Archive | May, 2014

the peruvian chronicles, day 1

31 May

We woke with a start at 6:01am.

The alarm was set to go off at 6:16, waking us from our deep slumber with its tinny bell shrilly announcing the start of our Peruvian trekking adventure up the Salkantay Trail.

But at 6:01, the ancient city of Cusco was already bustling outside our third floor window. Pots banging, roosters crowing, coffee roasting, and people shouting greetings of “Buenos Dias!” to their neighbors as they passed them on Cusco’s winding stone covered roads. 

At promptly 7:00am, we were notified that the van had arrived and was ready to whisk us off to Marcocosa where we would begin our seven day trek up to Machu Picchu. Trepidation, excitement, and nervous chatter filled the humid Peruvian air inside the van. It was an hour and a half drive to the trailhead/mule route just above the tiny ancient hamlet of Mollepata, allegedly the home of Peru’s first vineyard.

The first day of our trek began at an elevation of 11,001 feet above sea level, but upon looking about your surroundings your first observations were of the lush greenery blanketing the rolling hills. The roaring sound of swiftly moving water rushing down rocky mountainsides to the jungle floor. A flash of green and yellow as a Parakeet flittered and twittered in the trees towering above your head. And the humidity, thick wet humidity, of the fresh mountain air mingling with the thick jungle air rushing up from the valley floor. 

In Colorful Colorado at 11,001 feet above sea level, the landscape is a hodgepodge of grays and browns. Tree line sits at close to 11,500 feet and the low, cropped, dusty green bushes tell the story of the dry, thin air that characterizes the magnificent, yet barren landscape.

It was the perfect contrast.

Our group of 14 was quiet for all of 30 minutes. 30 soulful minutes of 14 strangers with heads on swivels, engaging all of their senses to envelope themselves with the sights, sounds, and smells of Peru’s high alpine jungle. 

Greens: sage, grass, evergreen, cactus, emerald, moss, sea foam

Flowers: orchidslupinbegoniasAngel’s Trumpets

Birds: Parakeets, jays, Tanagers, and as we climbed higher, condors

31 minutes into the hike, the giggling started, the singing began, and the chatter was present as a low hum among the group. The higher we climbed, the lower the walls among the 14 strangers became. And by the time we stopped for lunch at 12,000 feet above sea level, it was as if the group was a bunch of longtime buddies going for a weekend stroll through the Peruvian wilderness.

Our Lodge for the next two evenings was located in Soraypampa, nestled between the Salkantay and Humantay Peaks, at 12,690 feet above sea level. After lunch, the 1600 foot vertical of the morning’s trek leveled off as we followed a winding path alongside an ancient Incan irrigation canal. As we rounded the final bend in the day’s stroll, Salkantay and Humantay rose up in front of us; their snowcapped peaks nearly touching the heavens.

That evening, as the sun sank low beneath the horizon, I stepped outside to watch the dusk light paint Salkantay in a jewel-toned mosaic of pinks, pale yellows, and oranges. The rocky outcrops of the “savage mountain” looked as if they were aflame in the midst of the setting sun. Clouds swirled around the neighboring peaks, bathing them, and me, in a foggy, pink mist.

Day one was coming to a close.



onwards and upwards!

8 May

Tommy Sims

He’s more than just a pretty face.
He’s a kind smile, a big heart, the Mayor of Ashland Ave., the photographer of the year (ie most creative of all the Sims kids), a contagious chuckle, an adventurer, a rad rider that shreds the gnar way sicker than you, Oh, and a COLLEGE GRADUATE!
Congratulations baby brother. I am so proud of you and can’t wait to see where your talent takes you in the future. Colorado has another thing comin’!

date night!

5 May

date night!

Mr. A went skiing up Mayflower Gulch on Saturday with some buddies and managed to leave his phone up at the old Boston Mine site where they had lunch. Lucky for him, I have a thing for men with dimples and blue eyes and he charmed me into a post-work, post-run hike up Mayflower to get his phone.

Also, I cooked. Actually I GRILLED. I know, I know…impressive, right?

psychic income.

1 May

A wise young man once explained to me the merits of psychic income.

“It’s a currency that can’t be spent, but can be put in the pocket of your heart,” said he.

I let the wise young man’s musings roll around my brain for a long while, and eventually, some two years later, decided to give psychic income a try for myself. All it took was a shift in my focus and a snap decision to let it go and Colorado became the start of my journey down the path towards my own psychic income.

 A few weeks back I mentioned in passing that I was interviewing for a new position. Actually, I think I wrote something cryptic like:

I have a big interview today. Details to follow…

Fast forward a few weeks and the details did, indeed follow. Turns out those particular details were delivered via an early morning phone call from my new boss, offering me the position of Front Office Manager at a local hotel and restaurant. I jumped at the opportunity and accepted the position on the spot, while trembling in fright at the thought of being the one in charge, the fearless leader, the “guru” when it comes to all things hospitality. HA I had them fooled!

But the thing is this, the hospitality industry is the first industry in which I have worked professionally, where I have a true passion for what I do. That passion in turn motivates me to work my ass off and increase my own professional opportunities and expertise. I don’t know if it’s because I am a “pleaser” or because I value the importance of travel or because to me the Vail Resorts mission statement is far more than a testament to a successful business model, it’s a way of life that I not only believe in, but want others to experience as well. But what I do know, is that somehow, during this experiment to discover whether a higher psychic income is greater than higher monetary income, my psychic income became a psychic reality that has somehow lead to real income. Not much, but just enough for me to feed my constant curiosity, addiction to adventure, and my pride in providing others with an “experience of a lifetime”.

I am 100% sure that this position is going to kick. my. butt.

There will be days where I feel like my head will explode if one more person asks me whether or not you can “ski in conditions like these” or I find that another group of frat boys are leaping from the hot tubs on the sixth floor to the hot tubs on the fifth floor. But I am also 100% sure that this is an opportunity that will solidify my position in the hospitality industry and will nurture me and push me to challenge myself to bring my confidence and passion to another level. 

On a side note, would you believe this little brat was too sick to play in the desert last week? #dramaqueen 


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