Trip to Snowmass (part 1)

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Over Labor Day weekend, I tagged along with Ben to go on a camping trip.  The trip was initially set to hike the 4 pass loop in the Maroon Bells/Snowmass area. The total trip was to be a 28-29 mile slog, but do to some injuries along the way we decide to just to an out and back to the Snowmass Lake only 24 miles.

View of the Trailhead
View of the Trailhead
Climb up Buckskin
Climb up Buckskin

The trip started from the Maroon Bells View area (9,580 feet).  This was a heavily touristed area, and allowed the visitors to Aspen a chance to see some of  \the true ruggedness of the range.   The first couple miles of the trail took us to crater lake.  This trail was frequented by the very prolific species that is the the”Aspen Cougar”.  Walking up the trail, you felt the constant glare of the predatory species.  Amanda (Ben’s Girlfriend) received numerous compliments from the Cougars for hiking with “3 young men.”

Continue reading “Trip to Snowmass (part 1)”

Adventures at Pueblo

So its been over 1 month since my last update, and this is due to the horrible month that is August.   As my mom pointed out to me, lots of bad things tend to happen to our family in the month of August and this year it was no different.  However, to make the best of the month and cheer me up, the group of us went to pueblo reservoir.    The entire trip was put together by Derek and Sean much props to them.

Jimmy, Z, and I got there late in the afternoon after sneaking out of work early.  Well actually, I worked in the car on the drive down and Z practice his stick driving skillz.   Derek and Sean had rented a boat from the Military outpost for the weekend, so we now had a way to get around the lake.   The BASSHUNTER was a formidable vessel.  Complete with live well, tackle compartment and  swiveling bass chairs, this thing was made to slay fish.  The boat was super fun to drive to drive both on water and off.

sean boating
sean boating

Making sure the boat arrives safely
Making sure the boat arrives safely

cruising around
cruising around
Dude on a Cliff
Dude on a Cliff

As soon we got to the lake, we all jumped on the boat and head out for some Friday evening cruising.  The lake was pretty quiet and we just motor boated around.  The goal was to scope out some cliffs for the next day,  but we found one that we all had to do right then and now.   We made harbor behind the rock in a cove and had some fun.

Kicking Derek Off
Kicking Derek Off

Sean's Flying Monkey
Sean's Flying Monkey

Derek Sean Me. Rockstars
Derek Sean Me. Rockstars

The next day we spent alot of time on the water.  We headed directly for another cliff that we saw earlier yesterday.  Sean and Derek made there way to the top, while Jimmy, Z and I monkey’d around the bottom looking for some deep water soloing routes.  This cliff, which I dub “HUGE ASS SPIDER CRACK ROCK”(due to the spiders which were about the size of mouse)  was lots of fun. We found some routes up and it was really deep to jump.

Me Diving
Me Diving

Danny's Crane
Danny's Crane

Deep Water Solo'ing
Deep Water Solo'ing
Boatin
Boatin

Afterwards,  we went to chill in a cove and fish for a bit.  While fishing in the middle of this cove, we got inspected by the boating police.  Apparently we were over capacity for the BASSHUNTER.  # of people we had on the boat = 7  ; BASSHUNTER’s capacity was = 4.  After talking to them for awhile, they let us go with a warning, and that we get the extra people off the boat asap.  So we made are we to the shore, but along the way we met a sweet dude name Mike was a bitch’in boat.  Mike had a MOOMBA boat that was in the gravity games for wake boarding.  The tower had a awesome sound system and PA. He blasted metal and rock.  They just cruising for the day and we happy for us to join, we brought beer which made them even more happier. We tied up and hung out with them for most of the day.  Definitely a cool group of people.

Hangin
Hangin

Other times we took groups of 4 out for some more jumping. Derek Sean, Z and I decided to assault “the nipple”.  This was a jagged outcropping in the middle of the lake.  This was the highest jump of the day (40-50 ft), as well as my most epic Deep water Solo Route.  Everyone found different ways to go up, but I wanted claim the face of the Nipple.  The Climb started out with 1 juggy hold and a crimp, it then move to a weird but sweet turndown, and then just handjams the rest of the way.  Free climbing above water is such a weird feeling,  you feel worried that you going to fall until you start falling, after that while you falling you feel super calm because you know you be ok. In the end I got the nipple twice, but was completely exhausted.  I believe I can state that I have the first ascent, onsite and redpoint of this route.

