Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I heard a rumor.
(They say you got a broken heart. Pop quiz: Who is this 80s band?)
No. This rumor involves toliet training. They say that girls are much easier to train than boys.
I truly hope so.
God, do I hope so.
Jayden has learned how to pee in the potty and does so on a fairly regular basis.
He has yet to poop in the potty.
I understand. Pooping is a pretty personal thing, kind of like rubbing one out. Whenever I'm at work, if someone's in the stall, I don't take the empty one. I wait it out. I like my privacy.
Jayden, apparently, does too. He now hides when he's crapping his pants. Sometimes it's behind the TV, or outside by the slide, or maybe in the corner of the house where we can't see him from the back deck. Occasionally he goes under the kitchen table.
He's also taken to holding it at times.
I'm not angry at him. I did these things when I was his age as well. Maybe I was a little later even.
But any tricks? We've tried bribery. We've tried soothing. We've tried insistence, although we haven't tried that that often because we don't want this to be a power struggle. Monkeys throwing feces is what happens in a power struggle. Lord knows we don't want that.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Giving Up or Giving in?

The pain hit like a pair of little knives, one for each side, and my legs went weak.
You never really know how you're going to feel in a 5K until you start, and Saturday was a perfect example. I felt great before the race, and I steamed to a 6:53 start for the first mile. That's a little fast, but given the way I'd been running lately, it wasn't going to kill me.
At least, I didn't think so. The pain got worse. And at that point, you have two options. The first is backing off a bit, trying to breathe through the hurt while keeping a good pace and suffering for 15 more minutes until you cross the line.
I've done that before. I did it this year, during the Bolder/Boulder 10K. I was proud after I finished with a personal best.
Only I didn't want to do that this time.
For some reason, my personal will had turned to Crisco, and so I chose option number two.
I quit.
I didn't stop, nor did I walk. But I stopped running hard. I essentially let my discomfort dictate the race, and three weeks after I finished with one of my best times ever, I finished with my worst time since I began running seriously three years ago.
I'm still not sure what went wrong. Maybe I did start too fast. Maybe I'm not as fast as I thought. Maybe I'm just exhausted. Maybe it's just all of it.
Since the twins were born, I was determined to push the exhaustion aside and keep living my life the way it should be lived. That meant I would continue to run, seriously, and climb mountains and watch a movie late into the night if that's what I wanted to do.
I made some concessions. I climb maybe three or four times a year now, a steep decline from what it once was, and that's OK. But I refused to make excuses. Everyone has things they deal with and continue to live their lives.
Yet lately either I'm getting weaker, or they're getting stronger. Regardless, I feel right now like I'm losing the battle.
It's taking its toll on me. And I'm allowing it to happen.
Why now? I have no idea. It might be that they're teething. Or that they're still not sleeping through the night. Or that Jayden has suddenly developed his 3-year-old personality, which seems to be equal parts stubbornness, sass and the word "no. Or maybe it's all of it and the ethanol in my tank is down to fumes.
But I am going to bed now at 10 p.m., after a bit of reading, writing or a smidge of online poker. I used to hate going to bed so early, when I could use the extra time staying up allowed. Now I'm simply too tired.
I will climb this year, but only two more times. I will race twice more, maybe only once more. And now, as Saturday's 5K shows, there's no guarantee that I'll be as tough as I should be.
Am I allowing myself to give in every once in a while, or am I just giving up? That's the debate that's circling through my head today.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Less is more

