Tag Archives: vacation


1 Jul

Today I went for a “Sunday” stroll.

Sunday is a relative term, as my Sundays tend to fall on Tuesdays, but that’s besides the point.

My “Sunday stroll” began later in the morning, as most things planned for a “Sunday” should.

The morning was warm. Warm enough for shorts and t-shirts. A cool breeze blew off the swift moving water of Deer Creek, kicking the scent of decomposing pine needles and Aspen leaves up into the clear Rocky Mountain air. 

Rocks and boulders disturbed by the melting snowpack littered the trail and a perpetual trickle of snow melt carved a deep groove in the soil, washing the dust from our boots as we wandered our way up into the woods. 

There wasn’t a soul in sight, but for the creatures of the wild lingering in the shade of the dense Lodgepole forest. Only the the singsong twitter of the birds, the rush of the water pouring over beaver dams before settling back into the creek bed, and the whistle of the wind winding its way through the trees.

Somewhere along our stroll, we picked up another dog. A dog whose name was Lucky and whose tag requested that Lucky be dropped back off in Montezuma after our hike. No phone number, no address, just a brief note from the town that Lucky calls his own. 

Lucky, Abbey and Rome raced up the hillside, laughing in the steely face of Red Cone. Whipping their way through the pinks and blues and reds of the wildflowers that claimed the marshlands. Galloping after marmots and pika and galumphing into the creek for refreshing dip, before sprinting off to “tree” the next squirrel that crossed their path. 

The five of us lunched in a grass green valley, complimented by Indian Paintbrush that glowed orange among the the grays of the rock and green of the grass.

The sky was blue. Bluer than I’ve ever seen it, with not a cloud on the horizon. The sunshine blew soft kisses over our cool skin, warming it as the breeze flurried through the air.

Glacier Mountain towered over us five, while the mighty peaks of Grays and Torreys stood a silent watch over the valley; and while we are but a few small peoples in the midst of the wild world, we were secure in our Sunday stroll.




the peruvian chronicles, day 3

7 Jun

“Oh, it’s just the Peruvian Flats,” explained Ricki, one of our fearless leaders, as he pointed towards the summit of Salkantay which sits at a modest 20,574 feet above sea level. 

I looked at him doubtfully, my brain lurching at the irony of his statement, and then cast a glance at the clouds that seemed to be closing in on us in a somewhat menacing manner.  

“Oh, and expect rain at the top. It rarely snows up there,” he said nonchalantly, as he pushed back from the breakfast table and strode down the stairs to prepare himself for the eight mile hike up and over Salkantay Pass (elev. 15,213).

After spending much of the previous day doing our best to dodge whipping rain and howling wind, it was decided that garbage bags were imperative in keeping our belongings rain free. So we swathed ourselves in big, black garbage bags, draping them over raincoats, over gloved hands and in some cases, for those whose boots had proven to be less waterproof than advertised, over socked feet inside boots. 

Similar to the day before, we began our trek amidst a deep fog. A fog that was so fluid, that it seemed to be alive. It floated and undulated through the air, cradling us in its soft, wet arms before dropping us into torrent of wind and rain.

 A climb of 2,522 vertical feet, before lunch, was the crux of our trek up through the “Peruvian Flats”. A climb that featured 12 hairpin switchbacks, a rocky, muddy trail that became slicker and sloppier as the morning wore on, trains of mules lead by weathered porters in sandals (?!?!), and a cocktail of Gatorade and Clif Shot Bloks that were passed down our line from leader to porter like a sacrament. 

We weren’t the only ones enveloped in the mist and rain. The monumental glaciers that stood sentinel over the valley were shrouded in clouds, casting only the briefest of glimpses of their mighty peaks out to their waiting public. 

“13,000 ft!” shouted Steve as he ever so dutifully reported the altitude at 500′ increments to the group.

And as though Steve’s report of 13,000 feet was an sign for the heavens to open above us, the mist and the rain turned to snow.


Now as many of you know, I live in the land of the snow. And don’t get me wrong between the months of October and April I live for snow; heck, I have a tendency to be a bit of a powderhound when conditions permit, but once May 1 rolls around Mother Nature and I are in a month long fight, which tends to see me on the losing side. That said, I was mildly impressed that Mother Nature’s snow curse had hopped continents to find me.

I shot Ricki a look that plainly said, “no snow, huh?” and he shrugged his shoulders and offered me a bewildered smile. 

As we rounded the last bend of the upward trudge, at about 15,000 feet above sea level (officially 780′ higher than I have ever been), towering cairns became visible through the dusty white snow that was swirling through the cold, wet air. 

“213 feet to the top of the pass!” announced Steve, as if on que.

We trudged onward with a renewed sense of determination. Another 213 feet and the rest is all downhill!

A round of cheers exploded out of The Garbage Bag Brigade as a sign proclaiming, “Abra Salkantay”, appeared through the sea of white.

“We’ve made it to the top of Salkantay Pass!” exclaimed Pepe, “How about a snack?” he questioned, a trace of a grin curling in the corners of his ever smiling mouth.

Pictures were taken, hugs were shared and high fives and pats on the back announced the excitement and relief felt by the group. 

We had summited our Everest. 

As promised, the rest of the trek was downhill. It snowed until we fell below 14,000 feet where cows grazed on rocky outcrops that merged with leafy green ferns and hot pink and yellow wildflowers. 

Our next lodge sat at 13,900 feet, right on the brink of the entrance to the palatial glaciers guarding Salkantay Pass and the Amazon jungle. Shortly after we arrived, the clouds broke, offering The Garbage Bag Brigade the chance to shed their black, plastic layers and gape at the mighty peaks towering above us. 

Mother Nature approved. We had passed Salkantay’s test and the deep jungle greens mingling with the stark grays and whites of the glaciers and the late afternoon sun casting a pinkish, blueish glow upon the landscape, was our reward. 


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 



o tannenBUG…er baum

24 Dec

o tannenBUG...er baum

Came down with the Christmas flu about three days ago and have spent the last three days tracking back and forth between the bed and the couch. Missed some serious quality time with the folks (hooray for holidays in Keystone!), but you can bet I will be there tomorrow for Christmas dinner…mucus and manly voice in tow!

Merry Christmas everyone, may the light of the season carry you through!

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