Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy New Year...early!

I trust everyone's Christmas was enjoyable with time for family, Santa Claus, gifts, and time spent with your loved ones.  Karen and I spent the holidays in Colorado - we enjoyed Happy Hour at the Southern Sun Wednesday afternoon to "convince" fellow hop-heads that Karen does in fact exist, completed last minute Christmas shopping on the 24th, wandered around LoDo for a traditional Christmas complete with carolers, a horse drawn carriage and HOT coffee at The Market and then to Breckenridge for snowshoeing, hot tubbing and relaxation.  All in all a nice time!

So 2010 in 4 days.  Am I the only one who can't believe its been 10 years since Y2K?  Seems like yesterday but I know it's not.  So where were you in 2000?  Did you party like its 1999?  Me - I spent the 2000 celebrations at friends home for a little champagne, decorating champagne flutes, watching the ball drop in London, Sydney, Moscow and New York.  The lights didn't go out, the computers kept on crunching numbers, planes kept flying and all was good in the world.

So 2010 in 4 days.  I will be in Albuquerque, NM visiting Karen and the boy for the holiday.  We're not sure how many days or which day we'll have the boy but it will be a bit of Christmas and New Year's all in one.  A mini-bottle of champagne, good wine, good brew, good friends - what more does one need for a New Year's Eve?  As my dad used to say New Year's Eve is "the night for amateurs" - not sure which night is for "professionals!"  I'm staying off the roads that night!

So 2010 in 4 days.  Do you have a list for New Year's resolutions?  Me - don't believe in them.  Plan to keep on running (2 half marathons scheduled), keep on working out at Fitness 19, keep on climbing 14ers (10 new ones planned - 49 out of 53 completed by next years end), keep on teaching for ESRI, and keep on sharing my life with Karen.

So 2010 in 4 days.  Enjoy!  Have fun!  Celebrate!  Live!  And Climb on!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dear Santa...

It's been a long time since I mailed you a letter to the North Pole - been busy growing up to be an adult. traveling for work this past week, playing in the mountains as much as possible and missing Karen as always.  I'm sure you're busy with letters from the world's children and making sure those elves are working hard in the workshop for the big event in 6 days.  But I'd like to throw another letter on the pile with my "toy" request.

So without further adieu, here's what I'd like:
  1.  World Peace - is that possible?  It's the 21st century and we're killing each other over religion, oil, natural resources, territory...and...and...enough!  YOU!  Go to your corner until you can play nice.
  2. An undivided country.  We're still playing red states versus blue states in politics.  It's enough to drive one crazy hearing media entertainers such as Limbaugh, Glenn Beck on the "right" side and the "drive-by" media on the other spout their respective jabberings.  We're all Americans, aren't we?  Aren't we...
  3. An end to homelessness.  While you're reading this blog update, someone's sleeping on a steam grate attempting to stay warm.  Why is that?
  4. An end to hunger.  We're the richest nation in the world, yet people starve every day.
  5. A real plan for climate change in Copenhagen.  Whether one believes in global warming or not, isn't it enough to reduce one's impact for future generations rather than being hell bent on the here and now and damn the rest.
  6. An end to reality TV and a beginning of reality living.
  7. A new year, a new beginning - commit to make a difference in someone's life whatever it may be.
  8. That my "Imperial Stout" to be bottled on 12/20/09 turns out to be the best homebrew to date!!!
  9. More snow in the Colorado high country - it's been a while since we've had a "major storm event."  Bring it on!
  10. A Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, Kwanzaa, Hannukah, Winter Solstice, or whatever one's call this time of the year - make it a great one!
That's it too much?  If so, then pick the best one of the list, I know it will make a difference to someone, somewhere.  Climb on Santa!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Snowy Birthday!

December 12, 2009 - I'm officially 43 years of age - simply amazing!  What's amazing about that you may ask?  Well to me age is just a number but honestly I can't identify with the fact that I'M that number.  So what did this new 43 year old do for his birthday?  Uncle Bud's Hut near Leadville, CO!

The 10th Mountain Division Hut System is a network of "huts" that folks may snowshoe/cross country ski to in the winter time or hike/mountain bike to in the summer months.  See the 10th Mountain Division hut page for details about the history, maps, memberships, and reservations for details!

Every year around this time, my friend Scott Olmer, reserves a hut for the annual Christmas hut trip.  Attendees are "required" to bring a dish for Christmas dinner - think a fully cooked turkey, fresh cranberries, potatoes, stuffing, etc brought up by folks with backpacks as well as a "white elephant" gift for the gift exchange.  This year Scott reserved "Uncle Bud's" hut - about a 6 mile trip one way from nearby Leadville, CO.  The weather was forecasted to be in the low 20's with blowing snow - as it turned out.  Our group made the hut anywhere from 3-5 hours based on fitness level, pack weight, etc. and enjoyed excellent hor d'oevres, wine, Christmas dinner and concluded the evening with the boys excusing themselves to the outside porch (temps in the 'teens) for cigars and Scott's homemade bourbon!

Sunday morning came promptly with a 7 AM "sunrise" of sorts and steadily falling snow at 11,380'.  The stoves warmed for coffee and modified breakfast burritos minus the burrito shell and eggs (the person responsible for these items failed to show!)  Afterwards, I had to leave to return to Denver to catch a 6:38 PM United flight to Redlands, CA for work...which is where I am tonight updating the blog.  All in all, a nice birthday!

Next up...Mt. Silverheels possibly this weekend as well as finishing up Christmas shopping!  Climb On my friends!