An Adventure Ride


My first "big" adventure ride with the Tiger is in the books. My dear friend Rois was getting married in Gunnison, and Brenda wouldn't be able to make it out due to work, so it made perfect sense to take the bike out there, and while there, do some riding and maybe even some camping, right? Right? Lucky for me, George Furko of Northern Colorado Adventure Riders (Facebook group) had recently put together an introductory adventure ride for people just like me, just two weeks prior. I had loaded my unused sleeping bag and single-use tent onto the Tiger and we rode around the Nederland area, ultimately camping for the night near Gold Hill. After that trip I had a…

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NAHBS 2013


Well, after years of wanting to go, I finally got to attend the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, and it was worth the wait. Started in 2005 by framebuilder Don Walker, NAHBS is an annual trade show featuring bespoke bicycle framebuilders and accessory manufacturers. This year, with the show right down the road in Denver, it was easy (and cheap!) to finally attend this fascinating assembly of bicycle lovers and creators, both new and old alike. I spent several hours at the Denver Convention Center yesterday, ogling the bikes as well as the crowd. I was able to shop for my next pair of hipster glasses, got tattoo inspiration, and learned that wallet chains are still cool, in addition to…

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Flagstaff


Let's talk about rarities. It's rare that an individual discovers his passion at five years old; it's also rare that an individual follows that passion through high school, against great odds and bias. It's rare for an individual to love a thing, a sport, and a place so much, and yet wait 36 years for him to finally call that place home. I've done those things, and yesterday was a validation of all of it. Yesterday, Brenda & I volunteered for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. First off, let me say it was all Brenda's idea, and mad props to her because I never would have volunteered otherwise, and may have skipped the event altogether, save to watch the peloton…

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For Hikers, and the Merely Ambulatory


Just wanted to point out a great, great article on a "peakbagging club" in New Jersey: New Jersey's undeveloped peaks rise above the rest Yes, you heard me. A club devoted to cataloging and "climbing" the many precipitous peaks in the grand state of New Jersey; high point: eighteen hundred feet, complete with monument to memorialize the majestic magnitude of the, uh, hill. Five of the peaks aren't even mountains per se -- they're called hills -- and one of the more modest, Guerin Benchmark in Randolph, is about a five-minute jaunt from the parking lot. The guys are totally tongue in cheek about it but at the same time it really does celebrate the hiking in NJ, of which…

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Radio Radiance


Last Thursday, I hit the airwaves, yakking about lighting simulation. For some reason the Boulder Green Building Guild was interested in my take on the use of simulation in optimizing the energy efficiency of building designs in the US, on the latest installment of Footprint Radio. It was a thrill to share the half-hour with Kostas Papamichael from the California Lighting Technology Center, and my buddy Mike Plann from Lightlouver. I hope one or two people listen, and are intrigued enough to explore daylighting design, or at least turn off the lights once in a while. The cool thing is I'm now in the iTunes Music Store. Check it out by listening to the show on the BGBG's website, or…

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Lettin' the Cat Outta the Bag


I know, it's been a while. Here's the thing: I got a new job! After almost four years at the firm I work for, I am moving on to a new job, in a new town. It's still a lighting/daylighting/sustainable design job, but it's in an entirely different setting for me: a national laboratory. To say I'm excited understates things a smidge. In a few weeks, I (and my co-worker) will be the new resident daylighting "experts" at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, down the road in Golden, CO. I'll be applying my skills as a lighting designer and simulator, hopefully assisting research aimed at helping us bring light into buildings in more sustainable and useful ways. I'm…

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Blizzard


Been a while, I know. Will have more to say later. For now, we are having us a nice little blizzard here in Colorado. The best part is that my favorite bar is on top of things. Here's an email I received today: From: mtnsun@mountainsunpub.com Subject: Cold Rain and Snow won't close us Down!! Date: March 26, 2009 5:47:49 PM MDT To: rpg@rumblestrip.org Happy Spring Blizzard Phamily and Phriends We ARE open today at the Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery. (11:30 AM till 1 AM) The Southern Sun Pub will be open regulars from 4 PM till 1 AM. The Vine Street Pub in Denver is open from 4 PM till 1 AM.…

