Sunday, December 27, 2009

Outside is the best side

Craig heading up stream.

Craig and I went on three snowshoe hikes over the Christmas holiday, joined by his brother Randy as well on occasion. It was nice to be able to get out with Craig as he has been working a lot lately and being outside with Craig is just fun. We had some lovely snow as well recently and that made for beautiful conditions in the forests. We know of a few streams that freeze up pretty solid early in the winter and we like to meander our way up the streams, navigating obstacles and jumping quickly when the ice buckles or cracks under your snow shoes. The water below is only a few inches deep so there's no real concern but the snow shoes get heavy with ice if they get wet. What's really neat is the sound of the water echoing beneath the ice you're standing on, sometimes bubbling softly, sometimes thumping and drumming against the surface, sounding hollow, eerie. It's a lot of fun. Yea for winter and it's unique perspective..however I see some snow biking in my near future, I miss riding already and it's been less than a week.

Craig and I almost home..

It's been a lovely holiday for us, relaxing and full of activity of our own design. However it goes by so quickly, I wish I could slow it down somehow. It all just comes and goes and leaves you standing there wondering what just happened. And now we move on to a new year, with more adventure and memories to be had.

Craig, Me and Randy. What a lovely, cold day this was.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

May you have a Kick Ass Christmas and New Year!

Bike of Light, Winter Twilight looking North

Happy Holidays to everyone! Once again the winter holidays and solstice are upon us, hurray for the return of the Sun! Though I find the cold and snow appealing at this time of year, as it should be. There has been much snow biking, hiking and running, variety is good and winter gives that too me, all good things to feed the body and soul. I'm looking forward to eating some good food over the holidays, meaning GF cakes and cookies and roast beasts of some kind, oh yeah the Kielbasa and Pirogi will be a delight. Really, spending time out side of walls and being with friends and my little family is gift and blessing enough to me. A new decade is before us and I have intentions to kick ass in 2010 and I hope you do too. May all beings know love, kindness, inexplicable joy and peace in this moment and in this Holiday Season.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Beyond the Stars

She saw through the night by the light from her crown of stars by Amanda Blake

Two ideas that have been floating around in my mind lately have to do with the Stars, or more specifically the Universe and beyond as well as something called Noetic Science, the universe of the mind. Perhaps it's because the winter has been brutally cold lately and at night when it's clear the stars seem closer and more brilliant than usual. I lay in bed and look out at the deep inky black sky with its crystal like stars staring back at me and wonder. In the winter everything sparkles more brightly and that includes the stars we can see from our little spinning planet, how incredibly fast we spin in space, yet we can't feel it except for the movement of our skies and the passing of our seasons. How very far away these other suns and planets are from us yet must of them exist within the same galaxy as us, the Milky Way, which has a giant black hole at it's center, how exciting is that! And the idea of how much time it took for all of that light to travel to Earth so I could see it while laying in bed on a winter night, crazy!
"The light you are now seeing is around 25,000 centuries old and began its journey around the time of the dawn of human consciousness," says Joe Rao, SPACE.com's Night Sky columnist. "When it began its nearly 15-quintillion-mile journey earthward, mastodons and saber-toothed tigers roamed over much of pre-ice-age North America and prehistoric man struggled for existence in what is now the Olduvai Gorge of East Africa." I'm not an expert by any definition of the word when it comes to astronomy, so you'll have to excuse any mistakes I may unintentionally make. Craig and I will talk about these things from time to time. What blows me away is the possibility of it all, and how beyond our universe, there must be other universes. But where does it all stop or begin for that matter? We are one galaxy that exists in one universe, there are others, but what does our universe exist within, how far can we travel from the center out until we reach, well until we reach nothing?? I don't know but I like to think about these things, mostly because it blows my mind and puts life as we know it into perspective for me. Our existence is quite infinitesimal really. With that in mind I've become aware of the study of Noetic Science and the exploration of human conscience and it's ability to affect physical matter. It's quite exciting science really.
We live in exciting times, we as a culture think we know so much and we do know a lot but we certainly don't have it all figured out, there is much left to contemplate, understand and explore, I feel we've touched just on the tip of something incredibly vast, physically and mentally. The planet we live on exists within a vast wilderness that is almost completely uncharted, kickass! What is beyond our understanding right now might not always be, we'll see. There is much to learn grasshopper!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Binder

