Thursday, September 21, 2006

blogging update

Typing with two fingers taped together is very difficult, so I might be doing more vlogging instead of blogging for a while.

When I fell on Sunday while hiking, apparently I fractured my finger and have a wee bone chip. Hand surgeon recommended taping for a bit. So I have my middle finger and ring finger (the injured one) taped together. Taking me about 20 min to type this short post. Uff da!

Look for a video soon, probably chronicling my time spent with some elk yesterday. Maybe I'll show a pic of my finger so I can get some sympathy. ;)

I'll leave you with one picture of a recent sunset I saw while on a much less eventful hike.

Monday, September 18, 2006

More about Norwegian Grandmas

Only this time it's not about my Grandma. One of my cousins (who shared Grandma Isabelle with me) wrote me about her Grandmother on the other side of her family.

It [hearing about a brain tumor] always makes me think of what Grandma H. used to say...if we were completely saddened and puzzled by someone's death. She would always say that when she was young, death was a part of life. She saw her own brother operated on - on the kitchen table of course, and he died there as well. He had diabetes and they knew enough to know he had a bad pancreas. Apparently that's what they were fishing for (with the soup ladle)...anyway, her point was that today, death surprises us. In the old days, it was almost inevitable and moods were good if you escaped it. Interesting perspective. Of course, that coming from the woman who insisted that Aunt Louise was kept alive by sugar water and she would have no such thing. So she made herself a no code in her living will...forever barring SUGAR WATER (really, a cure all for anything). Then she had a 'spell', no one did everything, and it pissed the hell out of her. My sister and I laughed about that for a week.

Grandma was quite a character. She wore these STURDY brown tie up shoes that had a heel that hit the wooden floor like a shot. And she was a sturdy woman. Very no nonsense and didn't allow laughing at the dinner table. Of course, she would look up from the head of the table where we would all be eating one of her sunday dinners...and say, "IS EVERYONE MAKING OUT?" which would send all of us teenagers into gales of laughter...which always made her say, "Enough of this nonsense". It's funny that my family has a sense of humor on either side.

This reminded me of what my Dad would tell his junior high class when they were slacking off. "Get humping everyone!" (unfortunately for a junior higher, he worked at the same school I also attended, so I heard all about it forever.) It makes me laugh now, though. The beauty of getting older I guess.

Feel free to comment with any stories of your grandparents or parents if you feel inclined. I guess I'm in a nostalgic mood and I'm interested. Also, for any of my cousins reading this, anything else you'd want to write about Grandma B. would also be wonderful. I have more stories but I don't want this blog to turn into endless stories of my family and pictures of my cats and nephews.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Back to blogging

The thing about not blogging for a long time is that it feels overwhelming to start up again. So much has happened in the last two months that I don't know where to start. I think, instead of starting at the very beginning, I'll start at the very end (and work backwards if I have the time and energy).

I woke up today with a smile on my face (very unusual for me – I'm not remotely anything that could be construed as a morning person).

I decided to take a hike. I googled trails near here and found a trail leading to a "Lake Isabelle." That one appealed to me for reasons I'll explain later.

On the drive up to the trailhead, I realized that this was the prime weekend for the aspens turning. I know my northeast U.S. friends won't be all that impressed with this, but it's very beautiful when most of our trees here are evergreens. Not only that, but we don't really see this in Denver. It's higher up. I think the elevation here was about 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) above sea level.

I had left the house anticipating cool but sunny weather. I wore my standard hiking gear – old tennis shoes (I still haven't found hiking shoes I like), some short sweat-type pants and a t-shirt and old sweatshirt.

Imagine my surprise when I reached the trailhead (over 10,000 feet) and found snow!

It was supposed to be a short trail (4 miles roundtrip). And it was, in length. But here's what I was wearing for shoes (no tread) and here's one of the most easy, level, and least snowy/rocky parts of the trail:

The 2.1 mile trail uphill took about an hour and a half and was quite treacherous, especially in my slippery shoes. However, the view along the way made it quite enjoyable, despite the freezing weather, bitterly cold gusting winds, ice, slush and rocks, and a sprained finger (catching myself when I fell once).

Here is a little video I made right before I'd reached Lake Isabelle (when frankly I didn't know if I would ever get to it). It explains why I chose that trail and that lake. I'm sorry the audio is so bad. It was incredibly windy, as you'll see.

Here is the lake. It wasn't too much further.

Beautiful day. Beautiful spot where I live.

(P.S. - technical garbage - if anyone knows how to center the video on the page, please let me know. Since this is my first video, does it work for everyone? I saved it as Quicktime...)