Thursday, October 30, 2008

Land of the Rising Sun

This was my playground when I was little.

Craig and I are flying back to the Washington D.C. area this Saturday. We'll be visiting with my sister and her family as well as my step-father, they all live in Virginia outside of D.C. This trip will be bitter-sweet as it's the first time back since my Mom (outstanding Mother, person and dearest friend) passed in January, I'm not counting on it being particular easy but it will be good to see everyone and deliver a vessel that I made for her.

That's a bitchin' car!

We have been gifted my parents 1991 Toyota Tercel as well, ours is blue, it only has 130,000 miles on it and gets 35 mpg. I know you're all totally jealous but what can I say. Craig plans to use it to get around town during the week instead of the gas guzzler F150 he normally drives.


After a short visit in VA, we'll be driving to Michigan to visit Craig's Dad who lives with Craig's sister and her family. Craig's Dad is of ailing health as well and it's important the he sees him and spends some time with him.

There's no place like home and this ain't it.

Then we'll drive that dinky little Toyota home, buzzing through cornfield after cornfield, glad to be heading west, back to the mountains, hopefully back by the following weekend.

That's more like it..

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jenny's Art

I'm a huge fan of Jenny Mendes' artwork, she also works in clay but paints on the surface. Her imagery to me is fanciful and dreamlike, reminding me of the strange inner workings of the mind, soul and heart.

Photo credits are all Jenny Mendes, 2008.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pinewood Version #3

Another Sunday and another great ride up at PW with Craig, Emma and Mr. JimiJames. I was psyched because I was going to get to ride with my best friend Emma, we've been super close friends and riding mates for over 10 years and we always have so much fun. The morning was chilly, Emma had many goose bumps, so we bundled up to begin the ride which we did somewhat differently, I'll call it version 3 of PW and I think my favorite as well. We parked a car in the town proper of PW, a shuttle, so we could ride a new to us really long, sweet DH back into the town. This DH section would turn out to be at least 20 minutes or so long and had some solid techy spots, a crowd pleaser. First though we headed to the TH, starting from Coulson Gulch this time and rode down to the saddle where we normally begin the ST.

Emma and Me all suited up and ready to go, what fine socks we wore.

Craig making his way up the first section of ST. We had shed a couple of layers by this time.

Nice wheelie Gurl!

Emma coming up on the notch exit.

Emma sizing up a drop.

Jim, Emma, Me and Craig with Longs behind. Such a lovely day!

After our break up on the western lollipop we headed down and then veered toward the Eastern section of ST, at which point we headed down a completely new to us section of ST, after a short climb the DH began in earnest, it was fantastic with tight turns, technical, rock pile sections (classic PW) and it just kept going and going. Finally we popped out on a dirt road that brought us back to town and a vehicle. Smiles were all around, another sweet fall ride with friends!

Emma borrowed a pair of Craig's socks, one of which didn't survive the ride too well, oh dear.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Life is Crazy/Life is Sweet

Yesterday was a bit of a crazy day for me. Started off nicely, October 22nd is my wedding anniversary, 14 years have whizzed by for Craig and I. He surprised me with flowers Wednesday late morning. He called to let me know he was in town and heading home, asked me what I was up to, if I was going to be at work or leaving work soon to run lunch time errands. I thought that was odd, usually he doesn't care what my routine is during the day. I told him I was getting ready to run out and when I left the building he was standing outside the door with a lovely flower arrangement, nice! I love getting flowers. The man did good.
So feeling pretty good I ran my errands, went to the Levi store and purchased some new sweet jeans, I love good jeans, I'm pretty particular too with my height but I found a couple pair in their Organic line that were funky and long enough. One pair is a skinny leg that I'll wear rolled up to go with a pair of ankle boots, I was so pleased. Anyway, I digress.
I decided to pick up our vacume cleaner from Wallaces, it had been repaired, upon leaving there I was broadsided by a westbound vehicle. I hate car accidents, only have had a couple in my life, they're so freaky and leave you feeling spaced out. I'm fine but my truck's gonna need some work.
Craig came down to help me and afterwards we went home where I called the insurance company, etc.
We did go out to dinner later at Zolo's which was really nice, a couple of marg's later I was more relaxed and had a full belly. Nice. So the day was crazy but not a total loss, such is life I suppose, full of sweet, delightful moments that sparkle and then WHAM, moments that kick you in the ass and leave you breathless, good and bad, everyday different. I love my flowers!

Monday, October 20, 2008

kickers and giggles in moab

Craig and I headed out Friday for a long weekend of camping and riding in Moab. On the agenda was to ride the 26 miles or so of Hazard/UPS/LPS/Porky Proper. We had beautiful weather forecasted so starting up at Hazard wouldn't be a problem. Craig's brother Randy joined us late Friday night, he was to be our shuttle driver Saturday morning up to Hazard.

Friday evening sunset on the La Sals.

Ringo and I at camp!

Craig and I about to head out on Hazard.

There's an obligartory 1/2 mile climb at the start and then 5 miles of DH. I got to wear my new socks on this chilly morning.

