West Trip Summary

As wrap up for the West Trip (no pictures in this one), here was our basic itinerary. This was recorded after the fact, so it doesn’t show any options or contingencies and some of the drive times are from memory or are otherwise inaccurate. The rough color coding is this: green was as planned and I wouldn’t change the plan; yellow was maybe slightly unplanned or has slight modifications to the plan; red indicates that something should have been done differently. The last few days have a good chunk of yellow because our original plan was to go around to the South rim of the Grand Canyon, which would have taken a few days longer. Since we didn’t do this, these days were kind of planned on the fly.

I think my general perception looking back is that we probably should not have tried to do mountains in conjunction with Arches, Zion and the Grand Canyon. They were simply too far away and required too different of equipment to easily mesh into the same trip. It also was a bit rushed, allowing no time for acclimation to altitude, which probably would have been nice. If going to hike mountains, I think I would try to stay in one place in Leadville for a week and just go from there. It would allow a few days for acclimation and maybe a day for rest as well as eliminating the need to pack up everything in the morning, making for earlier starts which would be necessary.

Another thought is that, as can be seen from some of the yellow, we could have scratched a couple days (probably Grand Junction, Aspen and the slot canyons), which in addition to the mountains would have had the trip down to 8 days, halving the number of vacation days needed. This is debatable, since on one hand it’s nice to conserve vacation days for kayaking and skiing, but on the other, it’s nice to maximize the fact that we had two partial travel days and the cost of flying out west.

Day Itinerary Time Notes
Monday Fly to Denver,
Get food supplies,
Drive to Rocky Mountain National Park
Daytime Drive – 0:30,
Daytime Drive – 1:30
Time to kill in Denver,
Waste less time going to REI and get to Rocky Mtn. Nat. Park earlier
Tuesday Mt. Ida,
Cascade Falls,
Drive to Leadville
Evening Drive – 2:45 Too much wind on Ida,
Wrong trailhead for falls
Wednesday Mt. Elbert,
Drive to Grand Junction
Started at 9:30 – 10:00, returned at 6:30,
Evening Drive – 3:00
Ran out of time, should have been hiking by 7:00AM
Thursday Colorado National Monument,
Drive to Moab
Evening Drive – 2:00 Drive took an extra ~40 min having to return for gas.
Colo Nat. Monument was interesting, but kind of filler – maybe skip and drive straight through to Arches
Friday Arches (early morning) Lightning, hail…,
Should have booked two nights immediately
Saturday Arches,
Drive to Zion
Evening Drive – 5:45 Google maps says that going to 15 would have reduced the drive to 5:30 (enter Springdale from the South, avoid winding roads)
Sunday Early Zion (for Narrows pass),
Get Narrows gear
Hotel was expensive, but maybe needed to get backpacking gear ready for early departure.
Monday Narrows Maybe take lighter shoes since they’re going to be packed most of the time anyway.
The Zion Adventure Co. seemed like they might have been a bit better, BUT not sure they had drypants with booties.
Tuesday Narrows,
Drive to Kenab, AZ
Evening Drive – 1:15
Wednesday Grand Canyon Day Drive – 2:00 each way Should have been to the Visitor Center near sunrise,
Should have camped at GC,
Should have been hiking earlier
Thursday Bull Valley,
Willis Creek,
Drive to Bryce
Day Drive – 1:50 (google maps) Maybe take freeway to Bryce and then looped back to the canyons.
Kind of filler, but ended up very nice.
Friday Bryce Canyon,
Drive to Grand Junction
Evening Drive – 5:20
Saturday Drive to Aspen,
Drive to Denver
Day Drive – 2:20,
Day Drive – 3:35
Drive from Grand Junction to Denver would have been 4:40
Aspen was kind of filler, but was nice for short hikes.
Sunday Pack,
Wildlife Refuge,
Fly home
Time to kill in Denver – REI

Back on American Soil

Over the past few weeks it’s occurred to me how much more time than normal it takes to accomplish certain tasks. There a slight issue with language, but it’s more the unfamiliarity with the procedures. When in an unfamiliar area, tasks that would be standard at home need to be thought through and planned. I can’t just walk out the front door and head to where I want to go – I need to write down street names so I don’t get lost along the way. I can’t just hop in my car and go, I have to get directions to my destination from the concierge and then wait for a cab. I can’t just grab a component to swap out and try a different value. I can’t just go grab something to eat at the vending machine without asking someone where it is and how to get there.