Derek on the side of the Nip
Derek on the side of the Nip
Handjam-Mantel on the Nip
Handjam-Mantel on the Nip
Seans Flying Squirrel off the Nip
Seans Flying Squirrel off the Nip

Pueblo was a fun time here are some more shots from the trip.
boating-canid3boating-fishingboating-canid4

Pike’s Peak or Bust: Rodeo and Parade

rodeo-main
*not all photos published due to wordpress issue.
Every year near the beginning of June, Colorado Springs welcomes the rodeo to town. This year was the 69th annual time that the citizen of Colorado Springs embraced the wild west lifestyle. With Colorado City, being the first territorial seat of Colorado back in the 1800’s, the rugged lifestyle has forever been forged into this region.   So in typical western fashion, downtown had a parade of horses. So myself and Derek headed downtown after work to see what this hoopla was all about. After making use of a handy handicap permit (cough), we made it right downtown and ontime.

The parade was pretty entertaining including sheriffs, horses, cowgirls, old’e cars, and cows.

Sheriffs in town
Sheriffs in town

My type of cowgirl
My type of cowgirl

parage of cowgirls
parage of cowgirls

type of clydesdales
type of clydesdales

Outside cowboys
Outside cowboys

native americans
native americans

Rodeo Guy
Rodeo Guy

Cowboy and Union soldier
Cowboy and Union soldier

Apache
Apache

The end of the parade was the coolest though. The Texas longhorn riders came strolling thorough town. It was pretty surreal to see cows roaming downtown.

The next day we went to the actual rodeo. We headed down from Sean’s apartment, after a very intense game of Mario Cart 64. Primed for some competition, we wandered through the gates.    After finding our seat amongst some other avid rodeo fans, we watch the first event; steer wrestling. This is where a cowboy ride next to steer and grabs it by the horns wrestling it to the ground. This was cool event, something that I would like to try. After that we got some nachos and food, and watch the tandem cattle roping from the sidelines. This was pretty intense event. One rider had to lasso the head of the calf, while the 2nd roped its back feet. There by complete mobilizing the cow and it look kinda painful, but oh well.   Other events followed, include barrel racing, single calf roping, bareback riding, and the actual bull riding. But by far the coolest part was when a cowboy on wild mustang, rounded up two buffalo in the middle of the ring. He chased the two wild beast around the ring, slightly directing them where his wish them to be. 3 times around the truck in the center of the bison lapped, until a quick move on the cowboys part, pushed the bison on to the bed of the truck. Then he pushed the great beast once more to the top of the trailer.  With the crack of his whip, confirmed he victory over the beast.

Running Bison
Running Bison

Elusive Bison
Elusive Bison

Corporate: Jet Setting

Stuck outside for now
Stuck outside for now

Corporations.  What’s it like being absorbed into the money making life fuel that powers the capitalist machine?  OK enough of the ramblings of the economic versifier, let talk about JETS!.   Yeah, jets.  Jets are the power toys of the Corporate elite.  They are marketed to a couple different groups of clientele.  First, you  have the typical rich person who desires the need to fly to their different homes, vacations spots, or to Italy for dinner.  Next are the competitive CEO types, which amounts to a basic pissing contest between one another of who got the biggest baddest toys.  Lastly is my favorite the globe trotting playboy,   a man who needs the means to fly to exotic locals, to sweep away gorgeous vixens.

I’d like my experience was the latter, because that would make a much better story.  However, my

My plane awaits for me
My plane awaits for me

experience was with the ordinary corporate jet.  Last week, my friend Alison needed dropped off at the airport.  I was volunteered (no, I did not say “I volunteered”) to drive her to the airport, because everyone had other “stuff” to do at 7 AM on their day off for the 4 of July (I am superfriend).   But little did the others know what they would miss.

As I picked up Alison early in the morning, still groggy from (accidentally) watching back to back flicks culminating with IMAX transformers (very good, rawr, Megan Fox) the night before, I learned that I not going to the commercial airline terminal, but instead I am headed to the Corporate Jet Center.  I was instantly awakened from my half eyed slumber.   I pulled into the jet terminal,  only to see barb-wire fence stopping me from driving right on to the tarmac.   My hopes were slightly dashed.  However, curiosity pushed me further. We went inside to check-in, and low and behold the pilot was just hanging out drinking some coffee.  I could tell right off the bat this was a chill dude.   He noticed that we were early, and after some sweet talking, he asked if we wanted to check out the plane.  I definitely had a mental high-five moment at this point.   Walking on to the terminal and beside the hanger, this is what I basically saw.

Ludacris – Area Codes (Beware.)
The red carpet
The red carpet

The jet was seriously plush – complete with the red carpet rolled out for me.  Immediately I noticed the personalized initials on the wings and tail, they exuded classiness and I could have sworn they really formed a capital N (for nevko, duh).  As soon as I boarded the jet, I was immediately graced with a fully stocked bar. Including champagne (no Andre here), the finest liquors, and tuna for the in-flight meal.  The cabin had fine wood inlay and flush mounted lcd tvs.  Unknowingly, I took a seat  in “the BOSS’S”  chair.  Man this chair was awesome.  I think there was more cushion in that seat, than all the lazyboys in the world.   For a few moments, I felt naturally at home, like a BOSS.

