Thursday, August 29, 2013

Independence Pass

Not from the trip mentioned below but paddling Spikebuck rapid on the Ark at 1600 CFS earlier that spring.  Full beard, ponytail and cooly chewing on a toothpick through the drop.
I am in Aspen today.  I finally made it.  Yesterday was rough and towards the end, getting out of COS was starting to look iffy and I ended up leaving about an hour later than I wanted to.

But the drive over wasn't bad... once I got going.  Drove over independence pass and had to try to remember the last time I had done that...

It was a long time ago.  A really long time ago.  July twentyish, 1998 is in the ballpark.  My friend Kirk and I had just spent the better part of the week on the west slope kayaking on the Colorado from the dam in Glenwood Canyon all the way to New Castle and parts in between.  We had also been hitting the Roaring Fork and Fryingpan rivers as well.  Boat, eat, sleep in the back of the truck, repeat.

We were coming back over Independence Pass towards BV... drinking Natural Light which we were putting salt and lime juice into.  Seems the whole trip either Blues Traveler (Live From the Fall) or Widespread Panic was being played on the truck stereo.  It was hotter than hell that week too I remember. 

It was on that trip that I introduced him to Pancho's in Buena Vista.  He approved.

I can't count how many lifetimes ago that was for me... I only had one more serious year of boating in me after that as it was about a year later that the accident happened up on upper Clear Creek which sort of changed boating for me forever.  Coming but a whisper shy of death on the water is a life altering event but that is another story.

But I was a different person then and I guess that is really the point of this ramblefest... just thinking back... Lord I was naive and probably 95% damned wrong when it came to my understanding and assumptions of life.  But even in being wrong, there is a raw certainty of beliefs and a determination that came with that age in time for me.  It is that certainty and confidence of a young man that I am really wishing I had more of now as I stand on the precipice of this major life transition.

That was also the year that I ran the PPM for the first time.

A decade and half later I am sitting in Aspen at my keyboard and I can see the ski hill out the window as I type.  The apartment here is small but so, so awesome.  It is every bit as awesome and as cool of a space as my cottage is behind my house in COS, just nicer... (You can tell Melissa has put her touch on things for sure.)

I haven't written much about this transition or move and I haven't talked to too many about it except for those in my most inner circle of friends and family.  Only a handful have an idea of  how I am processing this whole concept.  The last two months of Leadman proved to be a great distraction as I didn't  have to worry about "all of this" until afterwards.  Well now it IS after and "all of this" is now here.

I don't know when I will be here full time.  Right now it is every other week.  I really don't want to move without the benefit of getting RIF'd from my current job.  I volunteered for the last one but was a week or too late getting my name submitted.  I am guessing the next round of layoffs will be in December which is pretty standard for that company.  My boss already knows I want out.  I spent too many years to not walk away without a severance package.  A package which will be a nice little bundle to help me become more established here.  But it might come to the point where I have to forget the package and just make this move happen... (This is where the blind ambition and drive of my former 30 year old self would come in handy right now. )

I decided a few weeks ago to not sell my house and cottage but to rent them out instead.  Better to have that cashflow than to sell quickly and not gain the maximum profits on the property.  There are other reasons too... a fall back position if we need it... and it is an asset that would go to Annie if anything happened to me while she is still in school at CSU.

Regardless I still have to move and I have tons of stuff that I need to get rid of, give away, or just sell.  But there is so much that I don't want to get rid of.   Just the thought of that process is overwhelming and has me frozen in my tracks damned near.  I know it is all stuff but some of that stuff is very important... DVD's and CD's I can get rid of but I'll be damned if I part with any of my photo albums or portraits of Annie as she was growing up or anything that I was lucky enough to get from my grandfather's before they passed away.  I hate the idea of culling my library even more... again...

And then... what do I do as a job once I am here?  More questions... 

I need a plan.  But Anyway...

Ran yesterday for the first time since Leadville.  Slow and some things still hurting, well not hurting but uncomfortable.  Tight, sore and still recovering.  I have my bike up here and am planning a longish ride on Saturday and a decent run on Sunday hopefully.  I also plan to run today and tomorrow Friday as well... those will be short runs with me just doing recon of the local area trails and town.  But definitely nothing serious planned yet... still weeks away from that.

Awesome video...


  1. Word is... March, not December or January. According to the great rumor mill. Tony H.

  2. Filling up a dumpster now, actually taking a mental break. Hard work but so worth it to lighten the load and remove from material attachments- of course I am keeping my bikes, that goes without saying!