One More Before I Go…Columbine, You Are MINE!

My plan is to leave Ouray the following day after the Bear Creek hike.  But I get an email from Bobbie saying “If anyone is interested in a hike on Tuesday, I’ll take you up to Columbine Lake.”   I have been intrigued by this hidden alpine lake since the Bullion King hike, when we stood at the top of the ridge with Blue Lake on one side and Mill Basin on the other, as Bobbie told us, Continue reading

Utopia Unraveling

Wildflower season is winding down in the San Juans, and so is our Ouray Utopia.  It has been an incredible time here, connecting with former friends and making new ones.  The hiking has been among the most spectacular I have done yet, way up there, where the air is rarefied.   My addiction for “getting high” has grown stronger than Colorado’s legalized marijuana business. Continue reading

Blaine Basin: On Misery and Mycophilia

Blaine Basin trail is a beautiful, moderate 6.5 mile hike with 1,850’ elevation gain.  The trail starts out through dense forest alongside a musical brook, crosses Wilson Creek three times, and ends up in a gorgeous wildflower-filled basin beneath the face of Mt. Sneffels.  That’s about all I can tell you.

I wasn’t feeling it on this hike, and I am still not feeling it looking back.  But that is certainly no reflection on the hike itself.  It was beautiful, and of all the hikes we have done in Ouray, it had the least incline.   But I struggled Continue reading

Just a Little Further…

Bullion King Lake was the last hike I did before leaving Ouray for Texas after receiving news from home that my Dad had died. But even if I didn’t have that sharpened sense of hindsight, looking back on such a glorious day from 106 degree heat of the dry dust-bowl of Central Texas, it still would have ranked up there with one of the best hikes ever. But then, while in Lovely Ouray, I seem to say that about every hike. Continue reading

The Lost Horizon

So now that I am fully acclimatized (said with a wink and a grin!) it is time to do the one hike that has been on my mind since discussions began last winter about a summer visit to Colorado. For three summers now, I have watched posts on the Box Canyon Blog about a place called “Ice Lake,” only accessible by foot. Year after year, I watch as Mark and Bobbie guide friends and family up to this most magical of places Continue reading

Climb High, Sleep Low

I have had altitude sickness twice in my life – once on my attempt to summit Kilimanjaro, and again in Nam Tso Lake in Tibet.   I liken it to sea sickness, in that I would do just about anything to make it stop. As best I can describe, it feels like your brain is suddenly two sizes larger than your skull, and my gray matter might begin protruding from the eyeballs at any given moment.  Each move must be made in slo-mo, otherwise everything pounds and pulsates with every step.  Call me paranoid, but it is not an experience I wish to repeat.   So when Box Canyon Mark says Continue reading

Must There Be Pain?

The scenery around Lovely Ouray is the type of stuff from which those hokey corporate motivational posters are made.   You know, the ones that they hang in the break room that show some fit mountain climber scaling a mountain that no corporate job would permit enough time off to drive by, let alone climb?   The kind of propaganda posters that try to reinforce that “Without pain, there is no gain?”   I have always preferred to think Continue reading

Outskirting Ouray

I have been following the Box Canyon Blog since before I even had an RV. I figure I have read through about a hundred posts touting and tempting life in a box canyon affectionately referred to as “Lovely Ouray, the Switzerland of America.”  So I knew before I got here it would be a special place.  Give me a box canyon, and I am happy. Give me one filled with hikes, a brewery, a hot springs, and a chocolate shop selling “Scrap Cookies” made from left over chocolates? Well, about the only thing you could add to top that would be to throw a couple of good friends into the mix! Life’s own version of the Scrap Cookie.  😉 Continue reading