Thursday, January 17, 2013


4 days of rain. Supposed to turn to snow this afternoon and evening. Conveniently, Sarah's having contractions so we'll likely be braving a blizzard to get to the hospital. I guess when you claim to love adventure, sometimes you get a little more than you bargained for. During a brief respite yesterday I dug some holes and transplanted some trees.  Hoping to develop a buffer between the parking lot, campground and house and also get a year-round visual barrier so you can't see the messy garage and the soon to be messy garden plot from the highway.

Rain, we're glad you're here and we'll be happy to see you go.  Thanks.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

(Mountain) Cross

Single Speed National Championships were held yesterday in Madison, Wisconsin and Adam Craig was triumphant yet again.  I love this cat, he excels in every discipline and wears cutoff jean shorts every year at the SSNC.  Virginian Jared Nieters finished in 4th, the only Virginian representing for the Commonwealth.

In local news, the Devils Backbone Mountain Cross returns March 23.  This great event happens on my home turf and starts and finishes in my back/front yard.  Just one of the many many perks of living in the Upper Rockfish Valley.  The spring edition is just 67 miles (or 27 if you opt for the shorty), last year this was my first event of this kind.  I don't crawl onto the saddle for 4+ hours unless it's going to be epic and I wasn't disappointed.  It rained, it was hard, I finished 22nd in 4:32.  Much of it looks like this:

If running's your bag, we've got a night time 5k/10k on the trails here at Devils Backbone this Saturday, called the New Moon Rising.  Pre-registration closes this evening, but you can always just show up and run.  I've put a lot of work into these trails, they're my baby (until my real baby arrives), and they get better every time someone runs/rides them.  Looking forward to kicking this cold I've had and returning to running them next week.  Get out and do something.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

San Juans

This is where I used to live.


:21 is a shot of Raider Ridge, you can't see the town of Durango tucked behind the ridge.
:41 is where I used to teach/ride.  it's a large part of the reason why I dropped out of school.
:55 is where I proposed to my wife
1:13 is Engineer Mountain, I've been up and down that one many many times.
1:18 is Silver Peak.  I had an amazing mushroom trip up there once, we arrived on top and there was a bush with a million ladybugs on it (at least I think that's what I saw).

Monday, January 7, 2013

Free Stuff

We get stuff sometimes.  It's a perk.  Best stuff is the stuff you can do things with.  Some of my favorite stuff is from the uber-cool company Klean Kanteen.  We gave all the campers at The Festy a Klean Kanteen cup when they arrived and made them available for sale to day-trippers.  There were no disposable cups on-site.  We even made filtered water available, for free.  As a result we kept 30,000 cups out of the waste stream.  That's substantial.  These are my three favorite things right now, I only drink out of these three items thanks to Klean Kanteen.

Awhile back I got some stuff from Mountain Khakis, pants to be specific.  Think High Country Carhartts.  I use mine for work, I love them.  This is what they look like after weed-eating and chain-sawing for weeks between washes.

Incidentally, mountaineering boots are kick-ass chain-sawing, trail-building and tree limb-busting kicks.  Those Garmonts suck to hike in but they can stomp the shit out of stuff in the woods.  Anyway...

The point of all this is that Mountain Khakis is awesome and not just because they gave me some pants.  They're giving away 2 nights lodging, 2 ski passes to Jackson Hole, dinner for 2, and 2 tickets to our show in Jackson in February.  Sounds awesome to me.  You can enter HERE and maybe get yourself some free stuff.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

On News

Twitter has become my favorite place to catch breaking and interesting news.  I can aggregate several different feeds and it's coming in real time.  This today from Mother Jones was particularly interesting, a connection between lead poisoning and crime rates.  Wonder what else we're collectively doing that is causing us longterm harm...  probably damn near everything.  There's a few news feeds that are super valuable, like NPR and CNN.

Huffington Post's Twitter feed this morning, however, sent me over my own cliff.  The first three tweets were about Jessica Alba, Sofia Vargara, Diane Keaton and a Kardashian.  THIS IS NOT NEWS.  Huffington Post is not exactly fair and balanced, but I was counting on them to bring me some good info and recently, it's been more like TMZ than legitimate news.  Yes, you heard me Huff Post, you're more like TMZ than news.  Can you sense my frustration?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ski Tour and a 36er

Ski Tour is around the corner and our partners from Icelantic are hooking it up with some nasty demo skis.  Mountain Hardwear just came through with some parkas for the boys and I, I lined up a matching bright orange top and bottom, I'm gonna be hard to miss.  Looking like the big family ski days will land be Vail on Presidents Day, February 18 and two days before at Eldora on February 16.  The Oskar Blues Brewski Bus is giving everyone a ride, kinda like a rolling party all day.  Just get on the Bus!

Copped this from Bike Rumor, a clearing house for all things cycling.  This is a picture of a 36er (yup, 36 inch tires) from Black Sheep Bicycles I saw on Bike Rumor.  As much as I like big wheels, I definitely need to throw a leg over this baby.  Actually, I need to throw a leg over just about any bike right now, it's been nothing but music, trail-building and running for the last couple weeks.  

Pretty sweet, eh?  Looks like fun to me.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Into the Wormhole

'Dusters dive into the wormhole today for a week of rehearsing and preparation for our next studio album. We've got a short list of 30 tunes we're working through, arranging and recording over the next 8 days. It's interesting how a session like this really stokes the creative fires. If I had a New Years Resolution, it would be to spend more time creating original music, more time just simply making things up. It's the most challenging and most rewarding part of this "business" and it doesn't always get the attention it deserves.

 So every day this week I have two 50 minute commutes and so far I've spent the entire thing on the phone, putting out fires and wishing people Happy New Year. Today I'll stay off the phone and let the brain spin, maybe some of these new tunes I'm working on will come together a little better before the demonstration period.  My songwriting hero, Benny Galloway, always left the radio off.  He'd put someone else behind the wheel of his F-250, sit shotgun, tell stories and let the mind roam.  It was Burle's birthday a few days ago.

Seems a strange time to be thinking about the garden, but my window to get the sod cut and beds covered is shrinking. If I want to plant in April, I have to have these beds done before the baby arrives. I received a fantastic gardening book for Christmas, The Vegetable Gardners Bible and I can't stop devouring the info inside. Ed's deal is W.O.R.D. or Wide, Organic, Raised, and Deep and I dig it.

My one regret of my career is that it makes it really tough to stay on top of a food production operation. Keeping plants weeded, wet and trellised is a daily activity and I'll go weeks away from home in the summer. The key is deep healthy soil and if I don't get that sod turned and the beds double-dug by the end of January, I'm going to have a real uphill battle.

 This year I see myself watching less television, drinking less (but of higher quality) spending more time outdoors with my hands in the dirt, more time in the kitchen with my hands in the sink, more time with a nose in a book or on a Google Document daydreaming and scheming. It's not a resolution, just a sense of my own subtle shifts in individual consciousness that will hopefully lead me toward a more productive and peaceful existence and ideally influence those around me. The most peaceful and content tend to be the least outspoken, the most troubled and upset make the most noise... maybe this is the root of our culture of fear. I think it's time for a culture of faith; in each other and in the cosmos. A smile, a deep breath, a vegetarian meal, an errand by bike, a simple meditation. These are the small changes that will add up to a brave new world.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year

What a year. tried some new things, fell in love with a new place, made a new person. What's in store? our child is on the way. new business plans. new music. definitely going to build a massive wooded pumptrack next fall/winter. epic shows. cyclocross and other bicycle related endeavors. more chainsaw. solo anyone? A little Maiden's Prayer, compliments of Andy Hall