Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm on the week schedule

So lately I've been on the once a week posting schedule. I'll try to change that...

Does anyone know where to find the counter for site visits? I want to say that I recall when I set up my blog there was an option to put the counter on the blog, but now I can't find it. I don't think too many people visit, but I am just curious how many visits I get.

It is almost Christmas time. This year I haven't had a chance to think much about Christmas. All of my time has been occupied with Penelope and Jess and work. It was crazy to think "only 6 days until Christmas". I am excited.

I've been done with Christmas shopping for awhile now. Well with the exception of a few small things. It has been nice to not have to worry about it the week before like I usually do. Well I haven't been that bad in the past, I usually don't start until after December 1st.

I am excited to spend the time with my small family and then visit lots of other family. I love taking Penelope places and letting people see her!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Back to work

The week long "vacation" is over. Luckily I was able to take a week off work after Penelope was born. Typically time off during the fourth quarter of the year isn't allowable for an e-commerce business. It's crunch time. Going back to work yesterday was hard. I missed my girls alot. After spending pretty much everyday together for a week you would like I would be excited at the prospect of getting "away". The exact opposite was true. I wanted to be home more than ever. Such is the way of life. I am very excited that Jess gets to take so much time off work. Thank you US Government for FMLA but no thanks for not even coming close to the benefits other countries offer for maternity leave. According to an article on MSN, in Sweden a mother gets up to 480 days PAID time off work. I know I shouldn't necessarily be complaining (which I'm not really doing) because at least there is something offered now. Not very long ago FMLA didn't exist and mothers were getting shafted even more.

On a happy note, it is winter and storms are predicted for later this week. Should be a good time in the mountains. Only about 5 more weeks before Jess should get cleared and we can get out together! I am very excited.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Baby Time!!!!

Our little baby arrived Sunday (12/3) at 9:35 pm after 17 hours of labor!!! We are now the extremely proud parents of the cutest baby girl! We named her Penelope Jessica Miller. She weighed 7 lbs 1 oz and was 19.5 inches long. Jess and the baby are both doing well. We are getting ready to go home later this afternoon. Here are a couple of pictures for your viewing enjoyment:

It's Coming!!! (And 16 hours later she did)

Little Penelope

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

No Baby, EVER!

That isn't exactly true, but our baby certainly does not want to come out and see us. I know we aren't at the "due date" yet, but I want the baby! Both Jess and I are very anxious to have the baby with us. This whole time I kept saying the baby would come on November 29th (today) and I was absolutely sure I was going to be right. Oh well. We just hope the baby comes soon.

It has been wicked cold here the past couple of days. Last night it was in the low single digits and will be the same or colder tonight. It nuked up in the mountains with parts of Alta receiving 39". I can't wait to get out again and enjoy the white, fluffy goodness. I also can't wait for Jess to be able to get out and start doing the stuff she loves again. I will certainly watch the baby so she can go. All we need now is for the baby to come and see us!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's Getting Closer

It is almost baby time! As of tomorrow Jess is 8 days away from her due date! It is kind of weird to think about and yet it is very exciting. We keep talking about how "tonight could be the last night that it is just us". We like not knowing when the baby will come. There is anticipation that builds a little each day. "Will the baby come today?" "Am I going to get a phone call while I am at work today?". Needless to say, we are very excited and can't wait for this little baby to come into this world and see us.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Too Much Chocolate!

Yesterday was the 3rd annual chocolate show in Salt Lake. I went with my mom, aunt, and brother. It was a good time. It was a fairly small show so it didn't take too much time to walk around. I tried a slew of different chocolates from a variety of companies and chocolatiers. Within about 20 minutes of being there I was feeling slightly ill from eating too much chocolate too fast. I learned some interesting facts about chocolate and about some ways it is made. There was an area where you could make some goodies. I made a couple of caramel chocolate pretzel rods and a bag of Belgian Vanilla Hot Cocoa.

Being there and watching the pros make desserts made me miss my past culinary jobs. It brought back memories of being a line cook at the Cadillac Grille in Jackson Hole. I miss making their dessert plates and being in that fast-paced restaurant environment. Mmmm, dessert.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Our Dell desktop bit the dust the other night. It decided that it doesn't want to turn on anymore. Of course Dell has an amazing website where you can't find any information about what you need or need to do. I am currently chatting with their live help, which is very slow. The rep is probably helping other customers at the same time. So apparently we need to get a new motherboard. Not too stoked on that. What confounds me is there is no information on the Dell website about spare parts like motherboards. The only way you can find out is by calling sales or spare parts. For being a web-only firm, they aren't very good about having information about their products online.

