Aspen Withdrawals

November 10, 2014




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What a beautiful time of year in Colorado – my favorite, in fact. There’s just something about seeing the mountains covered in a fiery blanket of yellow that makes my soul feel alive. But maybe it’s something more internal than that, something on the cellular level that our bodies sense and thrive from, too. I know this must be true because during the fall I always feel a little more awake, a little more vigilant of my surroundings.

Before I moved to Colorado, I had never seen a grove of Aspen trees and witnessed their beauty up close. How they almost come alive, draw you in and make you fall in love over and over again with their beauty.

Don told me that someday he will take me to see the maple trees in Maine during fall and that it will change my mind about the most beautiful part of the country, but until then I’m still convinced that this is where it is!

This is an exciting day for us – the official release of our blog. This is an idea we muddled around with for a while and we finally made that idea into something tangible – a piece of our lives that we will be able to look back on and cherish. As you can see, Don has made some posts over the past couple of months, but now I’m on board with the project so this is really going to be a team effort from the both of us. I hope we can show you different perspectives on things and have a variety of posts to share with you.

I’ve have read blogs for years, but that’s just it. I have been a reader, never a writer sharing little tidbits of my life. And let me just say, I get it now. IT’S SCARY being vulnerable and putting yourself out there for people to judge you. But in the end, I think it will get easier with practice and I’m glad I’m tackling this fear head on. Over the past year, one of the best lessons I have learned is to be more vulnerable with myself and others. This, in the end, is what really connects us, I believe.

Speaking of connection I just recently learned a cool fact about Aspens. Did you know that a grove of Aspen trees are all connected from one singular root system. Aspen groves have been named some of the largest living organisms on earth because of this. What this means this that they work together as a team, to keep each of its members healthy and alive. So if one of its members is thirsty or needs nutrients it will pass water through its root system to the other Aspen tree in need. This is pretty amazing!

This got me thinking about this concept as we were taking pictures amongst these beauties. When it comes down to it, we are all just humans who want to be liked, accepted and fit in. We want to know that we are worthy and that we are heard. This is something that we share in common with each other. It is something that connects us to one another, whether we fail to realize this or not. Like the Aspen grove, we as humans are connected in this way.

Why must we break each other down with negative comments and jealousy – especially over the internet? Why not instead offer support and love to one another, especially to others that expose their vulvernabalites and are attempting to make something good of themselves?

So why not offer a little extra support or encouragement to a friend or someone that you might not even know, but admire.  I promise that when you come from a place of fulfillment and positivity instead of a place of jealousy and negativity it makes the world just a little better and your light will shine a little brighter because of it.


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Photo Credit: Mr. Sunday & Miss Plaisance


Hunting Boots: Kenetrek Northern Pacboots

September 30, 2014

The high peaks of Colorado in mid October till mid November, will be cold, snowy and wet. As I write this, it has been thundering up in the Sawatch, switching for rain, to hail, to fat snow flakes then back to rain. By the second and third season of elk, from mid October till mid November hiking the high country will be harder and there will be snow on the ground that won’t melt away till June.

Autumn aspens & first snow

The pac boot design has been around for over a century, LLBean mentions their founder invented the half rain boot half leather boot in Maine. In WWII and Korea, GI’s used pacboots, or “shoepacs” in winter conditions to mixed success.

A double boot increases your comfort with its insulation you can be warm when you are resting and stopping for long periods, and at night when you sleep the liners can be removed and worn or placed inside the sleeping bag to dry them. There is no joy like putting on warm dry boots when it is gross outside.

I’ve had mixed success with Kenetrek pac boots. In the past I have had durability issues with this brand, but since this year they repaired my boot for free, I will give them another chance.



Note the repair patches on the sides.

The major design feature of pac boots is that they are waterproof on the bottom to muck through mud and slush. Yet the upper laces up and forms to your body like a leather boot.

 The coolest thing about the Kenetrek version over Sorel’s and LLBean boots is they have a half inch steel shank in them like the Bean boot, but aggressive tread and thick liner like the Sorel. The best of both worlds. The shank keeps the boot sole rigid to the ball of the foot. While this shank does not allow for enough stiffness for mountaineering, they work for general purpose packing on rough terrain. The flexibility would not stop me from putting on a strap crampon on them if the snow was packed hard or icy and I needed traction and french technique.

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I love treating leather boots. Its a meditative process, and by winter it will be a weekly ritual. I feel connected to the item in a way that a aerosol spray can and goretex boot cant provide. It also smells like honey. If the boot is well constructed, coat of beeswax will keep out water for up to a week of hard use.

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I gotta get these things into the woods and put some scuffs on that nice polish.


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