Friday, December 29, 2006

welcome to coal creek canyon.

A 31 inch (78.74 cm) Goodyear workhorse snow tire.
I spent today digging out after another 23 inches of snow overnight. In preparation for travel I had to be sure the jeep and trailer could get to the road tomorrow. I think we’re good but with more snow on the way, at least another 10 inches, could be a long launch.

Tomorrow off to Grand Lake, Colorado for a little backcountry RnR.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Gear racks by MTN Tech Fab and CFR

There is a forecasted 2 feet of snow on the way and as the flakes begin to fly I take time today to prepare the backcountry taxi. We are now equipped with a snowboard rack from Cheetah Factory Racing (CFR). I normally ride with my board on my pack without too much problem. Of coarse there is the occasional jolt from the snowboard hitting a tree while I’m in narrow forest. I’ve never been plucked, but I could see the potential.

I got my rack from Mountain Tech Fabrications. I had to use a “spacer kit” to mount the brackets to my stock RX-1 mountain. With the 1 inch rubber spacers the rack is mounted off the tunnel, this gave the board clearance from the exhaust pipes. The spacers act as risers when mounted horizontally on the back of the sled. The one inch here gives the board a slight nose forward position on the sled. This helps keep the snowboard out of the way while hill climbing or deep POW, and stable on bumps or crashes (trying to avoid these).

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

You might want to check this out.
MTN Tech Fab
is a rider owned and rider operated company. We are backcountry snowboarders, skiers and snowmobilers at heart. We live, work and play out of the beautiful state of Colorado -- allowing us over a hundred or more days a year in the backcountry. Our products are designed with the backcountry and rider in mind.”

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Blizzard fallout.

Mailbox down! Mailbox down!
I came home tonight to find my mailbox creamed by the snow plow. SMASH! It is the one face down on the right; the silver tube poking out of the snowdrift and partially visible. The mounting brackets are completely crushed. Luckily the box was still closed and I got all my mail. I think the postal service gives us 5 days to repair this before they start returning your mail? Hope so.
I’d like to thump the plow driver in the nuts, by the by.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Deepness on the front range!

My Rig!
The year’s blizzard is winding down today as it squeezes every last flake of snow out of the up-slope system. I have about 4 feet of snow up here! I got out the shovel and dug my jeep out this morning, took about an hour. But not before taking a couple neighborhood laps on the sled! I got stuck twice!
I’m looking forward to the weekend. The Backcountry should be epic!

My Goodyear Workhorse snow tires are worth their weight in gold!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

.: Dumpin :.

Blizzard 2006 (The holiday storm)
It is dumping tonight in Colorado. I already have about 3 feet at the house here in Coal Creek Canyon!
I track the big storm with the Nextrad view at

Some of my favorite spots are getting hit BIG!

My house is the yellow ballon.

Friday, December 15, 2006

It lives....again.

Be knowin' snow.

Dashing through the snow
On a 140-horse open sleigh,
Over the fields we go,
Laughing all the way, hahaha...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Colorado texture

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Passing time with Pass time.

Avrum (dj gravy) drops in to a tricky section at ~11,000ft.

Backcountry Shacks and the Babylon Dog.

Somewhere, Colorado
So I accidentally nuked the blog text from this day a couple days ago. I recently switched to the new blogger (beta) and I’m still getting used to it. Never the less the original text from this post was lost.
Sorry…. I’ll try and recreate it from memory.

I spent some time exploring the Colorado Backcountry this weekend. We had terrific weather with bluebird skies and bright sunshine. This made for spring like conditions, not quite t-shirt weather but close to it.

We had two canine companions on the walk today. Paco (a Jack Russell terrier) and Milo a (golden/hound mix). I know what you’re thinking…A Jack Russell terrier in the wintertime Colorado backcountry!? How did it get around in the 3+ feet of snow?

