Thursday, August 25, 2011

The End of Summer

It's the best time of the year... summer is ending and fall is getting ready. I can smell it in the air! I already have one bag of Hatch green chiles roasted & peeled. Here are about a dozen of them stuffed with cheese and getting ready to be covered in egg batter and baked into Chile Rellenos Guillermos. This is earlier than I normally get my chiles, but some good friends (and fans of chile) were traveling through on their way to Austin, so we spent an afternoon peeling.
Living in a hot climate, I anticipate these hints of fall (thunderstorms, chiles roasting, etc) much the same way I used to look for hints of spring in Cleveland (daffodils poking through the snow, sun peeking through the clouds, etc).

I could probably use another bag of chiles, and peeling is best done socially, so if anyone local wants to do a chile-peeling morning/afternoon let me know!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yampa Float

As promised, the next installment of our weeklong Colorado trip. For the second adventure of the week, we canoed 50 miles of the Yampa river from the city of Craig to a place called Juniper Canyon (several miles upstream of Maybelle). We did not expect to accomplish this in one day, so we spent two nights on the river. I don't know what the flow of the river was officially; it was enough to keep us afloat (barely), but clearly had been higher earlier in the season.

Launching from the city park in Craig
This section of river quickly goes through farmland, then through BLM land known as Duffy Canyon, past Duffy Mountain and then back out to farmland. Somewhat surprisingly, the BLM land had more cattle than the farmland. It is not fun to camp with the cows (Vixen disagrees) and it is not legal to camp on private land, so we camped on islands.
Beached on a desert island for the first night
A lazy river

Full moon rising over our second camp
The shuttle vehicle at the Juniper Canyon takeout
After 50 miles of river, I biked back 30 miles to retrieve the pickup truck. Every afternoon on the river, we had wind gusts pushing us back up-canyon. I was hoping that would be a tail-wind on the bike, but that last day just wasn't as windy. Or maybe it was the 95-degree heat that slowed me down.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Last week I took a trip that seemed worth blogging about. Only time will tell whether this is really a blog-revival or if it will be shortlived.

For the first few days of our trip, we started near Aspen, Colorado with backpacking up Snowmass Creek to camp at Snowmass Lake with the goal of summitting Snowmass Mountain.

Snowmass Creek

Is this really the trail? Apparently it is.

Snowmass Lake - as seen from near our camp. The peak in the back is our goal for the next day.

Looking back down at Snowmass Lake from our summit hike.

This is not the summit, just a pretty meadow along the way. The summit was actually quite ugly (just rock and months-old snow). I have my doubts about Hubbers hobby (Colorado 14ers) - getting to these peaks is painful (that lack of oxygen problem always gives me a headache) and they aren't pretty hikes. If there were just a few of them then fine, but 54 ugly painful hikes? No thanks, I'll stay below the headache-inducing zone.

Plenty of people were camped at the lake but nobody hiked up the mountain the same day as us. There were others at the lake who brought along ice axes and crampons, presumably for some peak-bagging. Wish we had brought our ice-axes, it would have made me feel a lot better crossing massive snowfields... who would've thought that a mountain named Snowmass would have snow in August?

Next installment: canoeing the Yampa.