It has cooled off here the past few days. It snowed as well, but all of the snow that stuck here melted off. It is signs that winter is getting close. It is almost time to start wearing shoes, but Chaco's will out for a couple more weeks.

The baby will be here soon. We are very excited about the new arrival. Everyday we get more and more excited and the anticipation builds. I can't wait to find out what we are having. It is going to be awesome.

There hasn't been too much activity as of late. Mostly just bouldering a couple times a week. It is now dark by the time I get home from work. That poses interesting hurdles to trail running. I won't give in and run on the roads because it hurts. I can't wait for ski season to start.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

First of the Season

This morning was the first dawn patrol of the season. Matt and I met at 5:00 AM and headed up to Alta to do a bit of preseason skiing. While we were driving up we were both questioning why we had gotten up so early to go and ski what could possibly be meager conditions.

The morning was very clear and dark. There was no moon, only the stars lit the sky. After booting up we hit the skin track in blue-ish glow of our headlamps. Neither of us really knew where we were heading. We starting heading up what would normally be a groomed run during the open season. After a short while we hit a fork in the track. We headed right and up towards a bald knoll not too far off. The skin track was steep and icy. It was hard to get purchase with the skins. We reached the top right as the greenish glow of dawn was creeping up over the surrounding mountains. We pulled off our skins in the pre-sunrise light. We dug a couple of snow pits to look at the profile of the snow. We had about 12 inches of fluff on top of about 2 inches of suncrust that was the "base" before you hit bare ground.

Matt rolled off the knoll first punching out smooth tele turns on skiers right. After stopping partway down, it was my turn to go. I headed skiers left to a short steeper shot about 3 turns long before turning onto the gentler slope and carving easy turns in the smooth snow. We found the shallow snowpack somewhat painful and you feel small granite rocks grind into the base of our skis. With a few whoops and some more good turns we were down the flat and a small creek crossing. We popped the skis off and made a few slick steps across the creek to the other side. We both ended up putting a foot in the water. It was far better to have a foot then the whole body.

It may have been a very short tour, an even shorter run, but it was definitely a good time. The snow, although shallow, made for some excellent turns. It definitely fueled the fire for winter to come.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The First Snow of the Year!

Okay, so perhaps it isn't the first, first snow of the year. It is, however, the first snow of the year where it has stuck to the ground around our apartment.

It wasn't much snow, but it was snow nonetheless. The ski bug has definitely hit me hard. I can't wait to go out for the first hike of the year. I can't wait to dawn patrol, to wait a couple days for recent storm snow to settle, to hit knee deep pow turns. Winter is coming and it is hopefully coming soon. It is time to get the gear out of the closet, wax up the sticks, and pray for snow.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fun, Fun, Fun

In case you haven't read Jessi + 1 lately, you should. We had a great time making Halloween ginger bread houses. I couldn't believe how much fun it turned out to be. It was also quite delicious.

So work finally gave me a salaried position. There was an opening in the head count which meant open funds in the budget and whamo-kablamo I finally have a salaried position. They would have given me one sooner but the hiring budget was maxed out for the year so they couldn't. It has been kind of funny because I will continue to do exactly what I have been doing for the past few months but now I will just get paid more. I didn't mind the lower pay because I was gaining extremely valuable experience. I put in my time and it paid off. That is way it seems to go in the outdoor industry. To celebrate Jess and I went to Cafe Madrid which is in the Black Diamond factory complex. It was quite delicious and a very nice evening out.

Today was a pretty good day. We had a bouldering lunch up Echo Canyon. This evening I checked out an extremely rad slideshow presentation by Chris Davenport about his quest to ski the 14ers of Colorado in one year. Check out the website and read about his quest. So far there has been one other person to have skied all 54 of the 14ers in Colorado and it took him 12 years! Chris is trying to do it in one season! So far he has knocked out 45 of them so he only has 9 more to go. The slideshow was followed by a boulder session at an apartment complex where our friends used to live.

