Monday, December 28, 2015

White Christmas

   Here it is a wonderful White Christmas! I still can't believe how light and airy the snow is here. Five inches of fresh powder snow. To me it is a joy to even shovel. I do not often miss skiing but I do today.

Today's Song Tears For Fears, Woman in Chains

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A girl with a song and a boy with a story.

 A Christmas full moon. What joy life brings these days! I hope to live long enough to see the next full moon Christmas in 2034 and will be able to celebrate it with as much health joy and happiness as I have today. The simple words in this writing have truly become the words in my life to live by. All I have in my life, my joy, my happiness, my home, health, and love are because of living these truths. I guess everything in life happens for a reason and I know that everyone always says that they wouldn't change anything in their life and I am one of them. If I hadn't found my sobriety and come to my own truth in life I wouldn't be with my beautiful wife today or have the life I have. When we met I was a wandering writer with a story to tell and she was a girl with a song and so goes the happy ending. I truly have found my destiny and am at great peace in my world. I hope that for this Christmas and New Year you find the joy and happiness that you deserve.

Today's Song: Diamonds and Rust, Joan Baez

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Create Your Future

     I know it sounds simple. It is not. Controlling your negative thoughts and emotions is extremely hard. They will pull you from your centeredness. Meditation in any form will help. There are many forms of meditation and I suggest you study and follow a path. It was simple for me my Guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, found me. He found me in the form of his book Autobiography of a Yogi. ( The only book Steve Jobs downloaded to his IPad.) I saw his face on a book on the end cap of a shelf in a book store in Telluride, Colorado after a writing conference. I was inexplicably drawn to the radiance of his face and immediately became a devotee.  I read his book, starting taking his lessons and was initiated in Kria Yoga and became a Yogi of the Self-Realization Fellowship a few short years later. It has changed my thoughts and my life for the better. You do not have to become a Yogi. It is how I am wired, I have always taken everything to the extreme. I can honestly say that my extremes are a thing of the past. I live and exist in the moment and the day. It doesn't mean that I don't have the highs and lows of life as you live it, they are just shorter and I always return to my mediation and energization exercises daily in the morning and the evening. It has allowed me the freedom in Life to finally pursue the goals and dreams I have always longed to pursue but have never applied myself to becoming. It is a long journey, and one that I am committed to with my entire heart and soul. I hope that you find your happiness and joy your world.

A Song For The Day;
"In Your Eyes," Peter Gabriel

 Rad Piper

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Finding the Portal

   When you find the portal that you are seeking it is important to step through and to not look back. Change is inevitable and necessary for growth. Understanding your dreams and aspirations are important to seeing them through to fruition. If you do not have alignment with your vision than you cannot achieve your goals. Through centeredness and concentration enlightenment is attainable.

   Allow yourself the time to dream. Allow the Universe to provide the opportunity to move forward. Recognize the time when decisions must be made and make them focusing on God's Will and leave yours out of it.

   These day's my White Dreams of youth have melted away. The Equine Dreams of my Adulthood have galloped away. The Teaching Dreams of Old Age are alive and living in Simple Peace Hermitage in Assisi, Italy. The link appeared in our e-mail and presented itself as property for sale. We have dreamed of a new school and grounds to teach from and this was heaven sent. Since it has been presented, I trust in the the Lord to provide the means to attain it. Just when you think you are making all the decisions in your life, life presents the next domain for attainment. You must move forward and accept the challenge when it arises.

Today's Song;
The Allman Brothers, Blue Sky

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Welcoming The Winter Winds Of Change

   You feel it on your neck, across your skin, in your eyes, through your hair. The soft whispering winds of change. You look up and around and you suddenly realize that from that moment on something in life has changed. You move forward and understand that there has been a shift. Sometimes very small sometimes very big. These days I welcome the change with open arms.
   I thought that perhaps the title might be "Barbarians at the Gate." A title already used but one that needs to be taken seriously. I feel as if we are living in the last day's of the Fall and Decline of the Roman Empire. We as a Nation are trying trying to sustain major wars not within our borders and with the rise of Isil are making a major commitment to long term wars draining our young men and women and our financial well being as a nation.

   The change in my life is the realization of the commitment I need to make to move forward. I welcome the Winds of Change with open arms and heart.

   A Moving Song:
Justin Timberlake, "Hallelujah"

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Looking For The Answers

The Hippie Movement was a search for truth, a search for answers to questions, The biggest question was, Why am I here? I guess every individual has to find that answer for themselves. I know I did. Everything in it's own time. Life will reveal itself to you if you don't force your will on it. I know that all the times in my life that I attempted to force my will on the world, the world showed me it's own will. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't strive for your goals and attempt to attain your dreams. You have to stop and let the world unfold before you. For me, the realization that the world doesn't revolve around my wants and desires was enlightening. It sounds simple, but the truth is it doesn't. I have had to figure out how best I fit in and how to move forward with my personal dreams and aspirations. O.K. so you want to write! So why are you not spending more time in actually writing than talking about it. I know that life gets in the way, but embrace the fact that you are unique and your perspectives are worthy of being shared. So share your life and your dreams!

Everything But The Girl, "Driving."
Everything But The Girl, "I Don't Want To Talk About It"

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Healing Sessions

  I listen to the sound of the train whistle in the distance and my heart is full of joy. There was a time in my youth when I was an errant vagabond, when at that sound I would shiver in loneliness. I was young vibrant tall strong and empty lonely in my soul and in my heart. The world was at my command and my oyster and I was empty.
   These days, perhaps because of my age, to use a worn out analogy, my cup runneth over. I listen to the sound of the trains off in the distance pulling the cars full of coal through the yards of the Grand Junction Terminal and I find happiness. Happiness in home, my life, my writing, my place in it and my direction. It is funny how the years have changed my perception in the same sound. I quietly close the door to our massage room and look forward to the healing session about to occur.

"Lavender," Marillion

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fresh Powder Down

Couldn't help posting this Powder Shot. We had our first snowfall. Can't quite get accustomed to just seeing the leaves turn and not living in the high country. However I love the sunshine and warm weather. Think Snow in the High Country.

Since I'm felling nostalgic, a blast from the past.
"Like A Rolling stone," Bob Dylan

These Day's I just curl up with my Pie.
Just have to write more stories and live vicariously through fiction.

Monday, October 26, 2015

An Appointment with Knowledge


 "Knowledge is a most peculiar affair,"he said, especially for a warrior. Knowledge for a warrior is something that comes at once, engulfs him, and passes on."

Don  Juan to Carlos Castaneda, "Tales of Power."

                                                    Wild Horses
Wyoming, early morning prairie dews
seep deep enough, pooling reflecting
a wild chestnut stallion's eyes.

His hooves kicking pebbles rippling
little waves, flowing trickling into
small streams of mirages,
dissipating into noon day vapors
and pastured greens of rattle snake plains.

                                                Appaloosa Sky
Now I listen to horses
in fields of green grasses
that reflect from blue mountains
in waves of grey moonlight
that dawn is an Appaloosa
with and eye of forgiveness.

                                               Just Ask A Horse
Now you see,
I've got this light
It's from these mountains
That I Bring.

Happy Hunter's Moon, and Harvest Moon.

