Thursday, January 29, 2015

What is the Monument?

   The Colorado National Monument is a part of the National Park Service and is located near the city of Grand Junction, Colorado.  It hosts incredibly spectacular views with deep canyons carved into the limestone and granite-gneiss-schist, rock formations. It is desert land high on the Colorado Plateau, with pinion and juniper forests on the plateau. You can watch golden eagles, desert big horn sheep, coyotes, and red tail hawks. Rim Rock Drive winds along the plateau with magnificent views. The Book Cliffs are the largest flat-topped mountains in the world, the Grand Mesa awaits your viewing enjoyment. Some activities are road biking, hiking, horseback riding and scenic views, with a visitor center on the west side containing a natural history museum and a gift shop.

   The Monument Canyon, which runs the entire width of the park, and includes rock formation such as Independence Monument, the Coke Ovens and the Kissing Cousins are some of its main features. It has been recommended to Congress for designation as a wilderness. The monument includes 20,500 acres (32 square miles).

   The beauty of the Monument is unsurpassed in its grandeur and breadth. It is truly a unique place on Earth.

A Song from the surrealistic rock group Yes from the 1970's.
"Roundabout" Yes
Go out on a walkabout.
Enjoy the American Wilderness!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Beatle's Revelation

 Several years ago I was having a discussion with a friend of mine who is also a devotee of Paramahansa Yogananda and the Self Realization Fellowship and he startled me with a minor revelation. He pulled out a copy of the album Sgt. Pepper by the Beatles and showed me the Swami order. All the Gurus where dispersed among the faces on the album. I shouldn't have been surprised because I knew that the Beatles had sought enlightenment in India and that George Harrison had some type of an awakening there. It wasn't until recently while viewing the documentary Awake - The Life of Paramahansa Yoganada did I realize just how much of an influence the Autobiography of a Yogi had on his life. He kept many copies around his house and when he had visitors he would randomly hand them out to his guests. He credited the book for changing his life and saving him from the clutches of drugs and alcohol. A very easy thing for him to be involved in given his profession.

   For all of those unfortunate creatures out there struggling with some form of addiction albeit alcohol, drugs, sex, or some new form of mania, here is a link for your salvation. I will leave you with a quote from Guru Deva Paramahansa Yogananda. "You must do Kriya Yoga everyday! If you are suffering or if you are searching for something greater than yourself give it a shot. It just might change your Life.

Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda

A Beatles Song
"Dear Prudence" The Beatles

Monday, January 26, 2015

NAH OON KARA (Where The River Of Blue Rises)

The Appaloosa colt was startled at it's reflection in the pristine water. The colt raised its head listened to the chirping, clicking, and guttural sounds of the near bye herd of elk and wandered into the large meadow of fresh green grass. Several Ptarmigan took flight in the distance. They rose above the lush delta formed by the trinity of rivers, the Blue, Ten Mile, and Snake. The colt shied away from the sound of a tree being fallen by a beaver. He listened intently at the crack of a branch from the stand of Aspens behind him and looked nervously toward them, his body tensed for flight and his nostrils flared as he bucked, snorted and farted. Through the scrub oak he saw a tan brown figure move slowly toward him. It's long black hair held tightly to by a leather string, it's body clothed in rawhide. It suddenly accelerated and broke into a run at him, twirling a foreign object about its head. The colt wheeled to the right and broke into a gallop. Heading along the river and angling out into the open field. A second and third figure sprang from the water of the river and forced the colt to veer toward a narrow opening in the Aspens. The horse although young was wary and sensed the creatures closing in from the back and sides, it instinctively leapt and turned sharply back toward the river avoiding the narrow opening lined with logs waiting to be slid into place. Its freedom secured the colt relaxed into a steady gallop and quickly distanced itself from the invaders and rejoined the herd as they galloped into the Valley of the Blue.

