Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cottonwood Pass

I am scouting the trailhead for White Cliffs in Granby. After talking to a government agency that gave me the wrong information, I headed up to Cottonwood Pass to see if the roads were clear.
Cottonwood Pass is clear and anyone can drive through to Hot Sulphur Springs. The road is rough but the scenery is spectacular.


A storm came through around 4:45 a bit north of Granby.



This is where I will turn to get to the White Cliffs trailhead when the road opens. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Shadow Mountain Fire Lookout Hike April 8 2012

Had a great hike with Kymmie to the Shadow Mountain Fire Lookout Tower near Grand Lake.

It took 2.5 hours to get there and the same to get back. 10 mile hike.




It was a gorgeous day for a hike.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Travelling and learning about new places

I’m so excited about going to the Domincan Republic. I’m reading everything about its history and culture. I want to know about the island. When I was initially asked to go, I just thought I’d sit on the beach and finish writing the first draft of my novel. But I started ordering books on the country and studying its geography. There are no travel warnings, however there were some safety warnings about traveling around the country. I relegated my vacation to staying at the resort. But after reading the books I got (see below) I have to go travel around and hike and dance the merengue. I want to experience everything there. Rory is a big baseball fan so I suppose we will go see baseball games somewhere. (He can do the research for that)

The two books I’m reading are Why The Cocks Fight; Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola

"Like two roosters in a fighting arena, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are encircled by barriers of geography and poverty. They co-inhabit the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, but their histories are as deeply divided as their cultures: one French-speaking and black, one Spanish-speaking and mulatto. …. Wucker addresses are the role of geography as a barrier, European settlement, slave revolts, the role of the sugar industry and the experience of Dominican and Haitian immigrants in the U.S. …"

And

The Color of My Words by Lynn Joseph

Twelve-year-old Ana Rosa is a blossoming writer growing up in the Dominican Republic, a country where words are feared. Yet there is so much inspiration all around her -- watching her brother search for a future, learning to dance and to love, and finding out what it means to be part of a community -- that Ana Rosa must write it all down. As she struggles to find her own voice and a way to make it heard, Ana Rosa realizes the power of her words to transform the world around her -- and to transcend the most unthinkable of tragedies

Friday, April 6, 2012

Can you really fall out of love with a place

I believe you can because it happened with me – is happening with me.

When I moved to Granby in 2007, I chose this place because of the beautiful, remote, mountain landscape, and for the plentiful hiking and world-class skiing at Winter Park Resort.
Things have changed so much in my life, as I suspect happens to a lot of people, and I am thinking of other places, warmer places. Places like Tucson or San Diego, or even Denver. I haven’t loved a city since 1988 when I thought I would live in Boston and be an athletic trainer for the Boston Bruins.

I became a small-town girl once I moved to Maine and reinforced it when I moved a year later to Vermont. When I lived in Vermont I was that skier who loved to get first and last chair. I was a ski bum with a job. I learned how to apr├Ęs ski at Killington. In the summer I hiked sections of the Long Trail. I perfected eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in one sitting.
Killington Peak is much like seeing Devil’s Thumb on the Continental Divide; it was a figure on the landscape that reassured me that I was in the right place - a rocky mound that served as a reminder of beauty and an inspiration to artistry.

I haven’t skied much this season. I haven’t hiked a big mountain in years.

I am falling out of love with the mountains which begs the questions, can you really fall out of love with a place?
As my boss paces back and forth in front of my desk telling tales of hiking 14ers, I’m learning why I’m falling out of love with this place: I’m not doing the things that made me love it in the first place.

With an early spring and hopefully the hiking and mountain biking trails accessible soon, I’m going to do everything I can to fall back in love. Hiking big mountains. Camping. Backpacking.

I’m still going to swim, bike, and run – the things I could do year-round if I lived in Tucson or San Diego, but I’m going to get back on track. I’m going to hike the big mountains and all the little ones in Grand County.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

If you had one week, where would you go

If you could go on any adventure to any country, for one week, where would you go? This is the question I asked my 22 year-old niece, Savannah.
Where do you want to go that you would need a passport to get to?
I’m waiting for her response.

In a few days I’m leaving  on a trip to the Dominican Republic - a place I've never been, a place I know nothing about.
I love travel, and new adventures, but I always get so nervous once a trip gets closer. I’m a worrier, but only when the travel date loomes closer. Planning, no problem. I can plan and organize itineraries, and look forward to seeing new places. But the day before, I panic.
I know Savvy doesn’t particularly like to travel. She likes Maine. She likes her life. But I want her to see the world. Is that wrong? I want to go on an adventure with my fun, cool, smart, awesome niece. I hope she does, too.
I hope she wants to go to Chile, Bora Bora, or perhaps backpacking through France and Spain.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Talking about PTSD, Michael Ferrara

I got a chance to interview Michael Ferrara, an Aspen Legend. He came to Grand County to give a presentation about his First Responder Recovery Project. He has been a deputy sheriff, a Ski Patroller, paramedic, search and rescue dog trainer, certified medical-legal death investigator,  and rancher.
The story chronicles his self diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from experiencing first-hand multiple tragedies during his work in all the jobs he held over the years.

Here’s a link to my story. A link to his First ResponderRecovery Project 
And a Link to the Outside magazine story
What draws me to this story is his boldness to tell the world his point of view. He took responsibility for getting well, doesn't place blame, and by telling his story he is saving lives that he might not even know about.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Early spring, Colorado 14ers, and bear books

It's an early spring, here in Grand County, and Granby. I hear that trails are dry over near Fraser Canyon. I wore bike shorts and short-sleeved shirt while biking on Sunday. I ran in shorts on Sunday, too. Mountain biking season is going to start much earlier and I’m so excited about it. But then there is hiking.
I started reading Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled--and Knuckleheaded--Quest for the Rocky Mountain High.
I’ve never had a goal to hike a 14’er. I’m not sure why. I have so many other goals and hiking is more of an activity I do with my now 11-year-old lab who can’t hike long.

Plus, my boss talks all the time about hiking the big mountains around Colorado – I have the hiking bug. Thank goodness the snow is melting, I think.  

The book is about how a former Denver Post journalist, Mark Obmascik, sets a goal to climb  all 54 Colorado peaks.

Even after reading the first few chapters, I’m hooked on doing some of the mountains. Obmascik reminds me about all the dangers, and all the awesome scenery. He’s out of breath, sore, and I don’t remember that part of hard hikes. I want to remember, so this year I'm going to hike a bit. He's funny, too.

I’m also reading Laura Pritchett’s soon to be released book about bears in Colorado. I’m interviewing her tomorrow since she’s coming to Grand County mid-April to talk about the book.



Pritchett has written several books, articles for 5280 and High Country News, and many others. See my blog post about her article, TheFull Catastrophe.