These dogs never cease to amaze me. The first time I met Paco was on a 14er hike last fall. I was concerned about how he would fair near the top where there is a large boulder field before the summit. This is basically like walking on Volkswagens for a few miles. I have to say Paco skipped over the large boulder gaps with a grace only rivaled by the summits native inhabitants, the rocky mountain pika (a member of the rabbit family). I was amazed and impressed. Paco seemed to almost glide over the field spending most of his time in the air clearing the large gaps.
Ok, but this is 3+ feet of snow, what then? For most of the day Paco could float on the snow pack. The spring conditions proved alittle help here. But even when the snow got real powdery like in the trees, he would run behind the snowboard lines, keeping those feet at about 1000 rpms and had no problem keeping up with the riders. I was again Amazed at how easy it looked for him. Those dogs pack some power!

Paco geared up for the backcountry. notice the sweet vest.

...Paco is not the Babylon Dog, but thats another story.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Home Grown.

Coal Creek Moon Raise +23 F. Posted by Picasa

Vail daze, Back Bowls Opening day

Deep Powder in the Colorado Rockies!

With record low temperatures and slick icy mountain roads Colorado delivers a skiers paradise. When driving conditions suck in the mountains, most people (normal people that is) will scratch the day and play it safe, as it dumps in the hills. They might relax and sleep in, wasting the day watching college football. I don't understand really.
For the Colorado Powder hound, when mountain passes are closing, and the weather service has issued a storm warning we fall into a trance, gathering our winter gear, loading up and heading out to the high-country, hoping to taste the sweetness. It means long hours behind a windshield with wipers on full, white out conditions, and white knuckle driving. But it’s worth it. The cold air temperature set the stage for opening day at Colorado’s favorite resort. (Ok I have a bias.) Light and fluffy, Colorado’s finest asset, glistens in the legendary back bowls of Vail resort. On opening day it is hard to have a friend. Even locals wake up early for days like today. Check out the morning lines.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Home Grown.

A calm morning after blistering winds throughout the night.
Wind chill was bel0w zero in the canyon.
November was a busy month, with nose to the grid (10g to be exact) stone.
Thankfully it is December 01.
The clam before the storm....more to come.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

::Day in Pictures::

After a blazzard all night into the morning, it cleared to bluebird for the afternoon.

The sled track!

Sleddin in my own backyard!

After snowing 20 inches overnight the canyon roads are pretty bad this morning, and it is still dumping. So I stayed home and went sleddin!
...Dig my yellow & purple house! ha!
Hey I bought it that way!
:-O Look at this!!! HA! still coming down.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

October Snow at Vail Pass!

Deepness in the Colorado backcountry.
Friday’s weather system left another 30 inch dumping in the central Rockies. Can you guess where I was Saturday?

Powder days start the night before.
Stoermer rolled up to my place Friday night with his sled. We loaded it on my trailer and packed the gear for the 3:30 am start Saturday. With sled access this early in the season we expected an Epic day on the pass but nothing like what we got. When it snows this much in the mountains the road crews do a good job but have a little trouble keeping up. Rate of snow accumulation the problem, good for the powder hound, bad for the snow plows. One must leave this early to miss the traffic of the resort goers (lifts open around 9am), allow time for closed mountain passes (Loveland pass was closed in route), deal with any driving mistakes or flat tires, I’ll talk about that later, and for what gets us up there, the sun rising over the Rockies with a 30 inch layer of cold, thigh deep, “Blower” POW. Yes we are spoiled here.

The backcountry shuttle and the short bus.
After we unload and booted up the first order of business is laying the sled road around the ski terrain. We pick our favorite spot on the mountain for the morning hours when the snow is nice-n-cold. With clearing skies we send our best sledder “Split board Dave” to blaze the trail. This can be tricky in the early season because stumps, rocks, little trees, and shrubs are still relatively exposed. Mountain sleds are helpless without snow underneath them. They are basically a 500 pound weight when stuck back there. Digging them out while the sun peaks through the clouds on perfect conditions is well, shitty. Luckily Dave is the man on his sled and he was able to weave through the trees, meadows, and rock bands side cutting the perfect road high on the pass without indent. All he asks in return is first line down, not bad. After all he is the first one up there. But unfortunately for him I think his line was poached by the powder frenzy(crawfish). Sorry Dave next time, good job though. Ha!

