Rae Lakes

The truth is that life is hard and dangerous; that truth is only for the brave; that joy is only for him who does not fear to be alone; that life is only for the one who is not afraid to die.  –Joyce Carey I had dreamed of backpacking into Rae Lakes — said to be the most […]

In High Places

It is 3:00 in the afternoon when I check in to the motel. I have in mind a gentle hike of a few miles, from a trailhead not far up the highway. But the desk clerk, a fit-looking young local, is dismissive. She has another idea. “Let me tell you about the best hike in […]

Over the Hill

It’s a bright day, warm but not hot, summertime in the early 1980’s. I’m driving into Eldorado Canyon, just outside of Boulder, with a friend. We ease into a nondescript pulloff just across the river, grab our packs and gear out of the truck, and begin the long stroll up through pines to the base […]

Time Capsule

“You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing on.”  –Heraclitus As a rule, the past is lost forever. Try as we might to preserve it, remember it, relive it — things change. Usually that change is imperceptible; occasionally it’s dramatic. And once in a great while, when the mysterious causes and conditions […]

Sunset on El Capitan

I’ve been a rock climber since age 16. The places climbing has taken me, and the challenges it set before me, have been some of the peak experiences of my life. Take, for example, when I was climbing the Nose route on the sheer 3,000 foot face of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley over three days […]

Mountain Bikes I’ve Known

It started, and might have ended, with a folding bike, which was intended to be my “last” bike. After all, I was headed out of my 40’s and shouldn’t be taking such juvenile pursuits seriously any more. It would live in the trunk of my car, available for a quick spin on level pavement when the opportunity […]

A Day at Vedauwoo

Certain places on earth are like turnstiles in our lives, personal vortexes we pass through on the way from one chapter to the next. Vedauwoo (pronounced “vee-da-voo”) is one such place for me. A magical collection of rocky outcrops, trees, and alpine meadows, Vedauwoo is situated just off Interstate 80 in the Medicine Bow National […]

My Adventures Outdoors

Beginnings I’ve loved being outdoors from my earliest years. Some of my first memories are hiking the California Coast Range with my father. He also introduced me to Scouting, where my love of outdoor adventure grew. When I was 14, I travelled to Philmont Scout Ranch for two weeks of backpacking in the remote Sangre […]