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A Weekend of Dog


Man, I'm wiped out. So's my dog. This weekend I racked up a whole bunch of great experiences with Hooper, and we (and Brenda) are all tired out! Hooper ran with Jasper and Jackson for about an hour straight Saturday morning, which warmed my heart as I watched him interact with other dogs instead of just playing fetch. Last night, pissed that I didn't have my camera to document the aforementioned morning trot with the cattle dogs, I brought my camera and got some nice pics of Hoop and the local pack having their usual fun. And today, Brenda, Hooper & I hiked up to Lost Lake near Eldora and enjoyed being outside, the three of us. I love this…

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Reel Rock Tour


Tonight was one of those nights I truly felt lucky to live in Boulder. Tonight, at the fabulous Boulder Theater, the Reel Rock Tour kicked off to a packed house, and Brenda, Leslie, and I were there. The Reel Rock Tour is a traveling film festival celebrating rock climbing, in the extreme. Good god, it was fucking amazing. The only thing better than the photography was the amazing skill and daring of the people in the films. Well, that and the rocks; the rocks were amazing. From Eldorado Canyon--right here in Boulder--to Yosemite to Chamonix, France, these places served as playmates to people who tested their limits; their drive, determination, balls and boobs, as they climbed, slept on, and B.…

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Hooper, the Patron Saint of Kids Afraid of Dogs


Brenda, Hooper & I all piled into the car today for a drive to Denver, to attend a birthday party for some friends of ours. Partners Greg & Ted share birthdays a day apart. Greg aged a year today, and Ted did the same yesterday. And so a joint birthday picnic/barbecue in the park near the Denver Zoo was in order, with dogs. Greg & Ted have a pair of winning canines; Guinness the Pug, and Lucy the Mutt (I used to threaten to kidnap Lucy and take her home with us from their parties ever since we moved to Boulder; she is adorable and built just like Hooper). Many of their other friends have dogs as well, and…

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Winter Hike, Hooper's Birthday


Today is Hooper's birthday, making Hooper one year old! In truth, we brought him home at six months of age, and he was picked up as a stray in Utah sometime before that, so unfortunately we really don't know the exact circumstances or conditions of his conception, birth and early development. The vet guessed he was six months old, based on his teeth, when we took him in or his first checkup in early August. So we counted back from there and picked Groundhog Day as his "birthday". In truth we'll never know, and we don't care. Just as we'll never really know his genetic makeup. He's Hooper the Dog, he's ours, he's one today, and we love him. So…

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Winter Ascent of Mount Audubon (with Hooper!)


Any doubts about Hooper's hiking abilities, including high altitude, cold/snow, distance, have been put to rest. Hooper is a wonder dog. With the holiday weekend winding down, and with the entire Front Range experiencing a very late start to the snow season, I decided to go up to Brainard Lake and scope out the trail to Mount Audubon, a hike that Brenda & I successfully did last summer. Mount Audubon stands over 13,000' tall, so generally by this time of the year it's totally covered with snow and is a challenge to summit. But with the dearth of snow we've had so far this year, I thought it might be a doable climb, and a great intro for…

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Weekend in the Mountains


It's been a while, again. First off, it's Facebook's fault. That's right, I joined Facebook and I can't seem to stop checking in every day to update my "status" message and see how many friends my friend Lauren has. But, that's not the purpose of this post. Discussion on the insanely silly endeavor of Facebook will surely follow, maybe after Thanksgiving. Anyway, Brenda has been working crazy hours again, and it all came to a head over the last couple-few weeks, and finally ended this past Thursday, when the show she was building some suits for opened at the University of Colorado. And it turns out that the guy who she was working for has a condo in the mountains…

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Briefly...


OK, I know it's been a while. Here is what's on my mind: When you own a dog, you clean more than ever, and yet your place is generally messier. It's snowing on the high peaks. Winter is just about here. While I like the look of the mountains with the snow on them, I'm dreading the thought of a winter like we had last year here in Boulder. The Colorado Rockies (baseball club) are absolutely tearing it up, and they remind me of the Phillies of 1993, another team of lower-paid gamers who ended up playing like a team instead of a collection of overpaid egos. I'll be rooting for a National League team this year in the World…