We got Jess' ski stuff today. Well not all of it but a good chunk of it. We got her skis, skins, and poles. We are very excited for her to pick up skiing.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Cannot Do It Good Enough

So here we sit on our couch. Jess is crocheting a baby blanket and I am blogging. She just had a huge knot in the yarn. I offered to untie the knot and was promptly told "no you cannot do it good enough"! I love my wife and her sometimes weird ways and quirkiness. So as I am writing this I am saying aloud the words I am typing and we are having a good laugh about it. My wife rules and is the greatest wife EVER!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Adventure Party

Saturday was my work's famous Adventure Party. For the past few summers to encourage employees to live up to our company motto, "We use the gear we sell", the owners came up with the idea of the "adventure contest". The premise of the contest is you get points for every outdoor activity that you do over summer. For each activity to qualify you have to use at least two pieces of gear that we sell. Over the course of the summer you keep track of your points and at the end they host a big party where you get a raffle ticket for each point you earned. Then they raffle off a TON of gear! This year they gave away $75,000 in gear!

The party is held at the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird. This year's theme was "Pray4Snow". A very fitting theme for our company at this time of year. (As a side note it snowed today). It was a good time. They had good food, a not so good band, people in costumes, old school ski movies playing in the lobby, rad new ski movies in the main area, and of course, tons of free gear! I came away from the party with an MSR Pocket Rocket stove, Nixon Unity Backpack, and a Trango Piranha Knife. I also got a t-shirt, a couple of mugs, and other small things. I didn't win a big package like I wanted (like the 5 day trip to Jackson Hole, a day heli skiing in the Wasatch, or a ski package) but I was still stoked to win what I got.

So here is what I did this summer: 3 nights camping (would have done more, but pregnant wifes aren't necessarily comfortable camping), 12 hikes, 4 days paddling (kayaks), 28 days rock climbing, 40 trail runs, picked up 615 pieces of trash, and ascended 32,410 vertical feet (1900 on a bike, 4200 hiking, 5270 climbing, and 21,040 trail running). It is weird to look at the summers activities broken down like that, it seems like I didn't do that much.

We did a ton as a company overall we had about: about 380 nights camping, 972 hikes, 628 trail runs, picked up about 8700 pieces of trash, 117 ski days, 114 paddle trips, ascended almost 2 million vertical feet, and I don't really remember the rest but I will update it after I get the info from work.

[Updated with correct totals]

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Want To Know Something Interesting?

So would I, so if you know something, please share it! I am bored. It seems that most of my evenings are taken up with various items and now that I have an open evening I am bored. I swear there are projects that I have been wanting to do but now that I have spare time I cannot think of any of them. I am sure I will remember something as soon as I decide to go to bed. Oh well, I should start writing stuff down. Tomorrow is Friday, which is always exciting. I really enjoy weekends. I get to hang out with Jess for two whole days straight! It makes me happy just thinking about it.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I Think It May Officially Be Fall

We have had a very rainy week. This past week it rained almost everyday. The week before was absolutely beautiful. Temperatures were very moderate, it was sunny, it was perfect fall weather. Sitting inside at work was hard. Whenever I'd go outside I would have to battle with myself to go back in and work. All I wanted to do was be outside. This past week was a little different with all of the rain. I love it. I can't say when the last time was that I enjoyed fall so much.

I finally ran on Friday. For work we had an offsite where we played a little adventure game my manager came up with. It was sort of like the Amazing Race in that we were in teams, had to run around the mountains behind her house, find clue, solve puzzles, etc. It was a good time. The total game time lasted about 4 hours. During that time we ran, hiked, walked. I was nervous the whole time that my knee would start hurting. It actually didn't hurt at all. After the game my legs did ache a little because it was the most I have ran since the marathon. I have only ran once since the marathon so my legs definitely weren't use to it. Yesterday my knee didn't hurt at all so I am very excited. I plan on starting to run again on Monday. I will be taking it easy to avoid any overuse injuries. I found it interesting during the game on Friday that my ankles were sort of weak. I semi-rolled my right (the "bad") ankle twice and the left once. It was intriguing to see how quickly the body loses it shape. I haven't had to worry about rolled ankles for months and now I will have be mindful of that for the next week or so until I am back into it.

It is hard to believe that Jess is due in 8 weeks. Sometimes it is overwhelming to think that we are having a baby, but other times it is completely normal. Needless to say, we are both very excited and can't wait for our baby to come and see us!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

How do you tie that knot?