My win rate is up. Am I playing better poker?
A little. I lost the minimum with a set when I thought the guy hit his flush and was trying to check-raise me. He only got a small value bet outta me on the river.
Then again, I could not fold Q-Q to an obvious A-A last night as well. But that was in the Mookie. No one folds that pre-flop in the Mookie in the later stages.
But I'm playing about as well as I have in the last year, which means a grinder's existence playing $50 NL on Bodog and PokerStars. This year I might actually clear a $2,500 profit. Hey, hey, ladies, back off the fur coat. There's enough for everyone here. Who wants a ride in my Mercedes first?
So what's the difference? A couple months ago, I decided to play less.
I really love poker, and I had not realized how much of a part of my life it had become until I took a hard look at how often I was playing. And the answer was every freaking night.
The routine was basically come home, dinner, get the kids to bed, get a workout in or run, then play online poker for a couple hours and go to bed. It was easy to settle into this routine because quite frankly, given the stress in my life (twins are stressful, by the way), I really didn't want to do anything else other than zone out. And online poker is a great way to zone out. Three tables and the world around me grows silent. Online poker was the eye of my life's hurricane.
The only problem was I was paying for that. Mondays and Tuesdays are not the best nights to play. My theory is that the average online player, i.e. the ones we love to hate, gets their fill on the weekend and wants nothing to do with poker on Monday and the first day back at work. Tuesday isn't much different from Monday. They were leaks.
By the time Thursday rolls around, the cash games seem to loosen up again. Maybe that's because some workers have Friday off, or Friday is an easier day, or much of the fish simply gets the urge to play again after a few days' rest.
That's when I hop back in.
It's been nice to take a couple days off each week. I've watched more movies, dug into more books or caught up on some DVR shows (many are poker, but that's OK, at least I'm not playing, right?). Or lately I've battled the kids' teething problems, and to be honest, sometimes poker offers the same amount of frustration as that, so at least that attention going to my kids and not some douchebag at a cartoon table.
As a result, I've enjoyed poker more when I'm playing it. I'm not making as many stupid calls, I'm more selective and, to my amazement, the suckouts are bothering me less, not more.
Poker is less of a job and more of a fun hobby.
Which is how it should be.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Whiny post about my twins

I'll keep this short, but the girls are teething right now.
(Edit: Like, their eyeteeth and molars and whatever else, maybe some fangs. Sorry for the fix. I'm tired).
Life is hell, in other words.
Last night we put the girls down at 6:30 p.m. I mowed the front, we put Jayden down, and I wrote a couple freelance stories, including the post below. I folded some laundry. Then I settled in with a book, ready to enjoy my last hour before bed. This is exactly the downtime I need to restore myself.
And then Andie started crying.
I sat with her for about 20 minutes, fed her and then put her back down.
She bawled.
Kate got up to sit with her and then put her back down.
Then Allie woke up.
The end result was two hours of screaming from one twin or another, which I think really highlights the joy of twins. Last night, if you had asked me if you could make one disappear, I would have said yes. Don't ask me to pick which one.
I think the toughest thing about being an introvert is needing alone time to recharge. I wish I could get my energy from being with others, rather than it draining my tank, because that time just isn't happening much these days. Sometimes being a parent just sucks especially if you're an introvert.
Then they woke up at 5:30 a.m. and would not go back to sleep.
They say these are the best years of your life. And then I just laugh and laugh.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Get intense with Poker Intensity

If you stitched all the poker information Web pages together, you could make a quilt that would cover California.
Or you could just go to Poker Intensity and find a lot of that information in one place.
Poker Intensity offers information on poker terms, horse betting and the best online casinos. That's all pretty standard, of course, but three things about this site stuck out.
One is a poker odds calculator. That's nothing new, but this one was incredibly easy to use. It was far easier, for instance, than PokerStove. I was able to plug in my hands quickly and easily through its clean interface. I'll use it again for sure.
The second is the site's guide for new players. It answers questions on how to avoid scams, how to protect yourself against fraud and the best way to fund an account (on this last point, the site recommends NETeller, oops, but then again this site isn't just for U.S. players).
The third is the site's impressive guide to online poker rooms. Now we've seen thousands of sites that offer guides to online poker rooms, but usually these are just glorified rewrites of what you can find on the poker room's home page. Not here. You'll find ratings and long, well-written tips on the best features of each site.
The site is extensive and covers customer support, the cashier and a sign-up bonus as well as whether the room offers referrals, details on the software and its financial security and stability.
This section also sparks my only complaint. It seems to me the site isn't tough enough on some rooms. In fairness, the site bashes Absolute Poker, but here's what is says about Ultimate Bet:
"A Safe Bet. UltimateBet is extremely secure and stable. They are one of the best poker rooms in the world. UltimateBet is a licensee of the Kahnawake gaming commission and has been online since 2001. Your money is safe with UltimateBet."
Um, yeah.
So I'd encourage the site to be more up-to-date with its information and try to present more unbiased reviews. But that's my only beef. If you're looking for a place to play poker , you might want to check out Poker Intensity, as you'll learn a lot of information without wading through hundreds of Web pages to get it.