We called the shuttling sled the “short bus”, because we were all drooling and goobery, smiling ear to ear after the preceding powder run. Hauling ass back to the top we take turns driving the shuttling sled back down the hill, the “short bus driver”.

Life in the white room is good.
Pictures from the day here at TGR

Yours truely in the white room!! Heeyaa!

The little tire that couldn’t.
After a big day in the backcountry the body is drained but the mind is charged. So when we had a tire blow out on the highway on the way back home it seemed like a small price to pay. Yes it is a pain in the ass changing a flat trailer tire in the snowy mountain highway muck but we took in stride considering it part of the ride!

Let the season begin!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Jonesin for the Powder.

Getting to know the RX-1 Mountain.

Me and my new snowmobile (haven't named her yet) getting to know each other in over 30 inches of fresh snow, Wednesday morning.

Today people who could blow off work and go play in the snow probably did. A storm system moved in Monday evening leaving a couple feet of snow in the higher elevations by Wednesday morning. Where I'm from this is a POWDER DAY! Finally! First weekday “powder day” of the year for me, Yee haa! There is something about waking up in the morning knowing your going to the backcountry while the majority of people are going to work. Or are sitting in traffic (even better). Feels like you're getting away with something. Although snow conditions still felt a little "early season, the group was calling it "Spiny", we had a great time playing around on the high meadow trails and in just below the trees line where the snow had drifted. Snow above tree line was being blown around all day. Making it crush over and drift, a great time with the sleds as we practiced maneuvering around the rocks, but ski lines down the mountain were shallow and rocky . The waist deep drifts would "reset" every couple of hours but the snow would come off the mountain. We agreed that the snow was good, but could have been epic with a more establish base. Today’s snow gets a B-. Hey it is October. Check out iskibc's blog at we know snow for some great photography and descriptions of the ski conditions from the day, as well as jp's blog for more crash pictures.

Hey! Although I crashed more on my sled, Jp's crash was the hardest of the day. So hard I didn’t take a picture. He got thrown in front of the sled and it nearly slid over him on the way down the mountain. The snow was unforgiving today, shallow and blunt. If you were chucked, it was bone against rock. Everybody think SNOW!

Note worthy:
1. JP coined today's activity as "The Sled Shred".
2. Total mileage on the sled today: 35 miles (unheard of with just snow shoes)
3. Top speed: 42mph (the sled has plenty left... plenty left! I was too chicken)
4. Wreck total: 4
5. Fun meter: 10! (So fun! Access to terrain is increased 200%)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Perfect Fall Day.

Mmm Beir.
On Mount Beirstadt 14,060 feet.
First time up Colorado’s little brother 14er “Beirstadt”.Our group was up and down this thing with lunch at the summit in about 5 hours. We kept a good clip and elevated heart rates the squeeze every last bit of -Schwarzenegger voice- TRAINING out of this one. Most of the walk was on the trail but last weeks mountain dustings made for shallow snowfields near the summit. We all got excited to see the snow knowing that ski season is right around the corner. Yee-Haa!
Today's weather was textbook "Colorado fall day", couldn’t ask for a nicer one. This season I always find nostalgic. There is something about the yellow Aspen leaves falling from the trees on to the black mud of a pine forest trail. They stick to your boot a when you walk through them. As the day warms small creeks and drainages come to life. They chatter with the trickle of the snowmelt into the night before freezing for another day. The smell of pine fire welcomes the evening hours as the day draws to an end and one day closer to winter, when the real fun begins!

*Happy Birthday Dad! - Picture coming soon.

Fall Colors

A missing berry. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another mountain sunset.

The sunsets in the canyon have have been awesome lately.
Are you guys getting sick of these yet?
Last one for a while.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Home Grown.

