Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sandstone Sandbox

Enough insightful/personal posts for now. It’s time for some more plain, old-fashioned showing off. Above, on the trail to Tower Arch, Bree has found a "hiding place," from which she proved difficult to extricate.

Bree was a little trooper the whole trip. She hiked a good 60-70% of every trail she went on. Only at the end of Fiery Furnace did she get tired enough to ask to be carried. The more common complaint she had was that her parents were just too goal oriented to let her play in her own privately fashioned sand-box for hours on end. I know: we're slave drivers.

She hiked the entirety of the Mesa Arch Loop Trail, and is shown here taking a much deserved mini-break, basking in the sun like the lizards she has learned to love.

Cheeky grin (due primarily to chipmunk-like storage of pretzels) and all, here's Bree cheesing it up in front of the camera. She had so much fun on this trip, but still wants to "play in the sand." To that end, we have therefore already booked a tent-spot in Goblin Valley for the weekend after Easter. Post comment for information about said trip, including propositions concerning possible multi-familial conventions.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Mountain Goat

In many ways, this trip was a kind of test-run of the capabilities of my new body. I was running and jumping – easily, I might add - around places that, just six months ago, I would literally have been heaving my hefty self, feeling weighed down and depressed.

I felt/feel more agile than I have since I was a kid. I've rediscovered a physical confidence and capability that have been missing since early adolescence. It’s been a "rebirth" experience for me, creating this new-self. As we journeyed through the Fiery Furnace, Pulcheria described my movements as "graceful." Graceful. I like that.

Just after Pulcheria took this shot (I couldn’t help but grab a couple virtual caches while I was down there) I ran the Windows Primitive Loop Trail. Ran it. Ran! Okay, so I only ran 2/3 – ¾ of the 1.25 mile trail: but, still, it’s me – running. Here's to constant progression!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Biological Nomenclature in Landscapes

It has been pointed out by numerous nature writers that earth and her forms are often described in terms of feminine anatomy. The desert of the Colorado Plateau is one of the few places on earth, in my opinion, where masculine nomenclature is equally applicable. From the spires of Bryce to the towers of Monument Valley, the dominant anatomical symbol is not the mound of the breast, dimple of the small of the back, or gentle curve of the hip. Rather, it is the phallus.

To be sure, the breast, back, hip and even the (insert bodily part here) of the slot canyon is still most prominent. But what really strikes me is the conjugal mixture of spire next to mound, boulders against valley, tower within canyon, turret seen through arch.

The whole plateau is charged with sexual metaphor:

The paucity of plant life yearns for wetness
Heat presses sky and land
Breezes sigh
Tension builds
Cloud and stone await the kiss of rain

Drops, gentle, caress desperate soil
Lightning jabs back and forth
Rain grows intense
Hail surges
Wind groans

Tension breaks
Climax floods through slot canyon
Humid heat remains
Dusk's afterglow soothes
Sleep descends
Fresh life emerges

(Or, alternatively, maybe I'm too Freudian about the whole experience...)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dead Horse Point

My adorable little family just got back from a great, if brief, break down in Ed Abbey country. We went with the Wild Bounders and had a fantastic time camping, hiking, scrambling, climbing, and generally having a superb time of it all. What's more, most of the highlights have been digitally captured, giving me ample posting material for the next few days.

This shot, taken during the last few hours of desert roving, features Pulcheria and Bree looking very cute in front of a bend in the Colorado River from the vantage of Dead Horse Point.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Showing Off

Someday I hope to own my very own scanner. Until then, you'll have to make do with these small jpegs. Here we are showing off (Bree's not the one showing off. She could care less about posing for silly photographs) our gorgeous daughter in her new Easter dress.

Some of you may have seen these already, and we beg your forgiveness - not that we are at all apologetic, but it's probably the socially proper thing to do. For those who have seen them here for the first time: please feel free to offer feedback if you so desire.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Lost Investment

Since the photo below has a headshot (en passant) of Bree, it barely squeaks in.

So, imagine you’ve been slowly investing. Everyone needs a certain amount to survive, but say you’ve managed over the last 12 years to take what you bring and pack a little extra away. Say you’ve done remarkably well, and have saved about 30% of what you needed to use. Now that’s a remarkable investment. Impressive, huh? Wouldn’t you feel great if that were you? Wouldn’t you feel terrible if you suddenly lost it all? Well… That’s what happened to me. And I did it on purpose.

The unfortunate part of my savings is that it wasn’t money which I hoarded. It was excess calories. So, to date, I've lost 30% of my body weight over the last ~4 months and am feeling fantastic. At the risk of arrogance, I would even say that I look slightly less terrible. Look at the photo and judge for yourself.

Yes, I am sucking in - but only a very little bit. ;)