September 29, 2013
Joy on a Ledge
Joy! Joy! Joy!
I live with so very many shoulds that I rarely, at least over the past several years, let myself just be. (Although I'm getting much better at it.) I have blog entries to write, employment to find, skills to learn, photos to take, people's lives to affect, expectations to live up to (mainly my own, so don't feel protective thinking there are critical people around me), and a life to figure out. You know, little things.
But this Saturday was just about going up for a night in the foothills with some friends. That's all. On a beautiful day. Into a beautiful night. The plan: take a short hike, and then have a picnic at sunset. The execution? Flawless. Paul and Emily are the best.
SO many things to be excited about. Fresh air! Cozy jackets! Roasted vegetables! Wine from the bottle! PIE! And... the promise of a warm house, cozy pants, and MORE PIE! This is livin'. This is really livin'.
The next morning, with a leisurely start, we lounged in the sun on the deck and admired the aspen. Turn, leaves, turn. And when the sun hits them, shaz-AM—trees that glow!
September 10, 2013
Oh, Hello, Rockies
Back in Boulder for all of about three days, and Marianne and I head off to Rocky Mountain National Park to get a dose of rocks and trees.
This is where we ended up:
It's on the west side of the divide, and has the impressively uncreative name of Bench Lake, so we decided to rename it to something like Double P[ear/are] Lake, which we intend to be an oral name only to confuse people about its true meaning. You can't really see the pair of twin rocks across the way in this picture. Sorry. They were striking. Take my word for it.
The weekend was uneventful but quite pleasant. The hike in was mostly gentle, up through a river valley, with a few uphills and a cascade or two.
Fortunately, the campsites we had our eyes on were booked, and the guy helping us asked if we were interested in a cross-country option, which I didn't even know was possible. Yeah, sure. Of course we are. The region he assigned us to was in a valley up above a stretch of stream called Wardance falls. I'm assuming the whole stretch was called Wardance Falls, because pretty much all of it looked this this:
Up above the falls, we spent a little time passing up other campsites to find this one, which doesn't look so impressive. But it had three things going for it: 1) Flat, 2) Clear of snags, and
3) Just a hop away from a great cooking rock:
Our neighbors were some gray jays (we had to look it up when we got back) and, as indicated by some fresh poop and fresh tracks, a bear and some large hoofed creatures. (Probably not unicorns, but it's hard to tell from just the tracks.)
We'd hauled our cameras and a tripod up with us to try our hands at getting some night shots, and more specifically some night time lapses, which Marianne had just learned to do in Alaska a couple weeks ago.
I need to figure out how to get my short sequence of pics (battery ran out pretty quickly) in video format and how to post it here, but in the meantime, here's an example shot:
Since we were up so very late, we had a nice sleep in... Really, we just had an incredibly lazy morning. It was great. The weather was lovely, the lake was lovely, our rock was lovely, and the peaks were not so dramatic and therefore not so inviting, so we were content to chill in our little slice of the Rockies we'd found the night before.
Plus, Marianne was doing all the work.
I haven't really explored Rocky Mountain National Park. In fact, I don't know that I've ever spent a night there. No dogs, and there are mountains closer to Boulder, without the park fees. But I've got to say, I'm now a fan. Just what the doctor ordered.