Thursday, September 11, 2008


Thinking is nice. I don’t think enough. Between work, media, other responsibilities and simply staying alert in order to not miss opportunities life throws at you, there is little time for thinking. There are opportunities, but they are always cut short by the next thing on the day’s agenda, whether it was planned or a blitz.

That’s why I tend to go to bed so late. I finally find time to think and I’m being ask to shut my brain off? I don’t think so (no pun intended).

Here’s the irony. The lack of sleep and need to get up at a normal rat-race hour can leave me pretty tired. Not refreshed. And that’s not so conducive to good thinking. But it’s not completely detrimental, just not ideal. I think that’s why I justify choosing the lesser of two evils by sleeping less. I take Emergen-C and eat an okay breakfast to try and fill in some gaps for my brain and body’s defenses.

My recent Longs Peak climb was another opportunity to think. I was sometimes annoyed at the chatty nature of my hiking companions, but that’s nothing against them. I set myself up for some good chi harnessing time and it’s annoying when it’s interrupted by talk of something I consider less important than the silence it killed.

Still, I got some good time in. The physically repetitive act of trekking in a beautiful natural setting triggers my mind to wander and think about things that the hustle and bustle sometimes fails to.

When I do get a chance to really think, it always ends up in one place. Jaime is amazing. No thoughts about future plans, dreams, music, career, politics, money, food (yes, I think deeply about food, especially on the tail end of descending Longs), have any problem quickly finding their way back to this girl and how crazy I am about her. And since she pretty much always falls asleep before me, she has to live with the fact that her sleep will always be interrupted by a kiss or six on the face before I finally crash. ‘Cause that’s when I have time to think.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Work hard, play hard.

Jaime was in California during a pretty busy work week of mine last week. It's a good thing I brought Annie in to work with me a couple times, because those were late nights burning the midnight oil and she would have gotten pretty antsy had I left her at home during my 15 hour work days... I must say, Annie was a peach all week. She was great at home. She was great at work. Just a total perfect dog and companion.

I did escape before sunset one evening and got one good walkabout around Louisville's good old Davidson Mesa.

The way work was shaping up on Friday I wasn't sure if my weekend plans were going to happen. On top of some big work that doesn't seem to want to complete itself, I've been fighting a cold for almost 3 weeks now. But Saturday was slated to be epic and I wasn't about to miss it. Longs Peak is the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park. A 14,259 ft. summit and 5,000 ft. elevation gain to get there on your own steam. To say this is a "hike" would be like saying Jaws is a fish. Jaws is a fish. A Fish that will eat you if you treat him like a trout, and may eat you even if you treat him like the man-hungry Great White that he is.

After two hours of sleep Friday night I met Alex Kayne and Josh Mantooth for a 2:30 am drive and a 4:00 am hike. I admit, it does start as a hike at about 9,000 ft. By the time you're at 11,000 there's no more trail. By 12,000 it's die-time. But a darn good time.

[Click on the images to see them in full glory.]

The boulder field. Get a glimpse of perspective when you look for the tiny people scattered further down the field:

On the summit:

The narrows on the way back down ("trip and die"):

Here are three photos I took and Alex stitched together into one panorama, taken from the back side of the keyhole:

Longs has a 30% summit success rate. We made it to the top, We couldn't have asked for better weather, and I wasn't one of the average of one people who die on the mountain each year. That's a good day in my book.