Spring…it comes late in the high Rockies.

There aren’t many restaurants open after the ski season comes to an end. The golf course is covered with snow and the “mud season” is in full effect. While some locals find time to thaw out in other destination spots such as Moab and the Grand Canyon; Telluride takes it’s time to let go of winter, and spring is a dream that seems to never come. Some people take advantage of the great spring skiing while others mope around complaining about how over the snow they are. All can be happy now, spring is finally here in Telluride. The golf course opens on Friday, May 23, if your wallet can sustain the entertainment, you ought to make the trip!

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I’ve been busy getting out and gazing into the world..

Hello internet world! I am back and posting to my page! This winter was jam packed with adventures! Since moving to Telluride this past November, Megan and I worked for Telluride Ski Resort operating the lifts until late April. The snow was amazing and I can certainly say that it was the best winter of my life! There are so many stories I could share, but I feel that pictures do a better job explaining… I would like to inspire everyone to get out and get lost in the world. Do it for yourself, re-connect with whatever it is that you love doing and let your surroundings show you the most beautiful energy of all; life.

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First ride up for the season

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Can’t complain about waking up early when the view looks like this!

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We made friends who ride on the same ability level as us!!!

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Got bumps?

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Shred and soak.. Orvis is the best!

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Looking into Senior’s

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Palmyra Peak 13,350′

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Megan and me coming down gold hill chute #9

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Just finished hiking the gold hill stairs

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Gold hill chutes looking into Palmyra basin

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The highest lift service on the resort

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Megan sending a drop

 

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Gold hill chute #7

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End of the year lift operator party.. Megan won lift operator of the year, along with an $800 pair of Icelantic skis!

 

I promise to keep updating this page over the summer! I will be working for the golf course during the summer so stay posted for more fun photos, adventures, and most importantly get out and gaze!

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Bluebird Wax

I’d like to say a few words about Bluebird Wax. Specifically the creator of the company, Willie McMillon. Willie has put his life story on Bluebird’s website and has distributed his wax through major companies like Zumiez 10+ years ago with little to no recognition. Willie has made a product that is affordable, high quality, and fucking rad.

I remember going into this local board shop after seeing they were a registered Bluebird distributor here in Colorado Springs. I ask for some Bluebird wax… Dude behind the counter says “nah man, all I have are these sample packs for a dollar each, but I will give you some scraped wax that’s primo!” I cannot make this up. I was disgusted and bought the rest of his Bluebird samples and walked out.

Why has Bluebird never taken off?

The Bluebird Wax snowboard crew has had your favorite rider’s favorite rider on it. Guaranteed. Kevin Jones, MFM, Scotty Lago, Chad Otterstrom, Bryan Iguchi, Travis Rice… No love for Willie. Maybe that’s not true, all these huge companies still know who he is and what he has done, maybe that’s why I’m writing about him now. Maybe, when you truly do something for “love over money” ™© the recognition isn’t what makes your company.

Bluebird is about to press and sell their first production boards with limited supply in conjunction with Smokin’ (which has recently picked up a lot of popularity). The ship is about to sail, and I hope the Bluebird crew is able to reap the potential financial harvest that comes with the foreseen popularity of their products. I wish Willie and the rest of the crew nothing but good luck and great powder! Thanks.

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Bushwhacking Raspberry Mountain

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Megan, Astro, and I decided to go hiking in Divide this weekend to see the Aspen trees that are bursting with various colors right now. Our original destination, The Crags, was never reached because we got sidetracked by the Raspberry Mountain trailhead.

We set out across the creek on the trail leading up a moderate elevation gain for a quarter mile or so. We reached the top of a rock formation and met a family who was searching for the trail. I asked the mother of the group if she knew where the trail was and she sharply replied “no’. (Must have been my backwards hat and Dickies shorts that was rubbing her the wrong way). I decided to search for the trail but bushwhacking was the inevitable route.

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Hiking along the hilltop I came across a game trail that meandered to the top of the peak. The trail was almost like a highway, compacted and cleared of branches like something rather large paved the way. Hiking in the Colorado Rocky Mountains I often find myself daydreaming about what animals are doing when we aren’t invading their space in the weekends. What stories could the rocks and trees tell us? Were there Indians here? Who cut all these trees with a chainsaw? How long was it since the last person was here? I’m always searching and wondering with my mind in the wilderness. I feel so much more comfortable on a mountain than in a city.

