A strong appetite, average palate, and weak writing, mixed with outdoor adventure.

A strong appetite, average palate, and weak writing, mixed with outdoor adventure.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Weekends Are Better Than Your Vacation…or a Case for Stateism

Colorado themed bumper stickers, based on the background image of our license plate, are ubiquitous, with each espousing something about the vehicle’s occupants.


I recently saw one on that said “MY WEEKENDS ARE BETTER THAN YOUR VACATION”. At the risk of arrogance, I had to agree with the sentiment. I will readily admit that Colorado is not for everyone. Some people simply like humidity and low elevations, such as cajuns and snowbirds, but after 13 years my love affair with Colorado only deepens.

Of the last 13 weekends, I have spent 12 of them in the mountains. With a variety of friends I have enjoyed alpine sunrises and sunsets, hot springs, 14er summits, 13er summits, countless mountain passes, cooled off in the Roaring Fork River and Lake Dillon, picked up snowboarding hitchhikers and river rafters, have seen a bear, marmots, pikas, porcupines, mountain goats and bighorn sheep, clouds scudding across South Park, heard the life affirming sound of rockfall, have climbed over 70K vertical feet and covered nearly 200 miles on trails, heard thunder echoing around mountain valleys, which was matched by the laughter and whoops of joys of friends in high places, hoisted many a beer and ate many a calorie in small towns, have shared ramen in camp as well as salmon and asparagus, eaten over 2 pounds of beef jerky and generally been unable to wipe the smile off my face.

I am at a strange place in life. Divorce was never part of my plan and I am still working through it. The mountains provide an escape in that if a climb is hard enough everything else in life falls away, allowing focus on the task at hand. Yet, there is always an approach. A meandering dirt path leading to and from the day’s difficulties, where there is little to do other than put one foot in front of the other. It is here where I dwell in my head and turn over bits of emotional detritus, examining where I am at and where I am headed. I am in the mountains because it is where I want to be, sharing alpine clarity and unfettered light with friends, but I know there is a small bit that is escapism. Yet, even with that escapism, and the fact I am unsure of what the future holds, I know that I am in the right place, at least geographically speaking. The average vacation may have more emotional stability, but when measured on the whole, I will argue, as stated in the bumper sticker I saw, my typical Colorado weekend is better than the average vacation.

Shavano and Tabeguche, climbed in May
Snowy stairway on Square Top, June
Crestone Needle summit team
blanca pano
Panorama of Blanca and Ellingwood, taken from a hike on Mt Lindsey
Cheesy poses in the basin before Castle and Conundrum
Feeling small heading into the Dead Dog Couloir
Jen and I headed for Iowa Peak
Alan and I watching some “alpine TV” on Harvard
july 4 2011 061
Richard cruising the Kelso Ridge on Torreys Peak
Dancing atop Maroon Peak
Sunrise from camp on Princeton
Mountain goat on North Maroon

No comments:

Post a Comment