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Grand Junction


Brenda turned forty yesterday (happy birthday again, Brenda!), and you know what that means, ROAD TRIP! Yesterday we rolled out of Boulder many hours late, the end result of Brenda being busy with work, my inability to do laundry, and the need to get Hooper up to the kennel in Longmont. But we had a nice drive over the mountains while listening to the Rockies beat the Phillies (more on this whole baseball madness later), and ended up in Grand Junction, CO as the sun was setting. We had a nice dinner in town and a nice breakfast at the B&B with a couple from Philly, of all places. Mountain bikers, to boot. Then we headed to the…

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Live Yankees


One thing I miss out here, having moved 1,797 miles from Yankee Stadium, is of course the chance to see the boys in pinstripes with the white interlocking "NYs" on their chests take the field. Last year was my first full major league season living in Colorado, but the Yankees didn't make it out here for inter-league play. This year, while reviewing the Rockies schedule I noticed the Yankees were coming to town and I suggested to Brenda that we go; she was very non-committal. I should have figured out what that meant, but of course I didn't. I found out on my birthday, when I opened my present, which was a pair of tickets to game one of…

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East Coast Trip


Brenda & I went to the east coast this past Thursday, our makeup trip for our postponed christmas Visit. Our christmas Visit was postponed due to weather. Perhaps in honor of that fact, we encountered more goddamned weather. Booked on a noon flight Thursday, our flight pulled back from the gate promptly at 2:15 so we could sit on a taxiway for another 45 minutes before departing. Upon arrival in the NY metro airspace, we commenced a precision hold for another 45 minutes before landing at Newark NJ. Upon arrival, the NJ Transit train we boarded for New Brunswick was horrifyingly similar to the one I left almost two years ago when I finished my tour of duty, but…

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Snowshoe Hiking


Today Brenda & I got up to Brainard Lake for some snowshoe hiking. It's nice to be able to access some of the trails we liked in the summer, and snowshoes allow us to do that. We got our snowshoes all the way back in October, and we used them exactly once -- long enough to figure out that we needed some waterproof pants to enjoy ourselves up there. Between then and now, we had lots of blizzards and Brenda was very busy with work, so we have not gotten a chance to get back out there until this weekend. It was worth the wait; we hiked on the snowshoe-only trail up to Brainard Lake, which afforded great views of…

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Fuzzy Bob Steps Down


It ain't exactly "U.S. Marshals". Today, Boulder's local paper ran a fairly well-reseached, honest piece of journalism, yet it reads like something out of The Onion. Ward, Colorado, you see, is in need of some new police. The town's only state-certified lawman, Robert "Fuzzy Bob" Spratford, is retiring -- leaving only two guys named Skinny Pete and Tiny to protect and serve. Ward, Colorado is this quirky little semi-ghost town, a relic from the mining boom. Once the richest town in Colorado during the Gold Rush, it's now populated with folks who thought even Boulder was too conservative and thus headed for the hills. Filled with anti-establishment types and a rather large collection of broken-down vehicles, Ward incorporated as…

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Enough!


OK, that's quite enough already, with the fuckin' snow. I get it. I live in Colorado. But the shit's only useful in the mountains, which is apparently where half my office is headed today, to ski. I wouldn't know, but hopefully by next weekend I will understand what this snow fever is all about. Right now, to me, all it is is a friggin' nuisance. After dropping Brenda off at the bus and our car off at the dealer to have the damage from last week's snowstorm(s) repaired, I strapped on the gaiters and plodded through the snow to my office. Looks like we got 8-9" here already, and it's supposed to snow most of the day again. It…

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First Snow


So, last Tuesday, Boulder got hit with its first snow of the year. The forecasts were calling for the possibility of "flurries" later on in the day, but the way it went down was that the flakes started falling around noon, and didn't stop 'till Wednesday morning. Around 6:30 pm, I decided that things weren't going to improve for a long time, and, despite being totally unprepared for the winter weather, I headed home on my bike. No gloves, no hat, no rain gear. At least I had a headlight on my bike. A couple minutes into the ride, my front was completely white and I was slipping and sliding all over the place. The tires I bought a…

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Still Can't Believe I Live Here


Sometimes you look out and it looks like a postcard... I'm motivated by the mountains. For some people it's the ocean, for me, it's the mountains. - Scott Moninger It's been a while since I've posted anything, I haven't hiked a step since our Long's Peak ascent three weeks ago, but rest assured I'm still here and loving every second of Colorado living. Been on a few bike rides, and every time I go I'm awed by the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains' Front Range. What really hit home for me though, what really smacked me in the face and told me that I'm lucky to be here, was the arrival of the new Colorado Cyclist catalog on Friday. This…