Me at the top of Hazard, the views were amazing and this picture doesn't do it justice. I wish I had wings.

At this point you head down Hazard for 5 miles to the Kokopelli Trail, which is two miles of 4WD road fun with whoops and jumps as well as pinch flats. This was a sign of things to come. Hazard was fun ST, with doubles and jumps thrown in here and there but I think the real fun didn't start until you hit UPS/LPS.

Me coming up on a jump somewhere on UPS.

UPS is so much fun, it's full of everything you could ask for. Fast, flowy ST, technical lifts, jumps and hucks, technical DH sections. I couldn't believe how much jumping I did, the practice in the backyard really helped a lot. I was jumping off things that I may have rolled a year ago. I was feeling really solid on 3 foot drops, following behind Craig at times and just launching off of things he was doing. It was so much fun and I literally couldn't get enough of it.

Me decending the first half of the Notch somehwere on UPS/LPS. A steep, technical section.

Craig actually didn't want me to ride the Notch, but I couldn't help myself, I love this kinda riding and had to try. I almost knocked him off the rock as he was taking this picture, sorry! Halfway down the Notch at what I would say is the crux is a 3 or 4 foot drop/turn into a rooted and rocky section, I didn't ride this part, I think it's beyond my ability at this point in time. After the Notch the trail is steep and somewhat technical, my rear tire was surfing/skating back and forth, fun. At the bottom I reliezed that the soft talc like dirt was thinly covering the surface of slickrock below and that's what led to the surfing, deceptive!

Another of me in the Notch, it was dark in there.

I can't begin to decribe how much fun this entire ride is including Porky Proper which I've ridden multiple times before but not in this order. Everything had challanging sections and the views were awesome. We didn't take anymore pictures on this ride, having too much fun riding and changing way too many flats. We managed to get 6 pinch flats between the two of us, due to the rough, rocky terrain and loads of jumping, BTW did I mention the jumping, sorry. We came with what we thought was prepared, 3 tubes, 3 C02 cartridges, patch kit and a pump, we blew through it all and we had to depend on my ability to politly beg, borrow and not quite steal from the other kind folks riding that day. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I mean I haven't had a flat in months and it became rather comical near the end of the ride, we just couldn't help ourselves from going hard. Despite the misfortune this was the BEST ride of the year and should not be missed, I was so stoked at the end. Later at the LBS I asked the fellow selling us more tubes, etc if running tubeless tires on that type of trail was the way to go out here and he said no way, for that kinda riding most run a DH tire like a Minnion with a durable tube inside, next time we'll come prepared.

Moving on, day two...

We decided to ride something mellower the next day as Craig's brother Randy was with us, it was his 40th birthday on Sunday. He broke his back 6 months ago and is just starting to ride again. So we thought the Soveriegn Trail would be a good ride for him. Not too tough but still technical in spots with lifts and some good DH, he could pace himself. Randy did really well considering and enjoyed himself. Craig and I kept our eyes out for more jumps, and of course we found them, it is Moab.

Craig and Randy on Soveriegn

Craig on some skinny ST.

Randy too.

Ooh, look a jump, yea!

Yes, please!

Rooma, Zoom, Zoom!

We stopped at a favorite art panel along the river on our way out. Such a magical place!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

PW Rocks!

Craig, Jim and I headed up to Pinewood for a ride this afternoon, we did the original lollipop, about a two hour ride. It's a technical ride both up and down and keeps you focused on what's in front of you, I really like this particular variation of this ride.
The sun finally made it out and was shining strong today. The ground was nice and tacky from the recent snow fall, so the climbing was solid and spot on. The ride varied from late fall to early winter riding, with a light crust of snow here and there in the north facing sections of trail, nothing serious, kinda fun but it did make some of the logs and rocks very slick. I wondered if this might be the last ride up here before the trail gets settled into a thick layer of winter snow. Not another soul around..

Jim and Craig, Ellsworth Boys

Slick as snot log and rock pile.

Jim sailing through a twisty and technical section on the lolli.

Same spot, Craig taking it wide.

Me climbing up a rock pile.


Me, ready to jump, no shot of jump, camera missed the action..
This weekend Moab, Hazard County here we come!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Foot Prints in the Snow

We received our first snow of the season Saturday night and yesterday evening, about an inch, not much but enough to give everything a nice white coat and enough that footprints are easily left behind, Especially by all the critters out and about during the night. This morning I went down to start my truck and as I looked back up our driveway I saw one distinct set of prints that appeared to be a humans, who was walking about our driveway during the night? Then I got a closer look..

A pretty nice size bear print.

The two darker prints are bear, you can see some fox and my boot print as well, I wear a size 10 or 11 womens, so not a small print but it's not that much bigger than the bears.