Some of these things are small, some are not. All in all it adds up to everything taking just a bit more time and effort than you’d give it credit for in a familar setting. I think this is a big part of why I (as well as others reportedly) typically feel more tired when traveling than when at home.


It’s been raining all day so far and likely won’t stop for a while.  I’ve been waiting for this day for some time, just sittin’ on the couch, watching the rain fall.  It’s not quite as good as a full blow thunders storm, but it will do.  It makes me want a house with a nice bay window on the water.  It also means that the Chippewa will be up tomorrow.

I Dream of Daemons

Last night I was awoken at about 3 am by the noise of my computer’s log on screen displaying (the Windows startup noise). I’m not sure why it restarted, but it my sleepy state at 3 am I decided there was a daemon in my room (since the door is locked so people can’t get in). I then decided that I had no power against said daemon and thus shouldn’t bother with it. I did have the common sense to turn my back to the wall prior to going back to sleep – so that if the daemon were to attack me I’d at least see it coming.

WTF? Who decides their room is haunted in the middle of the night then goes back to sleep regardless?

Delightful deeds, done dirt cheap

I was driving along today and witnessed something that restored my faith in humanity a bit. There is construction on Hagadorn right now, which disrupts the sidewalk near Grand River – leaving pedestrians just a thin strip of dug up dirt to walk on right next to the road.

While I was at the light, I saw an individual guy and a small group walking South past this section. They navigated it just fine, but as I scanned what was going on, I noticed coming the other way was a blind guy (I would have placed him as being an older grad student). The individual guy passed him, but then when he realized what was about to happen turned around, stepped back through the group following him and helped the blind man through the section.

The light turned green, so I am not completely sure how the situation ended, but I saw enough to know that the bilnd man was safely back on the unbroken sidewalk. I was impressed with the assistant, who up to that point had been minding his own business, and probably continued doing such immediately after, but his simple assistance for 30 second must have been immensely helpful. It kind of made my day.

Line by Line Analysis

Ridin’ dirty:  The act of having gay sex with some dude nicknamed “Dirty”.

Thank you urbandictionary.com, I wonder if that was Chamillionaire’s motivation for the song.

If you’ve never heard the song or seen the video, here you go:

Apparently the song is about racial profiling – who would have guessed. Anyway, I listened to it. It seemed that it was more about having a high disregard for the law followed by whining and bitching about how you’re seen as a criminal. Lyrical analysis:

Police think they can see me lean
I’m tint so it ain’t easy to be seen
Odds are good this alone is enough to warrant getting pulled over
When you see me ride by they can see the glean
And my shine on the deck and the TV screen
Ride with a new chick, she like hold up
Next to the playstation controller is a full clip and my pistola
Definitely illegal, particularly when intended for:
Turn a jacker into a coma
Girl you ain’t know, I’m crazy like Krayzie Bone
Just tryin to bone ain’t tryin to have no babies
Rock clean itself so I pull in ladies
Laws of patrolling you know they hate me
Music turned all the way up until the maximum
Probably a noise violation
I can speak for some niggas tryin to jack for some
But we packin somethin that we have and um will have a nigga locked up in the maximum
Security cell, I’m grippin oak
Music loud and tippin slow
Twist and twistin like hit this dough
Pull up from behind and is in his throat
Windows down gotta stop pollution
CDs change niggas like who is that producing?
This the Play-N-Skillz when we out and cruisin
Got warrants in every city except Houston but I’m still ain’t losin
OK, so you admit being a criminal?

