Blessing and Dividing of the Beef: September 26, 2007

September 27, 2007 at 6:08 am

Dylan, Ann, Doug, Liz, Mark and I all decided to go in together and purchase half of a local grass-fed cow this year. Our cow grew up on the pastures of the front range and spent her summers muching on the tasty grass of Nederland, CO. She was processed humanely and locally in Lafeyette, CO. On Wednesday she arrived from the processor as over a hundred pounds of beef. On Thursday we thanked cow #9633 for her sacrifice this year and divided up the beef among the families and freezers.

There’s a couple fun photos in the gallery, and lots of beef in our freezer!

Harvest Moon

September 26, 2007 at 6:53 am

The first full moon after the autumnal equninox is traditionally the Harvest Moon. This especially means a lot to us this year as all of our local food sources (the CSA, Deb’s Farm, and my garden) are all producing bountiful amounts of food! I wish I had more time for preserving. Plus, our freshly processed cow arrived home yesterday!

Harvest Moon

Climbing Ed’s Crack! Again! September 22, 2007

September 24, 2007 at 8:46 pm

Mucho pictures of this beautiful fall day are up in the gallery.

It’s official, fall has landed in Vedauwoo. We were on the fence as to whether we wanted to go climbing or do the Tour de Fat last Saturday, but the warm morning and clear skies in the Fort whispered to us that we’d get in one more good day if we made the drive. And so we left.

When we pulled into the parking lot for the main area, we saw a group sitting at the base of Fall Wall, but nobody working their way up Ed’s Crack. We scrambled up to the base of the climb and nobody was there yet! It was 10:30a, and we were the first ones at the base of one of the best 5.7 handcracks in all of Vedauwoo! We played around with the idea of me leading the first pitch, but I chickened out and Mark took the gear for me and hopped on the climb.

It was an awesome day and an awesome climb. I’m not sure what else to say about it. We ended up with a Father and Son team following us, so I took some fun pictures of them. We topped out at just before noon, and then made our three rappels down Walt’s Wall without any problems.

The Other Half of the Adventure

Sure we’ve done this climb before, probably more times than I can remember right now. But I still love it. When we got down and had our snack, it felt late in the afternoon. We toyed around with the idea of hitting up some of the sport climbs on Fall Wall proper, but it was almost out of the sun by then, and we had a dog waiting for us at home to let her out. Still it was a really, really fun, sunny day on the rocks. Couldn’t ask for much more.

More Reflections

September 19, 2007 at 6:14 am

I’ve started up my free week of unlimited yoga at the local new installment of CorePower Yoga. I’ve been very surprised and delighted by the classes. The heated room is warm enough to make me feel very limber and it keeps me from feeling half as stiff and sore as I do the day after an OTY class. The flow is very quick moving, very grounded in the Ashtanga tradition, and very challenging both mentally and physically.

But the place is a franchise! I was talking to my friend recently and her thoughts were a long the lines of “Well, if you like the the classes, what does it matter if it’s a franchise?” And I couldn’t really answer that. It just seems wrong to me that yoga should not be spread across the country in the same homogeneous way as a McDonald’s cheese burger. But if you like McDonald’s cheeseburgers a whole lot, should you not eat them just because everybody else is too? Seems a little childish.

I’m thinking of a good compromise this fall, I’ll still attend Old Town Yoga once a week, but I’ll supplement other days with the CorePower. Yes, I suppose they will be getting some of my money that Jake would have gotten otherwise, and I shall feel appropriately guilty for that. But until Jake installs a new set of power heaters and amps up the speed of his flow, I feel I have the right to spend time doing the flow that I enjoy the most.

Sunset Reflections

Vedauwoo and Little John: September 15, 2007

September 17, 2007 at 7:14 am

In which, Kate discovers that she prefers straight-forward brutish climbs. The photos from the day are in the gallery.

On Saturday, we picked up Doug and Liz, and then met up with Dylan and Ann and Sean at Dyl-Ann’s sweet campsite in Upper Blair. The morning was warm and comfortable on the Front Range, but we stepped out of the car into a brisk and chilly wind, with clouds blowing by overhead at an incredible speed. Dylan and Ann acted as our guides that day, and led us through the beautiful quiet woods of their newly adopted neighborhood.

Baobob Tree (5.8) – Mark led up this climb, with the anticipation of a fantastic handcrack at the top of the climb. The flakes at the bottom were interesting, and the traverse below the crack was awkward and a grunt. He did seriously enjoy the handcrack, but discovered he was out of fist-sized cams with about 30ft to go! Mark, the superhero, ran it out, and finished a fantastic lead. I cleaned it, and had a horrible time with that icky traverse. I was angry at that one silly section that I feel tainted an otherwise very nice climb. Doug and Liz then climbed the route on TR as well, and both did a better job on the flakes and traverses than I did. Though, Doug did lay-back the whole top of the crack!

