A Travellerspoint blog

USA

Gray's Peak via Horseshoe Basin

An annual 14er outing with my old man.

sunny 65 °F

Morning Breaks
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The Divide
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Colorado
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Scouting the Trail
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Hiking Up
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Orienting the Target
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Tundra
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Lane Lines
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Little Gray's Lake
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Gray's Lake
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The Scramble
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Peaking on the Ridge
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The Final Push
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Summit View Southwest
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Summit Shot
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Class II Chute
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Argentine Pass
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Heading Down
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Wildflowers I
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Wildflowers II
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The Beautiful Road Home
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White Stream
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Horseshoe Mine
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Église
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5th Summit of the Continental Divide
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Posted by la vita bella 19:10 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Humor

Why it always helps.

sunny 35 °F

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Yesterday while I was skiing at Keystone Mountain in Colorado, I had the great fortune of skiing 6 inches of white fluffy Colorado powder under crisp and clear bluebird skies. I also had the great misfortune of being skiing with my good friend who speared a bamboo obstacle marker with his lower lip, piercing his lip and lacerating part of his gum line. In this process, I noticed a few things. Most importantly, I'm beginning to realize the significance of humor and smiling in life. It seemed simple, but I wanted to take a quick few minutes to write down my thoughts on the topic of humor, and why I think it could save your life someday, too.

A few weeks ago I finished one of the best books I've ever read, and probably my favorite too, called Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales. If your like me and enjoy the riskier adventures in life, you know, Colorado 14ers, 3 week backpacking trips, skiing chutes and cliffs, and generally accepting flying by the seat of your pants sometimes, this book is for you. You'll learn from reading it why some people live in survival situations, and why some people die in them. One of the important things I learned from that book is the importance of humor, which I think also carries over into the simple notion of smiling. He talks about how humor can at times help you survive because it forces you to look at your situation and laugh. It keeps the nerves from focusing on the rough situation that you're in or the tough road out that lies ahead in a survival situation. You're less likely to realize the dire situation that's around you, although that is important, and more likely to think normally and find a way out. It also has the effect of restoring confidence, because it puts your mind on other things. Having learned this from the book, I've noticed this in a number of things I've seen since finishing the book.

First, I read an article in one of my international studies classes on feminism, which knowing that topic can be rough at times, but it was on the use of terminology with missiles in the military and their so often used phallic object titles. While the purpose of the article was to point out masculinity in the military for a feminist, I couldn't help but notice the other parts of the article which hinted at the use of humor. The use of these titles often lightens the subject of missiles when working on an object designed to kill thousands of people. It takes engineers' minds off the idea that their creation may someday massacre thousands of people. By turning these objects into essentially sex jokes, the subject is lightened.

I also had the pleasure of going to a private screening of the new movie Act of Valor last week which comes out in a couple weeks. (Aside: Go see that movie. It's phenomenal, real, and one of the best films I've seen in a long time.) During the scene before the first mission, the seals are all in a plane getting ready to sky dive into the enemy's area. Obviously, stress levels are high. You're the world's elite fighters, sworn to never speak of the tasks you accomplish, and you're about to go to battle with the world's most wanted men, risking your life. Before jumping, one of the seals gives another guy a hard time about his ugly haircut he needs to fix when he gets home. Everyone laughs, and smiles. They shoot jokes at each other about training back home and previous missions. Everyone laughs. Humor.

And lastly, yesterday I was skiing when my friend speared a bamboo pole with his lower lip, causing him to spit blood everywhere. By the time I hiked 20 feet back up the hill and go to him, there was blood all over the snow in front of him - not a pretty sight. I took care of him until ski patrol arrived with the first aid skills I have, and then let patrol take over from there. We got him bandaged up, and as ski patrol was putting him in the sled, he gave me a high five. I laughed and said, "You're obviously gonna be alright". We both kind of laughed at it, and after that I told him, who hates GoPros and ContourCams because he thinks they're dumb, if only you had one of those on we could watch this over and over again tonight over beers. He laughed and looked up at me and said, "Hey, you shut up now!". We both laughed again and then I skied down with patrol to the clinic to get him all taken care of. Again, humor, laughing, and smiling. Yeah, there was blood all over the snow, and he was obviously in pain, but humor always seems to help.

