The Trail

Backpacking

Like a ribbon,
That snakes from here,
To there.

Starting,
Then disappearing,
Into thin air.

The path,
The way,
The natural trail.
Where does it lead?

Dirt, sand, gravel, and rocks.
They’re all a combination
Of individual grains
That rest against each other
And connect the first one,
To the last.

It begins,
It ends,
With plenty in between.

Just because
The whole of it
Can’t be seen
All at once, together,
And from start
To finish;
Doesn’t mean
It isn’t going somewhere.

Audio Version:

A Long Bridge

Rock Climbing

Climbing in Fremont Canyon

Up.
Vertical.
Mostly face to off-width.
Fingertips, edge, and arm jam.
Control, breathe,
First ledge.

Up.
Keep moving.
Touching and feeling.
Conserve energy.
Climbing
With your feet.

Up.
Don’t look down,
But do look around
At your world
Within reach.
One move
At a time.

Up.
Thank God hold,
Blocky granite, cold.
Three pitches
To the top.
But first things,
First.

Up.
To the left, a ledge,
Trust your edge.
Shift your weight,
Over your foot.

Up,
Pinch the roundish nub.
Balance and
Trust your instinct.
Think up.

Up,
Only the next move matters.
Everything
Is within five square feet.
One step,
Changes your world.

Audio Version:

Reaching for a Hold

The Mountain Bike Ride

Mountain biking down a hill
Downhill

There’s a limit to the number of times your bike pedals will turn in your lifetime.
So, make them count.

Whoosh,
Damp and soft.
Fresh,
Smooth and fast.

Rolling,
Clean and free.
Feeling,
Strong and loose.

Leaves,
Yellow or red.
Trees,
Aspens, oaks, and pines.

Climb,
Up and onward.
Time,
Grinding and frozen.

Rocks,
Somehow over the top.
Ledges
That make you pucker.

Spin,
Faster, not harder.
Win,
Whatever that is.

Down,
Flowing and momentum.
Sound,
Silent, but alive.

Effort,
Easy or intense.
Curves,
Sweeping and weaving,

Turns,
Expect the unexpected.
Feel the trail
With your mind.

Adrenaline, fatigue, happy, and sad.
Confident, regret, proud, and glad.
Satisfied, worried, joy, and mad.

The destination– often unknown.
But no matter,
Cause the best rides never end.

Audio Version:

Riding Through the Aspens

Recipe

On the Summit

Water,
Sand,
Snow,
And rock.

Fly fish,
Cycle,
Ride,
And walk

Gravel,
Grass,
Mud,
And scree.

Backpack,
Wander,
Scale,
And ski.

Mountain,
Cavern,
Dirt,
And ice.

Explore,
Trek,
Cave,
And climb.

Talus,
Forest,
Stream,
And crag.

Summit
Surf,
Sail,
And cast.

Tundra,
River,
Lake,
And hill.

Yoga,
Swim,
Camp,
And chill.

Ocean,
Desert,
Cirque,
And peak.

Prepare,
Proceed,
Persist,
And Seek.

Simple,
Treasures,
Pure,
And sweet.

Audio Version:

On the Road

Sitting on the Summit

Looking Toward the Conchos

On the top.
Looking out,
Seeing things
You didn’t know
Were there.

Clouds float past,
Racing fast,
Where do they go?
Perhaps,
We cannot know.

But for the moment-
Rest, relax, ponder, breathe.
Soak it in.

Sitting still,
A moment longer,
Thinking harder,
Feeling stronger.

And then……….

A Marmot scampers,
A warm wind whistles,
A crow soars past,
A distant storm erupts,
A Pika chirps,

No mystery has been solved,
No thing resolved.
More questions,
Than answers.

But for another moment,
Rest, relax, ponder, breathe,
Soak it all in.

Audio Version:

The Summit of Huayna Potosi- Bolivia

 

Mystery

 

Going Somewhere

Walking somewhere,
And not knowing why.
To lands unknown,
With limitless sky.

Step into a world
Without any walls.
Possibilities are endless,
Mystery calls.

Climb the mountain,
Because it’s there.
Gaze from the summit,
The feeling’s rare.

Savor the moments,
When discomforts befall,
And you figure it out,
To answer the call.

Consider tomorrow,
Yet today’s cold and wet.
Cause a place warm and dry,
Waits for you yet.

Clear rivers roar onward,
Canyons bleed blue.
Caves shatter darkness,
Colors for you.

It’s always around us,
Wherever we go.
To bolster our moments.
And add to the show.

Audio Version:

Canyons of Blue

The Group Ride

Group Mountain Bike Ride

     The morning air was crisp and dry. Latimer barely had to pedal his mountain bike to maintain momentum. It was a gentle downhill, and since there was more down than up to each swell, it took little effort to keep rolling. The only thing that made his heart rate go up was the periodic sight of the Aspen trees in their finest Fall glory. The temperature was neither hot nor cold, so he was comfortable wearing only a long sleeve jersey and no jacket or vest. There wasn’t a cloud in the bluebird sky or at least one that he could see. And no matter which way he turned and rode, there was always a tailwind. Conditions had coalesced to create the perfect ride. Continue reading “The Group Ride”

Visualization

 

The American West

           It started out as a simple and straightforward thing to do. Lou took off, leading our group of British mountain bikers back to camp. Just seconds after beginning the ride, he rounded a corner and rode up on a four-foot Rattlesnake stretched out across the trail. Instinctively, he hit his brakes extra hard, which caused him to crash. When the dust settled, he was lying on the side of the trail, penned between a cactus and the rattler. The Brits had quickly stopped and looked on in horror as their guide and the viper were suddenly face to face, and only a couple of feet apart.

Continue reading “Visualization”

Thirst

A mysterious thirst is quenched.

PENTAX Image
Wild Copper Canyon

The sixteen empty soda bottles sat on the counter in the Cerro Colorado store for two days, before the shopkeeper finally stuck them down with the others. They were a good conversation piece while sitting out there in the open. But when he found a spider in one, and since he needed to move them anyway, he put them into some empty slots in the Fanta case down on the floor. After he tidied things up, he thought about dragging the whole box of empties out from behind the Sabritas rack, so that they would still be visible. That way, they would continue to be the talk of the town, but he realized that if he did so, they would just be in the way and would make things look disorganized. And so he just stuck the case in the back room.

Continue reading “Thirst”

Focus

rock climbing
A thin face climb

The solution wasn’t jumping out at her. Nothing about the situation made any sense. Why had he said that? His conclusion wasn’t logical. Her mind worked in overdrive to come up with an answer to the problem, although a part of her feared there might not be one. Maybe I should….. But her chain of thought was broken by the reality of the moment. She looked down at the ground, some 30′ below, and her focus reverted to the rock. The climb was rated 5.12 and named “Second Thoughts,” of all things. And from that point forward, the thing that mattered to her most was the few square feet of rock surrounding her.

Continue reading “Focus”