We drove up Boreas Pass with Seth & Holly yesterday to look at the awesome fall colors. I think we were about a week too late for the peak of aspen season but they were pretty great anyways. I love the smell (eau de rotting leaves)…
Also, I edited these photos while listening to “Songs in the Key of Life” on the record player which is probably why they look so warm & happy.
Posted: September 23rd, 2012
, fall colors
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Posted: September 17th, 2011
Comments: 1 Comment
When John and I were in the woods this week, we spent some time talking about why we like backpacking.
I said that I like the aspect of immersing myself in nature and breaking away from the patterns of normal life. You get to spend some time with yourself, and each other (because J is my awesometrustybackpackingpartner) at a pace that is defined by when the sun sets and rises, and how long it takes to get from one stream to the next. It is really cool to be immersed in a great conversation about math/science/education/philosophy/pine beetles and then all of a sudden you have to go up a big hill so you hike in silence for the next hour, just existing in the rhythms of your footfalls and absorbing the landscape around you. Or maybe it rains (pours) and you are cold so you stay cozy in the tent and fall asleep right at dusk, and that feels really rather natural. Or you wake up early and watch the mountain goats playing on the rocks above the alpine lake (that you swam in yesterday in an act of bravery). You just sit, and observe, and laugh when the fish jump so high out of the water that they catch air.
I also admit that I quite like the survival aspect of being out in the wilderness for multiple days at a time. Everything we need is on our backs, and in an effort to keep those packs light, we pare down to just the necessities. It turns out that human beings do just fine with some food, clean water (katadyne + waterfalls FTW), a method of keeping dry/warm, a way to boil water, and very little else except clean underwear (a definite necessity in my book), and the latest addition to our gear, a bear vault (which only kind of eased my total bear phobia but it was helpful to keep organized and made for a nice chair).
For John, the answer was more simple. It’s about the hiking. Putting one foot in front of the other and letting them take you to super special places you wouldn’t otherwise get to experience. He’s totally right, of course. Hiking is both the reason, and the method, and the excuse for getting to experience all of this:
Posted: August 17th, 2010
Categories: things i like
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Note: tight fitting lid with carbon filters recommended for steps 1–3
- At the height of citrus season in mid-January, grow lazy and “forget” to take out compost pail for three weeks (“it’s cold!”).
- Discover frightening black wiry mold growing over grapefruit remains, and quickly close lid of pail. Call off composting of veggie scraps until spring.
- Leave pail on counter until late March.
- Decide that you should not leave the pail on the counter while you go on a spring break trip to sunny Florida, just in case the contents of the pail decide to make a break for it while you are gone.
- Set the pail on the back porch for the last few snowy weeks of the year until mid-April and the start of gardening season.
- Grow disillusioned with trying to pull up the Lambs Ear that you planted two summers ago, despite the warnings from Grandma Alice (“it’s like a weed! it spreads!”).
- Meander over to the compost pail and lift the lid.
- Become intrigued by the foamy, mushrooming substance inside the pail.
- Decide to pour the contents of the pail into your black compost bin, which is full to the top of brown, dry garden waste from last fall.
- Marvel at the way you can still identify a few carrot tops and an onion skin at the bottom of a pile of sludge.
- Cringe at the smell wafting up from the anaerobic pile of toxic slime.
- Decide to use the compost aerator to “mix in” the slime and encourage breakdown of existing brown matter.
- Remember that your compost bin is precariously bound together with zip ties, and poke the mass of disgustingness gently.
- Pull out the hose and apply water to both the bin and the pail, the latter of which clearly needs to be left out in the sun to “air out”.
- Stir a bit more vigorously, until you realize that flecks of vomitous wretched goo have landed on your left arm.
- Run away quickly as an angry wasp tries to find out why you have poisoned his home with putrid citrus matter.
- Return broken lid to bin, and secure in place with heavy rock.
- Debate with John about whether to call the environmental protection agency.
- Shower (extra soap required).
- Wait for your compost to turn into a lovely, rich pile of organic goodness!
Posted: April 18th, 2010
Comments: 1 Comment