Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Time in the Canyon.

A crackling fire, a full moon and Christmas lights, yep it's Christmas time in Coal Creek Canyon.

Christmas Time is Here by Charlie Brown Christmas on Grooveshark

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Yard's ridin.

Trax snowboards down the backyard. Game on.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Change a coming.

Brown scrambles down a snow covered road.

I'm going to retire Alex's World at year's end.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Man Cave, It begins.

Man Cave before picture.
This is the space after tearing down a couple of walls that formed a small bedroom and hallway the previous owner envisioned. Over the next few months I hope to create a man cave in the space. My goal is to spend less time staring at a monitor and more time in the man cave.

The Cave by Mumford & Sons on Grooveshark

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

urban sprawl

Brown Dog knows we are not in our hood when he is leashed to a fence post. Sorry DB... burbs.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Colorado High School Mountain Bike League

Trax races in last week event at Peaceful valley Ranch in the Black Forest, Colorado.

Colorado's newly formed High School Mountain bike league has been taking off in the last couple years. It saw 100% growth this year with kids from all over the state forming teams at their high schools, or groups of high schools (so called composite teams). Powered by local sponsors and enthusiastic volunteers the race series has us driving to some of Colorado most beautiful destination for the competitions. The guys (and girls which the numbers has quadrupled in a year) really take pride in the sport and I can actually see the camaraderie being built. Some of these kids can ride! No doubt laying the roots for a collegiate or pro level career.

Trax's Buddies Wyatt(Boulder High) and Griff (Monarch High) are neck and neck during lap # 2.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

John and Joe, A story on 9/11

John and Joe from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

This is an animation base on a story told by Joe Vigiano, Sr. about his two sons – one a fireman, the other a policeman - who were killed during 9/11.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Smoked Slamon

Before: The Labor Day weekend salmon. Alaskan Sockeye from the Kenai River.
De-rib and sprinkle liberally with sea salt.
Let meat achieve room temperature just before it goes on the smoker.

Remove from cookie sheet and place in the 'cool' part of the smoker.
Smoke over an Alder fire for 5+ hours.
Make sure to keep a constant temperature.
I like my heat right around 200 F with a light, lacy smoke from the Alder combustion.
Do not soak your wood in water before hand, let a small pile burn in the fire box. Add wood as needed (every 30 mins). You'll probably need a few beers for this process.
The Alder actually burning, instead of smoldering, will ensures a smooth smokey flavor, not bitter or ashy.

After: Alder smoked to perfection Kenai Sockeye.
Let cool, wrap in foil and refrigerate and/or enjoy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rocky Mountain Airshow

more to come.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Forest lakes & Smoked Salmon Butter

Beautiful summer day up at Forest Lakes

I can practice my Double Haul cast here.

Smoked Salmon Butter, great on toast.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Incubus at Red Rocks!

Watch live streaming video from incubus at

Saw Incubus at Red Rocks with my Bro last night! Here is the stream.
What an amazing venue and band, they killed. We got clear skies and temperatures in the 70's.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Utah Green River Trip 2011

Our visit to Crystal Geyser in Utah.
via Wikipedia
It is a rare example of a cold water carbon dioxide driven geyser; geothermal activity does not play a role in the activity of the geyser. The ground water near the geyser has significant quantities of dissolved carbon dioxide, along with substantial underground gas accumulations in the surrounding area. Saturation of the aquifer with CO2 creates enough pressure to force groundwater through the geyser and out on to the surface.

The geyser erupts sometimes to a height of 40 meters or more. During 2005, a study of the timing of the eruptions found them to be bimodal. About 66% of eruptions in the study occurred about 8 hours after the previous eruption, and the rest about 22 hours after. The geyser erupts for an average of one hundred minutes a day, with eruptions either lasting 7–32 minutes, or 98–113 minutes. The bimodal distribution of eruptions is not a well-understood pattern, but is found in other geysers, both cold-water and otherwise. Between eruption events, the water level is approximately seventeen feet below the surface of the geyser—at the level of the water table. In the preface to an eruption, water surfaces, fills the pond around the geyser, and begins to bubble.

The current form of the geyser was created by an exploration well drilled in 1935 in attempt to locate oil. The well was originally 800 metres deep, but an earlier owner of the land partially filled it in, meaning that the well is now only a couple hundred metres deep.

The area surrounding the modern geyser is covered in a thick layer of orange travertine. Near the river, adjacent to the modern orange travertine, are substantial deposits of white travertine, perhaps reflecting the original depositional environment of the geyser (before the exploratory well was drilled.)