Clay tile by Jenny Mendes

About 9 or so years ago I began printing daily the email correspondence between my Mother and myself, this went on for a year, I put everything in a very large binder. I don't remember exactly what made me do this, perhaps it was because at the time I realized that my Mother's health had begun to decline for no particular reason, but I'm really glad that I did so. Now, when I need to "talk" with my Mom I go to the binder and read the emails, her emails to me and it's like she's right there again talking to me, her words, her style of inflection, her love, it doesn't matter that it was written so long ago, it could have been yesterday but it's these very conversations we shared as Mother and Daughter, as friends, that connect me to her now, how could I have known. This binder has become one of my most valuable and cherished possessions.
The holidays are upon us, my family is small, my memories are many and lovely with details. Cherish those memories and cherish the ones you love deeply now.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Row On!

Painting by Amanda Blake.

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream! Greatest song ever! (inspiration by Jim Carrey)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Supercoolhappylovething!

That's how I was feeling, rolling this weekend. Whether I'm riding my bike or not, when I'm outside, moving around, it's a love drug for my mind, a remedy for spirit. She's got everything I need.

I got to do some of this both days this weekend, off with myself, feeding my soul and what I found was that it needed it, the soul was hungry.

Think back to a happy time. A really, really happy time in your life. Go back as far as it takes, to a time when you felt so light you thought you might float.
Do you remember it? The carefree feeling? The acceptance of the moment, of yourself, of life? Feeling unfettered by thoughts of the future and oblivious to the past? That's what I'm talking about my friend, that time is NOW!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fearless..more or less.

Painting by Amanda Blake

Typically Fearless!! Eyes closed, full gallop, whooohooo'ing in and out of the stars! That's what I'm talking about!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Snowy Sunday

It snowed all night and today turning everything into a magical winter wonderland. A walk in the woods, a warm fire, tasty food, time in the studio. This is what winter is for.

Pine Grossbeak at the feeder. Such vivid color against a monochromatic landscape is startling.

Our wood cutting cabin.

This piece lets energy flow in and out at will which is best for wood cutting.

My favorite seat with snow.

Saint Lupus watching out for all us wild and domesticated dogs!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Coyote Ridge

Blue Sky looking North

I enjoyed a warm, dry ride out at Coyote Ridge and Blue Sky trails on Sunday with Emma. It had a little bit of everything, technical, fast and flowy, rock steps, climbing, descending, mileage and it was new to me interesting. It felt good to get out and away from my higher levels of stress lately, apparently I can still distract myself from my worries by riding my bike, in the way that children have the ability to spontaneously use their imagination to forget what's bothering them and be inspired by every pony, feather or bug that crosses their path.
Josy, our incredibly sweet and beloved 15 year old Border Collie has been a pretty sick pup lately and we've been nursing her back to health which has been up and down for the last 3 weeks. Every time we get one of her conditions or symptoms under control something else happens that needs attention and usually at 2AM in the morning. At 15 I think she has dodged a bullet so to speak yet I worry about her and everything, probably too much. Though a certain feeling or understanding has occurred to me lately about having animals. I've always had cats and dogs throughout my life and kinda don't completely understand people who choose not to have animals but over the last 4 years we have steadily lost one dear animal friend after another at a great cost in various ways. Each time seems to be harder and more stressful for me, to the point where I don't know if I can keep adding more animals to the mix, at most it will have to be one at a time (we have two dogs right now). Who knows, I may change the way I feel about all of this but for now, I'm worn out in more than one way. The riding does help though.