The lesson I've learned from all of this is that humor helps to alleviate the pressure of high stress or emergency situations. So, whether you're the next Navy Seal dropping into a high profile mission, or you're in a survival situation, or you're in some other emergency high stress situation, try to laugh and smile. Focus on the situation and what's at hand, sure, but don't forget to save room for humor. It lightens the mood, helps you stay calm, and relieves a little bit of stress. I've heard people say you should smile because it's good for you, and the more and more I think about it and pay attention to it, the more I think it's true. So the next time you're stressed, try to bring in some humor, laugh, and smile for a little bit - things are going to be alright. And speaking of the use of phallic objects, I have a photo from study abroad that I keep with me at all times because it always makes me laugh no matter what I'm going through. I would encourage everyone else out there to do the same, because it works. That's all I've got for now, and hopefully you've picked up or thing or two. As always, praise and criticism are equally welcome!

Cheers!

--Scooter
--@scott_treks

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Posted by la vita bella 15:14 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Inspiration

sunny 25 °F

Today I had some free time, so I decided to play around with some more new photo apps on my iPhone and see what creative things I could come up with. Using the Apps Gone Free app, I came across the A+ Signature app (which happens to be free today!) which got solid reviews and gave me a few ideas. I owe credit to my cousin who recently gave me the idea of putting transparent text into an image with a short and inspiring quote. Some free apps can be a real failure, and it becomes really obvious why they're free, but A+ Signature is awesome and I was hooked pretty much instantly. I spent some time putting together these pictures using mostly older pictures that I've taken with the Camera+ app (also taken and edited on my iPhone), and came up with the results below. I think some of these would make great desktop background images if it weren't for the fact that the resolution is a little off, but they still look pretty awesome anyways and I wanted to share them. Anyways, enjoy, and I hope you guys enjoy the results!

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Safe travels!

- Scooter
- @scott_treks

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Posted by la vita bella 19:21 Archived in USA Comments (1)

One week.

Europe here I come!

overcast 65 °F

There are really only a few things on my mind as I write this, so here we go.

Yesterday, I was honored in Salida by the Sheriff's department with an Award of Distinguished Service. After months of being in the press, newspapers, telling the story of how I saved a man's life while hiking to friends, and receiving more attention than I'm used to in general, I was able to accept the award yesterday. I was interviewed after the ceremony by a very nice gentleman from the Mountain Mail, which was cool. I was in their paper the week everything happened, and it looks like I'll be in the paper again. I hoped that they published papers on Sundays, but they don't so I'll be looking for something in the next couple days online I guess. The Sheriff's office put me up in a hotel for the night too, which was very nice. Not the nicest hotel in town, but plenty nice and the gesture was very much appreciated. I was also lucky enough to have my best friend Zach and my family there as well, which was amazing. I was very happy to have all of them there, and for them to be able to meet the people who were part of the story that day I was out hiking. For pictures of the ceremony, visit my Facebook album: http://t.co/tjQl4eI