Tonight I went climbing with Matt. It has been a very long time since we roped up together. I would dare say it has been a month. We have been bouldering a few times, but it isn't the same. The weather has been beautiful, it's been rolling in the 70's all week. We decided today would be a good day to go hit up Bongeater. Bongeater is at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon. It is a 10d dihedral. When I say we climbed it, I mean we flailed up it. Okay, so it wasn't quite flailing, but we definitely got worked. Since neither of us is even remotely close to being a 10d trad leader we threw up a TR on it. It starts out as a flaring crack that you pretty much jam in a foot and scramble your way up about 15 feet to a couple of blocks wedged in the crack where you can almost get a decent jam. Then you have to go over these block for about another 15 feet or so before the crack narrows into beautiful hand jams. After about 20 feet of hand width, the crack widens to ridiculous off-width which you just lieback. It is a cool climb and I definitely clawed, jammed, grunted, sweated, and even bled a little to get up. It was painful but as soon as you get back to the ground you think "hey, it wasn't that bad, perhaps I'll give it another go."

It felt good to rope up. It had definitely been too long. Even in that short time I became a little rusty and the rock felt a little foreign. What is it going to be like after a winter of no climbing? I don't know. It was a good time and it felt good to be back up at the rocks.

Winter is coming soon. I can't wait. Pretty soon the snow will begin to fall and daydreams will turn long trail runs to dawn tours and endless powder days. This winter will be fairly crazy. Jess is due at the start of December (beginning of ski season). I know I won't be able to ski as much as I used to, but I don't really care. It is going to be extremely exciting to have a baby!

I am not into resort skiing right now. Most of my ski days will be dawn patrols before work. I figure this should work out well since we will probably be up with the baby. Once the baby goes to sleep, instead of going back to bed, I'll just boot up and hit the skin track. I do look forward to the days I will get to ride with Jess. She is by far my favorite person to ski with. Since we don't have backcountry gear for her we will be heading to the resorts (probably mostly Beaver Mountain). On the days we can't get a sitter for the baby we will go snowshoeing with the baby. It is going to be a good winter.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Running Again

I finally got my shoes today. They are the Montrail Hurricane Ridge XCR. The fit pretty well except in the left shoe there is one seam that sticks out a little that rubs a little funny, but I think it will be easily fixed. I went out for a short run, about 35 minutes, up Millcreek Canyon. It was a beautiful evening. It has been raining off and on for the past week and everything had the deeper color that only comes from rain. I love running when it is raining and right after it rains. The best part is running in the mud and puddles. I was a little nervous about the run because it was going to tell me if I was really injured or not. Everything was a little tight so I took it easy. There wasn't any pain anywhere during the run and so far everything feels good post-run. I just need to remember to ease back into running since it has been two weeks since the marathon and my legs had sore areas from the race. I didn't think I would miss running but I did. It felt really good to get out again.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bike Commuting

I finally finished my second bike. It is a single speed commuter that I now ride to my carpool. As I mentioned in a previous post, there is no feasible way to fully bike commute to work. I am especially stoked about this bike because 1-I put it together myself (with some good pointers and help from my friend Matt) and 2-It cost less than $40. A friend gave me the frame (he found it in the dumpster along with another frame that he kept for himself). All of the parts came from the SLC Bike Collective. Check out their website. They are a rad non-profit that sells bike parts, has bike education classes, and fixes up bikes to give to under-privileged kids. I am especially stoked (and also promote) bike commuting for the following reasons:

  1. It saves money. I had driven our second car to meet up with the carpool 3-4 days a week. We ended up filling the car with gas about every two weeks. Current cost to top off the tank, about $35. In two weeks of bike commuting the bike will be paid for.
  2. Exercise. I now get an extra 35-40 minutes of exercise a day. You can't complain about this.
  3. It is good for the environment. Less driving equals less emissions.
  4. It feels good to be socially responsible.
Check out the bike:
I still have yet to run since the marathon. I actually wish I could run, I don't like not running. My left knee is still a little sore so I guess it is good that I haven't run yet. The main reason why I haven't run is my shoes are so ridiculously worn out. I have a new pair coming from Montrail and the day I get them I will definitely be out on the trail breaking them (and myself) in.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Run, Run, Run, Run, and Run Some More!