Travertine deposits near the Crystal Geyser.
My bro Will and Brown Dog taking in the spectacular canon features.
This year's float was nothing like 2008's.
No this year's trip down the labyrinth was a little more than a gentle and relaxing paddle down one of Utah's gems. One word: mosquitoes! I know what you are thinking, its Utah, what's the big deal?
Female Aedes aegypti feeding. Photo: James Gathany

This year's Green River flow (blue line) via U.S. Geological Survey station recordings. USGS

The Green River flowed well above normal this season. Utah has not seen water like this since 1983-84. Many areas along the river including ponds, wetlands and farms, flowed for several months completely flooded. When it finally receded, much later than usual, it left sediment, mud and standing water. A path of soaked destruction. This had people cleaning up , digging out and repairing infrastructure. Access areas, roads, bridges and as we found out camping along the river were affected by the tremendous discharge. Wetlands were left with warm standing water, aka, mosquito marshes.

Trax and Nell navigate their Canoe down the Labyrinth.

Will and Trax float on by...and babushka Brown Dog.

Poor Brown Dog got a little heat and sun exposed on day one of our float. He had a rough night. His body temperature was boiling hot, showed signs of dehydration, and his eye were irritated(sunburned). He just wanted to lay in the cool sand and was not himself. We kept him covered with damp towels and Nell flush his eyes with saline. He came out of it in the wee hours of the morning as the canyon temperatures cooled.

The sun exposure on the river is no joke for humans, I can't imagine it is much different for dogs. We used Nell's Buff to provide some cooling and sun protection during the day but realized this is a problem. We do tons of things where there is sun exposure and your eyes can get cooked.

Doggles on a service dog.We might get Dudley some Doggles.

Bara, Nell and Will chill out in the Green River, UT 2011.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Sweetgrass Productions SOLITAIRE Trailer

The Sweetgrass Crew released a new trailer!
Via Sweetgrass Productions...

WORLD PREMIERE SEPTEMBER 15th, 2011 in Denver, CO Gothic Theatre 7pm
For the DVD and Ski Film Tour info head to:

Patagonia and Dynafit present...

SOLITAIRE: A Backcountry Skiing, Snowboarding, and Telemark Film from Sweetgrass Productions

In the high desert of South America, winter takes hold, devouring bleached bones and abandoned shacks. Into these most inhospitable of lands, a handful of drifters emerge from the whiteout, ready to cast their lot on forsaken peaks both merciless and magnificent. Venturing beyond the frontiers of most mountain films, Solitaire is backcountry skiing forged in the tradition of Western cinema. Born in the spires of Argentina’s legendary Las Lenas, a lonely two-year journey begins through an abandoned world, wandering the length of a continent from Peru’s Cordillera Blanca to Chilean Patagonia.
Lost in the winds of snowbound badlands and the blizzards of primordial forests; seen from a horse’s saddle and a paraglider’s wings; ridden on ski and board and telemark...
Solitaire fuses western-inspired tales of backcountry gambles into landscapes never before visited on film.

Shot on location in: Las Lenas, Argentina; Portillo, Chile;
Nevados de Chillan, Chile; Patagonia, Chile; Bariloche, Argentina; Caviahue, Argentina; Huaraz, Peru; Iquitos, Peru; Uyuni, Bolivia; and Sajama, Bolivia.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Costa Rica Sound Clips

Nell and I have been working on putting together some sounds from the trip.
Close your eyes and enter a morning in the rain forest.

A bird walk with Omar and Nell. Photo:Nell

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Alaska's Clam Gulch & the Kenai River Fishing Trip

Jason and Keyrock dig for clams during low tide at Alaska's clam gulch.
Headed up to AK for the Sockeye run this year. Jason, Eric(Keyrock) and I toured the Kenai river area in a 28 foot RV that included all the comforts of home in a 1980's style rolling base camp. We often fished 5 to 8 hours a day with processing (cleaning, vacuum packing and freezing) the days catch usually keeping us up till the wee hours of the morning.

Keyrock demonstrates using a clam gun to dig for clams.
This was my first experience clamming. It is a skill that requires a little practice and knowledge of the clam’s position in the sand.
Note: The dimple recognition step, the first step, was the key for me.

Here is how to dig up a clam.

1. Look for a small (about the size of a US nickel) dimple on the beach. This is the clam’s “show” and is the result of water moving vertically to the surface as the clam siphons sea water (at low tide) for substrates while feeding buried about 6 inches in the sand. If you pause the video at about :01 you can see the dimple of a Butter Clam.