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Long's Peak, Part II


OK so the other day I told y'all about the impetus for our attempt on Long's Peak, and then I fell asleep. Lemme tell ya how the walk went. Walking to the top of Long's Peak takes time, lots of time. The most popular route is called the Keyhole Route, and it is the "easiest" way to go, containing the least "technical" sections and least "exposure" (refer to my previous post for the straight shootin' definitions of these terms). The downside is that it's just a damn long trail. Seven miles from trailhead to the summit means you're looking at a 14 mile walk with some scary stuff at the end, so yeah, it's going to take time. On top…

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Long's Peak, Part I


What started as a mild curiosity turned into a fascination, and then, a goal: Long's Peak. It's got a catchy name, it sounds distant and imposing, and it is. It's tall, it's beautiful, it's scary looking at times, and get this: Brenda & I summited the damned thing this past Tuesday. Standing 14,255 feet tall, Long's Peak is the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park and a very popular destination for hikers, but it's not the easiest "fourteener" to summit. Every recent year, some 15,000 people attempt to make the summit and about 9,000 succeed. Usually weather is the culprit for failed summit attempts, but many simply turn back after reaching one of the five obstacles…

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Top of Colorado


Today Brenda & I hiked to the top of Mount Elbert, the tallest mountain in the state of Colorado. At 14,433' above sea level, it's second only to California's Mount Whitney (by about sixty feet) for tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. Today, we stood on the top of Colorado, and it was a hell of a feeling. Our first "fourteener". Yeah! Now, Elbert is considered an "easy" fourteener. And it is, I guess. The thing is massive, so the approach ends up being fairly shallow the whole way. But you're still walking six miles across and 4,000' up, and then get to reverse and repeat the process to get back to the car. We were quite…

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Afraid of Trout? Bring me Along!


And I'll scare them all away for you. This weekend Brenda & I drove to Avon (a few miles west of Vail, CO) to meet my Cousin and Uncle for some fly fishing on Gore Creek and the Eagle River. I stunk up the joint. To say my Uncle is an experienced fly fisherman is a serious understatement; he's an ichthyologist by trade, has discovered an entirely new species of fish, and has been fly fishing since he was sixteen years old. He loves fish and fishing, and over the years we had thrown words at the idea of hooking up and having him teach me the finer points of the wonderfully archaic world of fly fishing. When we moved…

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Mount Audubon


The Long's Peak preparations continue, and this weekend it was Mount Audubon (our first thirteener!). Once again, the views were amazing and the hike was a huff-and-puff extravaganza as we neared the summit. As usual, the summit revealed views that made it all worthwhile, and something about the effort and the oneness with nature even causes me to eat rice cakes and fresh fruit -- and actually enjoy it -- while I'm up there. So this hiking thing is really healthy for me, all 'round. From the top you could see Long's Peak, and it sorta just stood there saying "yeah, that's right, I'm right over here, bitches; whenever..." Leslie was headed for Peru on the day of the hike…

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Anniversary


Today marked one year since I moved to Boulder, Colorado. Lots of shit has happened in the last year, and since almost a month has elapsed since I've posted a word on this site, I figure I'll throw down a quick recap. First off, I am really, really happy living and working here. Brenda is finally back in Boulder, after spending seven weeks in Santa Fe working for the Santa Fe Opera as a costume draper. She did well, but it's definitely better to have her here than there. Some more good sunsets have happened; I have pics. The drive back from Santa Fe was along route 285, which took us through some of the most beautiful country I have…

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Twin Peaks


Brenda has been busy working a couple of jobs, and I was fairly convinced that this weekend she'd be working all weekend. So when I hiked up to Bear Peak via the Fern Canyon Trail yesterday, I really didn't mind that my knee joints were solidifying as I sat on the couch last night. I figured I was done with physical exertion for the weekend. Imagine my surprise when Brenda emerged from her shop last night, having completed all tasks, and was all excited about going hiking on Sunday (today). We've been meaning to summit South Boulder Peak for several weeks now, ever since we did Bear Peak for the first time last month. Weather and work have conspired against…

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