Listen and Open Your Chakras
Seven Chakras Activation & Healing Meditation Music

Monday, October 12, 2015

But When Every Monday Comes

I think the song goes, Monday, Monday, can't trust that day. It remains to be seen. Even my morning meditation was slow and sluggish. As the days grow colder in the mornings,  a nice warm bed with my Piper and my beautiful wife is much more inviting than facing the stark morning light. These are surely the days to roll back over and snuggle in. HAPPY MONDAY!

"In Your Eyes," Peter Gabriel

The Ballad of Tom Dillon
Come and sit along side of me my beautiful innocent children. You see my name it is Tom Dillion and there is this story I have to tell.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Morning Light

Morning light revealed the gently falling snow
darkness unveiled
stole silently, stubbornly
assured of resurrection.

Starship "We Built This City

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Must Be The Season of the Witch

  Every Season brings its own feelings and moods. The Fall is prelude to winter and has a feeling of melancholy. It has always been my season for incredible change. Although introspective I have always fixed my star on great adventures. Often mountain adventures, or a time of travel for me, the fall has lately been my respite. The changing of the colors and loss of leaves to stark and barren trees brings the hope of a new and joyous spring. I like to write in the fall. Maybe because I get to wear sweaters. Wrap my arms around myself and find some type of overlook or mountain to look at the world from. Often I found myself, at Thatcher Park in the Helderbergs, looking back at Albany, New York and up into the Adirondacks. I loved that view of Albany, or making my way over to Old Stage Coach Road just below Thompsons Lake and have a different view of the city. It was a clearer view of the Plaza in down town Albany.

   I remember that I used to ride a 15 speed bike from Colonie up into Thatcher Park and then to my cabin at the lake. There is a long right turn at the base of a giant hill that climbs into the park. You climb for perhaps a couple of miles and you are geared very low because of the steepness. Just as you were cresting the summit there was a small house on the left and in that house lived a 3 legged German Shepherd. He was mean and did not like people on bikes. You had to figure that since he only had three legs, he had a reason to be mean. The first time I peddled past he was asleep on the porch. I remember saying, "hey, buddy," and waking him up. Big mistake. Not only was he mean but he was pretty fast for only having three legs. I was just barely able to out race him. You were exhausted from the climb, but you had to ask yourself to reach into the reserves and pump like crazy or you were going to be bit and most likely hurt bad. He meant to hurt you. German Shepherds don't mess around and he was serious about doing bodily harm. The first summer that I lived there I rode my bike to the Lake three times a week. I always made it past him, but it never got any easier. The more in shape I became, it seems the faster he became. I did enjoy my early evening swims in the Lake after getting all sweaty from out running my nemesis.

   Don't know why I thought of Withes and the fall. Except that Halloween comes around and of course it is a time of bewitching. I guess perhaps I have been bewitched a fall or two.

   Great News! Al's Blog says Arapahoe Basin is getting snow.

A Song Featuring Carlos Santana;

Put Your Lights On: Everlast with Carlos Santana


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fall into Change

  This is The Mirror Lake Inn, in Lake Placid, New York. It instantly reminded me of all of the beautiful fall trips I would take into the Adirondacks and Green Mountains of New York and Vermont. The fall colors of the East are beyond words. The many hardwoods each with their own distinctive colors are exceptional. I have missed the falls of the East greatly. In Colorado, the Scrub Oak turn red and the Aspens of course are brilliant gold set against the lovely pines. But nothing compares to the Eastern Fall. Take a ride on the Gondola on Gore Mountain to view fall colors. Ride along the shores of Lake Champlain which is spectacular. Or just take a drive into anywhere Vermont, Rutland, Bennington, any of the Ski Mountains and their awesome Valleys will suffice. Just get out doors and view the colors. At last the fall in the West may be less than average because of a mold on the Aspen's this year that is causing the leaves to drop prematurely.

   My wife, Kathy, was a DJ in Aspen and Carbondale, Colorado for many years and often puts together some great song lists to listen to. This week we were talking about our meeting in Aspen in November at our job we shared that brought us together. I remember being kind of a lonely old ski bum and she being a popular outgoing personality. It seemed unlikely that we would ever be together. I guess the Lord does work in mysterious ways. What I am trying to say is to get out of your comfort zone and to go for whatever your dreams are. I know that I am pursuing mine this year. Look for my collection of short stories on book shelf near you in the coming year.

A couple of songs to sooth your memories:
Don Henley; "Last Worthless Evening"
Billy Joel:"New York State of Mind"

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Let the Journey Begin

  Colorado was never the end game for me, I had originally set my sites on Big Sky, Montana. A very good friend of ours from Albany had moved to Montana. We had written letters back and forth and I liked what he was about. So Montana was the goal, and the West was the way. There was no consideration of traveling by car or by bus. Hitchhiking was only the way. Besides people where freer then and would often stop and take you for a great distance, if they were going somewhere. I was a climber or at least so I fancied myself as one. I had purchased a big heavy pair of leather hiking boots with Vibram soles. Heavy gripping rubber for climbing on rocks and a rather large green backpack. It was a Tough Traveller. Frameless because I was never a big fan of frame back packs. They were too bulky and rigid, took up too much room and never conformed to a space. I would not conform but my pack had to. The key to having new climbing boots is that you have to wear them everywhere. I would wear mine to parties, social events, and generally all around town. If I wasn't a climber with pitons and ropes and clips and rings, I was going to at least look and act the part of one. Willing to tell any one I was that I was heading to the mountains. We had just ended our lease on our cabin at Thompson's Lake in the Helderberg's and I could not face another winter in Albany, New York. I was determined to get to Big Sky. So on and uneventful morning I said my goodbyes to my friends and my poor Mom who worried for my future and lit out on the road. I never thought of myself as a writer then. I was and adventurer off on a new adventure. A skier in search of the next big mountain and the deeper snows. I had already used up all of the Adirondacks, Catskills, Berkshires, Green Mountains and White Mountains. There was simply no place with steeper mountains and deeper snows than the West. Visions of endless wide open snowfields with untouched virgin powder danced in my mind and filled my days and nights until I could no longer resist the call of the open road. So along with some heavy winter clothes I stuffed my copy of Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman into my pack and was gone. My favorite route west was not the Thomas E Dewey, Thruway as you might expect. I had always been partial to old Route 6 leaving Albany through Cherry Valley and west. My grandfather had grown up on a farm in western New York State and had often taken me there to visit his mom and his cousins. We had always driven Route 6 stopping at the towns and sightseeing along the way. My sister Linda and brother - in law John operated a cash crop farm there. I worked there for a summer in between College Semesters. It was during the early 70's. Farming was a bit too remote and also very time consuming. It gave me a great appreciation for their love of the land and the struggles of an individual family farm. I thought you would have better odds if you were a gambler in Los Vegas.

   My most memorable trip to the family farm came when I was fourteen. My Uncle Buzzy, (Verne my grandfather's name) worked at a car dealership in Albany and had purchased a new 1964 Thunderbird. It was copper tone and it was a convertible. What was so unique about his car, was that when you put down the top. You would raise the trunk which opened front to back and the top of the car would disappear into the trunk and then you would lower the trunk. I thought this was the coolest thing ever. On this particular trip, just outside of Albany, my Uncle pulled to the side of the road and motioned for me to drive. I had arrived at manhood for sure. Was I not the coolest kid in the world? Driving a brand new copper tone thunderbird with the top down with one hand on the wheel, through the peaks and valleys of route 6 & 20 from Albany, to Rochester, New York at 14 years old.

