This week has been a ride for sure… ups and downs, mixed and expected emotions.

I took some amazing hikes again this week.  One of the advantages of being unemployed is that there is extra time to go explore and test physical limits. The more I do, the more I want to do. I have realized that being in the mountains, or running 5-6 miles or both can be very relaxing… mainly because I’m breathing so hard I don’t think about the about the stress of job hunting or “what now?” thoughts. I also realize that eventually I’ll be back “in the saddle” in an office, behind a mic, in a building.. wishing I could be running or hiking. So I’m trying to savor these experiences as much as possible.

This week I decided to hike the Lake Blanche trail in Big Cottonwood canyon. The hike is listed as a “moderate” hike, with an elevation gain of almost 3,000 feet and 5.8 miles round trip. Hiking time 3.5 – 5 hours (I did it in 3).

Lake Blanche trail

This trail is incredible. As you look up the trail, snow-capped peaks loom ahead. There is snow on this hike. In fact the last 1/2 mile was all snow. It was slow going because of the slippery/wet snow and no trail to follow. I took the same track that hikers ahead of me took up the hill through the snow. Crossing the streams and run off as they pass underneath. Most of the upper trail as a series of avalanche debris and snow bridges.. and some collapsed  while I was on them.  BUT I finally made it to the top. Lake Blanche was still covered for the most part with snow and ice..

Frozen Lake Blanche

What pretty view. I haven’t seen this lake for years! So refreshing and nice.. the air still cool yet a warm breeze blows as I can already see the changes in the snow as I make my way down the trail to my beloved Subaru… I fell through the snow 3 or 4 times, in places that held my weight less than an hour earlier. Great hike!

I bought a book at Barnes and Noble the other day called, “60 Hike Within 60 Miles”. Great resource to help me plan my next escape to the mountains.

Next week… maybe Desolation Lake, Dog Lake, Grandeur Peak and some mountain bike rides.

This week we also FINALLY sold our house in Texas.. Sugar Land Texas. This was a nice relief, yet sad. We loved that house, neighborhood, friends… climate (most of the time). Don’t get me wrong, we love being back in the mountains, we just miss Texas at times and the house was a constant reminder that we still had a connection… now we just need to decide what to do with Besse (our Piper Cherokee 180). Still being flown by a flight school in Arcola Texas. Not having the expense of a house payment, utilities and maintenance is a big relief on our cash flow. Some of the thoughts and memories from Texas..

My little friend Austin

Besse

Point studio.. on the air

Specially trained attack Gecko

doing a TV spot for 106.9 The Point with my buddy Bill Tatar

Doc, Heather, me and Kevin

Point Posse: Jennifer, Pam, me, Edel

MC in Sugar Land.. 4th of July 2010 with Michele Fisher

Farewell Dinner with my "bitches"

Yep… lots of memories and good times… Texas, we will miss you.. but we’ll be back, even for it’s just for a visit.. outside of hurricane season of course.

This week, one of my oldest and dearest radio friends passed away. Blake McIntosh.. still don’t know or care what took his life, but shocked to hear the news. I’ve known Blake since the early 90’s.. actually used to listen to him when I was starting my career over 25 years ago to get/steal ideas. He was a smooth radio talker, with a hint of wit and suave that most only dream of.. at least I did. Blake had been struggling with some health issues for years, most recently pneumonia.

Blake was one of those guys that was always there when you needed a friend or buddy to hang out with. He and I did just that a lot through a few dark chapters in my life.. Thanks Blake for being my friend… don’t forget, you promised to save me a seat..

Blake McIntosh

Gonna miss you buddy!

Yesterday we went to a family reunion. This wasn’t a typical “Utah family” reunion.. you know.. the ones that have 20 million kids all focused on games and eating.. this was actually for the descends of William and Lula Atkin, my Great Grandparents. There were people there from all over.. people i have never met before. Thank goodness my mom, aunts & uncles and my 93-year-old grandpa were there.

We heard some amazing stories about their life in Southern Utah. All the jobs, houses, tough times, kids stories and passions of my amazing great Grandparents.

Great Grandparents Wild Bill and Lula Atkin -- circa mid to late 60's

It’s amazing to hear the stories from the past and learn more about your connection to it. As I think about the trials I’m going through these days, I gained a new perspective as appreciation for life hearing their stories. All told from my Grandpa’s sister.. complete with pictures, dates and funny stories.

I now understand a bit of why I have gained such a love for the outdoors through my life. It started a long time ago… probably before my Great Grandparents knew they loved the mountains and deserts of Utah.. but it was all passed don through the generations.. it’s in my DNA. I can’t fish like my Great grandfather, I’m not crazy about hunting (although I have been known to be a pretty good shot with a gun, and a hell of a goat milker) or camping in the dirt… BUT, I do like to think that I could be a cowboy like he was.. maybe not, but at least I can say I am a direct descendant of real cowboy!

Interesting week…

Today.. I definitely feel rich.. wonder what this coming week will bring? Another reunion, time with family, celebrating the 4th in Utah… who knows..

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