By the size of the print which was about 4 inches long or so and about 3 inches wide, it was a big male, but I could be wrong. It was pretty cool to see as the bears should be hibernating soon. The prints looked so much like pretroglyphs I've seen of a bear print, very cool. There were also fox prints and small little ferrel kitty prints too. I wanted to take pictures of the view this morning as it was very lovely with bright blue skies and white blankets of snow but my camera's battery died after I took the footprint shots.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Weekend Weather

The weather looks cold and wet this weekend, not good for outdoor activity unless your a duck and not good for artwork activity unless somehow your art involves rain and coldness. This forecast is for Boulder, so it will be about 10 degrees colder at our house and the rain may be snow. If you plan to come visit me for Open Studios I'll have hot coco, chai latte and teas available as well as cookies, mmmmm.

Saturday: A slight chance of showers before noon, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between noon and 4pm, then showers likely after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 56. East wind between 3 and 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday Night: Rain likely, mixing with snow after 8pm. Cloudy, with a low around 34. Calm wind becoming north northwest around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Sunday: Rain and snow likely before 7am, then a slight chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 45. Calm wind becoming west southwest around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


My two favorite Aspens on our land before the cold and wind and wet come in and strip everything away.

This one stands alone but she has so much presence and her color is always brillant.

Grandmother Aspen. She's really big and powerful and tall, my favorite tree on our land.

Picture Rock

Craig, Jim and I met at 3PM yesterday in Lyons to ride the new and widely publicized Picture Rock trail. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so no pictures of Picture Rock and there were some very photogenic moments near the end of the ride with the sun setting and this golden light laying itself down over everything.
We had perfect weather as we rode up the trail, what a lovely canyon the trail ascends and the going is easy so it's a good warm up. I could see my friend Emma's house from the trail, lucky girl. The trail becomes rockier once you pass this old rock quarry, what I think was an old rock quarry perhaps just used by the old ranch that used to be there.
As we got closer to Wild Turkey the two trails seemed very much the same, good ST with stone pavers here and there, highly engineered switchbacks that anyone can ride and many rocks pointing this way and that to keep you from feeling to comfortable. We did the Wild Turkey loop and then descended Picture Rock, it wasn't a fast downhill, more up and down at times, couldn't get much speed going or flow as the trails snakes about and there is a lot of right away for ascending riders. The trail was busy on this evening. I'd say the best flow going down was the last section of ST back down the canyon but still you had to keep an eye out for other users.
All in all it was a good ride, very scenic and peaceful, nice to have more ST available in such a pretty place, it will be good for spring, winter and late fall riding. It will also be interesting to see how the trails develops with time and constant use. I think the variations I ride at Hall are more fun though and technical. It's good to have options.
Once back at the parking lot at the trail head a local kid, maybe 7 or 8 came up to us and began to tell us how "they don't want the parking lot here, why is it here?" He had some other strange questions but I assured him it would be fine and maybe someday soon he could ride the trail, but he said he was too young for that now. I guess his initial statement just shows how much controversy locally there was with this trail. I think it's a good thing and hope more trails are created for everyone to use.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Open Studios

I'm participating in Boulder Open Studios this year, haven't done it before but thought it might be a good way to make in-roads locally and it was a good excuse to clean the house really well. With Open Studios people come to your home and check out your studio and work, it's a tour really and many people buy the artwork displayed. There is a booklet of images of all the artists who participate and you can pick and choose who's studio you'd like to visit.
Craig and I set up my show booth out on the parking pad in front of the house at the top of the driveway, this way I have a handy place to display my work and it's not scattered throughout the house. Thanks for all your help Craig! From there folks can walk up the front steps into the downstairs where my studio is, so far so good. Here are some pics.

Booth Shot

Another view of the booth on the parking pad out front.

Inside shot of a work table in my studio, the window looks out front onto the parking pad and North towards Left Hand Canyon.

Another view in my studio, this smaller table is where a knead the clay and slab it. A small room in the downstairs portion of the house.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Backside

The Backside is what I call my local trail system that I can pedal from home to and access, it's literally a mile up the dirt road from my house. Thank God for local trails, ones that you ride a million times. I'm sure this trail has a number or something to identify it but I've always called it the Backside Trails because it's on the backside of our mountain. It's nice being able to just head out from the house, not drive anywhere, you can ride it as an out and back or as two different longer loops. It's also really peaceful and traveled infrequently but used consistently. I've seen a bear on this trail as well as pheasants, rabbits and dear and I've seen mtn. lion tracks as well. This trail has a way of soothing my nerves, it's north facing mostly so it stays cool in the dead heat of the summer and it has super views of the surrounding mtns and the Divide. It has enough technical moves to keep you happy but not worked, well the first and last section that I have to do to get home, which is about a mile, is tough climbing and will work you but also make you a stronger technical climber. Descending it is a full on DH run, yea! Sometimes I wish it wasn't the last piece/climb up to my house but I'm more grateful to have it then not. I can ride all the way beyond Peak to Peak on dirt road and trail if I wanted to, but I mostly do anything from 1 hour to a 2 hour ride on this trail network.

Starting down the old fire road.

Some skinny goodness.

Heading Up.

A technical section, don't fall to the left, it's a long way down.

Fun coming down but now I have to ride up it, loose, rocky and steep.

Climbing up, view to the NW over Lefthand.