   This trip was my farewell bon voyage journey. I was hitchhiking with my old dog Dusty. He was a 12 year old Airedale Terrier Lab Cross and an all around mellow guy. It was a new experience for me to be hitching with a dog. The rides came easy, but when he became restless we were off on our own again on the side of the road. The actual journey could be done in a day, even if you had to get several rides. I remember making it in a long day.

   While my family thought of me as an errant Vagabond, and lectured me about saving my money and making something of myself. They were also supportive of my wanderlust and allowed me the freedom of leaving my best friend in good hands. There was no better place for my good friend than to retire to farm life.

 To Be Continued.....

A Song for the Lunar Eclipse: "Dark Side of the Moon," Pink Floyd

Friday, September 25, 2015

Celebrate the Harvest Moon.

 Celebrate the super harvest moon this weekend. On Sunday the 27th there is a rare total eclipse of the moon resulting in a blood moon. It promises to be a spectacular lunar event so be sure to catch it. You can google the Harvest Moon and learn all about the incredible celestial event happening. I tried to link it but was not able to. Don't miss the cosmic show. Hope your skies are clear!

A Song for the Event:"Nights In White Satin," The Moody Blues

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Follow Your Dreams

   When I originally thought of White Dreams, I thought it was my quest for Alpine Winter Adventures, after all the quest for steeper mountains and deeper snows was the singularly greatest drive in my life. I listened to my grandfather talk about Whiteface and Gore Mountains as a young man. He worked for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as an accountant. Along with a Southern Catskill Mountain, they were his accounts. I listened intently to his tales of these areas and the views in the winter. So much so, that every spare moment I had I went skiing in the Adirondacks and quickly moved on to bigger and greater mountains and snows. Nothing new I've covered this topic a zillion times in my writing many different ways. I have given homage to the dreams I have pursued in my stories and poetry. It has been a trip into single mindedness. A one way trail you might say.

   These days, my thoughts have focused on my writing entirely. My friends and I would often say about skiing, "If not now, when!" The time is now. I know that there is a lot of insane research that goes into a Historical Novel. The thing that attracts me the most these days is the passion. It has never diminished. It grows in strength and desire as the seasons come and go. The fall and winter have always been my greatest time of adventure and travel. The spirit is willing and as the nights grow colder and the sun shifts in the sky with the Autumnal Equinox I feel the shift and pull in my spirit and psyche. It is the the familiar feel of the beginning of a new dream and adventure. Another White Dream, this one the biggest dream I have ever dared to dream. You have got to follow your dreams or become numb and dead to the world in your staleness.

A Song about Complacency:"Comfortably Numb," Pink Floyd

A Song of Conquest: "Conquistador," Procol Harum                     

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Pied Piper

 The stories of great saints have always fascinated me. I don't remember the specific name of the particular saint that has been referenced, but I remember the story vividly. He had such a magnetic personality that when he would walk through the towns and villages that mothers would clutch their children tightly to them for fear that they would leave and follow the saint out of town. A true Pied Piper. I have had my share of egotistical complexes in my life including a Pied Piper complex. Some of the lines to my poems are "Stealing little children and filling empty auditorium seats." "Go upon the mountains my beautiful innocent children and leave the cities far behind."

    These days I follow my own Pied Piper. It happens to be a 5 lb. toy poodle, named Piper. My little Pie, Pie, Pied Piper. I am smitten and yes I do put her Sweater on in the mornings before taking her out. Yes, I do reassure her that the sweater doesn't make her Butt look big! I have found myself clearing out and cleaning my shop to install a wood stove and make room for a nice big couch and writing podium, ( I like standing and writing and typing on my computer). You see my little girl likes to be told stories. I find myself explaining long complicated things to her. It only seems fitting that I would use all avenues open to me to continue my story telling. Not to mention that I want to spend much more time at home with my beautiful wife, writing.

    My new bible is "Bullet Proof Book Proposals", by Pam Prodowsky, and Eric Neauhaus. It is finally time to move forward and to get on with the pursuit of my goals. This fall and winter instead of picking out a ski mountain or a ski town, I am going to pick out a book publisher and pursue the goal of publishing my short stories, and pursuing the goals of finishing my novels in progress and researching my historical novel.  Wish me Good Luck!
A Song for Memories "Wish You Were Here," Pink Floyd

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Music In The Cafe's At Night And Revolution In The Air

 No that is not my line. Yes I did steal it from a Bob Dylan song. I hung on to and clung to the lines of all Dylan's song's as a young man. I was not alone. It was the sign of the times. Oddly I was reminded of Saratoga, New York this week with the running of American Pharoah at the Travers Stakes. I thought of the many days spent at the race track and Hattie's Chicken Shack and Caffe Lena. Of course, I remember Bob Dylan in Saratoga and Caffe Lena, I was taken by the scenes, the times, and the cultural revolution. All this because of a horse race this week. It was more than just a horse race. The culmination of American Pharoah sweeping the triple crown. He was so impressive in his races.

   Here is where life's experiences creep into your world. I once was impressed by and attended horse racing on a regular basis as well as gambled at OTB parlors in New York, that was until I became an Equine Massage Therapist and co-owner of a rescue ranch. I learned so much about horse anatomy and the musculature of the Equine Athlete. I came to realize what a brutal sport horse racing was and how insane it is to ask three year olds to do what they ask of them in the triple crown races. I was saddened to the core to see the Legend of American Pharoah jaded by the greed of his owner to win a race at Saratoga and increase the stud fee of the horse. The horse looked worn out to me. His eyes were hollow and his confirmation was tight. I thought that he looked somewhat tight and had a hard time making the tight turns in the paddock. His race showed that he did not have the gas to go the distance and in the end his legacy is jaded by the desires of a misguided owner. It was disheartening to say the least. Please let him retire in peace.

   It brings me to the Music and the Revolution. I loved the music and believed in the revolution. I think I still do. Only the revolution is within me now, it is not the violent over throw the government and the establishment revolution of my youth.  (Hell I think I probably am the Establishment) Yes, do I hope that something that I write helps cause a revolution. Except now I hope it is a revolution of mind, body and spirit for the individual as it has been for me. These days I find joy in my home, my meditations and my daily life. I hope you are finding yours.

"Tangled Up In Blue" Bob Dylan

My Baby Blue (Piper)


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Golden Years

   Life moves forward rapidly it seems. I often joke by saying it seems only a few short years ago I was twenty five. I blinked my eyes and now I am entering my mid-sixties. All of the mountains and ski areas I have visited are all a distant memory as well as our equine rescue ranch and all of the multitude of animals we loved and took care of. The loss of our youngest ranch girl our golden Gracie was perhaps the hardest of all the animals I had the honor to escort to the next realm. She was the end of an era for us. You know in life when your world shifts. This was monumental for Kathy and myself. I cannot speak for her, but for me, my whole life's focus changed. The dawn of a new life stretched out before me. I have always had an excuse why I could not pursue my dream of finishing my Historical Novel about Arapahoe Basin in Colorado. My job, my business, our rescue ranch, making a living, blah, blah, blah.

