Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Update: Family, Friends, Work, Fatherhood and Skiing

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Family & Friends

It has been a while since I've checked in.  I've been busy with many things since my last post, but here are some of the highlights.

I missed the big snowstorms in the western part of the country over Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I don't regret it at all.  I was spending quality time with family and friends back east, and it was wonderful.

Classic Pennsylvania day, the day after Thanksgiving.
Marilyn doing her first sledding on Thanksgiving day in PA (top)
compared to her first Thanksgiving in Colorado (bottom).

Marilyn enjoying the colorful presents and Christmas lights.
My dear friend Phil and I with the "Big Uglies." We enjoyed
the PSU bowl game at Yankee stadium.


My friend Tom (aka The Real Hiking Viking) spent about a month at our house preparing for his upcoming distance hiking season.  Tom is a childhood friend who, after returning from several tours of duty as a Marine, began distance hiking.  He finished the Appalachian Trail in 2013 and the Continental Divide Trial in 2014.  A few days ago he left to start ~500 miles on the Florida National Scenic Trail, which will be followed by hiking the entirety of the Arizona National Scenic Trail (800+ miles), which will be followed by the Pacific Crest Trail (~2600 miles).  When he finishes the Pacific Crest Trail he will have completed the "Triple Crown" of North American distance hiking.  I encourage you to follow along on his journey's through his Instagram account.

Tom being his typical goofy self while getting
some training done in Colorado.

Work

In mid-December I did a little mountain access work for the seismic industry in the Colorado desert.  A unique place to be roaming around the wilderness.  These jobs have me working with a diverse group of people (mountain guides, migrant workers, helicopter pilots, oil industry folks, etc.) and are rather interesting.  It is especially interesting when you come across myriad ancient ruins during the day.

Typical scenes during a day of mountain access 
work in the seismic field.

Fatherhood

Since returning from Christmas travels I've spent amazing time taking care of Marilyn during the week.  I've got memories that I'll cherish for a lifetime from the last few months with her.  She and I have a special bond that has grown deeper during this time.

Marilyn and I enjoying some of the unusually warm
February weather (this day was in the 70's F).


Skiing

Oh, I almost forgot to mention...I've been doing some skiing.  I've only been on a lift one day this season and that was to spend time with my friend Aaron Howell (a Marine veteran and sit-skier) in Aspen.  Other than that, it has been all backcountry skiing and earning my turns...I love it!  Lots of skiing in Colorado and some skiing Wyoming as well.

Finding the snow when it hasn't for a while.
Backcountry skiing in the full moon = beautiful.

Exploring.
Spring conditions came early.

Mini couloirs.
Really got to get on some bigger lines during the draught.

More night touring.
Lovin' some Wyoming.

Got to check this aesthetic line off my list.
Earning turns.

I've made several short videos of my ski exploits this season to share with everyone.  I hope you enjoy.












I thank God for my many blessings every day.

I'm incredibly fortunate to have such an amazing wife and daughter, WITH ANOTHER DAUGHTER DUE TO ARRIVE IN A MONTH!  Add the many friends and other family members that I love and getting to experience some outdoor adventure at the same time...God has truly blessed me.  I'm very thankful.


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