Tour of the Moon. This is a ride made famous (I'm told) in the movie American Flyer. It travels up to the top of the monument, around the rim, and back down. It was my 49th birthday and the ride was 49 miles. Perfect.

It started off a bit cool, but that didn't last long. Really the temps were perfect for the ride.
Dave rode this once before about 7 years ago. It was my first.
After leaving the B&B, the ride moves up. And up. And up. 
Here's a cool photo of the uphill section with some neat switch-backs. That little speck that is me offers some perspective of the area and views.
Still heading up!
There are several over views here. We stopped at many and enjoyed the view. For a part of the ride, you can see Otto's Route which is a fun climb. There are past blog posts of us on this climb.
We made a side trip up to Glade Park, Colorado. It offered about 10 additional miles and additional elevation gain.
Glade Park is a tiny (and I mean TINY) little town.
When we arrived, the store (the only store) was closed for lunch!
As you can see, the store had been there for more than 100 years.
We headed back down to the rim and stopped for the photo op at the high point of the ride. Yeah, it's not a tremendously high ride, but it is quite spectacular.
Group selfie. :)
You can see Independence Monument just to the left of Dave. This is the tower where Otto's Route is.
On the way home, we stopped to point out the B&B. Great location.
Day two, we headed into the monument to do some climbing. I was the belayer while Dave climbed. These were not climbs that my feet were anxious to be abused on. :)  It was quite a bit hotter than expected. We cooked!

This climb is rated 5.8 which is quite the joke. That sort of a rating is irresponsible for new leaders. It'd get them hurt. Dave danced up it as usual.
Another climb - the best of the day it seemed to me - had Dave up a face, moving into the right-facing corner and up under this arch. Pretty climb.
From my belay stance, I could watch a herd of 20 big horn sheep just below us. Pretty day and a great place. Although we were here only for the weekend, it seemed longer. It was a perfect b'day weekend and much needed after way too hectic weeks before!