  Our little Golden Friend was all about Love. The pursuit of love, the people, the places, the things that are love. Just after she passed, we spent a weekend in Ouray, Colorado. We had to change our reservations at the last moment because we adopted a toy poodle we named Piper. So we ended up down town for the weekend in a Hostel style hotel above a restaurant. I was blown away by the views from our third story window. I almost named this piece A Room With A View. Someone else has already taken the subject and written eloquently about it. Any way, the San Juan Mountains are beautiful and rich with the history of the Uncompaghre Ute Indians. The town of Ouray bears the name of the great Chief Ouray who had an influential wife named Chipeta. I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful book titled, People of the Shining Mountains

People of the shining

, A history of the Ute Indians.

   So now it ushers in the new era of the study of the Ute Indians and their migration and near extinction in the West. I look forward to the journey. I have an angel in heaven who whispers in my ear, "you've got to follow your heart Albert."

 My heart has always been in the mountains and the San Juans are amazing.Mt. Sneffels is a jewel in the crown of Colorado mountains. I look forward to my research and the joy of spending time there with Kathy and my new best friend Piper. I am truly the Luckiest Man in America.

   A Song about Life's Loves
"Brandi," Looking Glass

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ski A-Basin


  It is never to late to fulfill wishes on your bucket list. If you have ever skied and you would like to ski a unique ski area check out the Basin.
   Some faces you never forget after caressing. This is one of those faces!
 Tina Turner: We Don't Need Another Hero

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Looking At An Old Lover In A New Light

It isn't often that your breath is taken away by an old lover seen in a new light. This just blew me away. Hope  you love it as much as I do.
Milky Way Over A-Basin: Ken Cross
Song for The Basin: Bob Welch: Sentimental Lady

Saturday, July 11, 2015

True Blue

   My wife Kathy is True Blue in life and love, her best girl friend Gracie Marie was also. We were blessed for twelve years with her spirit, love, humor and joy. Gracie was the baby of our Equine Rescue Ranch and survived all our other friends. It was hard for us to let each and every beautiful spirit go to God. It was our responsibility to see that they all were cradled with love in the end. The end of and era has come for us and our lives will move forward. We will have a little more joy and love in our hearts for having known such a warm loving kindred spirit as her. She brought us to our new home and made sure we were settled. Happy Trails my little Ranch Girl.

   R.I.P. Gracie Marie.
Mr. and Mrs.

A Parting Song and Poem
Dream Weaver: Gary Wright
The Rainbow Bridge

Monday, July 6, 2015

Hippies Moving to the Hills

   You see only the gross material products coming from God's factory behind creation; but if you went into the factory itself, you would behold in what marvelous manner everything in this world has been brought into manifestation.
 Paramahansa Yogananda

   Letting go and letting God has never been my strong suit. It has always been my path to assert my will into the equation. I am learning to remove the I from the equation. Life does have its way of working things out if you will just allow the universe work it's magic. Removing myself from the center of the universe is the hardest thing I have ever done. What it has given me is endless joy and freedom from my own trappings of life.

   Many years ago, I sat in a cabin in the Heldeberg Mountains of New York State and dreamed of skiing in Colorado in the winter. A lifetime of winter skiing is behind me now. All grist for my writing mill, it serves to propel me forward toward becoming the writer I wish to be. I remember listening to the music of the times. It spoke of freedoms never before thought of or imagined. It was the sign of the times. We had just come out of the turbulent sixties. I pulled a high number in the first draft lottery and would not have to go to Canada to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War. I was free. Free to pursue the life and dreams I imagined. Looking back on it now, it was the beginning of a new era. Driven by the words and ideas put forward in popular songs, Hippies sought freedoms never before imagined. Hippies were moving to the hills. Not only were they making love and not war, they were experiencing life in a way that was unimaginable to society. A society that was expanding in every way. It seemed that the fabric of society was being stretched and pushed to it's breaking point. Peoples minds were being expanded and opened. What was taboo was in. The social fiber and morals of the day gone. A new dawn, a new day.
   I hope to explore the post sixties and early seventies to help find the motivation of the characters and principles that brought everyone to Arapahoe Basin in Colorado leading up to it's sale in the late 1970's. I look forward to a journey of the times, the people, and the places. It will be an exciting journey. I hope you will stay with me for it.

A Song of the Times
Canned Heat: Going Up The Country


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Galena Street Aspen

 The Temperatures have soared into the 100's. Monday working on installing an Evaporative Cooler on a roof, I believe it was the hottest day I have ever worked in. I love the heat. I have always enjoyed starting a wilderness trek early in the morning and climbing and hiking all day long. The dog days of summer in Colorado last sometimes for almost 16 hours. It makes for having wonderful outdoor experiences. It is a juxtaposition of the winter. The sun is at a different angle and you often experience the flat light of winter and a dull dreary day. I love them both. I suppose it is indicative of my love for Colorado. It truly is a beautiful state.

   Why a picture of Aspen in the winter, during hot warm Colorado sun shiny days. I think because it was so bright on Monday working on a roof. That I was reminded of flat light. If you have ever experienced flat light on white snow you would know what I am talking about. You loose depth perception and large dips and even small cliffs blend into the snow and it is a danger that you would never expect to encounter in the mountains. Then add to the fact that when you are skiing you are generally traveling at a fair clip on skis and that it would be easy to ski off of a trail that is extremely steep into something steeper. I guess it is just a play on light that is unique in the mountains. The light on Monday was bright, hot and relentless. Hot long and incredibly beautiful all the colors of the foothills just popped out at you and you could see forever. I do miss the the Evergreens and the Mountains compared to the flatness of the foothills. It was the first day that I believe that I thought of the cold winter days of Aspen since leaving. Kind of like missing and old friend or confidant, something triggers a feeling or a thought and they are etched into your memory and for that brief moment they float through your mind. Perhaps it was that I was just delirious and suffering from sunstroke or maybe the light was playing tricks on my mind. I believe for the moment I was standing on Galena Street staring up at Ajax (Aspen Mountain) in a cool Winter Breeze. Stay cool out there and hydrate in the heat.

My Other Love
The Moody Blues: The Tide Rushes In

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Adopting An Attitude of Gratitude

  There are a lot of things in life to be grateful for. Take time in life and reflect on those things. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude for what you have achieved and accomplished in your life. It will take you far. Life will become more precious and full. Often you do not appreciate the real people and things in your life until they are no longer there. Take time today and be thankful. I am. The Serenity Prayer allows me to reflect on life and to appreciate all the beautiful things that life has laid before me. Do not squander life's gifts!

A Song About Time.
 Time After Time Cyndi Lauper

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ari Finds A Home

    Yes it's true after eons of searching Ari has found the cosmic connection to his home. He wasn't really looking for a home. The last time we talked to Aristotle he was on his way to the ocean in Oregon. We all know how life goes, sometimes you find the most precious things in life when you are not looking for them, like a lover, a friend, a wife, a good book, a confidant, a collaborator, and yes even a home. Well just take a look at Ari and then tell me, he isn't the happiest he has ever been. Who would have ever guessed it? Life is as life becomes. Welcome Home Aristotle!
   Of course you realize that Ari has been known to wander so you may expect him to show up in some strange places from time to time.
     A song for the occasion
"Moon River" Breakfast At Tiffany's

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Cure For The Rainy Day Blues

   These days I like to concentrate on the here and the now and not to live in the memories of the past. Sometimes though when the weather is bad like it has been for the past month or more. I don't mind if I indulge myself in to a little past history. Living in Colorado has primarily assured us of good weather. The days are generally sunny and blue skies. Very rarely do you get many rainy days strung in a row. That is until this spring, it has been the darkest and wettest and snowiest I have ever seen. Nation wide we are far better off than other places the inclement weather appears to be running amok.