***The following was a paid review of

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Snowdrift Peak

I learned how to climb in the summer, usually in late July or early August, with two of my climbing buddies, Mike and Jack. They're almost one entity, MikeandJack. Dad met the two on a hike, and as we got more experience and began climbing harder and more remote peaks, we started to plan out our trips together.
Jack, an English professor who writes historical novels, now lives in Estes Park and Mike comes back for a month.
Even when I moved here, and Dad had a baby and stopped hiking, and I began chasing the 14ers, I met with them for a few hikes every summer.
It finally slowed, but never stopped, even when I had kids. It did slow to almost a crawl, once a year, and last year the twins were born and I didn't go at all.
Friday, at 2:30 a.m., I left my house to do another hike with MikeandJack (and Paul, a retired doctor who lives in Estes Park).
We climbed Snowdrift Peak, a mountain that gets climbed maybe 10 times a year in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a long, hard, epic day, and today my body is yelling at me at times.
But it was worth it.
Here are the photos.

New Album 7/19/08 10:18 AM

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This is a poker post!

Anyone else watching the cash game on Poker After Dark?
It's really a good mix.
I mean, I know that watching poker on TV is SO 2005. But I still love it. I'm really jacked for ESPN's World Series of Poker coverage starting Tuesday. And I am loving PAD.
But let's be honest. I don't get out much.Though I am climbing a mountain Friday. Man, I'm rambling. Get back on track, Peaker.
OK, sorry. "Durr" is a fantastic player. Most of them on Poker After Dark, actually.
Except for Phil Hellmuth.
I'm going to say nothing new here. In fact I'll bet my traffic drops as soon as this post goes up.
But Hellmuth is such a jackass, and the act is getting old. In fact, it's also SO 2005. It really has started to screw with my enjoyment of the whole show. This is what happens when you allow a guy to wear a bathrobe to work (how's that for a weak-tight analogy, kind of like my play at the Mookie last night). He starts to think he can say anything, forget to shave (this analogy is going nowhere I'd better drop it) and then he slaps on some Brut instead of showering. Anything goes.
It's a tired, tired act. You could see the other players visibly uncomfortable with his antics. And the thing was, he made some terrible plays. I realize the guy has 11 bracelets but he played TERRIBLE. He checked a hand down with K,A on a King-high flop after re-raising in position and then bitched when his aggressive opponent caught up. Then he bragged about "how much money he saved."
I don't need to go on. We all know he's a jackass. This post is about as original as raising with the hammer. Maybe less. But I really wish he'd move on to a new act.
Its time for Hellmuth Part II. And I know sequels aren't very imaginative. But maybe just once we'll get one that will surprise us.

P.S. Had A-K, went all in with a pathetic M, was facing A-10 heads up, 10 on the turn. Ahhh. It's good to be back. :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kit to surviving Salina, Kan., with two twins and a toddler

I decided to be a good husband and somewhat good father and made the trip out to Salina, Kan. with my wife and the twins and toddler for a four-day trip.
I would have picked Okie-Vegas, myself, but then Kate would have ranked me just below the mosquitoes that have caused Jayden to get huge red welts on his back.
Kate makes this trip every year with her family. Salina just happens to be where I worked for five years before moving to Greeley, so it's not all bad.
But the trip was not easy.
In fact, if I didn't have my kit to survival, I may not have made it, or I would have at least written another whiny post like the one below, which is nearly as bad.
So I present it to you. You may substitute "Salina" for "Any Lame City, U.S.A." with the in-laws.

1. Patience. Patience. The patience Iggy showed in his awesome WSOP run. If you ask why, you've obviously never taken an eight-hour trip with one-year-old twins and an easily bored 3-year-old. And, really, I wouldn't wish that on anyone, except maybe those responsible for Sept. 11. It ran out at 11:30 p.m. in a hotel room in Goodland, Kan., when the kids still didn't go down after an hour, but no rants escaped my mouth that night. I almost cried, but that's another story.

2. Earplus or a good iPod - I chose the iPod and listened to old Ante-Up podcasts. Try strapping a twin in a car seat for eight hours and watch what happens. It's fun. Just bring something to help with decible levels that will turn your eardrums into pools of searing pain, even eardrums already numbed by years of Metallica and Iron Maiden concerts (and trumpets, but the metal concerts makes me sound a lot cooler).

3. Tolerance for all things fried or otherwise bad for you - Only someone who lived in the midwest for as long as I did could have the tolerance for the diet I exhibited this weekend. So I don't suggest you dive in. When I ran seven miles today I could still feel grease leaking from my pores.

