Thursday Feb 24 – 5 P.M.1938

March 24, 2022 § Leave a comment

Jump ahead a few years, Elvin is travelling and he appears to be in Kansas City, Mo. Let’s see what he has to say.

Warning. Elvin uses two Ethnic slurs later in this letter. I didn’t write them out, but I think it is clear what he wrote, and though I could chalk it up to “Well, that is just how they talked in 1938”, it wasn’t right then, and it isn’t right now and I don’t want to provide any legitimacy to either of them. Prejudice is a learned behavior, and both Elvin and Vivian learned their prejudices from their parents and their peers.

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Weminuche 2021 – Day 5 Over Columbine

December 22, 2021 § Leave a comment

It rained most of the night, but when I awoke it had abated long enough for us to break camp and grab some breakfast. Though the rain had abated it wasn’t done for the day, and we’d be lucky to see the sun at all on this day. We didn’t really have all that far to go with the pass at maybe 2-2.5 and then another 1.5 down the other side. Remember from an earlier post that we were advised to take a site in the upper Chicago Basin where few, if any, of the Needleton access 14er-seekers will bother to hike up to. With a sense of urgency we broke camp while our water heated, and with no sun to dry anything, packed all our wet gear as it was. Sure it would be heavier, but we didn’t have to go far. With the main gear packed we took in our morning breakfasts and coffee drinks; we took care of our morning business and then we were off for Columbine Pass.

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Weminuche 2021- Day 4 Up, Up and Away

December 11, 2021 § Leave a comment

If you recall, we broke two long days into three shorter days, and today was the second of those days, and this day would be nothing but regaining most, if not all of the elevation we lost yesterday. Distance-wise it was a little shorter, but terrain-wise we would hit some big gains in two sets of switchbacks, where I believe each set was 20-30 turns. The feeling was that we would find something between the second and third set where we could pitch our tents, but until we got there, we wouldn’t know. We hadn’t seen anyone we could ask.

The morning was another fine morning where the mountains to our East shielded us from direct sunlight until long after we hit the trail. Our fourth morning, and everything is very routine by now. Before I even leave my shelter, I have dressed, re-stuffed my sleeping bag, deflated the air mattress and returned it to its carry sack, deflated my pillow, and broken down and rolled up my tarp. Then it is time for hot water and a little relaxation while I watch everyone else do their thing. Of course Kevin is already up, as is Jim, and by the time I sit down, everyone is up and moving.

The Morning Sun is High Above Us
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Weminuche Wilderness 2021 – Day 3 Easy Peasy

December 9, 2021 § Leave a comment

We met a lot of people on this adventure. Way more than in past adventures excepting Banff. The least number we ever saw was in the High Uintas where we met a Ranger, and then a guide with two charges, all on horseback. After that, nothing. This day would not be a high volume people day, but the two characters we did meet (Father/Son) were a real eye opener.

Our second morning was a little different than our first. For one, we weren’t in a hurry to get over two passes as all we had on the agenda for the day was mostly all downhill, or perhaps it is better to say our net elevation gain today would be a loss. About 1000 feet (304.8 meters) loss. No need to hurry for that. We would probably be done by 1 or 2 and then have the rest of the afternoon to relax, and maybe even cleanup a little in Vallecito river/creek. Another difference was our tree cover was greater, so the view of the surrounding mountains was obscured. That wouldn’t last long once we started to hike, but until that began, we were in the shade of mountains we couldn’t really see, and it was a cool night. I had my usual 3 times up for personal business, and my usual sleep issues, but that doesn’t keep me in bed.

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Weminuche Wilderness 2021 – Day 2 A Two Pass Day

December 7, 2021 § Leave a comment

It’s been awhile since I last climbed the Continental Divide under my own power. I crossed it as a bus passenger in June, but that doesn’t count in my book. We were in the Pacific drainage when we both started and ended this day, but we hiked in the Atlantic drainage for a short while, which meant that we had two passes ahead of us. I can’t find a name for the first pass, and maybe there is a definition of “Pass” that I am unaware of that this first “Pass” doesn’t meet, but I feel like if I cross from one side to the other, say from one valley to another, that is a pass. The second for our day would be Hunchback Pass. A real name.