   The longest stretch of good weather in my memory is the late 80's. I am not sure of the year, but it was the year of the fires in Yellowstone. The year 1988 strikes a chord for me. I had recently moved back to Colorado after a string of bad luck in New York State. (Self-Inflicted.) I was more than just a struggling writer then. I was struggling with other issues and had yet gotten the upper hand. "All is well that ends well," so they say. Today I am happy joyous and free of those former addictions and even the rainy day blues can't bring me back down. Anyway, back to the stretch of good weather. I had gotten back into outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, climbing, and extremely long spring, summer adventures. Fortunately, I was working as a waiter in Vail, and did not have to be into work until 5 pm. This gave me a tremendous amount of time to explore the local wilderness. Long bike rides up Vail Pass and over Shrine Pass and down into Redstone and through Minturn back to Vail. It was always a great trek with my partner Christian. We also liked to head up to Benchmark at the Top of East Vail on our bikes, sometimes we would climb down into the Back bowls of Vail with our bikes and ride down into West Vail. There are some extremely challenging terrain into West Vail. The days went on forever. I believe the record was 40 or 45 days of no rain. The afternoon thunder storms never appeared. Arising at 5 am you can get out climbing and summit the Gore Range at 13,000 ft. plus by noon and be back down into town for work by 5. I remember one particular day climbing on Gore Pass and looking out West toward Yellowstone and seeing the large white plumes of smoke rising from the fires. It was incredible to see. Several days later the entire Upper Eagle Valley was socked in with smoke and eventually cleared out. Many days were spent hiking up into Piney Lake and the wilderness there. I believe those hikes and bike trips served to put Christian and I into good enough shape to Climb Mount of the Holy Cross that year.

   The Holy Cross Wilderness is particularly beautiful but extremely rugged. I unfortunately, as a climber was endowed with very large quads. Probably from all the years of skiing that I did. Anyway coming down Holy Cross there are very large scree fields filled with giant boulders. You find yourself hopping from boulder to boulder for thousands of yards. If you have large muscles in your legs like I, you burn up large amounts of energy. The thing about Holy Cross is that on the initial trek in you descend into a very large ravine before you begin the actual climb up Holy Cross itself. All well and good you might think, but after Summiting Holy Cross, you have to boulder down for hours and then trek out and climb back up the ravine to get out of the wilderness area. I distinctively remember saying to Christian after I was totally spent and felt like I was walking on wooden stumps, because my quads had filled with lactic acid, "I think I'll sit here for a few minutes and catch up shortly." Wrong, the problem is when you sit down and relax your legs tend to cramp up. I was siting and writhing in pain, alone in the wilderness and I came to the realization that no one was going to help me to walk out. If I did not pull it together, rub out the cramps and struggle out on my numb stumps, I was going to spend the night in the Holy Cross Wilderness. What a great motivator spending the evening alone in the wilderness is. I did get up and did force myself to finish my walk out.

    I guess sometimes memories are the cure for the rainy day blues. Kathy and I are closing on our new house this Thursday and we can't wait to move in this weekend. A second move in one year. Not uncommon for living in s Ski Resort. Except now, I live in the City, and don't plan on many more moves. Often during orientation at a ski resort, during the smile school the resorts would have you attend, they would often ask, "How many times have you moved in the past several years?" Sometimes the answers would be astounding. People would say, "I have move six times in the last two years." I would often think how odd that would seem to most sedentary American Workers. I don't think the average American is flexible enough in that way. Too Bad that people are so rigid.

   I fear rigidity in my old age and hope that my current move will allow me stability and yet not make me rigid. I have the desire to grow in my writing and hope that a new writing office set up properly will be an impetus for longer structured writing sessions. I could use a little rigidity in that area. Here is to attacking the long lazy dog day afternoon summertime blues with constructive writing. I am growing fond of the City and all the things at my beckon call.

  An Incredible Blue Song.

    "Superman's Song," The Crash Test Dummies

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Good News Day


   The good news is that we have been getting a lot of snow in the mountains. I follow Al's Blog the source for everything A-Basin and they will consider keeping the Basin open after June 15. They have had 41" of snow this month. This has been an incredible late snow year. The other day I had to go to Cederedge, Colorado and the amount of snow on the San Juan Mountains was breath taking. Really beautiful late spring snows up there.
 All kinds of good news coming these days!

   The only other times I have skied later than mid June is when Christian, my climbing partner, and I have climbed and skied St. Mary's Glacier. The climb is relatively short but in August the snow on the glacier is tricky. The sun beating on the snow melts large divots into the glacier called sun cups. If you try skiing it too early in the day it can be treacherous because your skis bridge the cups and the rims of the cups are icy. Think of a container of ice cream that you take a spoon full out of. The hollow part is soft but he upper edges are icy. You need for the noon day sun to soften the edges because if you are on a North Facing slope in the shade it is easy to loose your edges and if you fall the rocks are not friendly.

   Christian skied up to me on a trip up St. Mary's once and came to rest on a steep slope just off of the main glacier. He was casually talking to me, when all of a sudden he was gone. The edges of his skis just let go and I watched as he slid head first down a steep slope toward very large boulders. I am ashamed to admit it right now, but all I could think of was that the keys to the jeep where in his coat pocket and if he was dead, I would have to climb down and get the keys, from his dead mangled body. Fortunately, he was able to turn his torso and take the collision with the rocks on his shoulder. He was battered and bruised, but lived to tell of it. Well actually, he made me promise to never tell his wife. Since it has been over twenty years, I guess I am safe.

   I enjoy the fond memories, I gave up skiing years ago to work with horses and to ranch after I married my wife Kathy. We no longer even do that. I truly just wish to write my memories. I  have never looked back, only in memories, and in the fall, when winter arrives do I still feel the familiar urges. I guess I felt the late spring skiing urge this week being in the San Juan Mountains. They are amazingly beautiful.

   We are closing on our new house next week. It is the first property we have bought that is just for us. I will have a heated shop for myself, and a new writing office. We are extremely excited and happy. Don't know why the lord turned us from Oregon to here? He obviously has his plans. These days I just follow his lead. Perhaps I will finally attack those writing projects I rant about from time to time. The lord knows my heart and mind are very willing right now. Kathy has a nice studio, separate from the house, for her massage therapy and we are setting up a formal dining room for classroom activity so she can teach her healing arts programs. Life is blossoming.

   I hope you enjoy the photo A-Basin from Al's recent blog. The Basin still is a place where there is "Nothing in Moderation." Although they no longer use that slogan, it is politically incorrect these days. It was not in 1978. I just remembered seeing that motto in a poem someone wrote. I guess they had the need to steal it. I would like to write my memoirs of those times before I get too old to remember, sometimes I don't trust those memories. They always seem more embellished than they actually were. Although the memories are probably true, I am the guilty embellisher.  I hope everyone enjoys their Holiday Weekend!

A Song for Life's Survivors
"One Tin Soldier," Coven

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Truth And Love

Truth and Love are the guiding lights to the future.

"Release," Pearl Jam

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Swami Sri Yukteswar

   Born: May 10, 1855
   Died: March 9, 1936

Happy Birthday Swami! May the Divine Mother Embrace your soul and further your teachings.

