May 14, 2007

In a Quandary about Mother's Day

Every Mother's Day, there's a huge event on Mt. St. Helens where hundreds of people hike up and ski down the mountain wearing dresses, in honor of mothers everywhere. Keith and I had particiaped in this event in years past, and felt the urge to continue honoring mothers around the globe even though we weren't in the vicinity of Mt. St. Helens. We selected the most suitable ski ascent/descent 14,000 foot peak in Colorado and gave it a whirl after stopping at Savers the previous day.

The group consisted of Ashley, Melanie, Keith, Cota and me. Quandary Peak (or Mt. Quandary Peak as the sign on the highway points out) has a very mellow east ridge that makes for a straight forward ascent. Two bowls on the northeast face are ideal for a moderate level backcountry ski descent. The ascent went well, except for Melanie getting sick on the way up with something that kind of resembled altitude sickness. Whatever it was, it wasn't enough to prevent her from making the summit right before a thunderstorm began and we initiated a hasty retreat from the Zap Zone. The initial part of the descent was covered with a thin layer of spring slush (fun skiing from 14,100' to about 12,500'), while the lower reaches held deep slush that made for technical ski adventuring. We eventually made it back to the car, and Cota has been exhausted ever since. Here are some pictures and a video documenting the attire. Next year we'll have a skirt for Cota.

May 05, 2007


I think I've been in Idaho since my last blog post. I had a break from work last weekend, and I thought it would be silly to spend all this time in Idaho without seeing my brother and niece, so I drove to Idaho falls (about 2 hours away - close by Challis standards). I had a great time catching up with Wes, and Caitlyn was hanging out with us for a few of my days there. She's quite mobile now, crawling anywhere and everywhere and standing up whenever there is something to hang on to. She gets cuter every time I see her! I did take some pictures, but will have to wait until I return home to download them.

Wes took Monday off of work to take me on a hike. We hiked up a beautiful canyon to a couple of lakes. I assumed we were in a designated wilderness area until Wes informed me it was simply national forest land. We only saw two people the entire time (proving once again that it pays to adventure during the week). The hike ended up being 14 miles round-trip, which was much noticed by my out-of-shape self. Wes kept up surprisingly well, but paid for it the next day. Walking around the house, he resembled what I imagine to be the walk of a stoned penguin.

I'm now in the middle of another 10-day shift. It wouldn't be so bad if the drillers weren't trying to set a record for incompetency. This job, which was supposed to take 24 working days, is likely going to take at least 40 unless we fire them first. At least they're loosing more money than we are. I plan to return home on May 12th and I can't wait!