Sunny, trail bliss!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Emma's Big Day

Emma and Me on Emma's birthday...Happy 40th Birthday Emma. Friends like Emma only come a long once in a lifetime, so happy to have her in my life, she makes it so much fun and has always taken me for who I am. We've been the dearest friends for about 13 or 14 years now and she kills it on her bike as well, she doesn't let much hold her back. Rock On Emma!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Note from the Universe..and boots.

There are two things that came on my radar recently that felt true and interesting to me. The first is something that was emailed to me by a friend.
  • "It's got nothing to do with being a perfect, good-goody, selfless, sacrificing, spiritual saint, Blah! That whole characterization was meant for a different audience at a different time, and they really had issues. It's got everything to do with being yourself, trusting the magic, following your heart, dreaming big and having fun. Rock On!"
The other is a Mayan theory I read and it has to do with the acceleration of time. I've been noticing as the years go on that my life seems to be hurtling by at a ever faster rate of speed. This is one explanation (this is an excerpt from a really long and in depth explanation)
  • " We use a base ten system for calculating time, but the Maya used a vigesimal system, meaning base-twenty math. According to their calculations, each of the Nine Underworlds last for exactly one twentieth the time of the one it's built upon. For example, the seventh underworld, which started in 1755, is 256 years long. The Eighth Underworld , the one we're in now, started on January 5th, 1999, and will last for less then thirteen years-which is one twentieth of 256. The ninth and final underworld starts in February 2011 and will last 263 days. (When that one ends, a new form of human consciousness is expected to emerge and the Maya master calendar will be reset to zero. ) This is why it took 15 billion years for cells to develop but only about dozen for the Internet to take hold. If it feels like time is speeding up, well, it's because it is."
Something to think about...oh yeah and if the Universe is listening, I REALLY want these boots in a size 42, sweet!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Desert Bliss Part Two

These two videos were taken by Craig of myself at the entrance into Rock Stacker, or the entrance to the beginning of the technical sections of Rock Stacker. We met Sarah Jo and Gary from Boise, ID at this point, it was fun riding with them for a little bit but we soon parted ways as they were taking longer to session some features. Gary is the guy standing above me also shooting video and Sarah Jo is the person I pass. I really enjoy meeting new people out riding who are super stoked and psyched about things!


video

The first video is a roll down into a steep chute or notch and then into a chunky drop. It was intimidating to look at but fun to ride, sweet!



video

This second video is of myself riding the feature right after the stuff in the first video. You can't see at all how steep this roll in is as Craig wasn't standing in a very good location, but it's a 10' slab into a steep dirt and rock chute, once again a very fun and exhilarating section as you can tell by Craig and I's reactions, if you've been there you know what I mean. There were a group of 18 men mostly from TREK and one overwhelmed women in that group there as well, they were doing their 2010 product launch tour or something like that, a lot of nice bikes in that pack.

Desert Bliss Part One

Craig and I left Thursday evening for Rabbit Valley and our Desert riding/camping trip for our 15th wedding anniversary. It was just the two of us and Ringo on this trip, Craig and I were looking forward to a relaxed few days of being on our own schedule and out of touch.


Colorado River moving thru the Zion Curtain, the land between Utah and Colorado.

We pulled into Rabbit Valley late and got our bed ready in the back of the truck, we brought a thicker old futon this time with the hope that it would prove more comfortable, we're no spring chickens ya know. It worked perfectly, our hips and shoulders were happy each morning for the extra thickness. Friday dawned bright and sunny and we rolled out for a fun ride on the Western Rim trail before we drove on to Moab, an hour and half away.


Me heading out to the Western Rim Friday Morning.


Craig soaking in the wide open goodness.


Taking a break and enjoying the view. We had the whole place to ourselves that morning.

Craig goofing around on some slick rock off of Western Rim, there's a big drop of hundreds of feet just to the left, he was making really nervous!