On Saturday I ran my first marathon. It was the Mid Mountain Marathon in Park City. It starts at Deer Valley Ski Resort and traverses at 8000 feet to Park City Mountain Resort and then on to the Canyons where you finish at the base of the resort. It was a relatively grueling run. I had run the length of the course over a couple of training runs in the weeks prior to the race, so I knew what to expect. I finished with a time of 5:07. My time goal was 4:30, but that was a fairly lofty goal for a first marathon that happened to be a trail marathon that isn't on a fast course. There were some interesting challenges to overcome during the race. I started off at a relatively good pace, but after five miles I decided to pick up the pace a little (rookie mistake). That decision did lead to some extreme tiredness later in the race, but the biggest challenge was knee problems that began at mile 10. For the most part it didn't hurt too bad, except on the downhills. This proved to be especially challenging at the end of race where the last six miles are downhill! The last six miles were extremely slow. Overall, I feel really good about the race and am very pleased with my performance and my time. It was certainly a good learning experience and I will hopefully not make the same mistakes in future races. Below is a picture near the start.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I made a bike

Okay that isn't true, I made two bikes. Well I didn't actually "make" the bikes, I just pieced together two bikes from some frames that I had. One is a single speed cruiser for riding around the neighborhood, to the store, etc. The other bike is a single speed commuter. I won't actually commute to work, but I'll ride it to where our carpool meets. I wouldn't ever actually bike to work. A guy from work decided to ride his bike from SLC to Park City. He left at 4:30 AM and got to work at 7:15 AM. Not really a feasible task for everyday. Anyway...The commuter isn't quite done yet. I still need to put on the brake and tape the handlebars, but other than that it is good to go. For now here's a picture of the cruiser. I'll post a pic of the commuter when it is finished.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Joys of Being Sick

So I think I have had my first run in with a small bout of food poisoning. It is definitely no bueno. Although working from home is quite nice. On the brighter side of things...

The Mid Mountain Marathon is in a week and a half. I am excited for it. On Saturday I ran the second (read more difficult) half of the course. It actually wasn't too bad, except the last 6 miles or so is downhill. It killed my knees. I went for a short run on Monday and the ligaments were very sore. I am going out again tomorrow and try to ease back into things. The hard part is I have to ease fast because I really only have a week of running before the race since I'll be taking Thursday and Friday as rest days. Over the past few runs I have come to the realization that I am a slow runner. To me it seems like the time it takes me to cover certain distances is way off. I know trail running is slower than road running, but is it by that much? I am very eager to see my time at the end of the race and compare to what my estimated road marathon time would be. I ran a half road marathon in 2 hours. Am I as slow on trails as I think I am? Or am I faster? I can't believe the time discrepancies that I have experienced on trails that are of equal grade and distance. I don't know what it is.

Ah the ramblings of someone who is trying to figure something out...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tbe Chaco is Alive!

After about 20 minutes of work and waiting overnight, the Chaco has survived and is alive and well. It was a hack job, but it is fixed and it is working for now. I am very excited because it should at least last for the rest of the year.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It was a sad day at the Miller household today

After four years of loyal, dedicated service, my Chacos finally gave up the ghost! As I was walking into work I noticed one of the straps near my ankle was riding a little high (For those of you who don't know, Chacos feature one, continuous strap thread throughout the sandal making them extremely adjustable). I didn't think much of it because I had just used them alot the previous weekend and thought perhaps I tweaked the strap. When I got to my desk, I reached down, gave the strap a slight pull, and pulled the strap right out of the sandal! It looks as though sand and dirt had gotten in the sandal (which is common) but over time it either cut the strap in half or wore the glue off (I'm not exactly sure how the straps are secured. They may be fixable (definitely a hack job) but who knows. I took a few minutes to reminisce about our time together. This particular pair of Chaco's was worn everyday spring, summer, fall, (and some winter days) for four years. They had been on many hikes, a few climbs, many roadtrips, worn exclusively on one backpacking trip (I left my boots next to the front door), and had seen at least a few hundred miles. They have been by far the best piece of footwear I have owned. The footbed is contoured to my feet. The cost to restrap and resole them would be more than buying a new pair. I don't necessarily look forward to breaking in a new pair, but I do look forward to the many adventures that will be experienced in them.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Jessi's brother James was up from Texas this past week. We drove him up to Wyoming on Friday to go and visit family. It was a good trip, filled with many fun activities. On Saturday Jess was able to go and sew part of the bumper pad for our crib. While she was doing that I went climbing with James and his friend Dale. We hit up the Wild Iris and got in a few hours worth of climbing in before a thunderstorm happened upon us. Running through a meadow and along an exposed ridge to try to stay ahead of the the thunder and lightning isn't exactly what I would call a good time (especially with about 25 pounds of gear and a rope on your back), but it was exciting. We got pounded with some rain and a little hail. After the rain stopped and everything dried out we went bouldering a little bit around the cabins on the Loop Road. We hit up some problems we had put up in previous years.

