Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Week of Weather

May 24th - 
A lovely hike in the hills of my hometown. 
Homemade dinner of vegetables and broth.
There's just something about dining in the mountains...
Started out the afternoon in shorts and a t-shirt
& ended with three layers on by the time we returned to the vehicles.

May 21st - 
Was introduced to a new-to-me hike above Manitou Springs. 
Almost climbed it as opposed to hiked it, as the grade was steep.

May 22nd - 
Did the hike for the second time - this time at dusk and
with different company. 
We wanted to see the lights above the city. 
What we failed to remember was our headlamps,
 so heading down in the dark was a little dangerous. 

So was the thought of the mountain lion recently seen roaming through town. 
We scared each other with what-ifs and did-you-hears. 
But the view was unsurpassed.

May 19th - 
Tried to climb, tried to 
avoid the weather by heading south. 
But it hit there, too, and right above where we were. 
Thunderheads rolling with - yes, thunder - meant lightning was probably close. 
Too close when you're carrying a rack of metal gear. 

The sun is deceiving. By the time we'd hiked back to the car
it was gone and those dark black cirrus clouds blanketed the sky. 
Drops hit the windshield, diverting our attention from the cliff walls...

To apartment walls. 
We took them from bland beige...

To beautiful blue.
A little too pastel for me, but 
everyone else loves it. 
So I'm gonna live with it for a while
and see if it grows on me.

If not, I'll just paint again. 
(I do love to paint). 

Found a new-to-me chair.
Exactly what I wanted. 
Recliner, without looking like that fat, overstuffed kind
that could swallow a fat man whole.  


Lovely place to read to the kids. 
Where the Red Fern Grows, currently. 

Also added the gallery wall on the right. 

May 26th - 
Braved the winds that took the state by storm.
Kids, parents, Tim, and I
back at 11 Mile.

Mom and Dad had wanted to see me climb.
Boys just wanted to find something in the river. 
After two hours of the wind
whipping stinging grains of sand across 
backs of legs and arms
we called it quits.

But only until next weekend... 

Lesson Learned: If the weather doesn't cooperate, beautiful things can still happen on the inside.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Place of Discovery

Through tunnels and around bends...

There is a place where the river meets the rocks.

Fly-fishermen occupy the former. Climbers, the latter.

In the dog days of summer, the two meet, as climbers, hot from the exertion of reaching (and often surpassing) the birds...

Take to the water to cool off.

Not this day, though.
Early May is too early, the water too cold. Instead, we are content to bask in the beauty of the nature...
(some still)...

(some rushing)...

 All around us, and content ourselves with just a dip of the toes.

And although at lower altitude the Aspen trees are full, here in the mountains, the trees, too, seem just a little hesitant to unfurl in the chill that the higher elevation brings.

The leaves are tiny, the foliage not yet concealing the deeper recesses of the forest. 

This canyon is not far from where I grew up, yet I don't remember ever going there. I'm grateful for that, because sometimes, when you grow up familiar with something, you take it for granted. I certainly didn't with this place. I was able, instead, to look at it with the eyes of someone wanting to discover.

And like the river, revealing its beauty secrets upon closer inspection...

Or the forest, prodding you to look past the grove and see the details...

So there were mysteries set in stone, routes in this rocky playground waiting to be unlocked. A lot of looking at the rock, trying to decipher what it was saying. A lot of moving my fingers in all directions as far as I could reach, searching for holds so small they were invisible until I touched them. Like reading a good mystery novel and trying, with each page, to figure out the twist at the end, the rock held back and made me do the sleuthing.

I discovered more than beauty that May day at Eleven Mile. I discovered that due to all the mantling, which I love more than any other move, it is my favorite place to climb.

My day of climbing in Eleven Mile Canyon also marks another milestone. It was the first time I led, anchored in, and set up my own rappel.

Indescribable, it is, this thrill of so much discovery (lesson learned).

Cannot wait to get back to where the river meets the rock.