4. A DVD player - Remember the old days when your parents expected you to spend three straight days in the car with an Etch-A-Sketch and Mad Libs to keep you entertained? Yeah, me too. But I don't begrudge our kids for getting to, like, watch movies and TV shows while we pound the pavement with our mini-van. In fact, thank God for it. Jayden was a very good boy for those two days in the car. If he was acting as bad as the twins, I don't think I would have survived. But the DVD player numbed his brain just enough to keep him quiet.
Still, god DAMN that DVD would have been nice when I was 8.

5. A Dial-A-Shot call from friends - I got a rare (OK, my first, I'm not as popular as you, OK?) Dial-A-Shot call late Friday night, and hearing this guy's voice and knowing that lots of others I have come to call friends were thinking of me really helped me through Saturday's car trip back. Now next time I'll leave my damn phone on past 9 p.m. Friday instead of watch "Once" on my laptop (although what a terrific movie it was).

6. A Coffee Shop - Kate's grandmother does not have Internet, so I had to seek out a coffee place one afternoon in Salina to send off a couple stories and...OK, mostly to scratch my itch. I even played 10 hands of poker because I missed it so much. I lost $2.
I'll never buy anything but a laptop again.
Oh, and I apologize there hasn't been much poker on this blog, but really, there's a lot better players who score a lot more than me every single night. I just play three $.25/.50 tables four nights a week and slowly build my bankroll. Booooring.

7. A huge box of crappy toys - I am talking the kinds you find in a Carl's Jr. meal, not even the quality stuff you get in a Happy Meal. But any new toy, one two certain twin girls haven't seen before, will stop the fuss for two minutes, and that's two minutes of pure gold.

8. A pair of running shoes - But be careful, Salina, like most places, is a humid, swampy, hot mess in the summer (and how do you people stand it?), so running intervals is probably not a good idea at 4 p.m.

9. An understanding family - I've decided what I needed to say here and have decided to take most of it down after getting it off my chest. I'm still disappointed in Kate's siblings' sulking at the twins' and Jayden's crying and noise.
That's because parents of twins, we're sensitive to all the stares we get in restaurants and whispers behind our backs (probably overly sensitive, to be honest) and we quite frankly don't need that from our family.
At least Kate's mother and grandmother pitched in and were a lot more understanding.

10. A video camera - How else are you going to record all the wonderful memories? And there were a few. Seriously.

Monday, July 07, 2008

One very long, very hard session

You need three things to raise twins and a toddler.
Energy, a sense of humor and patience.
I ran out of all three Sunday night.
Jayden started screaming about a half hour after I got home from work Sunday night. I'm still not sure what set him off, but it was probably residuals from pacifier withdraw. We took it away a few weeks ago, and after a few days of him acting like a tweaker without his needles, he's beaten it for good.
Except, of course, for these midnight outbursts where he is in an unreachable state, almost like he has autism (with apologies to parents who actually have autistic kids). Nothing works with him. You just have to ride it out.
Well, his screaming fits numbered one, two, three, and on the third, he woke up both of the girls.
Now I am an introvert in the worse sense, and all that means is being around people really wears me down. On the weeknights it's not a huge deal because I know I still need to get the kids dinner and baths and bed. But Sunday I've usually spent all morning and afternoon dealing with the kids, then work is almost always really busy. So when I come home on Sundays, I'm running on fumes until I can get some alone time and get at least a little of my energy back.
This is, by far, the most difficult part of having kids for me. Energy restoration, i.e. alone time, is in short supply.
So of course, I'm still on fumes when I sighed and went to get Andie, and after a short fight, I got a bottle ready. She didn't want the bottle. I tried rocking her. It seemed to work, until I put her back in her crib.
We tried to let them cry it out, but they're teething right now (again, I'm not sure why evolution decided that having sharp things poke out from your gums one at a time for a year was a good idea), and they screamed for a good half hour.
One of the many fun things about twins is crying it out rarely works when they're both awake because they feed off each other.
So I went to pick up Andie and Kate went to get Allie and Andie fought me like a badger. Nothing would calm her down. She was too worked up, and I even dug out infant tricks like shusshing in the ear and walking and rocking, even though she's almost 14 months now, and nothing worked. I literally fought her for 15-20 minutes before Kate put a sleeping Allie in her crib. When Kate came in I handed Andie off like a football, totally frazzled, completely spent and almost insane.
And that's when Jayden started screaming again and woke Allie up.
In my Boot Camp for New Dads class I say there will be moments when you will be angry enough to hurt your children. Some prospective fathers look at me in shock. That's because they don't know. My boot camp vets, the guys with new babies, look at me and nod their heads. They know.
I don't know if I was there last night, but I was close. I went into Jayden's rooms and told him to shut the F up because he woke up his sisters AGAIN. Kate, still holding a screaming Andie, rushed in and kicked me out. She knew. It was time to leave. It's OK to feel that angry as long as you recognize it and take a time out when you do. It was time for an adult time out.
I went downstairs for a break on the couch.
Five minutes later, Kate was still struggling with both, so I went upstairs, took Andie from her, and sat. She calmed down fairly quickly, and I gave her Motrin and a bottle, and she took it, and then she went to sleep.