Swami Sri Yukteswar, "The Holy Science"

A Song For All Teachers
"Down To The Valley To Pray," Allison Krauss"
Down To The River To Pray - Sorry.
Om Nama Shiviya

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Home is Where Your Heart Sings

   I never thought that moving to the City would make me feel like I have come home. There are a lot of similarities to Grand Junction, Colorado and Albany, New York. The area here sets in a Basin between the mountains. This area is much smaller than Albany but it reminds me of it. Albany has the Heldeberg Mountains and the Adirondacks. Junction has the Grand Mesa, Colorado National Monument, and the Book Cliffs.

 The Book Cliffs are a series of desert mountains and cliffs in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah. They are Cretaceous Sandstone and they cap many of the South-facing buttes and appear similar to a shelf of books. Perhaps the most famous is Mount Garfield at the edge of Palisade, in the Grand Valley known for it peach orchards, and the City of Grand Junction. The cliffs range for nearly two hundred miles, and begin where the Colorado River descends South through Debeque canyon into the Grand Valley to Price Utah. On a very clear day off on the horizon to the south you can see the snowcaps of the San Juans and the Telluride ski area.

   The Grand Mesa is a large mesa in Western Colorado. Having an area of about 500 square miles, it stretches for about 40 miles. It is the largest flat-topped mountain in the entire world. The Mesa ranges about 6000 ft. above the surrounding river valleys, including the Grand Valley to the west at about 11,000 feet, and reaching a maximum elevation of 11,333 feet at Crater Lake. It is a home to  Wild Colorado Mustangs.

     We are currently under contract for a home almost in the shadow of Mount Garfield. It has been so many years since I have lived in a City. At first I was very tentative to the idea and even skeptical, for the majority of my life I have been extremely anti-society. A loner, not a joiner. Don't get me wrong I still prefer the wilderness to gatherings of people. However we are attempting to integrate into life a bit more. The only thing that being a loner gets you is solitude and loneliness. It has it's place, the wilderness in Colorado is clean, crisp, concise an clear. Cities are noisy, congested, polluted, and often dirty. The new us is finding river walks, hiking trails, and adventure almost in the city limits.

   A sleepy University town in it's awakening stages. The similarities to Eugene, Oregon are striking. Only this town is in it's early stages of growth, and soon will blossom into the Big College town it is destined to become. It has the normal growing pains. The need for an extensive trail system looping the town, with designated bike paths. They will have to figure out how to deal with the students, traffic and bikes all together in the downtown core. I hope they work it out. The area has promise and can grow into an exciting place.

   Did I ever think that it would awaken feelings of my hometown? The answer is a resounding No! Don't know how these feelings crept up on me. I know when I was young I spent time around colleges, taking creative writing classes and wearing big thick sweaters in the fall. It made me feel more writerish. Funny how we all have our way of envisioning our success. It is good to be older than younger. House hunting has recently put us in some situations where we have had to drop in on college students and their living arrangements. It reminds me of ski towns and crash pads of ski enthusiasts (a reverent term for ski bums.) While being exciting and fun, living day to day to chase sunsets and snowflakes, doesn't lend to retirement or security in life very well. I guess you trade off everything in life. These days I wear a uniform and work at a large Plumbing and Heating business to afford my dream retirement home. Gone are the days of my many backpacks and sleeping bags in search of adventure. My adventure comes from my pages and seeing where they will take me. I hope that this adventure is a promising as those of my youth. I guess you will just have to stick around and see.

   I'm excited for the new beginning and to think that this respite in life comes out of the concern for our Goldie, Golden, Gracie. Since moving here she has settled in well and has her routine of chasing the local cats who parade through our yard. We have promised to get her a kittie, her very own tiger cat to match her color, when we move into our new home. Since real estate deals fall apart at a whim, I am hoping this one goes through. I  have just the spot for my motor home that will take us to the ocean. I will have a balcony to have morning tea on and watch the sun light up Mount Garfield and to scheme about writing adventures. A much mellower and mild rebel of sorts. I have yet to explore the writing scene in Grand Junction, a bit too busy getting established. Never enough time to do the things you really love.

My Girl Gracie!


 A Song that Evokes Home For Me.
"Coming Up Close," 'Til Tuesday'

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Kentucky Derby Scoop

The scoop from Toloose for the derby is Frosted at a big price. Good Luck Toloose. Bob (Toloose) was a handicapper for the St. Pete Times as a by product of our misspent youth at Saratoga Race Track. Hope your pick wins.

Today's Song
"Chestnut Mare," The Byrds

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Remembering the Healer of Belknap Hot Springs, Oregon

      We were saddened recently to hear that our Friend Ron, who was the massage therapist at Belknap Hot Springs on the McKenzie River in Oregon had passed away of a heart attack. He was a truly gifted healer. Several years ago my wife spirited me away from our Aspen, Colorado business for an intense healing session with Ron after I was showing signs of fatigue and life weariness. He was certainly the magical healing man in the cabin across the river. I thought I would post a well healed picture of myself spending some relaxing moments in the gardens at Belknap. He was a  true friend and our trips to the hot springs will be a little less magical without his presence.

A Song for Ron, Rest In Peace.
"Diamond Mountain" Luka Bloom

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Prayer for Today

   A Prayer from the Autobiography of a Yogi,
Divine Will is a power of itself and will work miracles in your life. Use it and see the results.

A Beautiful Rendition of A Beatles Song

"I Will," The Beatles, Alison Kraus and Mark O' Connor

Swami Paramahansa Yogannada and his Guru Swami Sri Yukteswar

Create something beautiful today it is your canvas!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Reality, Once Again Rears Its Ugly Head

   Reality bites it creeps into your fantasies and to your writing dreams and says, "Get a job!" I know many writers, write novels when they are commuting on subways, and trains. I am working at scheduling my writing early in the morning. It lends to a clear mind and good work. My work is physical and I find it difficult to write after a full day of work. It doesn't mean that I haven't sat down at the end of the day, relaxed and found myself working well at something. However, I think if I wanted to let myself dream and go, I would prefer to work at research and fleshing out my Historical Work on a more full time basis. I suppose that it is my job to make it happen. It is my reality right now. So the advice I would give to myself is that if you want it to happen that you should buckle down and work harder at making it happen.

     On the bright side my work on Out of America is progressing well. My Chapter, Ford's Porch was a 1200 words when I opened it up and it is decent. The rest, Children of a Greater God, and the opening Chapter, which needs to be rewritten to include a perspective of what my Heroine thinks of the main character, needs to be totally redone. Unfortunately, from a personal perspective, I have no clue what that was. I guess that is why they call it fiction. Invent it and make it real. Sell it so to speak!

   The very best part of being in Grand Junction is that the Real Estate Market with The University becoming a real University and not a State College the growth is tremendous. There is a wonderful opportunity in investment right now. It is possible to leave the area with increased assets by investing in local Real Estate. All of which takes time away from any kind of writing schedule with working full time. A juggling act for sure. I guess that is where you set and make your priorities in life. I want to try harder to move writing to the fore front of the list. Happy Writing and Trails to You.

A Cute Little Song
 "Delirious" Luka Bloom

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hiking Colorado

 This Easter I am thankful for the wonderful Mountain Trails and River Walks that I have been able go on in Colorado. Enjoy your life and your day. Go for a hike or go climb a mountain or a hill. Get into the outdoors!