A Blue Song
"Blue Sky Mine" Midnight Oil

Friday, January 23, 2015

Missing My Thunder Shirt

I was struck last evening about how nice it would be to have my own thunder shirt. Our golden Gracie gets very upset at beeping noises like trucks backing up, or the weight scale noise on the TV show, the Biggest Loser. She also falls apart at the sound of thunder. So we invested in a garment called a thunder shirt. It's principle is based on the work of Temple Grandin who was a pioneer with Autistic Children. She invented an apparatus that would gently squeeze an autistic child and give them comfort and calm their aggravated spirit. Her work is revolutionary in that field. Her principles helped us to overcome the flight instinct in horses.
Watching our twelve year old golden chilling out after a beeping episode, I thought that perhaps it would be nice have my own shirt that I could slip on when I started to obsess over anything. Over the years I have passed through phases of obsession and have come out the other side a better man. How nice would it have been if I could have just slipped on my Thunder Shirt.

Information for Temple Grandin.
Temple Grandin

A Song for Old Hippies to Relax To.
"Orange Skies" Love

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

False Summits

A Must Read!

Summits And Secrets-Kurt Diemberger

Om Mani Padme Hum - Om Mani Padme Hum - engraved on a stone tablet - Om Mani Padme Hum.
 Over and over again.
 'Oh, thou Jewel in the Lotus!'
 The prayer of those who worship Buddha. Just a prayer.

 This stone tablet here comes from Nepal; from the foot of Dhaulagiri - from one of the stone monuments one continually meets by the wayside, fashioned out of the mountain's slate.
 'Oh, thou Jewel in the Lotus!'
 Somebody who wanted to use that form of prayer engraved the letters of those words and laid the tablet there, next to all the others bearing the same inscription.

 It is supposed to be unlucky to remove one of those prayer-tablets; no native of Nepal would ever even think of doing such a thing. One of the climbers on the 1959 expedition had brought this one home with him.
 Later he began to have misgivings. One day he brought it to me, which was a sensible solution.

Om Mani Padme Hum - just a prayer.
Sometimes it seems to come right out of the stone.

Kurt Diemberger

A Prayer Song
 "Om Mani Padme Hum," Deva Premal

False Summits in life as in climbing are extremely frustrating you must push past them to obtain the goal. Summiting is the hardest thing to accomplish I can't tell you the number of times I have had to turn back just short of the summit. Don't be discouraged try again! I wouldn't be writing this blog if I didn't get back up dust off the cob webs and go at it again.

In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well oiled in the closet, but unused.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY, preface, The First Forty-Nine Stories


My friend Bobaloo and I always liked to ski Solitude Ski Area in Big Cottonwood Canyon in Utah. He related a story about a particular slope he liked to ski that was out of bounds. If he had gotten caught skiing it he would have been reprimanded for the action. After a very heavy snow storm, he slipped on to the slope and laid down a set of tracks. On his next run up he picked up his radio and said, "Blue Leader this is Bobaloo, there is a suspicious set of tracks to the right of the lift out of bounds." The Blue Leader responded, "That's a closed area, I want you to go over and search the area thoroughly Bobaloo." He did, he skied it half the morning. We laughed often about the incident.

"Believe," Cher

Sunday, January 4, 2015


 Energization exercises like Kriya Yoga have allowed me to calm my kindred spirit. The same energy that I once burned off through skiing and climbing and being outwardly physical I am now able to channel in to productive energy through scientific stretching and meditation. These days I am far more sedentary than I was in my youth. My mind returns often to the exciting exploits of younger days. Left unchecked the excess energy can build in my life and aid in disrupting my calm. By focusing my mind on meditation and exercise I am able to release the excess energy and enjoy a calm spirit.
Soothing the soul through massage aids in relaxation. It helps immensely to have a massage table set up in your living space. There are also massage chairs available. Listening to quite soothing music designed for healing during massage and meditation helps.