2. We used a clam gun most of the time but shovels work well too, the second step is basically digging up the clam.

With a clam gun: Position the end of the tube centered over the dimple. Slowly press the tube into the sand until it reaches a hard layer. Making sure to avoid rocks and clams by rocking the gun back and forth and side to side in the mud. This was the tricky part. Many clams were crushed as the gun slid into the sand. Is that a rock or clam? Crack!
It takes a few times of slicing the clam in half to feel the clam with the gun and make sure to include it in the core. There is an air hole at the top of the gun that is plugged with your thumb making the tube air tight and able to pull a core of sand from the beach. Hopefully including the clam. Shuffle through the core of sand looking for the clam and/or finish digging up the clam by hand. Some of the clams were deeper than others.

With a shovel:
Dig a hole in the sand just above the clam starting from the dimple and working slightly diagonal toward the shore. This was about 5 to 6 inches usually. Go slow at the bottom as to not damage the clam. Reveal the neck and shell of the clam by digging with your hands back on the diagonal. If you dig directly down you can accidentally crack or crush the clam.

Note: Crushed clams are just as delicious, just more difficult to clean.

Hurry they can dig surprisingly fast to escape. Once you start digging it is a race, you vs. clam. Yes, they win sometimes.

A family digs for clams.

One of the things I had on my short list for this Alaska trip was to enjoy a home-made clam chowder after clamming all day at the gulch. A dream clam chowder that was like nothing I'd had before. A clam chowder that instead of being mostly void of clams, like we get here in Colorado,watery, mostly potatoes; is a chowder that is completely choked was clams, a ridiculous amount of fresh caught clams. Where every bite is a heaping pile of clams and buttery chowder drips from the spoon. You might ask, "did we forget the potatoes?" kind of clam chowder.

Well, we nailed it. A dream come true.

Here is the clam chowder recipe we enjoyed that night.

1.5 cups of clams per person (really)
4 slices bacon, diced
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups diced potatoes
1.5 cups clam broth/juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon minced rosemary, thyme, oregano (equal parts)

Dice and boil the potatoes for fifteen minutes, strain, set aside.
Cook bacon until crisp in a large, heavy sauce pan. Remove bacon to paper towels, dice.
Add onion to bacon drippings; sauté until softened, then add potatoes, and herbs and breifly saute. Add clam broth simmer for 10 mins. Next add the clams and the diced bacon simmer for 5 more mins. Whisk the flour into the milk and add it with the half and half simmer for another 10 mins or until the chowder thickens. Server with torn baguette bread.

Eat two bowls.

Hauling ass up river in the 1985 Class C Ford Suncrest Honey RV.

The halibut charters leaving for the morning tours. Seward, Alaska

Combat fishing at Bings Landing near Sterling, Alaska.
Fishing shoulder to shoulder was a new experience for me. If another angler got within a few feet of me on a river at home, in Colorado I'm sure I'd have some choice words for the guy and/or at least a stink eye. But here in Alaska during the salmon run anyway it is pretty much the norm and all popular fishing spots are usually teaming with fishermen...lucky for us they are also teaming with Salmon and everybody was light hearted and friendly.
You could see a steady stream of fish heading up river day and night. On July 18th of this year over 225K were counted by Didson sonar heading up river, this was more than 4 times the average for that day.

We got an AMAZING run this year!!

Bits!!! This what we called all the left overs from the filleting process.
Jason and I were new to filleting salmon. It takes some practice to get good at, I would say probably about 10-12 fish. Our first attempts had us cleaning up the bones getting every missed sliver of meat after the fact, very time consuming but worth it. We called these pieces "Bits". We would include them in the next mornings breakfast usually sautéd in bacon grease, peppered and served with scrambled eggs and toast.

A few clips of the fishing.

Keyrock hooks a sockeye a few feet from the waters edge at our backcountry spot.
This spot requires a short bushwack through the forest to get to, hints there is no people here. We carried a fire arm, bear pepper spray and made plenty of noise on our walks in. Bear tracks and scat were everywhere. Packing up the day's catch in our backpacks had us walking double time back to the RV. Keyrock threaten my life, if I give the exact location...sorry Blogosphere, my lips are sealed.

Up near the Russian River and Kenai River confluence.

This dog has it made floating down the Kenai.

A cleaning station with the morning's catch and beverage.
The sign reads "Help keep Anglers safe and Bears wild. Chop! into numerous pieces & Throw into fast current."

Our campsite pit smoker made with heavy aluminium foil, our grill, and the site's fire pit.
Another thing on the short list was to smoke a salmon that was just a few hours old with fresh cut green Alder from the river. We smoked a fillet for about 4 hours using only Alder in the fire.
The finished product lasted about four minutes.