Sunday was a bit of a relaxing day. We spent a couple hours revisiting another bouldering where we had put up problems a few years ago. While we were there, we not-so-gently removed a dead tree blocking a potential problem (it consisted of us pushing it over, it getting stuck on a nearby tree, us throwing sticks and rocks to try to break the the branch it was stuck on, jumping on the tree, and then finally using huge branches to lever the stump up so we could roll it off the branch). That was definitely a good time! Jess came with us to enjoy the sunshine and she definitely got a kick out of us and the dead tree. Pictures from climbing will be coming soon.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Yesterdays run proved to be the most punishing yet. We were in Logan for my nephew's baptism and a familiy bbq. I knew I had to do a longer run and thought it would be a good opportunity to do run I have eyed ever since we lived in Logan. It starts at the mouth of Logan Canyon, follows along the Logan River on the Riverside Nature Trail until it meets up with the Crimson Trail loop, and finishes down the Nature Trail to the mouth of the canyon. The Crimson Trail is a steep loop that climbs up canyon, traverses back down canyon across the top of a band of 200 foot cliffs for about half a mile, and then descends down canyon back to the Nature Trail.

The run was only 10 miles in total. I have run 10 miles before. The punishment came with the 2400 feet of elevation gain (and subsequent loss which isn't as bad) over the course of the run. The hardest part was about 85% of the elevation gain occurring in about a mile and half (mile 3.5-5). What was running quickly turned into power-hiking and then deteriorated into just trying to make it to the top. It was rough.

I have never wanted to stopped moving as much as I did by the end of the run. I was completely haggered at the end. I also haven't ever been as dehydrated as I was. Over the course of the run I drank three litres (100 oz) of water and a 32 oz Gatorade at the end and it was over an hour before I had to go to the bathroom. I think I actually stopped sweating during the second half of the run.

Although it was the most punishing run I have ever been, there was a big feeling of accomplishment at the end. This was a run I have been wanting to do for about three or four years now, but when we lived in Logan there was no way I could have run that far. I did enjoy the run, didn't enjoy the dehydration so much ( still am trying to rehydrate), and would consider doing it again.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Nothing to write about.

Is it better to not write when you have nothing to write about or should you write a post about how you have nothing to write about? I think it may depend. If you never have anything to write about then your readers (if you have any left) will quickly get bored of you and stop reading. However, I think everyone at some time will write a post on how they have nothing to write about. It is good because it expresses to your readers that you are still committed to writing your blog, but you may be suffering from a lack of ideas.

Recent Outings

Here are some pictures from recent outings:

This is a boulder problem called "Mud" in Little Cottonwood Canyon. It was kind of crazy because you had to pull off the ground with no feet, swing your leg into a heel-hook match, and then make a big move to a sloper. Good times.

This is on the Desolation Lake trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon. This turned out to be a fairly interesting run. After a fairly punishing uphill section the trail leveled off and cut through a meadow. I was feeling stoked to be done pushing uphill so I kicked up the speed a little. As you enter the meadow there is a marshy area to the right where a stream pools and makes a shallow pond. About halfway past the marshy area I heard some wicked loud crashing in the thickets to my right. About 60 feet in front of me a huge cow moose comes flying onto the trail. To the right there is another moose charging through the thicket the other way. I skidded to a stop as the moose crossed the trail into the brush on the other side. The first thought that crossed my mind was "I hope she doesn't have a calf and I hope she doesn't see me". There really wasn't anywhere I could seek refuge...no big boulders to hide behind and no trees to climb. Luckily as I started to back off the moose kept running. I walked back to the shelter of some smaller pines and took stock of the situation. I really wanted to get to Desolation Lake; I had heard the vistas were beautiful. I had just completed the most taxing part of the run and only had about1 more mile and about 500 more vert to go. As I decided to proceed I stepped gingerly back onto the trail scanning both to the left and to the right to try and spot the moose. After about a hundred feet I figured both moose kept on going and were long gone. Right as I started to run again I heard some branches snap to my left. I looked over in time to see the moose eyeball me. I immediately retreated once again to the small pines not wanting to see first hand how fast a moose could really run. I took stock of the situation once again, wussed out, and decided to head home. I knew I could probably get the past the moose on the way to the lake because I knew where they were, but I didn't want to chance surprising them on my way back through. As I ran down the trail I stopped to snap this shot of the trail and wildflowers.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Finally someone is actually doing something about it!