We headed out after our ride for Moab, driving down the Beehive a long the Colorado River is one of my favorite roads anywhere. The views of Fisher Valley, Porcupine Rim and the Colorado River are awe inspiring even after almost 20 years of coming here. Saturday morning we had planned to be shuttled up to Burro Pass for the Whole Enchilada but snow earlier in the week put a kibosh on that plan and we were shuttled to Hazard instead. Burro Pass begins at 10,200' and climbs to 11,200' roughly, so you're up there and it is late October after all, maybe next year we'll get lucky with the weather. Hazard Down which includes UPS, LPS and Porcupine proper is one of my favorite top 5 rides anywhere. It has everything I love, fast and flowy DH, technical gnar and rocks, drops galore and short powerful bursts of climbing, in short it's awesome and it has incredible views.

Early morning shuttle. We were passed by all the others shuttles that morning, gotta love VW.


Craig and I forced ourselves to stop and take a break and enjoy the loveliness of Porcupine Rim with Fisher Valley below us.


Geared up and ready to rockin' rolla with Fisher Valley in the background.

It was such a lovely day and we had a great ride, once again not a lot of other people out. We even rode an alternate section that has been created in the last year called the Snotch, it's a alternate to the Notch which is a burly technical chute on LPS which I rode the top section of last year. The Snotch wasn't that hard to find to my surprise, it's actually very well worn in and someone had taken the Notch sign, yep there are wooden signs up there all over the place now that it's all legal, and placed it very professional like and securely by the Snotch entrance, even a few spray paint marks on the rock as well. Right now the Snotch is illegal but it seems like someone is trying to make it legal or at least visible, who knows what kind of monkey wrenching is a foot. At any rate it's a fun alternate, it has a technical and challenging switchback entrance that I nailed on my second attempt and then an impossible unless you're a trails rider or the kid at the bike shop, second switchy with a drop. I saw a bumper sticker in Moab on a local truck that said The Best Trails are Illegal, Ha!

Another view of Fisher Valley. If I only had wings!


Fun drop, about 3' with an awesome fast, blind entrance. Yahoo! There's are so many drops like this on Porci of varying heights, it's ridiculous.

If you've ever riddin Porci you know where this is. Craig (sorry I cut your head off) dropping 5' or so to flat. Harsh landing!

By the end of the ride are faces hurt from smiling big but I had noticed that the pivot point where my rear shock attaches to my frame was loose, noticeable movement, so I took my bike to Chili Pepper when we rode back into town to have them change the bearings. Unfortunately once they had the axle out they couldn't get it back in and they didn't have a new one, DOH! Oh no, what does this mean, no bike? Plan B, the friendly people at Chili Pepper gave me a Norco Fluid LT to demo for my Sunday ride, sweet! Thank you, thank you!

Sunset on the La Sals from Camp. We had started our ride on Hazard up there earlier in the day.


Ringo the Dingo loving the desert.

Sunday we headed over to Amasa Back TH to ride Amasa, Rock Stacker, Jackson back down to the river. We hadn't ridden this succession of trails before so it was a new adventure. I just knew from reading and word of mouth that Rock Stacker and Jackson offered up some technical rocky riding, I was excited to check it out, especially with the Norco.

Top of Amasa with the Norco. Great bike, a little sluggish of a climber but that could be helped with some modifications, a Fox fork to replace the Marrazochi to begin with and a DHX with a pro pedal in the back.


Phantasmagoric landscape from atop Amasa.

We didn't stop much on Rock Stacker and Jackson to take pictures, it was too fun and we were concentrating on our lines too much to stop. Craig took two videos of me which are in Desert Bliss Part Two. The Norco with its 6" of active suspension was a fantastic bike to ride on Rock Stacker and Jackson, it loved the technical gnar and sped a long effortlessly for the most part. I'm glad I had the chance to demo this bike and it's seriously in contention on my new bike frame list. It seemed durable and burly as well which for someone like me who is hard on their gear is necessary.


Craig finding his way down Jackson.