Broad-tailed humming birds.(Selasphorous platycercus)

his picture was taken with my Olympus Stylus 5.0 digital camera. I stood behind my dinning room window with the shades drawn and the camera poking through a few feet from the feeder. The shades are usually open and the humming birds scatter if they can see you coming, making it difficult to get a good shot. Even changing their background by closing the shades made the birds uneasy. It took the birds a few minutes to approach the feeder and about 10 before they would land on it.
I set my digital camera to "Macro" and turned the flash off. The shutter speed is relatively slow in this setting. It is perfect for shooting stationary objects but moving objects are a little tricky. These birds can move! The feeder traffic during the evening hours is absolute mayhem! The aerial acrobatics of the swarm whistles with intensity as the birds compete for a spot on the feeder, the smaller birds almost too blurry to see. There is dive bombing, high speed fly bys, beak poking, bumping, and my favorite blocking. This is where a couple work together, one blocks access to the feeder while the other eats. I have seen up to a three bird front. They love to visit right be for dusk. I counted about four different species feeding at the same time. So I basically had to keep shooting until I got a shot where the birds were stationary enough to keep everything in focus. I took roughly 130 shot in 30 minutes, about 5 were any good. These ladies were particularly brave and cunning, they fed often.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Flaming Hula Hoops

My friend Kelly(The Durga) is heading home to Austin next month. Apparently Boulder is just too conservative for her! Ha! She finished her PhD classes from Naropa Institute and graduated last spring. Here she spins a fiery hula hoop at her going away party (talk about Super Woman!) We enjoyed a mild Colorado summer evening, delicious Indian food, cold beverages and the entertainment speaks for itself. I plan to visit her when things settle down and eat my way through Austin, I hear the food there is awesome!

Good Luck Kelly! We will see you real soon.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Casey & Angie's Wedding!

A hip shot of the Sand ceremony during the wedding.
In the amazing Estes Park, Colorado over looking Lake Estes my long time friend Casey and his beautiful bride Angie were married.
I have known this guy for longer than I haven’t known him, some 17 years and counting. We grew up together; were in the same classes, played on the same sports teams, have the same taste in music, women, friendships and life in general. I would say that he is like a brother and I always knew that one day one of us would tie the knot and the other would be standing by. Of course he beats me to the punch, just one of the many times.
I was a groomsman in this very special occasion for Casey and Angie. During the traditional sequence the couple integrated in something I had never seen before, a “sand ceremony”. This was a simple yet meaningful addition to their ceremony I thought was really neat. They had three small vases filled with sand and a larger empty vase that could be sealed. The sand in each vase was a different color and represented the Bride, the Groom, and the Holy Spirit. As they came together in marriage they poured their sands into the larger vase. The sand swirled together to create a mixture of the two colors. This symbolized the two coming together as one. The third vase of sand was added by their Pastor and represented their unity with each other and with God. The Pastor then sealed the large vase and at that moment this collection of sand and glass carried with it a larger meaning that could be felt through out the gathering.

Thank you Casey and Angie for the awesome time at Lake Estes, it will forever be your spot in my mind.

Casey & Angie's Wedding!

Me and Casey “The Dog”.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Home Grown.

Last night's sunset. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 07, 2006

Home Grown

A rainbow before dusk. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 03, 2006

A first go.

These are hard.
I'll have to refine a technique, or buy a better camera to get a good shot of my blurry little buddies.

Home Grown.

The "home grown" blogs will be shots from around the house or Coal Creek Canyon. I wanted to do a few local photo blogs.

-I think the fly adds something. Can you see him?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Full Horn, Full Throttle!

The Dog and his “little rascal” scooter at the New York New York Hotel and Casino,
Las Vegas Nevada.

