My Life Lately

The past year has been a series of epic adventures and life changing decisions. Though I’m always striving for the next level, I created this video to remind myself of how far I’ve come already. If I die tomorrow, this is my story, my art, my message to the world. This is My Life Lately. 

“Each one of us only gets to experience a small piece of forever. What will you do with yours?” 

I have some incredible people by my side and I could not have done this without all of you. You know who you are…  Thank you for helping me find my way to the amazing place I am today. 



For Whom the Bells Toll

Ever been upset, frustrated, overwhelmed, and just need to get away? Yeah, me too. I had one of those days recently, so I decided to get out of town and clear my head.

When I got home from work, without even changing my clothes, I stuffed some socks, a hoodie, a tank top, and toothbrush into my gym bag, and 5 minutes later was on the road. Drive I-70 West until the sunset was as far as my plan went. IMG_6093

After a spectacular sunset cruise through Glenwood Canyon, I spotted Glenwood Hot Springs. I went there frequently with my family when I was a kid, but hadn’t been in years so I decided to stop for a quick dip.


It felt so good to relax in the warm water under the moon and stars, but my fingers eventually started to prune so I went to find food.


I left the hot springs a little before 10pm, when I saw a Village Inn across the street and suddenly HAD to have french toast and bacon! All alone, with soaking wet hair, smudged makeup, and an oversized hoodie I devoured about 1,000 calories worth of breakfast foods and some OJ. I wondered what the people in the restaurant thought when they looked at me, all haggard and somber looking, but to be honest I didn’t care what they thought. In fact, it was kinda of perfect that I looked as discombobulated as I felt inside. I felt mysterious and kind of bad ass.

After dinner, I booked a nearby hotel room off Groupon and went to bed. Tomorrow was going to bring some adventure. I just knew it.

At 6am the next morning I drove to Aspen to find my adventure. I decided to try to get to the Maroon Bells, knowing it might be a challenge in the winter. I didn’t realize that the entire road was covered in 4-5′ of snow and slush and that the only way to get there was to hike, cross-country ski or to snowmobile. I thought about renting a sled for a few hours, but decided to save my $250 and hike. Everyone I had asked and the websites I visited all agreed that it was roughly 6 miles from where the drivable road ends to Maroon Bells Lake. I stocked up on some water, food, grabbed my GoPro and decided to take on the 12 mile challenge.


When I started the hike around 8am, the path was mostly ice, and although slippery, I maintained a steady pace. After 3 or 4 miles it started to soften up and was much easier to tread on. I could feel myself starting to let go of the things that were bothering me, took some deep breathes and soaked up the quiet natural beauty all around me. I was all alone in the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest person, home or business. I felt tiny and insignificant.


I knew it was a risk going alone, especially with it being the worst avalanche season in as long as I can remember, but it was a risk I was willing to take. Anyways, after hiking for nearly two hours, the slush became so soft that sometimes I sank past the top of my boots. This made it much more challenging to keep my pace, and it wore out my legs much faster. I was already beginning to feel sore, and I had pulled a muscle in my hip. I could also feel my shoulders and face burning in the spring sunshine, but it was too warm to wear my sweatshirt and beanie. After what seemed like forever, I stopped to rest for the first time. I sat on a fallen tree and stretched out my legs and back for a few minutes before continuing on my way.


The Maroon Bells were looking bigger and more majestic with every step I took. I knew I had to be getting close, but I was beginning to think they were a mirage.

FINALLY! I had made it! I passed a post marking mile number 9, and I thought to myself “That’s strange, it’s supposed to be 6 miles. They must have started counting from the bottom of the road, not from where the road closes for the winter.” As I approached the lake at the bottom of the bells, I sank deeper and deeper into the slush. I decided to keep my distance from the edge of the lake because it was hard to tell where the ground stopped and the water started. I also wanted to conserve energy for the long journey back to my car.

I stomped out a small area in the middle of the field to make a firm place to chill, tossed my hoodie and bag onto the packed slush and lay on top, staring up at the wondrous peaks in front of me. I don’t know how long I lay there, but other than the birds chirping, it was so quiet I could only hear myself breathing.


After a while, I set up my GoPro and did some handstands like I always do on my adventures. When I finally decided to head back to my car it was about 2pm. I was running out of food and water, my legs were aching and I had a long, long way to go through the sinking slush.