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We were now far enough away from the family that I couldn’t hear the kids screaming and the dad yelling for the dog. The silence of the forest was all around us. Megan and I decided to have a break to enjoy the surroundings and do some yoga.

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After enjoying our break we headed back down the mountain following a drainage that lead us to a semi clearing that looked like it used to be a meadow. We walked up the eastern face of another hillside and came across a huge Piñon Pine!

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We made it back to the car much quicker and easier than I had anticipated but enjoyed being out in the fresh air nevertheless. Can’t complain about that Rocky Mountain High!

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First day of fall 2013

To start off, last night three of our good friends came over to celebrate Megan’s Birthday. We had a great night with great connections and introspective conversation. We felt an early birthday celebration was appropriate since last night was the fall equinox.

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Today I took Astro for a short trail walk on Palmer Park’s Edna Maye Nature Trail. We let Megan stay home and sleep. The scenery was beautiful as always and I had to stop a few times to appreciate the park’s beauty. Since Megan, Astro, and I will be moving to Telluride shortly, I am beginning to appreciate what Colorado Springs has given us! We have grown so much in the two years we have lived here, and bigger and better adventures are just around the corner!

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The fall transition is one of my favorite seasons; first because I despise hot weather, and second, it means SNOW IS ON THE WAY!! Looking at the trees change color and expose different parts of landscape is another perk of the actual fall season here in Colorado!

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Take time to appreciate your connections with your heart, your friends, and the earth. Your soul will thank you!

Mowhawk Lakes, Blue River, CO

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This weekend’s adventure took us up by Breckenridge, CO. I had never realized there are alpine lakes by Breck and I was amazed at how manageable the hike was described to be online.

We got a late start on Saturday because Megan teaches a 9:00 yoga class. We got on the road by about 1:30. The drive up to Breckenridge was beautiful! There were a few large thunderstorms that we encountered, however, there was a bright spot shining right where we were looking to backpack. We got to the Spruce Creek Trailhead around 4:30. This trail is about 7 miles round trip and is dog, mountain bike, fishing, and camping friendly!

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We donned our 30lb backpacks full of camping supplies and food and hit the trail with Astro. The weather was humid, and the air was musty from the rain that had come down earlier in the afternoon. We heard some rolling thunder but the skies cleared well enough to calm the nerves. Huge lodgepole pines cover the trail making the light dim and adding a silencing effect. The trail has a few gradual hill climbs and some wooden bridges crossing Spruce Creek.

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The first major clearing we came to which was about 1.5mi up the trail gave way to spectacular mountain views, a waterfall, and a marshy area with a beaver swimming in a pond! We knew this was going to be a great experience.

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The first glimpse of Continental Waterfall

The lupine, Indian Paintbrush, and Columbines were bursting out of the hillsides around every turn. There were so many flowers in bloom we couldn’t stop pointing them out! The trail continued from the clearing over some more creek crossings and gradually increased in altitude. We came across an old miner’s cabin that was falling apart, crossed the stream again and came to a granite rock that we had to climb. Up the trail about 300 feet was a well preserved cabin.

Wildflowers coming out of the granite wall

Wildflowers coming out of the granite wall

This cabin was preserved in the name of peace; people are asked to respect and take care of the cabin for others to enjoy! We thought it would be a nice place to stay for the evening especially since we had just walked through a mini thunderstorm and were watching the clouds roll in.

The peaceful cabin

The peaceful cabin

Megan and Astro taking shelter and enjoying the beauty

Megan and Astro taking shelter and enjoying the beauty

We took our packs off and put our sleeping pads down fantasizing about living this lifestyle all the time. Megan, and Astro would be ok with it as long as we had food! The thunderstorm blew out in about 15 minutes and we decided to try our luck fishing the lake which was only .5miles up the mountain from the cabin. We decided to leave our backpacks and make the trip up.

Columbines on the trail

Columbines on the trail

We began the steady climb up to the Lower Mowhawk lake. There were signs warning not to go check out the mine tailings that were down in a narrow drainage canyon, and there were TONS of wildflowers! We decided to go check out the Continental Waterfall which was what we could see from the first clearing on the trail that I described earlier.

Continental Waterfall

Continental Waterfall

The water flowing downward was so impressive! The massive granite rocks were fighting the battle of erosion in this drainage and at one time this creek/ waterfall was mined by some badass dudes with no fear. People died doing this. There were crosses that served as a reminder of what hard work really is and was. This canyon must have stories more spectacular than any city.