If you were lucky enough to be at the NYNY Hotel and Casino last weekend you might have noticed my buddy Casey (The Dog) terrorizing the place on his rented Little Rascal motorized mobility scooter.
About halfway into his Vegas Bachelor party, Casey discovered that one does not necessarily need to be physically handicapped to rent a little rascal. Like most everything in Las Vegas you just need the cash, $40 to be exact, and the motivation. Needless to say, it was not long after hearing this news that Casey floored our group of 10 by pulling up on this little beauty, cocktail in hand.
Equipped with a wire basket (great for holding cold beer), leather seat with arm rests, two front headlights, a backup/reverse alert (sounded like a trash truck for some reason), and probably the greatest thing you can put on a scooter like this, an annoying little horn, which Casey used quite liberally. He soon learned that this horn was capable of parting the sea of casino patrons as he weaved at full throttle through the gaming floor. He was noticeably satisfied with his decision to rent the scooter, to say the least, and so were we.
When he first appeared with this scooter I laughed so hard tears flowed from my eyes. It was the kind of laughing that one waits years for.

Monday, June 12, 2006

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My 30 day clavicle checkup was today at 8:30am.
Dr. Joe and the rest of his gang signed a clean bill of heath. Complete with a sweet x-ray of the finished product! Ladies and gentlemen I present "Old Cracky"

Friday, June 02, 2006

Will & Corinna's BIG Day!

Sunday May 28, 2006. Surrounded by close friends and family Will and Corinna tie the knot in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina!

This was such a great time!
It was hard picking out a single picture to blog of this momentous occasion. The entire event from start to finish was beautiful, unique, and simply elegant. They really captured the spirit of celebration that I think is frequently miss these days. This spirit is something that money can not buy. Rather it must already flourish in the couple’s lives and as it comes together, with each person bringing their own special piece; it can be recognized and appreciated as a whole. I had a awesome time on my trip and felt lucky to have people like these in my life.

Thank you.

Holden Harmony

Holden harmony.

After the wedding festivities a group of us “blow off real life” type people, hauled ass to Holden beach, NC for a few relaxing days ocean side. The temperatures on the coast seemed to be a slightly cooler than of that inland. It felt generally cooler, less humid and the fresh ocean breezes welcomed us to our beach house appropriately name “It’s five o’clock somewhere.”

Side note: The highways in North Carolina have at least two names, and as many a five (really!). We founds this particularly fun while using the mapquest generated directions, and Map(if you could call it that) to Holden. The star shaped, one way intersection in Wilmington, NC is also note worthy. The directions to the beach read something like this:

1) Proceed south west on highway US7 to Wilmington.

2) In Wilmington just close your eyes and drive.

3) A miracle will happen.

3) Proceed south west on highway US7 to Holden beach

Our group was in relaxation mode so a late arrival was no biggie. We passed drive time by singing old truck driver songs (good ol’Texans), eating French fries and checking out the flower filled countryside. My favorite tune we sang was “The Durga behind the man, behind the wheel.” a spin off of a real trucker song, with a special little twist for the Reverend.

The Beach house was perfect, a very comfortable home with plenty of space for our group to spread out. There were many bathrooms and two kitchens, one for preparing meals, one for preparing beverages. ;-)

The home was plopped right out on the sand; from the living room one could hear the rhythms of the tides and smell the ocean air.

From this point on, I pretty much “ate”. I always like to vacation with people who like food. This group had several very good cooks and we took turn preparing the groups meals. Paco’s salsa was a group favorite and was served with practically every meal, he must of made a few gallons by weeks end.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Peaks and Valleys

A valley.
I spiral fractured my left clavicle last week on a routine bike ride to lunch.

I had to patch the front tire on the bike Sunday evening as I had picked up a thorn from a ride that weekend. I must have over inflated the tire or missed a tube pinch as it turned out to be a weak link.
The tube bulged out of the tire then exploded on my ride sending me over the handle bars and slamming me to the pavement unexpectedly. Most of the time in mountain biking you can feel a crash coming and learning to fall correctly is a developed skill (just like in snowboarding). Believe it or not I’ve crashed harder on the trail and was able to roll out of it unscathed. This blowout was completely random and took a bite!
As far as I can tell this is my new left collar bone looking forward from just behind my head. I had to have a titanium plate and 8 screws put in it to assure proper healing of the bone. I was directed by my surgeon to take 6 to 8 weeks off the bike and any other dangerous activity. This is going to be extremely difficult for me, but probably worth it in the long run.

You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.
- Woody Allen

Saturday, May 06, 2006

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