Tag Archives: mountains

gold on our hills.

30 Sep

Fall is fleeting up here at 9300′.

It blows in overnight, flexing its artistic vein as it paints the hillsides in shades of gold and red and fiery orange.

It drops gilded carpets of Aspen leaves on forest paths as though laying down a golden carpet fit for mountain royalty.

I like to pretend that I myself, am the aforementioned royal visitor. I stroll between seasons on a long Aspen leaf lined carpet into my kingdom of statuesque trees, waving to my Mountain sentinels as I go.

I wrap myself in Mother Nature’s earthy perfume and memorize the tune bellowed from deep within the woods–the hum of the bees, the whisper of the wind, the trickle of water, and the cracking of wood as my woodland neighbors wander invisibly among the swaying trees.

frozen in time.

27 Sep

It had to have been one or two in the morning, but I lay wide awake in the tent; alert enough that it felt as if day were about to break.

The night air had dropped to the low 30s and frost covered the rain fly creating little ice crystals that glittered and danced under the full moon.

I lay there, nestled deep within the downy depths of my sleeping bag with only my nose and cheeks exposed to the cool mountain air, and I listened.

Our campsite, sheltered in the midst of stoic Lodgepole pine trees on the banks of a high alpine lake, was high enough up a long, boulder filled, dirt road that traffic noises were obsolete. The night was windless and the air was still and cold, chilly enough that the atmosphere around the tent seemed to be frozen in time.

I listened and I listened. I and realized that for the first time in as long as I could remember, there was nothing outside of my own thoughts and my own slow breaths to listen to.

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moosing around.

9 Apr

There is a family of moose who have taken up residence in Summit Cove, specifically around Tally Ho Court.

A few times a day, Mama Moose takes her twins on a stroll, stopping occasionally to sample the local fare, namely Aspen trees and loose ground cover.

The twins, though new to ‘moosing’ and still working out the kinks of their spindly legs, follow along gamely; pausing every once in a while to observe the neighbors observing them.

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old man winter.

22 Oct

It seemed darker than usual this morning when the tinny song of my shrill alarm announced the start of the day. Even Mayhem hadn’t stirred from her cozy slumber, tucked into her kennel among layers of fleece and down.

I lugged myself out of bed and roused May while layering up, anticipating the frigid temperatures that punctuate Fall mornings in the High Country. We had yet to wake up to snow, but most mornings we found that our windshields had been decorated by a diligent Jack Frost, dancing his way over the cold, hard glass.

As we made our way downstairs, I glanced out the window and noticed fat, white flakes drifting down from the heavens, settling nicely into the crevices between the pine needles of the Lodgepoles that line our yard. Layering our deck in what looked like inches of cold, soft, cotton fluff.

It’s funny, how quiet the world gets when it snows.

It’s as if every breeze, every bit of trickling water, all of the traffic noises, and life’s silly little worries hush and settle in under thick blankets to watch the flakes fall, creating contrasts between warm and cold and black and white.

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livin’ the high life.

29 Apr

I slept with my window open on Monday night.

Not just cracked to let a bit of cool mountain air in, I mean, blinds open, snuggle under layers upon layers of down blankets and wake up with cheeks that are chilled to the touch, wide open.

When I woke up, I realized that it wasn’t Mayhem waking me up with a squeaky yawn, but rays of sunlight just making their way up and over Buffalo and Red, streaming in across my bedroom floor.

Those golden rays held the promise of Spring and immediately filled me with glee as Mayhem and I jumped out of bed and danced around the living room celebrating the start of a day that was sure to be filled with adventures in the sunshine.

Mr. A’s childhood buddy was visiting and the day before, in anticipation of beautiful weather, we had decided on a spring hike up to Kite Lake, located just above Alma in the valley below four fourteeners known to locals as the Decalibron loop (Mt. Democrat, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Bross).

We piled into my car, the four of us (my colleague, Ed joined us as well) and two pups, and made our way up and over Hoosier Pass and down into the tiny hamlet of Alma, known for Al-Mart, Alma’s Only Bar and of course its claim to fame as the “highest incorporated town in the United States”.

The road to Kite Lake was still snowed in, so we parked about three miles below the lake at the old Paris Mill and began our hike, trudging through heavy snow, fresh from Monday’s consistent showers.

I meandered a bit, taking in the beauty of the mountains and soaking up the rays and let the guys peel off ahead, bringing Abbey and Mayhem trotting along with them.

As I wandered, I took in the silence.

But for my own footsteps, the song bouncing around my brain (“Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog”, always Jeremiah and his antics while I hike…wtf?!) and heart pounding steadily in my chest, it was silent.

No trucks chugging up I70, no chatter from others roaming beside me, no pups barking impatiently as I bent down to tie my shoe.

Silence.

I marveled for a moment, allowing my brain to soak in the quietness, feeling my soul relax and settle into the scenery. And then I heard it, music. An orchestra of sounds reverberating off of the stately peaks surrounding the valley.

The drip, drip, dropping of snow and ice melting off of towering evergreen trees.

The twittering of birds announcing the arrival of Spring, calling up their neighbors to dance in the sunshine.

The crash of snow sliding down steep mountainsides as the bright sun warmed the underbelly of layers and layers of snow.

The gurgling of a creek coming alive again after a long winter’s nap.

As I listened to the cacophony of sounds, I realized it wasn’t the trail that was silent, it was my brain. My thoughts, my impatience at moving forward, it was me that had become silent in the midst of the beauty and the music of the high country.

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if you give a moose a muffin.

25 Apr

Remember this time last year?

When I was so bent out of shape that I had yet to have a “close encounter with the moose kind” and was living vicariously through Mer who had daily visits from moose over at the Ski Tip?

Well that has since changed, thanks to the Inn’s nieghbor, Moose #1. He is a big lanky guy, who spends his time wandering the bike path and snacking on leaves in the grassy knoll that beautifies our valet circle. He isn’t terribly interested in the humans that work around him everyday and seems to enjoy observing daily life, perfectly content with his leaves and his liesurely strolls up and down the path.

He seems much friendlier than his counterpart, the territorial pregnant moose who charged an Inn staff member a few weeks ago while she was valeting a car. Yipes!

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the fifth season.

20 Apr

Those of you that have spent time in the mountains of Colorado are well aware of ski season; the winter and spring months that bring about epic runs and face-shots for days. You might even be aware that July is the best month to visit if it’s Columbines that you’re gunnin’ for and September, well it tends to bring out the true meaning of “Colorful Colorado“.

However, I am willing to bet that many of you are unaware of or have actively chosen to avoid, our fifth season. The season in which the ski resorts shut down for the summer, two-for-ones run rampant, demo sales are featured on the front page of the Summit Daily and locals are able to get out and enjoy the better known trails without the masses.

This fifth season, known to those of us calling the High Country home, is Mudseason.

So in honor of the all but three ski resorts in the state closing (you will have to hit up Winter Park, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland if you’re looking to relive ) and a closed hotel, you will find me embracing the mud and hitting up several front range 14ers, skiing sick lines (brah), parking in the spot closest to the grocery store, noshing on all the foods at all the hard-to-get-into restaurants and wearing yoga pants to work (sorry Mom).

On that note, congrats to everyone on a great season. Enjoy your time off and if anyone would care to join me on any or all adventures, you know where to find me 🙂

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Hager Mountain Shredding

 

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Mayflower Gulch, Mayhem’s First Hike

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Hanging Lake

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Hanging Lake

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Hanging Lake

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Mayflower Gulch

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Mayflower Gulch

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Hager Mountain Shredding

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Beer with a View, Pug Ryan’s

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Hanging Lake

 

 

 

 

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