Friday, December 11, 2009

Mt Elbert

We hiked this beast in September, as Autumn was just beginning to reveal itself. There was a sprinkling of snow at the peak and some rain on the way down, but a spectacular day overall.

Factoid: Second highest mountain in the contiguous US = Mt. Elbert at 14,443ft

Eyes on the prize...
Up. and up some more.
aaannndd....we're there! That was easy! Misty view at the top.
Carl looking for the next cairn.The Soob pulled some wicked maneuvers to get us to a secluded camping spot close to the trailhead.
More gorgeous country on the drive home. Near Leadville.
Bagged another one :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Summer Sojourn (II)

At the end of August I "quit" my job (where I am still working to this day) and spent close to a month with the fam! It was probably way too long for them, but I enjoyed myself.

Our first major event, in celebration of 2 August birthdays (me and dad), was a fancy dinner in Laguna Beach followed by an evening at Pageant of the Masters. The show, for interested parties out there, is a series of live recreations of famous works of art on stage. The creators use special makeup, costume and lighting techniques to make the recreation look 2-dimensional and they are spectacular at it. Each year they feature a new theme and "The Muse" this year featured works by Gauguin, Dali, Monet and others.

No cameras allowed inside, but here are some hellions before the show... Next we headed out desert-way and made a pit stop at this insane racetrack where we were made to drive way too fast in unforgiving heat with little in the way of protective comforts for our bones and skin and other vital bits. They did supply us with jackets. and helmets. But none of this helped me feel less like I would crash and die if I didn't slow to a crawl around every turn. Wimp alert! Dad and Allie must have gotten extra-padded jackets because they didn't seem to take issue with the 60 mile-per-hour-ness of the whole experience. Phoebe had the handicap excuse of having no driving experience, and I tried the "slow car" defense, but in the end had no choice but to wallow in my chicken soup.

See for yourself. Lucky to be alive I tell ya.

Our destination for the day was this oasis in the middle of Palm Desert. There were parrots and other conversational birds in the lobby. Talking with them was fun at first, but this guy entranced me in a stare-down that was just plain creepy. By the end he had convinced me that he had a soul and was tired of our tourist games. It was weird.
We spent time lounging by the pools and enjoying Palm Desert, and made a day trip to conquer Mt. San Jacinto. The day went like this: depart resort (elev. 220ft), drive to the tramway station (elev. 2,643ft), ride the aerial tram to the trail head (elev. 8,516ft), hike, summit the peak (elev. 10,834ft), then reverse. Booya!

Our final stop on the journey was the grandparent's timeshare condo in Sedona, AZ. This has become an annual trip for whomever can make it.
I love going. Sedona is beautiful.
This year Dad rented a Jeep and ohmygosh.itwasfun. I am generally anti-motorized vehicles (dirt bikes, trucks, ski mobiles, etc) on any wilderness trail because the sound of revving motors just doesn't jive with my nature/solitude/get-away-from-people time. And I have been specifically anti-Jeep after Carl and I spent an entire week of Spring break one year competing with Jeepers Creepers on the mountain biking trails of Moab. I found, however, as I sat behind the wheel of the armored behemoth, hikers really are the bigger small and slow...

Out of the way hippies! This is my trail.
great trip.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What the...

We got hit with "the worst October storm in 12 years" last week. This week's forecast? 70s on Thursday.

Mother Nature...the games you play....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Summer Sojourn (I)

Somehow all the Bauers and Bauers-by-association came together in the same place at the same time this summer! The place: Gig Harbor and vicinity. The time: August. The haps: games, lake, kayak flipping, computer building, wood pile relocation, bocce ball, food.

Now I see that we were too busy doing stuff to take pictures. But, we work with what we have, so here ya go:

Lakeside bonding.A glimpse of Neena's garden. Lovely, even at the tail-end of summer...Somebody give this guy a hand! Oh wait, he didn't need help. In fact, Henry even conquered a section of swift moving water, paddling alone. What a pro.
And..we saw the ACTONS! Our dear friends Orb and Ali trekked out from Seattle for dinner and fun one night. It was the first time I (Tory) had seen their cute kiddo, Aurelia. So fun!See? Not many pictures. The trip was longer than a day, I swear. And it was great. But you'll just have to take our word for it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

More Spring/Summer Snowtales

This June ski trip was with my good friend and fellow physics grad student, Adam Light. The destination was North Star Couloir which streaks off of South Arapaho Peak. I really enjoyed this trip as it was my first experience using crampons and an ice axe. I've been on several steep, very icy slopes with snowshoes or just snowboard boots and was usually scared out of my mind. It's hard to enjoy the climb when you're scouring the snow surface at every step looking for any sort of pit to grip with the tip of your boot. This time, we were scaling icy snow at a 45-degree slope without batting an eye. I gotta get me some of these.

Anyway, on to pictures...

We were considering Skywalker Couloir (the one behind me here), but on account of the 60 degree slope near the top, the deep glissade path down the center, and the disgruntled skiers sitting beside the trail calling it "quite sporty," we decided to head to North Star.
up and over is the way to North Star...
Workin' the new gear...
Over the pass there were some great views to the West. Here's Adam, making good use of the crampons...
The base of North Star Couloir...
Digging in! Getting steeper...
A quick stop for lunch halfway up the route and then we were off...
A nice view up the couloir...
Adam had a really heavy pack and skinny ski boots...
Views on the way down...
Another fine spring ski trip. We should really do this more often.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Where has the summer gone? Not to blogging, clearly...but to creating blog-able memories like this one!

Wyoming. We live so close, but still hadn't made the trek until this summer, when -somehow- we each found a span of 4 days to unhitch ourselves from life and drive with only a hint of a plan.

Thankfully, we were welcomed. and mesmerized by turbines.
Our trek started at Curt Gowdy State Park where we camped one night and spent a day mountain biking on their network of trails. That evening we cruised west through Vedauwoo, an area of rocky outcroppings amidst flat vistas and gently rolling hills. It's a well known rock climbing destination, but we just hiked and scrambled.
And met THIS guy.
After spending a chilly night at 9,000 feet and hanging with THIS guy...
...we headed up through Medicine Bow National Forest, hoping to hike. We got some great views from Snowy Range Pass (10,800 ft.), but were met with 6-foot snow banks in all the trail head parking lots. Alas, we weren't outfitted for snow hiking, so we moved on to lower ground. We stopped for a bike ride on our way down the other side of the pass. The trail was sloppy but the views unbeatable.
On a special side trip to Saratoga we sought out this public, free, paved hot spring, aka. "The Hobo Pool". Unfortunately, the water was too hot to enjoy. Too hot, as in 120 degrees. No wonder it's free.
Embracing our inner hobos...We spent that night off some side road south of Saratoga, where we ran into THESE guys.
Our final outing was a lovely hike up Sheep Mountain in the southern portion of Medicine Bow. Much of the trail was on exposed rolling hills, which made for more killer views Gorgeous. Thanks Wyoming! You can come visit US anytime!