I came across this article a couple of months ago and it made me excited. Currently one of my biggest pet peeves, dislikes, whatever you want to call it is cigarette butts. Why can smokers just throw their butts out of their car windows or drop them on the ground when they are walking. IT IS LITTERING!! How can they get away with this? I find it to be absolutely ridiculous at how unconcerned many smokers are. Do they not realize how detrimental it is? You might be saying "Eric, cigarette butts are small, it doesn't really matter." It does matter. As the article clearly states, 32 BILLION butts were discarded improperly in 2005 in Australia ALONE! 32 billion of anything adds up and that is in one nation alone over the course of one year.

A couple things that irk me the most are
1-Butts on the ground outside of buildings. Almost all buildings have ashtrays by the doors or garbage cans. You are only a couple feet away, why can't you put it in the ashtray or snub it out and throw it away?
2-Finding butts in the wilderness. I do quite a bit of trail running and climbing and on every outing I find a mininum of 2 butts on the trail. I am currently keeping a tally of how many butts I find over the course of the summer.
3-Butts thrown out of cars. Most cars (especially older models) have ashtrays. Snub your cigarette when you are done and put it in the ashtray. Why is this so hard? Are you afraid it is going to make your car smell? Well it already smells. Then when you are at the gas station filling up your vehicle, grab the ashtray and dump it in the trash. You have two minutes to spare, chances are you are just looking around while waiting for the pump to stop.

So to this I propose a couple of solutions. First I provide solutions for smokers. They need to quit being lazy and throw their butts in the trash. If there isn't a can or ashtray you most likely have a pack you pulled the full cigarette from, snub the butt and put it back in there. If you aren't into that then get a pocket ashtray. If any of this seems too hard, THEN QUIT SMOKING! You know what, quit smoking anyway.

To the tobacco companies: Make the cigarette butts out of easily biodegradable materials so in case someone does litter, it has a better chance of not ruining the environment. Better yet, stop putting butts on cigarettes. What? Do they protect smokers from a harmful substance contained in the cigarette?

I like what Australia did and I would be curious how well a program like that would perform in the US. It could probably be a huge source of revenue for local governments. Someone should look in it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

This was a beautiful sunset I was able to enjoy coming out of Ferguson Canyon after an evening of climbing. There are a couple of distinct advantages to climbing in the evening. One it isn't so blasted hot and two you get to enjoy the sun going down. Nothing quite like being 400 feet off the deck and basking in alpineglow as you belay your partner up the next pitch. It is rad to be able to look around the canyon and see everything in a slightly golden hue. What is equally amazing is the deep colors that you get to enjoy after the alpenglow has subsided.

This picture was taken from the start of the second pitch of Beckey's Wall in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Is now really the time to buy and SUV?

The other day I read an interesting article from MSN Money about how now may be the best time to buy an SUV. For your enjoyment here it is.

Although the author brings up the point about using the savings you can instantly realize in buying certain SUVs for gas money for a year (it approximately equals out) what he failed to write about is the additional cost you will spend gasing your SUV for the years to come. Gas prices are on a steady rise, I don't think they will ever drop again. What other costs are associated with SUVs? It seems the bigger you go (even for small SUVs) the more they cost. Insurance is more, tires are more, parts are more, etc. Is it ever a good time to buy an SUV?

Now don't get me wrong. I know that SUVs have their place and they are better than other vehicles for some people, but you have to draw the line somewhere. How many people actually NEED an Excursion or Hummer (I know this is an all too often used example). I have heard the arguments that they have the money so they can buy such an expensive vehicle and the price of gas doesn't affect them. What does this show about them as people, as citizens of this nation? It comes across to me that they couldn't care less about the environment (yet another string that is pulled on all too often) or what is happening in the places we get oil. They in part are large contributers to some of the biggest problems that we are currently facing as nation.

I know some people would say I am hypocritical because I too drive a car with a gas combustion engine and I too buy gas. I believe there is a difference. Maybe I am splitting hairs here but at least I drive a car that consistently gets at least 37 mpg and I carpool everyday to work with 4 individuals. I feel as though I am actively taking steps to better our oil situation and better our environment. Even if you piled a Hummer to full occupancy you still wouldn't get as good of gas mileage as if I drove by myself.

