Twiring about Twitter

"Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers.

Goodness me, what would we do without Tweets? I don't know…maybe meet a friend for tea and talk in real life. Or just do something for us, without requiring constant acknowledgement from the outside world? Someday I will take the time to analyze the world of Facebook, Twitter, Typepad and Blogspot. And it probably won't be a kind analysis. An interesting observation, maybe the opposite about what some think of me. The less I blog, the more content I am. The constant need for outside attention strikes me as a lack of contentedness.

Funny story. Well, not really. Last fall I went on a hike up Longs Peak. I'd been reading some Ed Abbey and was in this sort of cantankerous, misanthrope place. Anti-technology, ready to just live and not broadcast it to the world. So I killed my Facebook page and my old blog, offcamber.com, that day.

Next thing I knew, people are wondering where I am, thinking I'd lost my mind. Not really, I just didn't want to shout out my life to the world constantly in 12-point font. I think I'll stop blogging all together soon, as well as Facebook. I've got everything I need, and it doesn't require these internet social networks. If you want my story once that happens, you'll have to buy the book! 

Trail running

A good day. Used my REI divident check to pick up a sweet pair of La Sportiva Crosslite Mountain Running shoes, and then went for a run/hike up the Saddle Rock trail to the top of Green Mountain, down the back canyon way, up over Flagstaff Mountain via the Ute Trail and then down the Flagstaff Trail and finally the Scenic Overlook Trail which pops out at Eben G Fine Park. Getting back into a car free lifestyle, only this time instead of wheels I'm using my feet – walking up 9th street from Canyon and then looping it back to Canyon to catch the bus home. All the while crossing a pretty cool mountain range and getting fit. Tomorrow I hope to figure out the bus that takes you closest to Eldorado Springs and do the trifecta – South Boulder Peak, Bear Peak and Green Mountain.

I've decided I need something to train for. And that something will be the Imogene Pass Trail Run on September 11th. Since Montezuma's is officially dead, it looks like the most mountainous summer endurance event I can find (I can't do 100 milers yet – I'm just getting into running and would hurt myself. But 17 miles is doable). It's fun to pick up a new sport and I'm looking forward to some big runs in the Indian Peaks when the snow melts out, traversing the divide. Come to think of it, moving quickly in the mountains is kind of what I'm best at, and I have been since my parents let me loose on a heather covered hill outside Edinburgh, Scotland when I was five years old. I still remember it – the thing kept going up and I would not stop until I reached the top. Some things never change. Took me long enough to figure that out.

Profil1

Snow returns

I was getting into a pretty good pattern of hiking every day and then – WHAM – the mother of storms hits. Well, maybe not the mother of all storms (we'll reserve that for that 2003 seven-foot storm) but a good solid two feet dropped in one evening. It was one of those that was so deep you are kind of snowed in, so it's perfect for that classic wintertime activity – bust out the BC nordic skis and blaze trails. It's good and deep out there, and probably will be until Monday or Tuesday when things will warm up again and we can start hiking in earnest again. Between cutting trails through two feet of snow, shoveling the walkway and doing wood runs for fires (and toss in a little time on the climbing wall board) it's pretty easy to stay fit during these times when the snow falls heavy.

I picked up a pair of Kahtoola micro spikes last week. Basically, they are these lightweight cleats that go over the soles of your shoes. I honestly can't believe I never tried them till now. They are simple awesome. Green Mountain trail has lately been the equivilant of the Montreal Canadians hockey rink tilted on a sharp angle lately, yet these derby up it like no tomorrow. And going down is actually easier than in the summer, because the snow offers some forgiveness and the spikes track amazingly. Basically, it's like summer hiking when the snow conditions are hard pack, which is pretty common here.

Aura

I recently checked out this book, upon the advice of a friend, entitled "life colors." The general gist of it is something like this – basically, you answer a series of questions, and, based on those questions, your "aura" color is determined. And then, based on your color, it gives you a series of professions that would suit you. Yes, my friend did go to Naropa, and there is a certain hippy, crystal wearing element to the book (but hey, I do wear an "Ohm" necklace and a blue stone necklace of which the name slips me at this instant…so in a sense, I fit the bill.)

Anyway, I took this quiz and got some interesting results. My color, it turns out is yellow. Same as Mel Gibson and Michael Jordan. According to the quiz, yellow people are the most fun-loving, free-spirited, energetic and childlike personalities in the spectrum. We're sensitive and we try to bring joy to other people. We're funny. And, not surprisingly, most yellows would "not work at all" if they did not have to. We love nature and the environment, but we can also be stubborn and rebellious. Finally, we suck with money and are a bit afraid of commitment in a relationship. Last but not least, health is a priority for us – we'll drop most everything to stay fit.