Tonight we start driving to Salina, Kan., my old stomping grounds and home to Kate's grandmother and the annual vacation with my in-laws. The drive, and most likely the trip, will try my patience, even when I"m on fumes. Wish me luck.
I'll need something to ensure I don't fail again like I did last night.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


People say things all the time they don't mean. "We should get together." "Call me." "No, you don't look fat in that." They're ways to close out a conversation or survive a talk with your spouse.
So I was skeptical when Rikki Rockett from Poison said after my interview for the Greeley Tribune that, "I should come backstage and say hi," I figured it was just something to say.
But I did something I usually never do.
I took him up on it.
I contacted Poison's manager, told her what she said and explained that, if there was no way to come through, I would of course understand. I think I said this seven or eight times.
It had been a long week. After I did a cover story with Bobby the Bass Player on the band for Saturday's show at the Stampede, our annual two-week hick-fest, rodeo and excuse to eat lots of deep-fried foods on a stick, a few days ago Rockett released a statement saying he never would have agreed to play had he known the Stampede was a rodeo. I put out feelers through SHARK, the animal-rights organization who helped organize his statements, and within 10 minutes Rockett called me back on a break from rehearsal. I wrote the story that day.
Well, as you can imagine, we don't take kindly to such fluff (I actually think Rockett had a good point and spoke well, but Greeley, which was built on the fortunes of a meat-industry powerhouse, doesn't exactly concern itself with the feelings of animals). Saturday Bret Michaels, who has his own wacked-out show to worry about, released his own statement blasting Rockett for his statements a few days later.
It made for good ink, and though I'm usually not the kind of journalist who thrives on that sort of thing, occasionally it's an OK treat, kind of like eating a deep-fried something on a stick.
Anyway, Poison's manager wrote me back, and Saturday I went up to the box office fully expecting to be turned down. It didn't matter, we already had tickets purchased by my friend, Jared, for his birthday, so it wouldn't have really ruined the evening. But the lady at the ticket window came back with an envelope.
Backstage passes.
I tend to get nervous about such things, as I've documented my worries about stuff like the blogger gathering. Artists have such a demand on them, and I hate to be one of those people who just wants a piece of them. But after a shot or two of Jager and an MGD, and my friend's general drunkeness, I got over it. We slapped the pink passes on our chest and ventured backstage.
"Backstage" at the Stampede isn't exactly glamorous. It's back by the arena stage. Sorry, no lingerie-draped velvet rooms with champagne everywhere. Here we were trying not to just step on the horse shit. But, still, it got us an ear to the drama.
A half-hour before the show started, two of the four guys from the Spin Doctors were apparently lost and Poison was nowhere to be found. The guys from Poison, either from all the drama or the fact that they just don't like each other, period, all took separate buses. Maybe that's standard, I don't know, but a part of me doubts it (gas prices, after all).
I had fun talking to the program director from a local radio station here that plays some hair metal. Poison didn't come through with a meet-and-greet for some listeners after the station had promoted it for two weeks and he was understandably pissed about it. I'm not sure if that was the Stampede's or Poison's fault. I guess at that point it doesn't matter. When the Stampede knew the show was going to be late, workers asked him to stall, and he told them he was going to "throw things out for the crowd and then get the hell off the stage." I loved it.
Sure enough, the Spin Doctors did show, and because of inebriated state and general "Fuck it, how many times have you wanted to be backstage and now we're finally here" attitude, he got some photos I snapped with him and the band. He loves the Spin Doctors. I think they're sorta meh although they did put on a good show.
We went backstage again after the intermission and sniffed around. Poison seemed to be playing hide and seek with the meet-and-greeters, although I also wasn't sure why. Again, It may not have been the band. We were about to go back in when Jared spotted Rockett, said, "well, YOU talked to him" and darted off for him. The show was starting in just a couple minutes, and Donovan, my other buddy, turned to me and said, "What the hell." We raced up and got a quick shot. He thanked me for the story and was a very cool guy.
OK, I had my moment and was ready to rock out now.
Rock out we did. Poison put on a good show, better than I thought they would. They got off tempo a few times but otherwise their songs were clean and they harmonized well. Michaels voice was giving out by the end but all the songs sound good, even the ones I hate, like "Unskinny Bop."
We went backstage once again after the show, but I was tired and ready to leave. When two 22-somethings came up to me in pink tops and looked all glittery, they asked how they could meet the band. I looked them over and gave a chuckle.
"I think you've got a better chance than we do," I told them.
And then I left, happy to have the tunes from my high school days still ringing in my ears.

