Thursday, June 29, 2023

Mount Ouray

My wandering adventure to the summit of Mt. Ouray was a reminder of how quickly the mindset of a single day can change. I began the day barely able to drag myself out of bed. Two days prior I had done a 31 mile loop over Mt. Harvard and Mt. Columbia making a loop around the mountains including Horn Fork Basin and Pine Creek Basin and the Colorado Trail. Yesterday my father and I made a bushwhacking summit of Marmot Peak, just east of Buena Vista. My quads were shot from the previous days' climbing, my arms ached from trekking pole use, and my motivation as a whole was beat from all the wear and tear. It took a lot of determination to get moving. Yet I found along the way my motivation changing. The soreness in the legs and the body dissipated. The spectacular wonder of the summit lifting my spirits and suddenly I found myself renewed and refilled and loving every minute of the day. I carried that newfound spirit with me back down the trail.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Marmot Peak

For all the years my father has lived in Buena Vista he has set a goal of hiking all the prominent peaks that can be seen from his house. This has included Mt. Princeton, Mt. Columbia, Red Deer, Midland Hill, the Buffalo Peaks and Marmot Peak (its possible a few more are missing my list). Marmot, a mostly obscure peak, was the last missing goal. It sits in the southern shadow of the Buffalo Peaks and is accessible from the Fourmile Recreation area roads. There is no trail to the summit but a reasonable bushwhack can be made from the nearby Salt Creek Trail and that was our goal.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Harvard & Columbia Circumnavigate

I'm learning to become old acquaintances with challenges and failure. I chose to tackle a big self-made adventure again this year with high aspirations, but it didn't quite go as planned. I've been doing ultras for several years now and I decided my big goal for summer 2023 was what I would call an "adventure ultra", that is, not a sanctioned race but rather an ultra length adventure of my own making. I wanted to create my own route and then see if I could complete it. Half the adventure would simply be in the weeks and months of planning for this adventure and that part went exactly to plan.

While my big ultra adventure didn't go exactly as planned its hard to say that it was a total failure. I fell short of my ultimate goals but I still accomplished a lot and I didn't quit in big ways where I easily could have. Perhaps most importantly, I had a great time and still put a wonderful challenge to myself and felt very good about it in the end.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Lutheran Westland Commencement Address 2023

Brothers and sisters in Christ, faculty and staff of Lutheran Westland, honored guests, proud parents and family, and our beloved class of 2023,

It is my honor to stand before you tonight.  I have been a life-long lover of our Lutheran Schools. I come from a family of Lutheran School supporters and educators who have collectively spent near a century teaching in our grade schools, high schools, and universities. To speak before this body of brothers and sisters here in this beloved Lutheran School on the night of your commencement, is a true joy.

Can you believe that 1st grade was 12 years ago for you.  Do you even remember what it was like?  Did your mom dress you up in a cute outfit for your first day?  Did you have Anna and Elsa on your school bag?  Or was it the Spider-Man?  Do you remember your first friends as this journey began?  Are any of them still your friends today?  Maybe even here at Westland with you?  

Can you believe you have not only made it through the years of grade school but you've also made it through these four years of high school. Did they go fast for you? Does it still feel like you were just a freshman yesterday? Well fasten your seat belts, ask your grandparents just how fast life will get as the years go by. 

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