Maroon Bells- Twin Fourteeners Near Aspen, Colorado.  Each Peak A Song In Itself!
Grand River Recreation Park

Today' Songs Twin Songs for Twin Peaks
"Dust In The Wind" Kansas
"Carry On My Wayward Son" Kansas

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ski Season Off Season (The Mud Season Blues)

   No longer  living in a Ski Area, I already have the Mud Season Blues. What is the off Season? What is the Mud Season? If you have never lived near or at a Ski Area. Most Ski Areas in the West close by April 15. Sometimes if they have a lot of snow they will extend there use permit with the Forest Service, (most ski areas in Colorado are on U.S. Forest Service Properties, National Forests.) They will extend their insurance and therefore extend the ski season. Most areas do not extend the season unless conditions are incredible. What does all of this have to do with off season. Areas close by April 15, they do not reopen for the late spring or summer season until May15 or sometimes into June. You have no work. The mountains are muddy with melting snow and no one, no one is around everything is closed.

   I have had some of the greatest off season vacations ever. You save your money all season, if you are a waiter, or a ski tech, or ski employee and you take a vacation for a month. I have travelled America and Canada by rail. Gone to the Ocean in California, Baja, and Cancun for a month, joked about how not many girls are ski bums, although I have had some great girl ski companions it is rare.
So when we went to the sea it was in search of sun, sand, skin, and sisters. I have a short story that I use  that line in Titled (The Rolling Reverend.) It is actually a very good story. Perhaps my best yet, I think it is probably the most commercially sellable story any way. The reason is the humor and the topic. I became stuck in it when the reverend attempts to give his version of the Sermon on the Mound. Anyway there are three to four more ski stories I need to button up for my collection.

   Back to the off season blues, the most memorable off seasons I have spent are in the ski areas that I did not leave. Everyone is gone the towns are empty and a few local pubs and stores stay open. The real hard cores stay. You take your skis and walk up and ski the soft vanilla cream melting snows and then come down through the muck and mud and running streams of mountain water and have lunch with your local friends. Just too much fun and excitement, too much adrenaline. Dodging rocks and large areas of gravel and green growing grass.

   Vail was my most favorite. Late at night walking around the village and up the trails to the restaurants and bars from lower to upper Bridge Street. You could hear all the Mountain Streams breaking the silence in the dark running downhill. The Mountain was alive and thriving in the growth of new life. Aah! the off season, thinking about it now, don't think there was anything blue about it at all. These days I don't have off seasons, I did when I lived and worked in Aspen, recently. However even those days have ended. Perhaps I will again in the future when I move to Oregon. Maybe I'll experience and Ocean off season. I almost had the perfect off season set up. Living in Vail in the winter and Charleston, South Carolina in  the summer. Someday I will tell the story of the Former Georgia State Trooper who stole $50,000 dollars from our packing and shipping companies Western Union and dashed our dreams of opening packaging and shipping stores in the Mountains and the Ocean, every year. Not Today Berta! Truly and Off Season Blues Story.

   I have had somewhat of an Epiphany regarding the research for my Historical Novel. For almost all the time I have researched and thought about the work I have fixated on Arapahoe Basin. I know the principles and have spoken to them about the work. I have completely excluded half of the equation. The half I have neglected is the mountain of Keytone, which eventually bought Arapahoe Basin. I know it was started by Max and Edna Dercum and Earl Eaton. Max wrote a book. Titled, It's all Down Hill from Here, Edna. The thing about it is I don't know who the principles were in 1978-79. I have aways believed it was Ralston Purina owned by Senator Dansforth. I could be total off base because I have neglected to do my  research. It not only opens up a whole new chapter of the work. It may hold the key to the truth of the event that I have been seeking. The truth is I didn't pursue the Senator in my research I omitted what is most likely the most important piece of truth and fact. What was Keystones motivation to own Arapahoe Basin? The Mountain at the time was probably the second largest ski area in the world. Second only to Vail. It was almost seven miles long in frontage on the highway with terrain in the mountains. The History of both of these areas is so new that the truth is there isn't that much. Excepting the interviewing of the principals involved. I suppose it is public record who owned what and the time frame they owned it in. I do know that after Keystone purchased Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain, they were forced to sell off Arapahoe Basin in an anti-trust lawsuit. What was that about and what brought that on?

   I have just recently ventured on to the Campus of Mesa University. It shouldn't be too hard to take a trip to their Library and see what information and documents are available. The Summit County Historical Society and Mary Ellen Gilliland are also excellent sources of information. I was also told to attend the Legends of Skiing Dinner in the Fall and that there are key individuals to interview regarding the history. I look forward to the day that I become financially independent enough to pursue this full time or that I get my writing act together enough to get a contract to do it. In the meantime it still is an enjoyable hobby and pursuit. I am at the stage with it to want to pursue it on a more aggressive level. Time does indeed take care of things. I hope it is on my side. I don't know how long or how old the key principles are. Will they still be alive to be interviewed.?

   Off season no such thing in the city, just people going to work and living there lives. They don't know of skiing rocky terrain or even owning a pair of mud skis so you don't wreck your good skis. It seems that they know of the blues, just a different kind of them.

   Today we need to celebrate Spring. I decided on two songs for the occasion. The first is what it feels like to me to be in a city. The second is the Best High Lonesome Loser Cowboy Song that I have ever heard.
"The Weight" The Band
"Cheyenne" George Strait

Happy Easter, hope spring brings joy and happiness into your daily life and world!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Further thoughts on the Ski Area's of Colorado

   It is hard to distinguish between Beaver Creek and Vail. It like someone saying the difference between Arapahoe Basin and Keystone. Vail is big, giant big, the back bowls go on forever. I used to know them all by heart, they have added Blue Sky Bowl since I stopped skiing there. I am sure also at Arapahoe Basin they have added terrain in what used to be out of bounds. Over the top and in to Montezuma Basin. I am sure they must have put a lift. I suppose I could research it and find out.
   My most favorite little Ski Area is Ski Cooper. I believe the history of Ski Cooper is that it was developed for the men of theTenth Mountain Division. There is a Ridge with a cornice named Chicago Ridge that you only ski by taking a snowcat to. It was a wind blown cornice and the cat would drive along the ridge and let you out so that you could ski down the face of the ridge. It wasn't a long run but it was fun.
   It reminded me of the Snowcat Tours of East Vail. East Vail is known for it's chutes. They are steep and very scary. They slide often and so not many people ski them. The developer of Vail Mountain, Pete Siebert's grandson was killed in an Avalanche while skiing there several years ago. It was a shame to hear. A young man in his prime taken. It is the inherent danger of the back country. It is the allure that wants to make you step beyond the edge to temp fate so to speak. Unfortunately fate some times wins. My friends and I were very fortunate that fate did not take us. The places and terrain that we skied lent itself to sliding very easy. I suppose that we were meant for greater things in life. You have to respect that and try your hardest to fulfill that destiny. Destiny makes us all brothers and sisters. Sometimes you have to reach up and grasp the brass ring. Sometimes you miss the mark. It doesn't mean that you stop trying. If your down get back up, and jump into that couloir. Who knows you just might ski it this time. Often in life just when you think you are defeated miracles happen from out of the blue. Embrace the future.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Remembering Beaver Creek

   Beaver Creek is a wonderful mountain nestled in a hilltop outside of the town of Avon, Colorado. It was my distinct pleasure to spend a lot of time there in the late 1980's. When I first arrived, there was no base building. A large white plastic dome served as it's main building. What made Beaver Creek so unique at the time is that the terrain although not as high in altitude as many other mountains has some incredibly challenging runs. Birds of Prey serves as the downhill portion of many competitions.

