Snow on the River

January 16, 2007 at 6:29 am

Even though the Poudre River was pretty much entirely frozen over, it was still beautiful when I was out snowshoeing yesterday.


Snow Covered

January 15, 2007 at 1:58 pm

Had an inadvertent adventure in the Poudre Canyon today when I got my truck stuck in the snow, and I was all by myself. After about 45 minutes of digging and rocking I managed to drive out of the drift. I did destroy one floor mat and Mark’s yoga mat, but hey, I got myself out!

I had been hoping to maybe get some pictures of big horn sheep in the canyon when I went up this morning. And I did see lots, and lots, of fresh tracks in the snow, but no actual wildlife. So, I came home with pictures of pretty snow covered trees and mountainsides, and a few of the dog, but no sheep.


Mark vs. Wild: The Rocky Mountains

January 11, 2007 at 9:39 am

So, last night I had a great time, and I finally put together the Mark vs. Wild video that I’ve had laying around for the last two months. I put it up on the video page, check it out! I apologize now for the constant girl-ish giggling of the camera-woman. I was just having too much fun, I guess.

It is a rather large file. Evidently adding the soundtrack, while lots of fun to do, made the file bloat a bit. Just be patient during the download, I guess.

I am aware of the fact that Mark and I are probably two of the total maybe 10 people in the world who Tivo Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel. We find it hi-larious, and fully entertaining. Poor Bear, he puts himself through so much trauma just in case we might someday get lost on a volcano in Hawaii.

Thus, if you’ve never seen the show, the video clip may not make a ton of sense (or be nearly as funny as it was for us to make it). There are clips of the show on the fansite, and here are a few more from You Tube: frozen Lake in the European Alps, bad night in the rainforest, and silly fun in the Moab desert.

Peace and Quiet – A Snow Camping Trip Report

December 18, 2006 at 7:41 am

The weather report for this weekend called for a decent amount of snow to blow through on Saturday night. Mark and I were feeling a little cooped up and inspired by winter camping exploits of our friends. We decided to dig out all of our winter gear, pack up the yellow truck, and head out to the mountains for a night of snowy camping.

I looked up the status of National Forest campgrounds in our area a few days before, and we saw that Dowdy Lake campground was open year round in Red Feather Lakes. This is a highly residential area in the mountains just south of Wyoming. This is an area that Mark and I have not spent much time in, because so much of the land is privately owned, it can be slightly worrisome to hike and camp around. But, the Dowdy Lake area is a national forest site, and trails lead from the lake to Mount Margaret, a small rocky peak that is a popular summer day hike for people in our area.

We got to the campground a little later in the afternoon than we originally planned, and we spent some time picking out the perfect campsite. This turned out to be time well spent, as the wind picked up over the lake at night, and our site back in the woods stayed still and calm.

Around 2pm, we hit the trail for Mount Margaret. Most of this trail is actually downhill, with only the final summit climb being somewhat vertical. We goofed around along the way, filming bits of “Mark vs Wild” and playing on a wide, solid ice sheet over a creek. By around 3:30pm, we hit an intersection with a sign telling us that the summit was still a mile away. With the sun rapidly setting and clouds blowing in, we decided to forgo the actual summit and head back to the campsite.

In the evening, Mark started a fire, and we had a tasty Chef Boyar-D dinner. As we were getting ready to head into the tent at night, I hiked over to the toilets, and met 3 guys with their 2 dogs that were stuck in the campground because their glow plugs weren’t warming up. They had been out ice fishing all day, and when I asked if they needed any food, water or blankets, I got two firm “No”s, and one “Well, maybe…” They ended up getting the truck started pretty soon after I arrived, and all we gave them was some water and a spoon for their cans of soup. I did find out, however, that in a day of ice fishing, these guys were able to pull 75 fish out of that frozen lake!! And 75 trout at that!! They offered us a couple of fish (as they had so many extras) but we declined as well. I decided that ice fishing just might be a hobby worth taking up in the future!

