Vibrant Colors

While the aspen trees weren’t as spectacular as in previous years (especially in the highest elevations), this fall is not without it’s colors.  I took these photos on a misty morning in Forsythe Canyon.

I have a number of miscellaneous things to update, but first another photo.

I didn’t place this leaf on the fern; the leaf just happened to land on it.


I have no regrets leaving Facebook after the 2016 election, during which my Facebook experience was pretty horrible.  In the intervening time, it’s come to light all the unsavory things that Facebook did during that time. Social media has become a pox on our culture with too many people yelling into echo chambers.  It seems that partisan internet debate culture has moved on to the roads, where the guy blocking your path is just another person from the opposite political party. In other words, I seem to be encountering more bullies on the road.

On the medical front, some recent imaging determined that I have permanent damage in my heart muscle.  I’m feeling ok, and have been getting out hiking and biking as much as possible. I haven’t made it to a top of a mountain yet, but I’ve come close.

Likely pollution floating on the aptly named Gross Reservoir.

I’ve been creating some songs in the studio with my friend Kevin.  I am more of a producer than a musician (not that they are mutually exclusive).  I’ll come up with a drum track and he will invent a bass line to go with it. Then we’ll go back and record some guitar tracks on top of that.  After that session, I will usually spend some with the tracks editing (sometimes pretty heavily, even to the point of changing some notes), adding keyboards, and mixing.  The result so far is we have about 10 songs in various stages of completion. But I consider these to be just demos.  The structure is there and they are ready for addition instruments and/or vocals if desired.  Then if we like the end product, we will probably re-record the song to make it really tight.  Kevin is a good musician and I’ve been pretty surprised with what we’ve done so far and how quickly he can come up with riffs.  He can do it in an instant while it takes me days.

So many different colors, from the blue spruce, to the moss, orange lichen on the cliff and the leaves.

Is it just me, or is the signal to noise ratio on my phone getting worse.  It seems like for every real phone call I receive, I will get 50 calls from spammers, robo scammers, and from some lady who can’t seem to get her headset adjusted.  At least I haven’t heard from the “IRS” in a while.


Inverted Sky

The title of this blog is the imagined way I’d hike in the sky if everything were upside down, inverted — the sky being the ground.

This morning was one of those days where the light was a little flat (hazy/cloudy sun) on the fresh snow.  It can be really flat when it’s snowing, too. Sometimes when I’m snow-shoeing in flat light I can’t really see the snow.  Instead I see only all white, with no depth. I take a step into the white not knowing where my foot will stop and touch something firm.  There’s something surreal about it, like I’m not walking on the ground.  The inverted sky.


Hazy light of dawn

Hazy light of dawn, Mt. Thorodin in the back ground, the stone ruins of Caribou gold mining town in the foreground.

A lot of snow has fallen since I returned from the deserts of Utah, much more than I’ve ever seen here at this time of year.  But this is what I expect with a warming climate, the heavier snows we would normally get in spring will fall mid-winter when it’s usually just cold and dry.


Which snowdrift should I go to?

Which snowdrift should I go to?

This morning, I endeavored to stay off any trails. When I’m walking on a trail, my mind wanders and contemplates things, often unrelated to the hike.  This is good when trying to make a hefty decision about something. When I’m off-trail, I’m fully focused in the moment, path-finding, choosing where to go, especially in the forest.  It can be exhilarating and gets me out of my head.

I emerged from hiking in a fairly dark forest and into one of my favorite valleys. A lone coyote yipped and howled from the side of the valley, possibly as a simple greeting to me. It surprised me a little because coyotes usually head for lower elevations in the fall (I was above 10,000 feet).  I can’t imagine a coyote hunting for showshoe hares in such deep snow.  There were snowshoe hare tracks all over the place.

Another cool thing were these large feather-like ice crystals growing on the branches of the trees.


The largest ice crystals I've ever seen, especially upper left in the shadow and lower center.  Click for larger.

The largest ice crystals I’ve ever seen, especially upper left in the shadow and lower center. Over an inch long (2-3 cm). Click for larger.

They kind of reminded me of moth wings.