  Former President Gerald Ford made his home in Beaver Creek and this lent for great excitement and very good promotion for the ski area. While working for the Beaver Creek Children's Theatre it was my honor one Christmas to play Santa Claus and to ride into the Christmas Gala with Gerald and Betty Ford. For me although a bit corny, the adulation of the crowd was a fun and wonderful  time. They were very gracious hosts and wonderful human beings. Betty Ford well known for her work with the Betty Ford Clinic would chair the Local A.A. Meetings.

   It was a wonderful time then and Beaver Creek was the host of the 1989 World Alpine Skiing Championships. The festivities and joy of the period prompted me to make the area the setting for a ski novel that I had been thinking about writing. If you check out My Stories you will find two short stories that are chapters of my ski novel. A lot of the chapters are partially written and will take some time to bring them into form. It was a time of great revelry. Beaver Creek was young and growing and it just lent itself naturally to my work. It was a great time of personal growth for me. I was to eventually spend 5 years in the Vail, Beaver Creek Area before moving to Aspen, Colorado.
   It was during that time that I had some of the greatest outdoor experiences of my life. Those areas really were a young peoples towns. The average mean age I believe was the late 20's and early 30's. Hiking, mountain biking and climbing, along with snowboarding and skiing were some of the predominant sports of the times. I was fortunate enough to meet my climbing and mountain biking partner Christian there. There are quite a few climbing and grueling mountain biking expeditions I hope to write about in the future.

   I look forward to the work on Out Of America just for the fond memories of the area and recreating the people and places that made the times so exciting and joyful. Enjoy the stories although my characters are fiction.I do not wish to offend anyone with my work, but life does lend itself to create good fiction. So this is pure fiction!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

     Full on Spring has begun in the Rockies, and I can't be happier. We have had an exceptionally warm and mild winter. I am sorry for the East and the rest of the Country. It is great to see the blossoms of the fruit trees and soon the greens of all the shrubs and brush will be happening. I have always been amazed at how green the green colors get and how many shades of green that spring brings out. The Colorado River swells and fills the banks and flows wide and full. Not quite as full as I have seen on the mighty Columbia on the Washington and Oregon Border. We think of Oregon a lot, however it is really not time yet. There is a time and season for everything and that will come. Hopefully not in the long distant future but sooner than later.

     All our worries of the future and what to do are falling in place. Let's hope that we can move forward with them. I have reposted two new stories in my story page, feel free to browse them.
I hope to soon revamp my poetry page and to have posted the final chapter of "Out of America" I am retyping it and will have it ready soon. The harder part will be filling in all the other chapters. I look forward to the work in the future.
     Just started a nice Blog about Robin a Paint horse we worked on with the Massage School and had fallen from a 70 foot cliff and survived. She was being used as a Brood Mare and had a tremendous amount of issues. It is certainly a miracle of a story precipitated by our students and the desire to heal. Look for it soon. Enjoy Spring in your area. I sure am.
     It will be a challenge to figure out how to purchase our Oregon Vehicle but we found it at a RV show today at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.
A Song Of Redemption
"Redemption Song" Bob Marley

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Aspen Colorado City Limits ( The Cross Roads Blues)

  If you use all available outward means, as well as  your natural abilities, to overcome every obstacle in your path, you will develop the powers that God gave you- unlimited powers that flow from your innermost forces of your being. You possess the power of thought and the power of will, utilize to the uttermost these divine gifts.

Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

    I was a young man with many unhealthy obsessions, extreme skiing was one of them, not to mention several others. While it has made for living an extremely hard life, (Sometimes) it is the grist for extremely good literature.

   Our home in Battlement Mesa is finally set to close on Friday the 20th. It has been a long and difficult sale. Stressful to say the least on all of us, our plans for Oregon as you have seen have been temporarily put on hold. I have way too much inventory to sell and we just could not down size so quickly. Seven years of being relieved from our ball and chain of a bad investment in real estate  in Colorado since the economical debacle a few years ago, especially living in Gas Land. Home of gas drilling in Western Colorado. We lived in the boom or bust region and it went bust. Leaving our local economy in the Pits, no pun intended, well maybe a little one. We are leaving the safest neighborhood in America. It would have been a wonderful place to raise children, the Gas Company donated a new fire house, larger than in most cities of New York. They donated a new health clinic and new middle school. All of this was done for the express purpose of drilling ten gas wells within the town limits. There is currently a controversy over directional drilling. It is drilling a multi-well head in different directions from the same head. I do not have anything against progress, but Drilling and Fracing under suburban homes seems to me to be a recipe for disaster. When it comes to the rape of the land and the safety of the surface dwellers for the sake of gas in the ground, I draw the line on reason.

   It was premature of us to think that we could liquidate a large house, sell my inventory from my plumbing and heating business and move across country with a geriatric golden retriever all in one fell swoop, without the use of a semi and incurring large expenses. The move to Grand Junction, Colorado, the gateway to the West, has always made sense to us. It is the home of the Colorado National Monument and some very beautiful walking parks.

   I have vowed to redouble my effort to bring my short story collection, White Dreams, and my unfinished novel, Out of America, and my research on my Historical Novel to fruition. The Historical work is the life and times of the people inhabiting Arapahoe Basin Ski Area through the winter of 1978-1979, their hopes, their dreams an their struggles. I have no doubt that the owner Joe, bought and built the mountain with the intention to sell to whatever company owned Keystone the larger area down the mountains and retire in Montana. What I would like to know by interviewing all the people there at the time was what where their hopes, their dreams, and where have they gone an what have they done with their lives since, and how did they feel about the mountain. Did they love it as much as I? What did they feel when it was sold? There is a greater underlying truth that still evades my perception. It is one of those obsessions that have made for hard living on my part, but as I have said it makes for great literature.

   We are settling in to our new little home. Soon I will develop a good writing routine and the stress of the move will be over. I have a lifetime to continue this quest. So over the next year, if we stay here after liquidating all our top heavy possessions, look for snipits of my short stories and chapters from Out of America. It began as a tragic short story (of course) titled a Terribly Bitter Ending. Another obsession, that has blossomed into a a Romance Novel of love, commitment, joy, and the personal fulfillment of unrealized dreams, and the triumph of one man against the odds. I will probably show the end chapter. It's Never Over Until It's Over first. The work is set in the 1989 World Alpine Skiing Championships of Beaver Creek, Colorado.

    Rome was not built in a day and writing careers don't happen overnight. They take years to establish. I am not foolish enough to think I will have overnight success. I know successful writers who have spent years at their craft and faced multitude of rejections. The most intriguing rejection I have ever received was for a story I wrote about a ski bum character. The rejection said that your central character has no obvious means of support. Really, that was the whole point of the story, that you sacrifice a lot in life to pursue a career of an extreme ski enthusiast.

   Now down to some serious writing and blogging. Spring has sprung in Western, Colorado. Yes I can go and see the Metropolitan Opera broadcast live in a theatre near us. Good to be back in Civilization!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Beau and Murph

Beau in his PJ'S