After climbing to the top of this waterfall canyon rock face, there is an old gear driven cable winch that had fallen apart years ago. The view from this aspect looking into the Blue River valley is simply majestic. I could only be envious of the hard working miners that discovered this area when Breckenridge was a booming mining town.

Gear driven winch looking into the Blue River basin

Gear driven winch looking into the Blue River basin

Another 1/8th mile from the mining ruins sits Lower Mowhawk. This alpine lake is only about 3feet deep and is so clear you can see rocks and fish with ease. There are a few old mining structures left on the western flank of the lake which affords another view of a beautiful waterfall which I do not know the name of.

Walking up to Lower Mowhawk Lake

Walking up to Lower Mowhawk Lake

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Unknown name waterfall

Ruins

Ruins

We were so captivated by the beauty of this lake that we soon decided we needed to run back to the cabin and get our backpacks and set up camp here! Quickly, we went back down, gathered our camping equipment and headed back up to the lake.

We set up camp in a grassy clearing which had plenty of dead wood for a fire. The rain had completely cleared as did the skies and the temp started to drop. We were sitting just above 12,000 feet but surprisingly the temperature was not unbearably cold. We cooked some soup and quesadillas over the fire and watched the sun set over Mt. Silverheels?

Not a bad campsite

Not a bad campsite

The night was cool but not too cold. We had lots of dew on our tent in the morning and Megan went for a walk with Astro around the lake. I woke up around 7a.m.groggy, the alpine air has a way of relaxing me to the point of meditation. We decided to trek up to Upper Mowhawk Lake where we heard the fishing was better.This 1/4mile trail climbed up over another massive granite face with its own waterfall from snow melt and the overflow of the upper lake. Once we reached Upper Mowhawk, we were amazed! The lake meets with the base of the southwestern flank of Pacific Peak’s ridgeline.

The approach to Upper Mowhawk

The approach to Upper Mowhawk

Columbines growing on the banks of Upper Mowhawk Lake

Columbines growing on the banks of Upper Mowhawk Lake

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There are two more alpine lakes above Mowhawk that are closer to Pacific Peak itself.

Pacific Peak covered by clouds and an alpine lake above Upper Mowhawk

Pacific Peak covered by clouds and an alpine lake above Upper Mowhawk

I tried casting into the lake many times and only got one strike. The views were so spectacular that I could have cared less about fishing to be honest.

Majestic Upper Mowhawk

Majestic Upper Mowhawk

After about an hour of hiking around and fishing, Megan and I hiked back to our campsite. We are some breakfast and cleaned up the site a little bit. Megan went to go look at the rock scree field by our site and noticed a marmot hanging out in the rocks.

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The ground was incredibly soft, Megan and I began discovering the area barefoot since the marmot found us to be a nuisance. The wildflowers were abundant around this area! The pines were growing purple, blue, and dark red cones. I tasted two different cones to see if they tasted different between color but they did not. The taste was a bitter fruity taste that was actually quite pleasant coming from something I’ve never tried to eat before. We continued walking on the rocks and grass and came upon two small ponds from snowmelt and what rain has fallen this summer. There also looked to be some spring water coming up into these pools which was amazing!

Frosty flowers

Frosty flowers

Astro splashing in a runoff pond

Astro splashing in a runoff pond

We collected as many single wildflowers as we could carry and headed back up to the campsite. We packed up everything since the Mosquitos were now in full force and the clouds were beginning to build.

Wild wooly sunflower with Astro and Megan in the background

Wild wooly sunflower with Astro and Megan in the background

On our journey down, we took every available side trail to view the Continental Waterfall once again. We also stopped back at the community cabin and took some pictures for other hikers. The trail had become a highway with families looking for the alpine treat we had just enjoyed. We hiked down about .4miles and realized we left our fishing poles at the cabin, so, I went back up and grabbed them…something about this cabin made us go back to it multiple times…interesting energy!

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The rest of the hike was full of people making the journey up. No sighting of the beaver in his pond, and the clouds were growing intensely. We made it back to the car with ease and were glad to sit down(in a padded seat). Our packs were heavier than we had anticipated but it was totally worth the extra effort.

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We decided to head into Breckenridge and grab some pizza from Flatbread Pizza Co. They offered some pricy pizza, but Megan and I ordered one pie for each of us along with a glass of beer and wine. We finished every bite of the pizza and drove back home happy.

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