We had a great little holiday, perfect weather, relaxed, indulging ourselves a bit, staring up at the stars during the night, watching the sunset and rise with no concern for anything else, for schedules or appointments. We went at our own pace, rode hard and fast, tried new things, rode new lines, got dirty and a little banged up and blissed out with smiles all the way. BTW, best Chai latte ever and Breakfast Burritos in Moab are at the Love Muffin, YUM!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

15 Years Strong..

October 22nd is Craig and I's 15 year wedding anniversary, here's to much more love, adventures and friendship!

Young Pups! Craig and I with Josy and Root in Joshua Tree, CA. I think this was our honeymoon trip, Josy and Root are pups, this is when we were climbing bums.

We'll be going away to the desert for our anniversary this year, as we always do, bikes and camping gear in tow. Some down time spent just the two of us doing what we love, wandering around, being in the moment.

Fast forward 15 years and we're still having an adventure, even if it's a slightly wet and cold one on the 401 in Crested Butte, CO.

Some thoughts on love...

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
Friederich Nietzsche

Love is like a campfire: It may be sparked quickly, and at first the kindling throws out a lot of heat, but it burns out quickly. For long lasting, steady warmth (with delightful bursts of intense heat from time to time), you must carefully tend the fire.
Molleen Matsumura



Sunday, October 18, 2009

Falls Return..

Us silly kids out enjoying a beautiful Colorado fall day

Fall returned this weekend. It's been an exceptionally chilly and somewhat wet autumn for us so when the forecast this weekend was for sun and warmth I became excited for a long ride and I was free from my obligation the last two weekends of Open Studios. So a small group of us friends decided to get high (oh come on!) and go big west of Peak to Peak on our bikes. We even found some snow at one point, we're on borrowed time at these elevations but so what, it's all good.

Paige cresting a climb.


Wow, what can I say but where's the circus?

Craigers!

Paige and Craig blissed out from the riding. We had such a good time out there. Most of my pictures are from when we were stopped enjoying a snack or the view, we did actually ride though.


James Peak I believe in the distance. It never gets old living in Colorado.


Emma taking a break and the bikes too..


There's snow in them thar hills! Eddie is so ready and excited to carve some turns up thar as well.


Look, there's some snow. Paige and Randy pushing up a long, steep ascent.


Emma and Me, enjoying each other's company.

This Thursday we leave for Utah and the desert, it will be Craig and I's 15th wedding anniversary, holy shit, I'm old! That may deserve it's own post all together. We're looking forward to getting away, wandering around, getting red dirt in our ears and riding our bikes up and down and all over. We plan to hit up some epic riding in Moab, taking the dingo and camping with the truck. Just the way we like it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Artober

Painting by Elsa Mora

Another blog that I enjoy belongs to artist Elsa Mora, I so enjoy her artwork, it's playful and a little strange, she's very talented in so many different ways and she's also a positive ray of light. So because it's meaningful to me I've borrowed some images and ideas from her site because I wanted to share them with you.

"Life challenges are not supposed to paralyze you. They're supposed to help you discover who you are". Bernice Johnson Reagon

I've been getting out, riding quite a bit and starting to do my fall/winter running as well, mostly by myself which is fine and normal for this time of year. Our daylight is fading quickly each day and fall is turning into winter even faster. It seems like we had two days of sun filled fall and the rest has been unusually cold and wet, what will the winter be like I wonder? No matter, it is what it is. My free time this past weekend was taken up by Boulder Open Studios Tour, which I'm participating in again this year. It will run again this weekend, both days, Noon till 6PM and noone will come as it will be snowing and cold. This will be my last year doing Open Studios, the format doesn't work well for me, hardly anyone comes up, I think I'll organize my own Studio Sale in the future for my local clients on my mailing list. For those who did stop by, thank you.

Detail..

Some thoughts on Love....

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. Helen Keller

If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Mother Teresa

The heart has eyes which the brain knows nothing of. Charles H

The best things in life aren't things. Art Buchwald