Jared with the lead singer of the Spin Doctors

Jared with Rikki Rockett of Poison (no fair,why am I with one with the camera all the time?)

Poison in all its glory

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Ante Up raises the stakes of an award-winning Podcast

Ante Up!, the best Podcast on poker (and co-starring our favorite card player, Columbo, ), is venturing out on its own after years of its association with the St. Petersburg Times.
I am a big fan of the Podcast now, and so I did a story on the move for Pokerworks. I enjoyed interviewing Scott Long and loved putting together a story for them.

Here's the story.

Make sure you check out their new Web site and update your links to the Podcast Friday, when the new site launches.

What to wear (or not)

Nothing probably reflects my personality more than my closet.
Most of it is filled with bland, conservative shirts, the kind you buy at Kohl's (40 percent off). You'll find T-shirts from my races, a bunch of 14ers T-shirts and a couple snarky T-shirts with a poker saying or maybe something clever from Las Vegas (what happens in Vegas STAYS in Vegas, chortle chortle chortle).
There are a few black concert T-shirts from the glory days.
And so I ask you.
Poison comes to town Saturday night at the Greeley Stampede.
What the hell do I wear?
I could wear said concert T-shirts, except I really only have Iron Maiden and Metallica, and I have a feeling that might scare some Poison fans. And my Def Leppard Hysteria shirt, something for the masses, is pretty ratted out by now. In fact I think it's gone.
Plus I don't want to be that guy. You know, the guy who wears concert T-shirts to concerts just to prove how many concerts he's been to. I usually am that guy.
I don't want to be that guy Saturday.
I cant' really wear one of those slightly outdoorsy, Kohls shirts can I? (Columbia, the brand of the Colorado sorta-but-not-really hip adventurers. You can wear it at work AND on a 14er!). Won't that be out of place at a Poison concert? I realize most of the audience will consist of people just like me, 30-plus guys who listen to too much Arena Rock in an attempt to relive the glory days of copping a feel in a parents' basement while Whitesnake warned us about the Still of the Night. Most of those guys, usually saddled with young children (probably not 1-year-old twins, but you never know), dress like me. So maybe I'm safe.
But how boring. This is a metal concert! Well, sorta a metal concert! I should let my hair down! (If I had any left from my mullet days).
I have no leather tops, leather pants or leather boots. I have no snakeskin vests.
I got nothin'.

So what would you wear? Semi-hip-but-not-really Kohl's outfit? Black concert T-shirt? Snarky T-Shirt? One of my Rainforest, nice, Vegas shirts that sorta looks like a bowling shirt?
I need some fashion advice.
Fire away.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A trip to remember

I lead a group of hikers from a gym in Fort Collins, CO every year. I pick three 14ers and I guide them up. I have climbed all the 14,000-foot mountains in Colorado, so I do it for the money and the chance to get paid while spending a day away from the demands of the kids. These are beginners, so the 14ers I have to do with this group really aren't worth repeating too often.

I have to admit, I was disappointed in the numbers from our first climb, up Mount Sherman, a 14,036-foot mountain. I get paid by the numbers and I thought maybe this hike was a waste of time, and time is precious at my house.

Then, right before the summit, one of my clients, a newbie, told me she was diagnosed with cancer a couple years ago, and that this was the first "big thing" she was doing after beating it.

The first picture you see is of Mount Sherman. The second is of her taking her last few steps up the summit. The last is her sliding down a snowfield, something I showed her how to do safely, which made her squeal like a schoolgirl.

The trip was special. It reminded me that what I do as a guide sometimes is more important than money.