[Verse 2 – Krayzie Bone]
For this verse, we’ll just count the illegalities
I been drinkin and smokin holdin shit cause a brother can’t focus 1
I gotta get to home ‘fore the po po’s scope this big ol Excursion swerving all up in the curve man 2
Nigga been sippin on that Hennessey and the gin again is in again we in the wind 3
Doin a hundred while I puff on the blunt 4
And rollin another one up, we livin like we ain’t givin a fuck 5
I got a revolver in my right hand, 40 oz on my lap freezing my balls 6
Roll a nigga tree, green leaves and all 7
Comin pretty deep, me and my do-jo
I gotta get back to backstreets
Wanted by the six pound and I got heat glock glock shots to the block we creep creep 8
Pop Pop hope cops don’t see me, on a low key
With no regards for the law we dodge em like fuck em all 9…?
But I won’t get caught up and brought up on charges for none of y’all
Keep a gun in car, and a blunt to spark, but well if you want, nigga you poppin dark 10
Ready or not we bust shots off in the air Krayzie Bone and Chamillionaire


[Verse 3 – Chamillionaire]
Do what you thinkin so, I tried to let you go
Turn up a blink of light and I swang it slower
A nigga upset for sure cause they think they know that they catchin me with plenty of the drink and dro
So they get behind me tryin to check my tags, look at my rearview and they smilin
Thinkin they’ll catch me on the wrong well keep tryin
Cause they denyin is racial profiling
Given all of the above, I’d be inclined to say it’s simply logical profiling, not racial
Houston, TX you can check my tags
Pull me over try to check my slab
Glove compartment gotta get my cash
If this is implying a pay off, well, then maybe you have one point
Cause the crooked cops try to come up fast
And been a baller that I am I talk to them, giving a damn bout not feeling my attitude
When they realize I ain’t even ridin dirty bet you’ll be leavin with an even madder mood
I’mma laugh at you then I’mma have to cruise I’m in number two on some more DJ Screw
You can’t arrest me plus you can’t sue
This a message to the laws tellin them WE HATE YOU
And they’re probably not fond of you either
I can’t be touched or tell ’em that they shoulda known
Tippin’ down, sittin’ crooked on my chrome
Bookin’ my phone, tryin’ to find a chick I wanna bone
Like they couldn’t stop me I’mma ’bout to pull up at your home and it’s on


I have been keeping this notepad file open for a month or so… mainly noting songs that caught my attention at various times… now you get to see it…

Puddle of Mudd – She fucking hates me
Lee Ann Womack – A little past little rock
Pointer Sisters – I’m so Excited
Rhett Akins – That Ain’t my Truck
LeAnn Rimes – Commitment

Marty Stuart – Tempted
– Every Second
Cindi Thompson – What I Really Meant to Say

Toby Keith – Go With Her
Brad Paisley – The World

Cross Canadian Ragweed – Maybe I Miss Your Body

Garth Brooks – Standing Outside the Fire
Vertical Horizon – Everything You Want

Terri Clark – If I Were You

And an IM quote from my little brother:

“oh well um…. it means um…. cool”

he takes after my use of … 😛

And a standard quote:

There is one irreducible requirement for training a dog: you have to be smarter than the dog.


I did not know it was possible to jump a water bottle out of a vertical holder whlist on a sidewalk, but indeed it happened, so now my brand new water bottle is scuffed up. Tear.

I have gone on three bike rides this summer. I am getting better, I should have timed tonight. In about a week I should be up to full speed. Once that happens, I can switch over to the road bike and see how that compares (if I don’t kill myself on the first ride).

Doug and I went to a kayak demo today. I am not buying a new boat, but it still fun to try out what’s available and chat with people. I think my hand is now well enough to off side roll my boat. Yeehaw.

I’m remembering some of my dreams as of late. I’m not sure this is a good thing (some of them are kind of disturbing) :-/. I think I shall start documenting them.