Taking control of the Cockpit
Taking control of the Cockpit

After talking with the pilot and co-pilot for awhile, they convinced me to checkout the cockpit.   Always sucker for people in uniform (ladies hint hint), I was instantly swayed.  This thing was like a real-life flight simulator.  All the knobs, buttons, levers, and pedals were all there.  I definitely played with yoke and rudders, which made me think of changing careers.    Then the pilot came in and  started up the engines.  Immediately, all the gauges came to life making this a truely real experience.   After having my fun, I decided to figure what use this plane actually gets.  From what I gathered, the owners normally fly to 3 places; Aspen, Maimi, and Italy, and the flight from COS to ATL normally takes about 2.5 hrs.  This thing was a cruiser and the owner where apparently very unassuming about being extensively well to do.

That pretty much rapped up my 1st experience on a corporate jet. I hope its not the last.   I’ll leave you with some specs of this machine.

Name: Falcon 2000

Manufacturer:  Dassault-Falcon

Speed: Mach .8

Capacity: 8 seats. (lots of leg room)

Range 3,800 nautical miles.

Price: $20,000,000

http://www.dassaultfalcon.com/aircraft/2000ex/

Plane in Flight
Plane in Flight

The fully stocked bar.
The fully stocked bar.

Umbrella Storage- very important.
Umbrella Storage- very important.

Flight Manual
Flight Manual

Alison boarding
Alison boarding

Plushness at it best
Plushness at it best

The cabin
The cabin

The Boss
The Boss

Gauges off
Gauges off

Allison getting sucked into an engine
Allison getting sucked into an engine

Full power, clear runway A-1
Full power, clear runway A-1

Throttle up
Throttle up

Dodads and switches
Dodads and switches

The Tourist Experience to RMNP

Verns C-Rolls
Verns C-Rolls

After Brewfest(around 8PM), we decided to camp for the night.  So Dave led the drive into the Mountains to find somewhere to camp.  We setup shop at the top of the cell-tower road overlooking the town of Ft. Collins.  We hike several yards down into the woods and found a sweet spot.  We immediately went to camp ‘readiness mode’.  Dave setup the tents, the girls went about gathering a huge amount of firewood, and I “the master of fire” made of huge fire ring out of all the near by boulders.  Within 15 Min’s camp was setup, a roaring fire was flickering about, and food was being cooked.  We feasted, watched stars and passed out on a nice cool evening.

Being Prey'd on
Being Prey'd on

The next morning, we went to Vern’s Place for breakfast. Vern’s was an awesome restaurant. First of all, its first come first serve.  There is no hostess to seat you. You have to rush and claim a table before someone else does.  Secondly is the huge amount of stuffed dead animals on the wall.  This look is  exactly how I want my house to look like in the future.  Third is the Vern’s Huge Famous Cinnamon rolls.  These were the most delicious and ridiculous cinnamon rolls that I have ever eaten (sorry Dad, yours were semi-close).   Each one was the size of a dinner plate.  Vern’s Place looks like a hole in the wall from the 1930’s because it is and that’s what makes it awesome.  It was built to support the workers constructing the nearby Horsetooth Reservoir.

After our pleasant breakfast, we took off to RMNP (Rocky Mountain Nation Park) because Dave and Katie, have never been.  I suggested we do the quick driving tour of the park since it was Sunday and we eventually need to get back to COS.  RMNP on the weekends is definably a tourist trap.  Everyone is out to enjoy nature from the the comforts of their cars.  Basically, RMNP allows people to see animals and majestic view with great ease.

RNMP-0004On some of the pull overs, Dave and I came to the realization that it is great fun make other people’s mothers nervous.  We did our best to be adventurous/bad influences to little kids that could only standby and watched us hop safety barriers, climbing on rock cliffs, and other sorts of tumultuous activities.  It was great fun to hear the whispers of mothers saying to their kids, “now, don’t you ever, ever, ever do that.”   But I think the kids saw how much more fun we were having and break their mothers wishes.

I also decided the traffic was becoming a problem on ridge road.  So I built a snowman traffic cop in the center of the road to stop all the driving infractions.  People seemed to not heed the snowman attempts at civil order, and instead decided to start taking picture with it.  That snowman was terrible enforcing order.

RMNP is a great place to go if you want to check out what the Rocky Mtns are about, but only have a day to do so. Below are some more pictures from the trip.