Tuesday, July 29, 2014

River Adventuring

This Spring I was able to be part of a river trip training on the the Yampa River in Colorado, which is also known as the last great un-dammed river in the West.

The Yampa runs 400km, starting as a small mountain creek passing through Steamboat Springs before merging with the Green River near the Utah border. Eventually the Green River turns in the Colorado. I remember watching 1960era movies in Secondary School about this great river; today with damming and water use it limps and oozes through the areas it once dominated.

The idea that would be able to navigate part of a wild river captured my imagination and within a week I moved from feeling ambivalent towards boating, with all the gear, plastics and systems it can involve, to gaining a sense of wonderment about nights spent sleeping on the beaches. One thing I that still find mindblowing is that you can't turn around. There is no going back. To me that's pretty wild.

As a river neophyte I was welcomed into the river culture by instructors who gently and patiently explained peeing in the river, the difference between a wug and schnaadle and that I should not call my lifevest a PDF but a PFD. 

I am now the proud owner of my own PDF. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

East Coast Travelling

Just back from a quick trip to the East of Coast of the USA. Mike has spent the last month out there travelling and building his welding knowledge, and I took a quick week to fly over for a visit.

On arriving in Portland, Maine I was immediately hit by a sense of homesickness brought on by the ocean salt and air. Living in Colorado is beautiful but lacks the sea elements and the thickness of the coasts. It's been more than a year since I was last in Scotland and knowing that we are heading there in September feels like an anti-anxiety drug.

In my head I had been torn between envisioning Birkenstock clad, home-brewers in alternatively fueled 1984 Toyotas and Prada wearing, yoga-studio-attending Prius drivers. I guess I was not surprised to meet none of these people.

We made our way Arcadia National Park and camped in the new "big rig', a 2004 Ford  F150. This recently acquired beast, bought for moving the caravans on their nomadic pilgrimages, proved to be a comfortable little home for the trip. I started to make plans of the interior remodel, but really its just fine as it is, especially considering that there are two airstream projects without a completion date scheduled for this century.

The highlight of the trip was probably an evening of sea kayaking from Bar Harbor. Unfortunately no pictures, so you need to imagine sitting in the water on a clear, windless evening watching the colors across the water and land slowly change as the light moves below the horizon.

Lastely, not a highlight, but the travel home might have been the biggest adventure. I was able to link the Boston commuter ferry to Boston airport, fly to Denver, take a shuttle bus "up the hill"(what we call the two hour ride from Denver over the Continental Divide to Summit County) and then jump on the locals bus that twice a day links Copper Mountain to Leadville. Then I walked to Rob and Kendra house (where I lived over much of the winter), where I was offered sustenance and collected my car, which I kinda share with them,  to finally get back to the little area I call home on the ranch. Only bummed that I couldn't have fitted in a cycle...

checkout www.nps.gov/acadia for info on this beautiful area

Postcard of the Week

An Anchor Chain in Maine