Archive for the “Personal” Category

Spring break was last week and just like every other time I have been in Utah, it was awesome.  The first half was spent camping in Capitol Reef National Park for a geology field trip.  A group of geology and geography students and professors hiked around the park for 3 days discussing whatever cool geology we came across.  It was super informal and very relaxing.  Best 2 credits ever.  From there I went to Zion National Park to visit some friends and get some information on a project I am doing for school.  Below are some pictures from Capitol Reef.

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A few months ago I was gifted a slow cooker (crock pot).  Thanks Mom!  It would be a stretch to say that it changed my life but it has indeed made life more awesome.  Just imagine:  wake up, dump ingredients into the slow cooker while you are making breakfast, hit the “on” button, go snow boarding all day, come home to an amazing smelling house, and fill your tired body and empty stomach with food with nearly no effort.  This is what the slow cooker can provide.  I’m not sure if you can have them in the dorms but if so, you could make a pretty awesome meal without having much more than a knife and cutting board.  Also, most recipes for slow cookers make tons of food so you can have left-overs for days.  From what I have read it appears that the slow cooker was once a house hold staple that sort of fell off the radar.  However, it’s back… so get slow cookin’.

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To take advantage of the gorgeous weather this past weekend, El and I went for a walk around Penitente Canyon.  There is a trail that goes through the canyon that we took and then just scrambled and wandered our way around the area.  For those unfamiliar with the area it’s a popular sport climbing area and has campgrounds as well.  Definitely a gem of the San Luis Valley.

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There have been a surprisingly few amount of very cold days and nights so far this year but we still have February to treat us to that super cold, snot freezing sweetness.  I got into bed last night and noticed that the entire inside of the window was coated in really cool ice formations.  Thankfully, I have a thick down blanket and flannel sheets to keep me warm.  Here are some pics…
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Today was the first day of my last semester at Adams.  I am only taking 8 credits consisting of Historical Geology, a field excursion to Capitol Reef National Park in Utah over spring break, and my senior capstone which is basically a final, senior project.  The lack of a “normal” class load will surely be compensated by the final project.  Not sure what I am doing it on, but I will have to figure that out pretty soon.

The winter break went well.  Spent 10 days in Virginia visiting family and friends and then came back to Alamosa to spend some time snowboarding.  To finish the break off, ASAP had its annual 7-day winter training where we got a Level 1 Avalanche certification, did some ice climbing site management stuff, and some winter camping in snow shelters.  So overall a pretty good break.  Here are a few pictures from said break.

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A place near and dear to my heart; a swimming hole at Sugar Hollow outside of Charlottesville, VA

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Kyle, ice climbing.

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Sunset as seen just through a patch of trees by our camp site.

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The kitchen.

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Looked out my bedroom window last night and saw this:
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This past Saturday Dan and I, fueled by mid-semester doldrums and the need to walk around in the woods, made a trip Crater Lake, Colorado.  This was not Crater Lake National Park (I would love to go there also!), but rather an awesome local treat in the San Juans.  While the names of both suggest that they are craters due to some large impact, this is untrue.  CLNP is a caldera, and Crater Lake here in Colorado is likely of glacial origin.  The hike was perfect.  A relatively short ~7.5 mile round trip allowed for lots of exploring and laid back wandering.  It was cool, with a touch of snow over much of the area.  Doesn’t get much better than that!  Of course, we couldn’t resist bringing up some juggling balls to continue our tradition of the ultra extreme sport–yes, ultra extreme sport–of alpine juggling.  The juggling pictures will be up soon, I just have to get them from Dan’s camera.  However, here are some shots from the hike…

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Crater Lake and surrounding awesomeness.

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A view heading back from Crater Lake

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The Great Sand Dunes National Park is nestled in the east part of the San Luis Valley, just 45 minutes northeast of Alamosa.  Some may think it’s just a big, boring pile of sand.  These people are either intensely ill informed or have never been to said piles of sand.  The former National Monument was promoted to National Park status in 2004 and stands, like the name suggests, as a great example of eolian and other complex processes.  The dunes are a great place to go sandboarding, fly a kite, soak in the river (in the spring), or just wander around and have lunch.  Plus they just plain look sweet, especially with the Crestones peaks of the Sangre de Cristo mountains as a back drop.  There are a handful of trails around the park as well.  So this past weekend we decided to visit and were treated with sun filled skys and a wonderful sunset which provided all sorts of entertainment like…

Wildlife Monitoring:

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Tracking Big Game (namely the endemic Valley She-Hulk):

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and Deep, Deep Thought:

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This weekend Jenna and I went camping in the Weminuche Wilderness Area of the San Juan mountains just west of Alamosa.  With almost 500,000 acres, it’s the largest wilderness area in Colorado and for the most part, is awesome.  We just car camped the first night, then went onto the West Fork San Juan trail (aka Rainbow Trail) and despite it being Labor Day weekend, we didn’t see too many people.  By the campsite there were what we really went out there for: hot springs.  Essentially, warm, slightly sulphur smelling water came out of the hill, collecting in a pool created by rocks stacked up next to the river.  I didn’t get any shots of the springs (you just have to go for yourself!) but here are some things we saw along the way:

Weird looking mushroom covered in sap or something:

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A view of the San Juan River along the trail on the way to the hot springs:

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The first week of school has come and gone and things have settled into school mode for the semester.  It was a crazy transition coming from Zion and then going almost directly back to work at the Adventure Program helping with new student trips.  I am still not fully unpacked but thats also due to the difficulty of fitting so much stuff into such a small place.  I lost a coin toss and landed the small room in the apartment (also, the room has no shelving built in).  I’ve been playing unpacking tetris ever since.  However, the room has a great, possibly redeeming, view of Blanca:

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A trip up to see Leftover Salmon and Yonder Mountain String Band play at Red Rocks last Friday helped ease the back-to-school shock.  Good show, good people, good times.

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Classes this semester seem to be interesting (especially Geomorphology) and the workload will not be too crazy.  Only 2 more semesters left!

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