Highlights of 2013…and hopes for 2014
The past year was similar to 2012: Building up my resume’ so I will eventually have more flexibility to do what I really enjoy: The outdoors!!!
Besides the outdoor trips, the silly little podcast I help host had 50k downloads. Yowsers! A lot people seem like to hear four people drink beer, talk trail and a bunch of other nonsense. 🙂 Being serious, it is something I love doing and helps keep my sanity (at least a little bit. 😉 )
This website has also been a labor of love with, what I think are, informative and useful articles. I try not to dive too deep into gear. For me, it is about teaching, discussion and learning rather than the minutia of gear. After all, a poncho is still a poncho be it made out of cuben fiber or PVC latex! The popular articles on this website seem to reflect that philosophy. The top posts were in the “Quick and Dirty Guides” and the “Getting Started” categories.
But ultimately, 2013 was about the outdoor trips for me. Be they for a week, a weekend, a day or even a few hours, I just want to be out there as much as I can. Hiking, backpacking, skiing , climbing and even the occasional car camp…it is all good!
Trying to work and while enjoying my passion for the outdoors can be challenging at times. Looking back at 2013, I did better than I thought.
In January, someone and I went to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Winter camping for free and a unique way to see a national park: Skiing the tourist road that is closed. Rather cool!
February saw me again skiing in a park..but this time as an assistant on Andrew’s inaugural winter backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park. A great and satisfying way to see the less used western side of the national park.
March was another hut trip. Or, as I like to think, a dinner party with a ski trip attached! 🙂
And, of course, all through winter there were plenty of winter day trips to explore some favorite local places.
April began the backpacking season with a trip to the new-to-me Dominguez Canyon outside of Grand Junction, CO. What a great early season backpack!
May kept the Colorado Plateau theme going. someone and I went to the very interesting Dinosaur National Monument.
April and May was also a time for after work climbing..and post climb beer! 🙂
June, July and August saw the backpacking season in full swing. Trips included the Lost Creek Wilderness, the Mount Evans Wilderness, an old favorite in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, another weekend backpack with the Zapins and even some trailwork. Of the weekends in that time, I think I was out for at least two-thirds of them. 🙂
The wildflowers were stupendous.
The highlight of those weekend backpacks was a mainly off-trail jaunt in the Comanche Peak Wilderness. Steep passes, beautiful lakes and a visually impressive, permanent wall-like snow field.
The summer was ended with a jaunt on the Uinta Highline Trail in Utah.
The trip ended a little early, but I was able to get in another trip with someone to the Snowy Range in Wyoming that same week.
In September, of course, the big news in Boulder was the flood. My brother and his girlfriend picked a good weekend to visit. :O
After some trail work in town, my someone and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary by going to the quiet and delightful Wet Mountains in southern Colorado.
The latter part of Fall had the usual hikes, backpacks and climbs.
Perhaps the most interesting trip was when I again assisted Andrew Skurka with his backpacking fundamentals trip. Gorgeous fall weather and scenery, great people and the trip really showed why I love the fall so much in the Rockies!
Later that October, someone visited Rhode Island for a family wedding. We did get in small hike just as the foliage was peaking in southern New England.
And we visited one of the best places in Rhode Island: Block Island. Fourteen miles off the coast, quiet and still very rural, it is truly a stunning place.
And November and December? Some skiing to bring in the new year!
Here’s hoping for another year like this past one…and one step closer to having even more time off to enjoy the outdoors on a bit more flexible basis!