Monthly Archives: September 2013

Following a person’s FB posts or blog, can skew one’s perspective/reality – folks generally only post happy pics, happy stories, motivational moments.  What is wrong with my life?  Why am I stuck?

I advocate managing an Inspiration library – fill it with pics, stories, videos & quotes which inspire YOU.

95 consecutive weekends later, I haven’t taken a break.  No excuses.  “waiting is the opposite of living”


Camping on the Frozen Arctic Sea

AMAZING pics in this photoblog!  Icebergs, breaching whales, polar bears & an Inuit guide.

Literally camping on the frozen sea in Baffin Bay, Nunavut (Canada).

After 3 flights and 10 hours of travelling, a group of nine tourists connect in Pond Inlet, a small hamlet in Nunavut, located on the northeastern shores of Baffin Island, 72° North.

Baffin Island, Nunavut (Canada)

Baffin Island, Nunavut (Canada)











Pittarak Expeditions

INSPIRING kayak adventure!  Followed this Canadian team of 4 all summer on FB.  They successfully completed their journey across Baffin Island on September 19th.

Pittarak Expeditions, comprised of Erik Boomer, Sarah McNair-Landry, Eric McNair-Landry and Kate Breen, completed a 65 day journey across Baffin Island, the 5th largest island in the world. Not only did they kayak the 1,000 km across the island, they kayaked in traditional Inuit kayaks they made themselves!

Pittarak Expeditions

Pittarak Expeditions











Love letter to Colorado: Thank you for bringing me home

Whereas my writing is limited to caps, action superlatives & exclamation marks, Robin Enright pens in full sentences Colorado-evoked emotions carbon-copied in my heart.  Robin emigrated to Boulder from Massachusetts; I moved from New York/CT.

Follow my 6-degrees of separation — this article was written by Ashton’s Tom’s cousin/aunt Robin 🙂












Pair who walked to Colorado 14ers expect to hit 58th summit Sunday

Ya’ll know I love to hike & LOVE LOVE my Colorado.  Wee bit jealous these guys had 10 weeks available to hike 1,300 miles & climb all of our state’s infamous 14ers.  Just means I’ve gotta dream BIGGER 🙂

The pair has been walking  for 10 weeks, starting down south in the San Luis Valley. They’ve climbed every 14,000-foot peak in Colorado as they’ve ambled north, leaving what 33-year-old Dawud called a “continuous set of footprints” and forging a first-ever through-hike of the state’s high points.


The self-supported trekkers will climb the North Inlet Trail and scramble up Longs Peak on Sunday. When they descend into Grand Lake Sunday afternoon, they will have scaled the last peak and walked more than 1,300 miles, climbing about 300,000 vertical feet in a first-of-its-kind mission. (It’s “about” 300,000 vertical because the elevation-gain feature on their GPS has maxed out and stopped counting.)

Colorado14er Kings

Colorado14er Kings










A few weeks ago I received my AAA throw-away magazine.  Before my toss to the recycle bin, I noticed a photo-article ‘Best Colorado Fall Hikes’.  Named best fall foliage hike in Colorado – Maroon Bells in Aspen.

(Side note – this issue also included an article on the annual buffalo roundup in Custer State Park, South Dakota.  September 2014 ‘bucket list’ destination – check, done 🙂 )

After grabbing a quick bite, my friend M & I hit the highway Friday night – plan: camping weekend in Aspen.  LOVE camping, LOVE everything outdoors – and LOVE the price (generally free).  Binge ate burritos & trail mix at my favourite station in Georgetown, then back on I-70…still 2 ½ hours of heavy driving ahead.


Highway closure.

30 minutes later – miles of stopped vehicles.

Plan B – pushed over into the right lane, exited Loveland Pass & car camped in a Ski School parking lot.  Yep, I’ve come a long way from my NYC life.  I now wear a beard, sleep in parking lots, eat convenience store burritos & morning flash bath in McDonald’s restrooms.  Life is looking UP, living B-I-G in Colorado 🙂

Woke at 3:30am, noticed no one on the highway above so started the trek to Aspen.  Heavy ice in Leadville – so traveled slow & steady behind city snowplows.  Last hurdle – Independence Pass (Colorado 82) to Aspen.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) restricts the use of Highway 82 through the pass. Most significant is the winter closure. The road is typically closed after the first significant winter snowfall, or by November 7 at the latest. CDOT tries to reopen just before Memorial Day weekend in late May, the traditional beginning of summer in the United States, when enough of the accumulated snowpack has melted to make it possible to clear and repair the road.

Luckily the Pass was open.  Travelling back to I-70, west to Glenwood Springs & then south to Aspen would have added another 2 hours to our journey.  Sun rose at the top of the Pass – landscape frosted white, BEAUTIFUL.

Whole lotta travel – so was it worth it?  Oh yeah.  Colorado autumn paradise.

The Maroon Bells are considered to be the most photographed peaks in Colorado.  Yellow aspens, fresh snow in the mountains.  Everything that is Colorado, hues maize this day.  Translucent glowing from the inside out.  WOW!

Multiple photo opportunities slowed our hike start.  Good problem to have 🙂

Trekked 5 miles over snowy trails, through long stretches of native Aspens, enveloped in by 14er peaks.  Crossed raging streams fueled by the prior evening’s precipitation.  Top 10 Colorado day.

Warmed by high-altitude SUNSHINE, peeled layers as the day progressed.  Back-propped against a large rock for 20 minutes & caught zzz’s before the return hike to town.

Wait, wait – it gets better.

City of Aspen closes for 2 months – until the start of ski season.  AND as luck would have it, Saturday was the last open day for many shops & restaurants.  All food, 50% off.  New jacket, 80% off.  SCORE!

Camped at Difficult Campground.  Luckily, it was not difficult – but jeez, it was cold.

Spent the new morning at John Denver Sanctuary (after juice, oatmeal & another sink-bath at McD’s).

6:30 a.m. start — early morning chill, aspen yellows, remnants of Friday’s snow, native grasses, sunflowers.  Engraved stones adorned with lyrics from Denver’s iconic folk ballads.  Laugh if you will – HUGE fan of John Denver!

Wait, wait – it gets better.

Lance Armstrong runs by.  (Runs at a fast clip & super solid for a cyclist.)


New tradition – Aspen every autumn.  SPECTACULAR!


Been a HUGE fan of ‘Skyrunner’ Kilian Jornet for 6 months now.  Being sports obsessed, I follow Jornet’s (almost) daily post & have become a die-hard Skyrunning fanatic (where Kilian ended this season, World Champion).

WATCH short clip – Kilian Jornet: Summits of my Life

Couldn’t have been more surprised/thrilled to find Kilian not only travelling to the US (competing at UROC in Vail on Saturday) but also visiting Boulder – to promote his book Run or Die.  WOW – I lead a charmed life 🙂

Arrived early enough for a 2nd row seat — LOVED the Q&A.  Colorado is flat, who knew?  Because of our extensive trail system in the States — and in particular, our use of switchbacks, races in the States generally favour ultra marathoners vs. technical climbers like Jornet.  Jornet, a Spaniard, excels in Europe where mountain racing means just that – running UP mountains.

Hung around to get my book signed & share a pic with Jornet.  Only in Colorado – LOVE LOVE this place!

Kilian Jornet takes the Skyrunner® Ultra title for the second time since the introduction of the distance in the World Series last year.


The five-race Series, after the previous epic events at Transvulcania, Ronda dels Cims, Ice-Trail and Speedgoat, concluded Sunday in Vail, Colorado at the 100 km Ultra Trail of Champions (UROC) with one of the deepest Ultra fields seen in recent times.



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