That evening we snuggled into the 4-season tent. We brought our -10F degree bags, our down sleeping mats, and about 10 extra blankets. It was about 25F degrees outside and the tent rapidly warmed up to over 40F as we moved around and settled in. After we actually cocooned up to sleep, the temperature dropped rapidly towards the external temp, but never got too horribly cold.

In the morning we woke to a quiet blanket of snow over the whole area, and the beautiful white views made the whole weekend worth it. It was a really fun trip, and we had a great time.

More photos from the trip are in the photo gallery.

The back bowls of Copper Mountain

November 20, 2006 at 8:24 am

Earlier this fall, Mark and I decided we would go ahead and make the investment in a pair of 4-packs to Copper Mountain and try to get several days of skiing in this year. Last winter, I had one 3 hour lesson and a very scary and embarrassing experience on a steep green at Winter Park that effectively ended our ski season in December last year. We chose Copper Mountain for our passes this year because the mountain has a large amount of gentle green terrain that doesn’t intersect much with faster slopes.

Last weekend, we had a fantastic two days of early season skiing at Copper Mountain. We really lucked out this year as a couple large snow storms have already blown through, and Copper Mountain had almost 40″ of packed powder base already this year. On Saturday, Mark and I both signed up for full day lessons. It was early enough in the season that there weren’t many other people in the classes. In fact, Mark had his instructor all to himself, and I had only two other people in my class.

We both had a great day and learned a huge amount. I learned to relax and use balance, not force in my skiing. I improved my trust in my turning ski (lean on it, and it will turn!). Mark learned to carve and stop with a right turn.

We cemented our new skills on Sunday and had another great day in the sun and snow. I started to bring in my inside ski for more parallel-type turns and a little bit of a sliding stop. Mark had a fantastic, cloud of snow, skis and poles flying up in the air crash on one of my greens. That was fantastic to watch!

So, now it’s Monday morning. I’m so sore I can’t hardly walk. Mark groans every time he moves. And we both can’t wait to go back.

For more shots from the weekend, check out the photo gallery.


Sunset on Nymph Lake

November 13, 2006 at 6:27 pm

This was the last lake we passed on the way down. It was mostly frozen over. Close enough for the people who walked across it. More shots from the day are here.


A winter trek in RoMo

November 12, 2006 at 5:28 pm

On Saturday, Mark and I donned our brand new mountaineering boots, our favorite snow shoes, and our best winter gear for a trek up to Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.

We spent the morning getting everything together. Hopefully now that we’ve done a full-gear trek this season, it will go much faster next time. We didn’t leave the Bear Lake trailhead until about 12:30p. We hiked up the trail past Nymph Lake to Dream Lake where we stopped and put on our snow shoes. We were able to short-cut a good bit of trail by hiking straight across the lake, which was kind of creepy as the day was warm enough to melt a thin layer on top of the ice. But nothing cracked or creaked or moaned, and we made good time.

We arrived at Emerald Lake at just before 2p. While we passed a couple people on the way down, when we got to the high lake, we had the whole area to ourselves. The wind was coming and going. Occasionally it would blast us with ferocious spindrift, and then it would die down for several minutes of sunny peacefulness. The thermometer read 35F degrees, which is pretty warm, and with a 40mph wind only equates to a 20F degree windchill, so a balmy day by comparison to some.

Photos all around, and then we headed back down. We wore the snowshoes for traction the whole way down, and they helped quite a bit. We were back at the car around 3:30p, and Mark was not tired at all. He kept saying “That was it? Lame.” But it was a fun day, and a beautiful place. We’ll just have to make sure the next trek covers more miles!

The rest of the pictures from the day are in the photo album: Snowshoe to Emerald Lake.


View towards Estes Park

October 25, 2006 at 6:36 pm

One more shot from last weekend. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. October 2006.

For more shots of the day and the hike click here.