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Mid Fall Long Weekend New Jersey AT Hike

November 30, 2021 § 3 Comments

I was preparing a Purple Carrot dinner when the first group text came in.

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Weminuche Wilderness 2021 – Day 1 What a Fucking Great Train Ride!

November 7, 2021 § Leave a comment

If you read the planning post then maybe you have been wondering 1) Did I even do this adventure?, and 2) If I did do this adventure, when the fuck was I going to get around to writing about it? Well, it wasn’t my only adventure this Summer of 2021, though as I write even that, I realize I am lying to you. While I rode Ride the Rockies, where you can read about that here, here, here, here also, and also here, and “oh look it’s here as well“, I didn’t get around to writing those adventures up until Fall 2021 had begun, which is actually after Weminuche had also completed. Not sure if I will write up the wedding of Daughter #2, but isn’t that also an adventure? So, expect to see something about that as well in the future.

I did write up the planning of this trip which you may have read here, but even as I wrote that, the planning wasn’t really complete, and there was a lot of churn right at the end, that all worked out into a tremendously good time before the adventure even began. I am going to limit this post to the focus of Day 1, and I will leave the details of the days leading to this day to another post.

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Ride The Rockies 2021 – Getting Home, A Shit Show

October 31, 2021 § 2 Comments

If you read all of these posts regarding my first participation in The Denver Posts Ride the Rockies event, I laid down some groundwork for this last piece early on by noting that I could have/should have expected what was about to go down, but I didn’t, and it went down. When we last left off I was telling you how I needed to finish the Friday ride with enough time to break down and pack my bike, clean-up, and get to the bus before the 5pm departure. Paul (my new friend) and I were walking over that way at about 4 when we said our goodbyes to each other, and he re-iterated the offer that if I wanted to ride with them next year in the comfort of a motor home, I would be more than welcome. Something, I can assure you, I am seriously considering.

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Ride The Rockies 2021 – Day 6 The Million Dollar Highway

October 25, 2021 § 1 Comment

People kept saying the words “The Million Dollar Highway” all day the day before. When I re-read the route description, those words were front and center alerting us that this day would be unlike any other. Except of course we would be on our bikes going uphill and down. I could have googled it and at least gone into this day informed, but I was as ignorant as a rock. All I knew was we had three passes to get past before we would reach Durango. If you type that into google you will be directed to the Wiki page for 550, and there is one sentence in particular that accurately names which part owns this moniker. “Though the entire stretch has been called the Million Dollar Highway, it is really the twelve miles (19 km) south of Ouray through the Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Pass which gains the highway its name. “. If todays ride was just this 12 miles it would be a ride complete. Those 12 miles were some of the most scenic miles I have ever witnessed on a bike in these United States, and I have witnessed a fair number of miles in these United States. More than a lot, not as much as some.

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Ride The Rockies 2021 – Day 5 The Ridgway Loop

October 23, 2021 § 2 Comments

I will try and take it easy on my audience in this one. It was a short day, so let’s see if we can make it a short post.

Rise and shine was early because that is just what your body does to you when you lay down around 9PM. You just can’t stand lying there any longer, and as soon as first light pokes it’s head over the horizon, I am ready to get up and get a move on. On this day, there was no need to break camp as we were spending a second night in the lovely little hamlet of Ridgway. The route for the day was in two parts, as discussed a little bit in the previous post. The first part was a loop ride to the North that included some bike path, followed by some ample 550 shoulder riding, and the a long 12 mile ascent on a dirt road, and eventually back to Ridgway. The second optional part was to climb back up pass, and then take another dirt road, and climb some more up to the ranch that had been used as a set location in the 1969 film True Grit.

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