With tranquillity, the small goes and the great comes, with auspicious success: this means heaven and earth interact, and their wills are the same. Yang inside and yin outside symbolize inward strength with outward docility, being a cultivated person within while appearing outwardly to be an ordinary person. The ways of cultivated people go on and on, the ways of ordinary people disappear.

The Book Of Change

A Song for Tranquillity
R. Carlos Nakai, Peter Kater, "All Souls Waltz", From Honorable Sky

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Listen to the Music

Sometimes the best medicine is to just listen to the music!

"Can't Find My Way Home," Blind Faith

Just let fly your golden lance!

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Walk In The Park

My flights of Fantasy are impossible to control once you let them flow. I started making a mental list of my prerequisites today while I was on Red Mountain in Aspen looking down on Aspen Mountain. I thought of my early years listening to my grandfather talking about Whiteface Mountain in New York State. I started skiing Gore and Whiteface in high school and quickly graduated to Vermont Mountains. Places like Killington, Stowe, Mad River, and Glen Ellen. In the early days it wasn't enough to just ski them. It was a challenge to get a free day pass or figure out a way to ski for free some how. Some of our early trickery was to Ski Glen Ellen early where they would let you take a free run up top to test the conditions. If you wore heavy ski clothes you could take off your coat and tell the lift op that you were too hot and your ticket was on your coat below. They would buy it for a about a half day. Then you could leave and drive to Mad River and buy two $2.50 ride tickets and ski the bumps there. The moguls used to get as big as Volkswagens parked sideways. Voila, a complete day of skiing for chump change. It didn't take much undergraduate work to realize that skiing in the East was a cruel hoax. Time to graduate.
The West, discovered on a ski trip in Fast Eddy's (The Bucklemeister's) Micro bus with the bursting Orange Suns in the window. The trip brought us through Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. It also brought us home with a Van load of Coors Beer. I was hopelessly hooked on deep powder and steep ski runs. So much so that I moved West to pursue my dreams. Life is funny though because I originally was on my way to Big Sky Montana. A ski bum's true ski dream. Except that as I was leaving a gas station wash room in Dillon Colorado I happened upon a friend named Angela. She informed me she lived with Mary and Melissa and they had jobs at Arapahoe Basin and a condominium. It was the late 70's and times were much more free then. A quick overnight visit and I had a season's ski pass and a home with the girls. I had hit the ski lottery. During that season I had the opportunity to get to Big Cottonwood Canyon in Utah. The home of Solitude and Brighton. I would revisit there many times for the grandeur that they were. A ski patrolman friend who had fallen in love with Utah was kind enough to take me under his wing and show me all the powder stashes he knew. Although that Little Cottonwood Canyon is much steeper and grander, Big Cottonwood Canyon had unknown places.
One of these was Honeycomb Canyon. The Powder Stash of all Stashes, I lost my mind (or what little I had left any way.) I was hooked I visited and revisited there as often as I could. Like all great places and most cities the rest of the world discovered it and (my suburbia) stash grew into a popular place.
There are many places that you ski and while you are skiing you realize that you are just a visitor. You can find your way back but it is always just for the moment and then the moment is gone. You change or deep inside it changes you. You touched it, caressed it, put down tracks on it and the wind and snow will fill then in and you were never there. Was it just a dream? A beautiful romantic love affair that only you experienced. How do you share it? Do you speak of it respectfully among friends they way you would of a great lover? Do you go through life never talking about it again? Now that I am older I still have no answers only the fond memory of the freedom and liberty to pursue my dreams.
Honeycomb Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
It is funny in life that certain songs and lyrics become Anthems to you and when you are young and making life decisions the words almost speak to you. I remember a room mate of mine telling me that if a Played Bob Dylan late at night when I came home after a night out drinking that he would break all of my Dylan Albums. Listening to this song, I was a young college student again struggling with trying to stay in College and get my degree or be free and ski. I stayed and got my education buy flew to the hills as soon as I was able.
"What About Me," Quicksilver Messenger Service