Mile marker after mile marker, I trudged through the soft snow. I stopped to rest on the same tree laying across the road, but the more I sat, the more my legs hurt and the hungrier I became. I kept moving. The amazing landscape all around me was the only distraction from my aching muscles and growing hunger pains. I frequently looked behind me to marvel at the Maroon Bells again and again, or maybe I was double checking that the experience I just had was real.

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More mile markers. …6,5,4… I figured since I left the bells near marker number 9, I was on my final mile or two. I couldn’t wait to take off my wet shoes, drink the coconut water I had in the car and to just sit down.

…3,2… I started to wonder what was going on as I approached mile marker number 2 instead of my car. At that point it didn’t take a genius to figure out the count had started at the base of the trail, not the base of the road, and it was a lot further than I prepared for. Finally there was a pink ribbon attached to a wooden post which I assumed stood for mile number one. **Sigh** Instead of the 12 miles I had planned for, I hiked a total of 19 miles! I had never been so happy to see my car in my life, and immediately tore my wet boots and socks off. My feet felt raw on the bottom so I drove all the way home in my spare socks. Shoes of any kind were not an option.

Even though I was physically exhausted, mentally I felt calm, clear and ready to head home and deal with reality. The struggle I had felt those last few miles had pushed me beyond my comfort zone and to a new personal level. All in all, I was stoked on my adventure and recognized the significance of what I had just accomplished.

“Be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It might not be easy, but it’s a small price to pay for living the dream.”




Initiate Authenticity

“Experiencing the world through endless second hand information isn’t enough. If we want authenticity we have to initiate it.” – Travis Rice

I have been working too much lately. While usually this is a good thing because I am trying to stay busy and save up some cash, working 6 days a week for 12 weeks straight was starting to burn me out. I needed a day to ground myself.

With off-days being so rare for me, I couldn’t decide how I wanted to spend my time. I could go to Breckenridge and see some friends, go to Boulder to see my family, be lazy at home for once, or I could find a random adventure and just go with it. Well, if you know me at all then you already know what I did. I drove up to the mountains in pursuit of a fun, random, wilderness adventure.

After an hour of driving through aspen-filled canyons and up steep, windy roads I got to Brainard Lake Park, about 30 minutes Northwest of Boulder. On a recommendation from my mom, I tried to follow her vague directions to a place she loves called Blue Lake, but it was a long shot. There were so many trails and lakes in the area I figured I would never find Blue Lake and I should just check out another place; so I kept driving.


See the face in the rock? It’s Chief Niwot/Lefthand.

Up and up I drove as each parking lot I passed was full. Finally I reached the top and was pleased to find that there were only a few other cars there. “Now this is more like it,” I though to myself. I drove an hour and a half from Denver to get away and spend some time alone in the mountains.

I grabbed my GoPro, water, a sandwich, a poncho, a hoodie, and some pants, then began my journey up the mountain.

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I had given up on Blue Lake and figured I would just find a new cool spot.


Besides, I was having fun river hopping and looking for wildlife along the way to wherever it was I was going.


If I would have read the sign at the bottom of the trail head I would have known that I was on a direct path to Blue Lake and didn’t even realize it.


An hour and a half or so later I reached the top of the trail.  After passing several small ponds, admiring grassy green meadows filled with butterflies and wildflowers, and climbing piles of rockslide debris, I came to a majestic blue lake backed by Colorado’s Indian Peaks.


I was in the most beautiful place, and I was all alone. Exactly where I wanted to be.

I stayed at the lake for at least an hour wandering around and taking random GoPro pictures of myself doing handstands. I was having a blast and for a brief moment in time, I was not just in a place I could go; I was in a place I could just be.

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Four hours after leaving my car, I was back. Within 10 seconds of starting my engine, it began to down-pour! It had been threatening to rain all day, and I got sprinkled on a few times, but all I could do was laugh at my perfect timing. Today was my day.

Next, I went to Blue Sky, my family’s cabin a few miles down the road. I ate lunch on Diane Mountain, a nearby cliff named after my Aunt Diane who was killed by a drunk driver. I stayed until I was scared off by the nearing lightning storm.


By the time I got back home to Denver I was exhausted, happy, relaxed, and inspired. I need to take days off more often. 🙂