I gotta say, it kind of hit the nail on the head. But what of employment opportunities? Well, it turns out yellows are good at quite a few things:

  • Athlete
  • Surfer
  • Laborer
  • Lifeguard
  • Firefighter
  • Gardener
  • Bodybuilder
  • Auto Mechanic
  • Designer
  • Bartender
  • Park ranger
  • Waiter/Waitress
  • Conservationist
  • Comedian
  • Artist
  • Musician (especially drummer)
  • Writer
  • Chef
  • Interior decorator
  • Healer
  • Doctor
  • Nutritionist
  • Vet
  • Physical therapist
  • Massage therapist
  • Maintenance worker

…and last but not least, my favorite: Court jester of the world.

So that's a lot of options. And while some sound appealing, like "surfer" or "auto mechanic" the truth of the matter is there is one of these that I have the skills, not to mention the schooling, to really do. That being, "writer." I used to think I did not have enough life experience to be a writer – basically, I felt I had nothing to say, nothing to measure my own life up against. I can honestly say I no longer feel that way. I think I have a shit ton to write about, and if I ever get the cajones up and lay it all out there, for public consumption…oh what a novel it will be. But I diverge. Basically, through all the rigmarole – the quiz had a decent solution.

I've been hiking a lot lately. Yesterday my friend Sam and I came up with the uncanny and somewhat silly idea to skin up Green Mountain in Boulder and ski down. I asked him on facebook Friday night how much snow they got in Boulder and he answered "18 inches." Sam is a funny guy, and I was a bit surprised when I arrived at the park below the Flatirons (I call it this because I never can spell that word correctly) and found, maybe six inches of snow on the ground. Thank goodness for rock skis.

Sam made me laugh harder than I have in some time when he showed up with his pack and proceeded to pull out a harness with a mini rack, a helmet, an avalanche beacon and an ice axe. The contrast between Sam and the typical Sally-homemaker walking her golden retriever, talking on her cell phone sporting a pair of Yaak Tracks was…well, it was funny.

We proceeded up, in a very pilotesque manner – lots of over-the-top humor flowing. Skied into the park and noticed some high school kids sledding down on flying saucers. Of course we ripped skins and laid down some fat tracks right next to them, me in my normal ski gear, Sam looking like he was about to climb Gasherbrun VI. Onward to the Green Mountain trail. Interestingly enough, this thing is steep. And this was when we learned a thing or two about skins.

I use the old school, Black Diamond orange skins. They work. The glide is shit, but if you need to go up a heinous skin track, there is nothing better. Sam, on the other hand (and I forgot to mention, before the ski Sam completed his first ever "hot yoga" class…nothing like a little severe dehydration before skinning…ahem…up 2,700 feet) was sporting the ever so fancy "mohair" skins. I have heard about Mohair skins and most of what I have heard has been good. Lighter, easier to fold, glide better. And absolutely, positively, horrible for skinning up the Green Mountain Trail. I could have applied a thick layer of extra blue Swix and had better luck than Sam was having. About halfway up, he just said to hell with it, and tossed his skis on his back. I plodded along, and came to the quick realization that skinning, no matter how fit you are, is slower than said golden retriever walker in a pair of Yaak Tracks. A hike that normally takes me a shade under an hour took a solid two.

The ski down Green Mountain was…heinous. Type two fun for sure. It's a minor miracle neither of us cracked our skulls open or popped an ACL, but alas we made it down relatively intact. I don't think there was one turn where I did not hit some sort of root or rock, and I had the oh so fun experience of sliding down a rock cliff upside down and landing on my back on some more rock. And it didn't even really hurt. Definitely a shit show, but it was kind of fun. And hey, how many people can say they have skied down Green Mountain? Not many, with good reason. I'm sure the skiing at Moffatt Tunnel was delectable, but we were after adventure, and we got it.

Went back today. Hiked (not skied) up Green Mountain and had a blast. Looped back down and traversed over to Flagstaff and found a trail I have never been on before, that basically drops out at Eben G Fine Park. A pretty RTD friendly hiking route for me I must say.

Hiking I think is my favorite activity. Oh, I love skiing, and biking will always have a soft spot in my heart, but walking is the source of it all. Skinning is basically hiking. You see more when you hike, and when you hike uphill your body gets strong and your soul stronger. Hiking is an interesting term, and I wonder often when walking becomes hiking? Walking seems more simple, and as my goal is to, like the Patagonia t-shirts say, "Live Simply," I plan to do a lot of walking in the coming days, weeks and months.

Funk over

It's strange, but that cross country ski had a weird affect on me. Or maybe it's cause it's warm and it's spring and it's time. But for the first time since…well…I left the Wind Rivers on September 19th…doing something. Let basically getting on with life again. I think I'm going to walk Stella early this morning. And then I'm going to pump up those tires and bike to Boulder. And then take care of shit that I've been putting off cause I've been in a funk for the past seven months. And applying for or creating a job at a place I want to be, doing things I am naturally very good at. And finish it off with a run up Green Mountain, cause I can. OK. I've been waiting for this to happen. Many of the vials of life have refilled for me, fuller than ever. And, now – it's the taking care of the self part that I need to focus on for a bit here.