Yours truly leaves Korea smitten and arrives in Utah. Shelley goes to get her higher education in Fort Collins, Colorado. The hiking continues in the BK (Before Kids) Era.
– Mount Ogden, Utah. 1995. This hill was right behind my house. Later, on the east side, it was the downhill venue at the 2002 Olympics.
– Diamond Peak. Cameron Pass, Colorado. Fall 1995. Glissading down avalanche paths with my girl.
– Ben Lomond, Utah. 15 October 1995. I climbed solo and right as I got to the summit, a bunch of Vipers from the 4th FS roared over the summit toward the base. They were just getting home from Operation Southern Watch over Iraq. Supposedly this mountain was the inspiration for the Paramount Pictures movie company logo.
– Fremont Peak. Wind River Range, Wyoming. 4 Jul 1996. Dieter Bareihs and I do the biggest trip I’ve ever done. This one gets its own post later.
– Christmas Meadows. Uinta Mountains, Utah. 14 Sep 1996. Shelley and I hike in and fish and camp. Saw three moose on the way out. First time up into the Uinta hills. We got married on the back porch in mid-July 1996. So, we’re allowed to be in a tent together.
– Horsetooth Mountain. Fort Collins, Colorado. Easter, 30 Mar 1997. Short trip on a nice day above Horsetooth Reservoir west of town.
– Jud Wiebe Trail. Telluride, CO. 1997. After Shelley’s masters, we took the long way home to Utah and spent time in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado.
– Keiservarden. Bodø, Norway. 9 June 1998. After my last trip to Southern Watch, Johnny Graham, Norwegian exchange pilot in the 421 FS with me, invited me to stop over in Norway on the way home. Shelley was jet-lagged the whole time. It was like the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s” dragging around a corpse. But we saw the finish line of the 1994 Lillehammer nordic stadium, the Oslo fjord, and visited his girlfriend Ingunn in Bodø, north of the Arctic Circle. Saw the midnight sun, visited Saltstraumen (the world’s largest maelstrom!), and climbed this peak north of town.
– Timpanogos Basin. Utah. 3 Jul 1998. When I saw this hike in my notes. I remembered climbing it solo. Found the pictures in the attic and, huh, Shelley was with me. A mind is a terrible thing.
– Granddaddy Lake. Uinta Mountains, UT. 2 Aug 1998. Shelley and I camped at trailhead at top of Hades Canyon. Next day we hiked in and fished for cutthroat trout with Tim Randolph, a maintenance NCO from Hill AFB. Saw fish but didn’t catch them, of course.
– Angel’s Landing. Zion National Park, Utah. 4 Sep 1998. Shelley, her sister Sheila, and I climb this peak in 1998. In 2000, Shelley and my parents will venture up, but my dad and I will turn back before the peak due to high winds along the ledges. This is an epic hike. Thousand foot ledges straight down just feet away from the path. On both sides of the path at the skinny part.
In 2011, went with two friends in the Duluth Guard: Kevin “Norge” Peterson and Luke “Goober” Huls. On the way down from the summit, on the skinniest, most exposed part of the trail, waiting for a river of people to pass on the way uphill, my body failed me. I may have been overserved the night before and my GI tract was fragile. My 20-second clock started and there was no restroom for me to visit on that rock ledge. I was going to have an accident standing up right in front of a dozen people on a desert mountain cliff. By some miracle, the need passed and I avoided embarrassment. Do this hike, but make sure you’ve had your daily constitutional before heading up.
– Murphy Point. Canyonlands National Park, Utah. 30 May 1999. Hiked out to a point on the west side of Island in the Sky overlooking the Green River. As the sun set, a peregrine falcon was playing in the thermals right next to the cliff where we sat. It would swoop down away from the cliff, fly toward the rock below us, and fly vertically straight up along the cliff face and shoot straight up past the lip like a bullet just feet away from us. It did this dozens of times. I don’t know if animals play, but when I used to be able to fly like that, I did.
– Mount Raymond. Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. 26 Jun 1999. Shelley and I walk through an amazing stand of aspens carpeted by bluebells. Descending from the summit, a woman and her little boy were climbing up. They asked how it was. Shelley said it was a little challenging. The kid smiled, took off, and said, “I like challenging!” Good for you, kid.
– Red Pine Lake. Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. 5 Jul 1999. Found these pictures in the attic. For the life of me couldn’t remember where it was. That’s what happens when you stew your brain in whiskey for 30 years. Luckily, my workout logs showed the hike to Red Pine Lakes. That’s why I write stuff down.
– City of Rocks, Idaho. April 2000. Shelley takes the boy for his first hike. IN HER BELLY!
– Mt. Timpanogos. Utah. 22 Sept 2000. Jon Wiesinger and I summit in a cloud. Embedded thunderstorms booming somewhere in the distance. Worst altitude headache I ever had. At the top, my head felt like it was going to pop like a zit.
Some kid shows up in October 200o. So the BK Era is over. We have no memory of anything before our kids arrive. Looking back on the permanent record, it turns out we did stuff after all during the five years we were married without kids. Redemption thanks to photographs.