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Monday, August 31, 2015

Solo hiking

"Be sure and send me a text when you get back to your car so that I'll know you're safe," Robin reminded me as I set off on yet another solo hike. I often hike alone, or take solo road trips in search of photos or mushrooms. However,  95% of the time these solo excursions are outside of cell phone coverage so I stick to well-marked trails, and always carry plenty of water, extra food, first aid kit, GPS, fire-starter materials, Leatherman multitool, space blanket, and whistle. I like to be prepared. And self-sufficient. But it is nice to know that someone cares, that someone will notice if I don't return as expected.

I recently took a spur of the moment road trip - and drove west into the mountains with no set itinerary, no reservations; au pif* (*au pif is a French expression for 'following my nose'). I ended up in the mountains near Aspen, Colorado. I lucked out and got the last campsite where I set up my tent on the soaking wet ground.

After my picnic dinner I was careful to store my food in the bear-proof container near the campsite.
The following morning I got up early and drove to Maroon Bells Lake to get some photos
And I was thrilled to see a bear on the way back to my campsite!
 Don't worry! I was in my car and black bears are far more afraid of us than we are of them! The cyclists were somewhat intimidated . . . . but the bear ambled back into the forest in search of berries shortly after I took this photo. And the cyclists continued their ride.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Traveling with Eric

My son Eric is here in Colorado for a short visit. He has been living in Hong Kong for the last few years and I don't get to see him very often - so I jumped at the chance to accompany him to Taos to visit with friends Bob and Martha who are Eric's publishers.

The trip from Boulder to Taos takes us through some beautiful, wild, and remote areas of Colorado. The shot below was taken on Poncha Pass at the northern end of the vast San Luis Valley. The San Luis Valley covers approximately 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2) and sits at an average elevation of 7,664 feet (2,336 m) above sea level.

The valley is filled with grass, rabbits, coyotes, elk, pronghorn antelopes and very few people. I was born in a small town in the southern corner of this valley, so each time I come back here it is like coming home for me.

And every moment that I spend with Eric is heaven.