Friday, October 31, 2008

Moab, Dead Horse Point, & Arches National Park, UT

Dead Horse Point State Park, UT

Lafayette, CO - Happy Halloween! It's been over a month now since the wedding... and yes... I know... no photos up yet. Honestly, this is the very, very last post prior to putting up the wedding pics. I promise.

So, these photos are from our trip out to Zion. Jen Tse flew out to Denver to join us for the drive. No... she did not have an overwhelming desire to be crammed into a truck with us for 14 hours. It's just that we had planned to take it slow, stop in Moab and do a bit of climbing on the way, and well...she decided to join us. In Moab, we also met up with Bill and Eng-Shien. Both of them were taking a short break from the working world and decided to tool around Utah for a bit before heading down to the wedding.

We only spent a day and a half in Moab, but we managed to see quite a bit. Bill, Eng-Shien and I went out to Dead Horse Point for Sunrise. Then, Suwei, Jen & I went climbing at Wall Street along Potash Road. We only got two climbs in before it got way, way too hot. Finally, we hiked out to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park before heading south towards Zion again. Anyway... here are the photos:

Dead Horse Point, UT

Climbing on Wall Street in the Potash Road Area of Moab.

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, UT

Here is the link for the slide show with more, more, more:

Moab, Dead Horse Point & Arches, UT

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hot Springing Across Nevada

Lafayette, CO - Where are the wedding pictures??? Coming soon. I'm working on it. Really! It's just that Suwei and I did a whole bunch of stuff before the wedding and we want to get those pics up as well. So... first things first.

Which brings us to our next adventure, The Hot Springing Tour. For our trip home to Colorado, Suwei & Pat plotted out a route across Nevada, taking in a number of hot springs that they either really liked or had never been to. Starting out from Yosemite, we stopped at Little Hot Creek (near Mammoth, CA), Alkali/Silver Peak hot Springs (South of Tonopah, NV), Spencer Hot Springs (middle of Nowhere), and Wells Hot Springs (North of Wells, NV). In order to have sufficient soaking time at each spot, we planned on taking 3 days to get home. As usual, I took a few photos.

Little Hot Creek

Alkali/Silver Peak Hot Springs, NV

Spencer Hot Springs, NV

Ok.. for Wells there is a story. It's a long one and a bit embarrassing. Let's just say it involves a late, late night arrival and some very poor judgment on my part. If you're interested in learning more, just press play on the link below.

Wells Hot Springs, NV

Here is the slide show:

Hot Springing Across Neveda

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chihuly at the De Young Museum, San Francisco, CA

Lafayette, CO - Somewhere in-between the Glacier Point tour with Gary, Cary & Matt and the Royal Arches climb with Pat, Bill & Eng-Shien, Suwei and I managed to pop down into the Bay Area for a few days. While Suwei was checking into work in Oakland, I took her recommendation and checked out the Chihuly exhibit at the De Young Museum. Here are a few photos I took of the exhibit.

It was quite an amazing installation. Here is the link to the slide show:

Chihuly at the De Young Museum, San Francisco, CA

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yosemite National Park, CA

Lafayette, CO - I'm still plugging my way through these pictures. For this post, we have some photos from Yosemite National Park.

Gary and I were still cooking our brains out at Burning Man, when Suwei and our friend Pat flew out to San Francisco and caught a ride up to Pat's place in Yosemite. Pat's family has this sweet cabin out in Yosemite West (near Glacier Point Road) that he has been going to since he was a kid. Those outings have since morphed into a yearly event for Pat and his friends from California. Suwei has only missed one year in the past six (and that was because we were still in Nepal at the time). Sometimes dubbed Virgo Bash because of so many September birthdays including Pat's, the weekend includes massive amounts of food consumed by all and is a great excuse for us to get on some fantastic Yosemite granite.

Gary's flight out of SFO wasn't leaving until Friday, September 5th, so we decided to take a detour through the park so that Gary could see a bit more of California than San Jose and the I-80 corridor. Matt & Cary, friends from Burning Man, decided to follow us on the same detour and met up with us at Pat's cabin. Unfortunately, since time was short, we were only able to spend a day and a half in the park with them, before continuing on to San Francisco.

Gary, Matt & Cary in Yosemite

Suwei & I however, quickly returned with Jenn Tse in tow, and headed back up the hill to Yosemite for more climbing. Still feeling worked over by Burning Man, I was barely able to get my feet off the ground while making numerous attempts on Conductor Crack (5.10d). I blame the heat (yeah, sure). We did however make it up Royal Arches (5.7, 16-ish pitches) on Wednesday and Cathedral Peak (5.6, 6 pitches) on Friday. It was super nice to be back on the rock, as we really hadn't climb all that much this summer due to a busy schedule and Suwei's ankle injury in May.

