Monday, February 28, 2011

Breckenridge & Keystone, CO

I apologize for neglecting the blog lately, work being hellish lately and all, but I just got my batteries recharged in Colorado so I guess I'm back in business. Ruth and I spent 7 days in Breck, at our usual haunt (this is a trip we do every year), the River Mountain Lodge at the bottom of Breck's "4 O'Clock" run. Ski Breck, take 4 O'Clock, unbuckle, cross the street and we're home. We had 5 stellar days of riding, our best ski trip ever, and at the end we had no desire to come home.
Three of our 5 days were bluebird skies, freshie from overnight, and zero crowds. The other 2 days we had over a foot of fluff to track and zero crowds. It doesn't get any better. We rode backbowls at Keystone for 2 days, spent 2 days on Breck's Peaks 7 and 8, and one day on Peak 9.
There is no "one thing" that draws us back to Breckenridge every year. First, the mountains: Breck, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Vail, and Arapaho Basin are all within an hour's drive from Breck (20 minutes for Copper and Keystone) and we've ridden them all. The town of Breck has an old west rustica charm, and many of the shops and boutiques on Main St. are in buildings dating from the late 1800's. We always look forward to fanatastic dining, our two favorite restaurants being The Briar Rose and South Ridge (reserve ahead of time). The whole town feels like Christmas, a true ski town.
I'll take a bit to walk you all through the week's best photos. Above, Ruth managed to capture my "crash of the week", the result of flying out of the trees into a bunch of moguls. Too much foot on the pedal. Below, Ruth apparently enjoying herself.

Above and below: A taste of "Brecken-Wind".

Above and below: A little cloud, a little sun at Keystone.
Above and Below: more Keystone
Below: Ruth coasting like she was born on a plank.
Below: Lake Dillon, Summit County.

Above and below: Ruthie at Breck.
Below: Peak 8 Colorado super-chair
Below: Sunshine and air.
Below: Uncrowded lift, Peak 7.
Below: Peak 8 base and Breckenridge.

Below: The Peak 7 base area.
Below: fun in the sun.

Below: There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.
Below: Ruth, powder time in the trees
Below: chilly, but pretty.
Below: Ruth in the trees again. I spent so much time in the trees that I was picking pine needles out of my helmet each night.
Below: You call this a lift-line? Where's the line?
Below: Peak 8 sitting right over town.

Below: Ruth hunting for shiny baubles (I spent a bunch of $$$ at Coach for Valentine's Day, which kind of spilled over into our vacation as there is also a Coach outlet near town. That girl is hooked up!)

Below: Breck on our last day, the day we took off. The weather report had indicated that our last day would be the worst, so we boarded the 5 days leading up to last friday and spent that day on the town.

And finally, we managed to get the world's finest carrot cake home and intact. World's Finest Carrot Cake courtesy of Clint's Bakery on Main St., Breck.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Beaten near death by work...

Thursday I had a very hard day of work. Yesterday (Friday) I woke to my cell phone screaming at me. It was 3:00AM. I was getting called in to try to save a life, which we were able to do. I handed him off to the cardiac surgery team (my past work-mates) at around 6:00AM and they opened him up, bypassed several arteries and threw a new mitral valve in for good measure, though the damage to the pump function of the heart had already been done and he can't support a viable blood pressure without a mechanical assist device. Very poor prognosis, in other words.
I went straight from that case into another busy day of scheduled angiograms and coronary interventions (balloon angioplasty/stent placement). My day ended up being 19 hours long, all of it high-stress stuff. When I got home at 8:30PM I was so tired I couldn't sleep.
Curses! I'm hardwired to get up early every day, or at least be wide awake. It didn't used to be this way. I used to sleep in like a teenage slacker, but not for the last several years. Whatever. I was awake early this AM, and the weather was stunningly good. I dragged my tired carcass out of bed and about halfway up Matilija. I parked in the sun on the creek and enjoyed several hours of doin' nuthin. My batteries did not recharge. I need sleep.
One cool thing happened today that I have to share. I met a real nice guy named Jeremy Scarlett. He was out on the trail with his two handsom sons, one knocked out in a kid carrier on his back. He had recognized me at a glance, said he often reads this blog. I thought that was just great. I also thought it was great that he was out there with his young boys, opening their eyes to something greater than video games and cartoons. He seemed like a great dad in just the few moments we spent. Well Jeremy, if you want to do a local hike, kite me an email.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tar Creek, 02/08/11

12/10/13: The US Forest Service will be enforcing access restrictions to Tar Creek soon. TC is part of the Condor Sanctuary established as critical habitat to this endangered bird and other wildlife. Epic numbers of visitors, and the trash and graffiti they have left behind, has led to the acknowledgment by the Forest Service that access must be curtailed and enforced. For more information on the impending action visit: Tar Creek Closure.

So, things have been busy lately, which has kept me off the trails. I've been working alot and had a cold and could detail numerous other excuses, but those issues seem to be behind me now and I rolled out to Tar Creek yesterday with a renewed energy. About time, Dave.
The guy in the picture above is named Tarek. He had contacted me via the blog, had never been to Tar, and seemed like a nice enough fellow so I invited him along. He's a modern day, raw foods kind of hippy (if one had to use labels as a descriptor). Easy to get along with. Tarek seemed to have a great day and I'm sure he'll be revisiting the creek.
I've been down this canyon so many times that there's little "new" to write about unless something noteworthy has occurred, which wasn't the case today. I will say that I'm working with a new camera, trying to get a feel for how it shoots, which settings work best in different conditions. So far I'm pretty pleased with the image quality. I'll just let you all scroll through the pics.