Liz and Dylan on the rocks

Becker (5.7) – After a nice lunch break in the sun, we hiked as a group to the chilly north face of Long John’s Tower. Doug, Liz and Sean took one look at the dark clouds and fat cracks and decided they’d have more fun at the sport crag down the road. We were sad to see them go, but totally understood. Mark led up Becker as well, and had a good time jamming the two parallel cracks. I also really enjoyed this climb, though I fell twice in the middle when my ultra-focused brain didn’t grasp at the fact that I needed to move my jams from the crack that was becoming shallow to the one that was becoming good.

Big House (5.8+) – Dylan led up this one with out a problem at all. He always makes everything look so easy! Ann pulled through the crux with a primal power surge and scream that I wish I had the ability to call on. By the time I wandered over to use their top rope, my hands were feeling raw, and my shoulders and arms were week with fatigue. I really enjoyed the stems and flakes in the bottom half of the climb, but one attempt at the crux moves was all I needed to call it a day. Mark fell once in the crux, but pulled through and finished the climb. He agreed that the section was very difficult, and was very impressed with Dylan’s lead.

I felt rather bummed and tired on our hike out that afternoon. I’m so used to being able to hike back to camp after a day of climbing like this, hang out and laugh with friends, relax, and then have another day of climbing to look forward to. But Liv was at home waiting for us to let her out, so we had to throw everything in the car and leave Dylan and Ann to enjoy the Blair woods alone that evening.

Summiting Pikes Peak: September 8, 2007

September 13, 2007 at 6:11 am

More photos from the day are up in the gallery.

On my parents last day of their road trip, they ended up in Colorado Springs. Mark and I weren’t able to meet them for camping on Friday night because of Liv’s injury, but I drove down to the Springs on Saturday morning to meet up with them for the day. We had reservations on the 10:40 cog train to the summit of Pikes Peak!

Dad is ready to go!

Mom was a little nervous, as was I. Mark and I took this train two years ago, and I remembered it being VERY steep. But on Saturday, it wasn’t bad. The trip went quickly, the views were beautiful, and the whole family had a great time.

TJ is having trouble staying in his seat

On the summit!!!

The summit wasn’t as cold as the last time Mark and I were up there, but the views were still great. TJ and I got Pikes Peak Summit doughnuts and macaroni and cheese! We hung out, shopped and took pictures for our allotted 45 minutes, and then it was back on the train down. The family had a great day, and lots of fun on this little adventure. We then hopped in the cars and headed home to the Fort!!

The end of the line

Poor Little Liv

September 10, 2007 at 6:17 pm

Last Thursday, Liv went to work with Mark as usual. Mark works out near the local commuter airport, and sometimes he lets Liv run a bit in the afternoons. On Thursday, though, Liv came back with a serious gash across the back of her left rear leg. Mark wrapped up the wound quickly and drove her straight to our vet. That’s where we got the bad news that not only had she opened up a huge part of her back leg, but she also sliced through two of the tendons on the back of her leg. Without surgery, she’d loose the use of two of her toes. Her feet are very high-stepped, and being flat-footed for the rest of her life would just be terrible. So, we sprung for the surgery.

On Friday, Liv went under the knife. The surgery went great, and the vet was able to re-attach the two tendons. Liv came home with a big purple splint on her foot, and strict instructions for her to not walk up steps, not to jump, run, play or have any fun for the next six weeks!!

So far, she’s been good, and seems to be healing up without much problem. She hasn’t messed with the splint at all (knock on wood) and isn’t being too obnoxious about her lack of exercise the last few days. We’ll see how annoying she is in six weeks, though!

Poor Little Liv

Exploring Moab: Part III

September 9, 2007 at 5:53 am

Got the rest of the photos up in the gallery.

On our last day in Moab, TJ and I got up early to go set up shots of Arches in the early day light, before the crowds show up. This was lots of fun, and we got six more shots out of the large format camera. This time without having to ask anybody to move out of the way. I thought it was pretty cool that none of the rangers driving around the park at the crack of dawn have any questions for the two of us, hiking into the desert with a giant Ansel Adams era box camera.

TJ loads the film holders

We also had a lot of fun setting up shots of me doing a few yoga poses. There’s a bunch in the gallery, and I’d love to go back to do more shoots like these someday.

Balanced Rock

Mark and I took off to head back to Colorado around noon, and with a few unplanned pit-stops, we made it back without much problem. We stopped a bit along the Colorado River for a few more pictures. It’s just so hard to leave such an amazing place!

Mesas high above the Colorado River