Jenn on Conductor Crack / Pat, Bill, Suwei & Eng-Shien at Glacier Point / Watching El Cap Climbers from the Meadow / Abby, Part of Pat's California Contingent and the New Generation of Gluttons / Stephan, Liam, Galen, & Gabby playing in El Cap Meadow / Bill Atop Cathedral Peak / View from Cathedral Peak / Karl & Suwei on Cathedral Peak.

Hope you enjoy the pictures. Here's the link to the slideshow:

Yosemite National Park, CA

Friday, October 10, 2008

Burning Man 2008, Black Rock City, NV

Lafayette, CO. - Ok... August was busy enough. We had the ski condo renovations to finish up, we had our wedding to plan, and Suwei had volunteered to make the wedding cake for her friend, Jackie's wedding (on August 23rd), so there was a lot of trial cakes to make & taste test (she cooked, I ate). On top of all that, Suwei had agreed to let me go to Burning Man this year... right smack in the middle of the madness. It was to become my week-long bachelor party. So while she was baking, I was busy tearing up the garage look for Burning Man detritus from years past, assembling a makeshift shower, and eating cake.

On August 22nd, Gary, my fellow burner, flew in from Ireland. He was a little jet lagged and a little more upset when the lovely, profession people at Jet Blue told him that the bag he paid $120 extra dollars for in New York (it was "overweight") did not actually make it to Denver. Not only that, but they had no idea where it was and had no way of finding it until it showed up somewhere.

On August 23rd, we dumped Gary in Boulder to shop for last minute hippy gear while we attended Jackie & Hank's wedding. Gary ended up making friends in a kite shop and bought out almost their entire stock of solar-powered, blinky name tags... except... he can't find anyone's actual name, so he assigned names (mine was Dude and it's still sitting on our coffee table, blinking away.) As of 10 pm that night, Jet Blue still had not located Gary's bag. Gary went ape-shit on the lovely, professional people at Jet Blue. We delayed our 6 am departure time, hoping for one more chance to get the bag before we took off towards Nevada.

On August 24th, we gave Jet Blue an early morning call. They had found the bag. It was still sitting in New York, right where they had left it 3 days prior. Jet Blue agreed to fly it to Salt Lake City, where we picked it up when we passed through. By 9 am we were on the road. The bag, luckily, arrived in Salt Lake City about a half hour before we did. It took a bit of effort to wedge the massive sack into our already bulging truck, but we managed. Early, early the next morning we waited in line at the event gates.

This was my 5th year at Burning Man. Although, I've missed the last two. Gary was on number 7...he hasn't missed one since we were Burning Man virgins together way back in 2002.

Friends have asked me what Burning Man is like...what's it all about? And well, it's not easy to describe. I usually talk about the fact that it's an art-fest and a massive party and an event like none other, and a... blah, blah, blah. They nod and go "uh huh. Yeah, I see." But really, you can see that they don't. So, I usually tell them they need to see it for themselves to really understand. And although Burning Man is not for everyone (far from it) this still rings true. You may go and hate it or love it or not care one hoot one way or the other, but you will understand better what the event is about...for you (and it's different for everyone.) My point... I don't want to describe Burning Man here. I'm hoping the pictures do most of the describing for me.

How was it this year? How was the art? Who all went? These were the questions that came from past burners who couldn't make it this year (of which there were plenty). To them I mostly answered, "different". And it was. And that's a really good thing.

To summarize:
- We came to the event from Denver instead of San Francisco.
- There were less of us in camp (just Gary and I till Thursday when Randy and his friend Todd showed up).
- I met a lot of new friends. There was Hilda and Karla at Quixote's Camp. Gary had met them at Nowhere, an burner type event held in Spain. Matt (whom Gary had also met at Nowhere), his boyfriend Cary and the rest of Yes Please Camp where they were staying (and where we spent most of our chill time). And let us not forget Skeleton Man... aka. Adam, aka Michael... the multiple personality Dutchman.
- The art was on the light side. Me thinks it might have something to do with a sagging economy.
- The Burn was delayed and almost canceled due to high winds. We ended up watching it burn from afar instead of fighting the hoards.
- More people. There were over 10,000 more people attending than the last time I went in 2005.
- Everything was further away. The whole layout of the playa grew to accomodate the growing number of participants.
- More flurry. The playa was riddled with sand traps, making it very difficult to ride bikes.
- Upon Gary's recommendation I volunteered to work as a temple guardian. It was nice to feel somewhat connected to at least one amazing piece of creativity.
- I was at a very different stage in life (ie. engaged).
- We stayed longer than I ever had before (8 days).


Clockwise - Gary / Hilda/ Karla & Michael / Matt & Cary's Wedding / Randy, Gary, & Todd / and one more of Hilda & Gary.

Looking Playaward From Center Camp

The Basura Sagrada Temple

Sunrise on The Playa

For much, much more check out the slide show. Just click the link below.

Burning Man 2008, Black Rock City, NV