Lone Cone Colorado

Suicide & the Lone Cone Diaries

By | Philosophy | No Comments

Lone Cone is an obscure, 12,618 ft. mountain in the remote southwest corner of Colorado. Its crumbling facade rises from the earth where forests begin their subtle transformation into desert. From Lone Cone’s summit, one can witness tracts of farmland dehydrating into brown and yellow scrubland to the west, a lonely expanse where snow-streaked mountains bookend the horizon. Its suggestive nomenclature has contributed to a sense of raw loneliness I have unexpectedly felt on the mountain. Or maybe it’s the words in the battered journal. Because so few people visit…

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Wichita State UNiversity plane crash by James Dziezynski

Wichita State Plane Wreck & Mount Bethel – Dry Gulch

By | Colorado Adventures, Trip Reports | No Comments

Distance to Plane Wreck: 1.2 miles; 600 vertical feet Distance to Mount Bethel / Snow Fences: 2.9 miles / 2,280 vertical feet  Over the years, I’ve visited quite a few plane wreck sites in Colorado. None may be as fascinating or sobering as the wreckage of the 1970 Wichita State University crash. As the crow flies, the debris field is less 0.2 miles from I-70. The hike along an unmarked (but easy to find) trail is about a mile and the area is still densely littered with twisted metal. Because…

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The 8-Bit Muse

By | Philosophy, Video Games | No Comments

It is well-documented though rarely mentioned that Thoreau’s “isolated” cabin in Walden was only about a mile from town — a short enough walk for his elderly mother to regularly bring him fresh cookies. The myth of seclusion fits so neatly with the ideas in his writings that it’s easy to overlook the fact he was a 15 minute walk from civilization. I bring this up because at age 38, I’m working as a professional writer — have been now for almost 20 years. Like most writers, I have my…

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Sawtooth ridge traverse

Sawtooth Ridge Traverse – Colorado

By | Colorado Adventures, Travel and Adventure, Trip Reports | No Comments

It’s surprising that in all my years in Colorado, I hadn’t gotten around to doing the Sawtooth Traverse. This classic route is a class 3 scramble between the 14,060 ft. summit of Mount Bierstadt and the far west shoulder of 14,264 ft. Mount Evans. The Sawtooth is usually climbed south to north, starting at Mount Bierstadt. The exit from the Sawtooth offers several options: traverse 1.2 miles over Mount Evans (and its sub-peak, 14,256 ft. West Evans), hike 0.7 miles to the 13,842 ft. top of Mount Spaulding or simply…

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Rosalie Peak Colorado front range

Rosalie Peak via Tanglewood Creek

By | Travel and Adventure | No Comments

13,575 ft. Rosalie Peak doesn’t see a lot of visitors, which is somewhat surprising considering its proximity to Denver (about an hour’s drive). As 13ers go, its a straightforward class 2 mountain. Summitpost.org has this to say about the peak: Rosalie Peak, the 207th highest peak in Colorado, is the southernmost thirteener in the Mount Evans Wilderness. When viewed from Denver, it’s the rounded summit on the left end of the Evans Massif. It is named for Rosalie Bierstadt, wife of the famous painter of Western landscapes, Alfred Bierstadt. Originally,…

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BAld Mountain summit

Bald Mountain via Boreas Pass from Breckenridge

By | Colorado Adventures, Trip Reports | No Comments

There are 27 mountains in Colorado bearing the official name “Bald Mountain”; the 13,684 ft. one is their king. As the highest of the Balds, its also likely the baldest — when hiked from Boreas Pass, there is only a smattering of trees before breaking into alpine tundra. Despite easy trailhead access and proximity to Breckenridge, not many people visit its lofty summit — which is a shame, because the views are among the best I’ve seen in Colorado. Maybe it’s the mundane and uninspiring name that keeps people from…

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Silver PLume Mountain

Silver Plume Mountain via 730 Mine Trail

By | Colorado Adventures, Trip Reports | No Comments

Directions to 730 Mine Trailhead: From I-70, take exit 226 to Silver Plume. Since most people will be coming from Denver on west bound I-70, I’ll give the directions from that point of view (it’s easy enough to apply them to the east bound exit). At the end of the exit ramp take a right towards main street. Note that the paved road you see immediately off the exit is NOT Main Street! Go down a block on this road to the intersection with Main Street, a dirt road. Take a…

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What views!

Republican Mountain & Sherman Mountain – Colorado Trip Report

By | Colorado Adventures, Trip Reports | One Comment

Ever since Fremont and I climbed Bard Peak as part of our Watrous Gulch adventure, I’ve had my eye on seldom-visited Republican Mountain. Republican is one of a trio of lower elevation summits southeast from the small town of Empire, Colorado (the others being 12,287 ft. Sherman Mountain and 12,477 ft. Silver Plume Mountain). There wasn’t much information on hiking this peak, which meant it was either a lousy summit or people just didn’t go there. Luckily, it turns out Republican is a fine hike and a worthy “secret” summit. The approach…

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Argentine Peak Colorado

Cheers to the Unknown Mountain

By | Philosophy | No Comments

One of the great things about Colorado’s mountains are the sheer volume of peaks. Beyond the well known collection of 14,000 ft. summits (and a few glamourous 13,000 ft. peaks) wait some of the most wonderful places in the Rockies, wild places where isolation and sheer anonymity translate into unique and adventurous experiences. Many of these peaks are nameless, marked by the somewhat ironic UN (unnamed) designation on maps, or else defined merely by their topography. What I find most inviting about these places is the unknown emotion they will…

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Long live Zeb.

The Most Beautiful Room in the World

By | Animals, Philosophy | No Comments

Before it was the most beautiful room in the world, it was a small home office, fashionable and classically designed. Tasteful artwork adorned the walls. Clean, pastel colors gave off a moody, early-dawn feeling when the sun would shine through the generous window. This window looked out upon a modest neighborhood. In the distant corners of the world it framed, one could see far-off mountain tops. And before it became the most beautiful room in the world, the large, unspecified leafy tree beyond the glass would filter the afternoon light…

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Japanese Sumo

Be Strong, Get Stronger Part 1

By | Philosophy | No Comments

A few months ago, I picked three activities that I wanted to improve upon in the New Year. With all that is going on in day-to-day life, it’s far too easy to let certain interests go stale. Thus, I made the conscious decision to elevate my skills in a few of my pastimes. I was curious to see which ones would be the most work, the most fun and potentially the most rewarding. Here were my criteria. I needed to select one activity from each category: Something I was naturally…

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Japanese Dragon

Lingering Dragons

By | Philosophy, Travel and Adventure | No Comments

Though I’m now three months removed from my adventures in Japan, there are still so many moments and memories that swirl around in my mind. Stepping into another culture is one of the most profound ways to expand your beliefs and hopefully, take in a little bit of what you’ve experienced to better yourself. There is an incredible sense of pride in Japan, but it is expressed quietly. To the foreigner’s eye, it manifests itself in clean cities, polite citizens and diligent workers. It was an eye-opening contrast to America’s…

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