So is this really the best time to buy an SUV. I think this is a sad attempt by US auto makers to pay off reporters to write articles to help drive up sales for our floundering US auto makers?

I will now step off my soap box.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Time to play quick catch up...

Jess and I moved from downtown SLC to Holladay at the beginning of May. We live in a cute little duplex close to the Cottonwood Canyons, Millcreek Canyon, and Parleys. It is nice because moving cut my commuting time in half and left Jess's about the same. We are beginning to prepare the apartment for our first baby whom we are expecting to arrive sometime near the end of November/start of December. We are very excited (and a just a wee bit nervous) about being first time parents. I know it will be a big change but we fully plan on continuing to play and do the things we love.

We have been taking advantage of having weekends off by going on many trips. So far we have been to Moab, City of Rocks, Lake Tahoe, and Lander about two or three times. We know we will be going back to Lander at least once more this summer. I hope to make it up to Lava Hot Springs to do some "whitewater" tubing and sit in some hot springs. Other than that we don't have any other trips planned yet, but we will be getting out some more.

This past weekend I ran my first half-marathon, the Lander Valley Half Marathon. It was a brutal course with the first mile being flat, the next eleven miles were hilly, and the last mile was flat. I pushed a little too hard in the middle section of hills, zapping my energy and leg endurance. As a result i missed my goal by little over a minute. I finished with a time of 2:01:07. I was hoping to run it in under two hours, but I am pleased with my first go at running a "long distance" race. I plan on running Park Citys "Mid Mountain Marathon" in September and I may run the "Jupiter Peak Steeplechase" in August.

With Jess being pregnant I had to find a new climbing partner. I have been climbing about once a week with co-worker/friend Matt. I usually get out once a week. I have been focusing almost all of my climbing time with trad routes. I have only climb sport three times this year and bouldered only a handful of times, the rest has been trad. Below is a small collection of photos from climbing outings.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It has been a long time since I posted. A lot has happened since my last post. The biggest contributor to not posting was we moved and have been without internet access for almost two months (now we finally have it and I can get caught up). I will post again soon with updates for what has been going on along with pictures from recent activities and outings.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I am clearly a "laggard" on the Beard Technology Adoption Curve

Everett Rogers created what is now known as the "Rogers Adoption/Innovation Curve" in his book titled Diffusion of Innovation. By this model you can classify the willingness of individuals to adopt new technology. A few months ago, while skiing with a friend on a particularly cold, powder day, he commented on how the "Beard Technology" was keeping his face warm. This comment caused me to ponder "Beard Technology" and inevitably I wound up persuing the thought of where I would fit on the adoption curve for this technology and what/who would make up the different categories. The chart below illustrates what I believe the beard technology curve would look like and where I would fit on it.

I know I have a long wait until I can fully take advantage of this technology, which clearly places me into the "laggard" category, so when the day comes that I can finally grow a fully beard I will will be growing one just like Grizzly Adams. Not because I have the desire to look like him but because I will finally be able to take advantage of the Beard Technology.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

This past weekend we went to southern Utah to hike, climb, and visit some family. We spent most of our time hiking in Arches National Park. These are a few photos bouldering in Moab. I am on the Sand Traverse (v2) on the Sand Traverse boulder at the Big Bend boulders.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I was going through some pictures and found these pictures. For Christmas, as a joke, Jessi bought me a Darth Tater. On Christmas Day evening I was a little bored and created "Darth Tater vs. the Nutcrackers: The Epic Battle"

Friday, March 10, 2006

Me standing on Tom's Hill in the Wasatch Backcountry
The obligatory hand washing

There is a certain phenomena that happens in public restrooms that amuses me. It is the obligatory hand washing. It happens like this: You finish using the restroom, you are washing your hands. There is someone else using the restroom and when they are about to leave they see you washing your hands. They then feel the obligation to wash their hands because you are there washing yours and they walk to the sink, hurriedly splash their fingertips with some water, dry them off, and then go. You know they only did it because you were there. What's the point? It doesn't do any good. I know you didn't wash them, you aren't fooling me. If you don't want to wash your hands, don't. If you take the time to get your fingers wet and then dry them off, then you might as well take the extra 20 seconds to actually wash them.