Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter." ~Walt Disney

I remember having a conversation with my step-mom once about the little gray cloud that follows the Engels. She said my Dad had told her about it, and she didn't believe him at first. After you know one of us long enough, it becomes hard to deny it. It can be hard to remain positive during a cloud event, but I try my best. Dave Madison also did not believe this until one day he watched me try to superglue my glasses back together.

So on to last weekend. It was a lovely start, cloudy, but lovely. I had the honor of tagging along on a 14er finisher for a climbing buddy. Then, popped over to a 13er to take one more summit off the Centennial list (100 highest CO peaks). Headed off down the 4WD road - back out towards town - on to the highway - right into a figurative gray cloud.

A walk in the clouds - Chama, CO Ceilo Vista Ranch (Culebra)

Rest stop and route plan for the summit.

Summit photo where you can actually see something other than nothing.

Mike offered to join me for the summit on Red Mountain. Culebra in the back.

Mickey's first tow of hopefully not many more.
Mickey's drive locked up. Wound up having to get towed 4 hours back to Denver. Can't thank my Dad enough for that one. We drop the jeep from the tow truck at the mechanics, and surprise! It worked fine. The mechanic ran a diagnotic, fixed two items, test drove it, and sent it back to me. I didn't even make it home before the drive locked up again. Back to AAA for another tow.

Monday was tough. Not a lot of positive energy coming from me. Nicole was scheduled to be on the Colorado Trail, but that wasn't working out for her either. We were basically two sad people, two very sad people. With the CT out the door for her, and my plans to summit 10+ peaks in 10 days diminishing with every second, the sad panda syndrome was kicking in gear.

This panda is clearly sad about something.
The series of unfortunate events wasn't all bad though. I did get to spend some extra time with my family. Nicole and I did manage to pull ourselves out of the rut. Plans were lost, but new ones were made.

Positive Outlook: The weekend ended with some great quality family time. 
Brainstorming went off with a frenzy. With enough good ideas to work from, Nicole said to think of our three best options. We would cross list them with each other, and see if any matched.

Nicole's Top 3: #1 Wild Iris and Yellowstone; #2 Grand Canyon/Zion; #3 Get as many 14ers for Sarah as possible.

Sarah's Top 3: #1 Wild Iris and Grand Tetons/Yellowstone; #2 Get Nicole's remaining 14ers; #3 the Four Pass Loop.

Needless to say, a bulk of our plans have officially changed (links provided below).

Thanks to Anthony and Lily for the guidebook loan.

July 2-5 Sangre de Cristos
Marble Mountain (hike)
Humboldt Peak (hike)
Or 13ers from Horn Creek

July 11-12 San Juans

My SPOT message tracking page is public: (I will send a few test messages before departing on Thursday evening.)

The update messages I will be sending during my next trip are:

Daily Check-In: thePhoenix: I solemnly swear I am up to no good ~H.Potter

Summits/RedPoints/FlashPoints: thePhoenix: Mischief managed. ~H.Potter