The other major things on my mind: France and the new girlfriend. It's been a while since I've been in a serious relationship with someone, so it's both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time I guess. I can't remember if this is what it always feels like when starting out with something new, but either way we're both excited to give it a try. I'm a little nervous given that I leave for Europe in 7 days, fresh into a new relationship, but we've both agreed to give it our best and set it aside for later if it doesn't work out right away. I'm pretty excited and hoping for the best. That said, I leave for study abroad in 7 days. I'm terrified, excited, nervous, anxious, and so on. I feel like I'm walking off a cliff into the unknown on my own on this one because I'm the only DU student headed to Dijon this fall, so it's scary, but exciting. I realized the other night that I thought the train from Charles de Gaulle Airport went to Dijon, but was wrong, so now I'm scrambling last minute to sort out how to get from Paris to Dijon when I arrive. I am very much looking forward to my studio when I arrive, and am pretty excited to have my own space and live on my own for a bit. I also can't wait to travel. The overnight train from Dijon to Milan looks pretty tempting for an every weekend trip, but we'll have to see. There are too many places to visit and explore across Europe, so we'll just have to see where I end up. Either way, I'm planning to take and post lots of pictures here, so stay tuned! I'm definitely going to miss these mountains of Colorado, but the travels ahead promise to be equally amazing. So until then, here's a picture of a sunset over Mt. Shavano from the town of Salida taken last night. IMG_1491.jpg

Posted by la vita bella 16:29 Archived in USA Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises mountains snow france ski mtn dijon vista buena vail 14ers shavano buena_vista scouting Comments (0)

Transitions.

Some chapters are ending as others are just beginning...

overcast 55 °F

What a roller coaster ride my life can be sometimes. The last couple weeks have been crazy, and the next few promise to be just as crazy. Last week was awesome. I think at the end of the week I felt like a true mountain man, and living the mountain lifestyle has become the greatest thing in my life. I lifted weights a couple days, spent two days biking 20+ miles all over Vail, climbed Vail Mountain in record time, and went rafting down the Arkansas River in Buena Vista under a full moon. Full moon rafting was a bit of an adventure, after all rafting class IV rapids under the moon is a bit challenging, and I got thrown out of the boat once, but it was an absolute blast. Truly, a once in a lifetime experience. The unfortunate news is that my knee is still not healed and the future of it is unknown, pending a doctor's visit at some point, so it looks like I'm done hiking for the summer. This is my last week of biking for the summer as well, and I'm hoping to make the most of that. Vail continues to have me in the best shape of my life, and I think that alone is worth coming back here for in the future, someday.

France. Wow. As I write this, I'm 13 days from departure. It still feels like it'll never actually happen because it's such a big deal and so many words describe it. Nervous. Terrified. Excited. Anxious. That's just the surface. Hopefully I can embrace it enough to make the most of it. I'm most looking forward to growing more as a person during my stay there, the adventures I'll have, people I'll meet, and what I'll be able to take away from it. You'll definitely want to stay tuned here once I get over there for pictures, panoramas, 360 views, and blogs on all of my adventures. I can't wait, and I can't believe it's finally actually here.

And as I continue to be surprised and flattered by this, it looks like I may end up in yet another publication somewhere for my lifesaving story. My university, Denver, has already spoken to me, and now it appears my high school out here in Colorado is interested as well. It's so flattering to me, and more attention than I ever expected to receive for what I did. Lucky guy in the right place at the right time I guess. This weekend on Saturday I'll be receiving my Award of Distinguished Service from the Chaffee County Sheriff's Department at their banquet, which I'm looking forward to. I'll finally get to meet the gentleman's wife who I saved, and the other guy's wife as well who was there that day. My best friend Zach will be there as will my family to spend some time together and spend the night in Salida. It should be a great day all around, and I'm really excited for all of it.

And as I said, as some chapters are ending while others are beginning. This summer's time in Vail is coming to a close much too quickly, while my time abroad is about to begin. Call me crazy, but I'll be leaving for France while in a brand new relationship, which will make things even more interesting, but we're both excited for the future and giving this a try. I'll leave it there for now, with this beautiful picture of the double rainbow I caught over Vail tonight. Until next time... Double Rainbow over Vail tonight, 8/22/11

Double Rainbow over Vail tonight, 8/22/11

Posted by la vita bella 19:00 Archived in USA Tagged mountains hiking france village hike bike mtn dijon lionshead vista buena vail prepared buena_vista antero rmvr Comments (0)

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