Colorado, Summer 2008, cont'd

Sunrise on our ascent up Long's Peak. We started hiking at 2:00 AM.

Glow of the sunrise in the opposite direction as we start getting into the snow.

Long's sheer face with a trail cairn in the foreground.

Some fearless campers on the Boulder Field called me The Marmot-Whisperer.
We fed this impertinent creature several pieces of sulfured chili mango.
That'll learn the wildlife to shamelessly beg for narsty human food.

Cumulus spires coming up over Longs' scree-talus slope dusted with snow.
The sun was too bright, so this shot was taken through my sunglasses.

Our route up the Boulder Field to the Keyhole, the formation on the right.
What looks to be an easy 10-minute scramble is actually a 40-minute walk,
carefully picking our way around and over snow-covered boulders.

Finally coming up to the Keyhole formation, where we ended up stopping.
The snow-melt and icy conditions further on did not recommend summitting.
(There is a very narrow portion and an edge with a 1000 foot drop-off.)

Howard, on his way up to the Keyhole.
(Shot through my sunglasses--bam! instant filter.)

View from the backside of Longs, looking down on myriad lakes.

Clouds rolling in portend soon-to-be thunderstorms.
Time to head down after our Elvenses and Third Breakfasts.

Irby, on our plant-walk, helps feed the snapdragons twigs and sticks.
We found a bounty of edible plants that day, including black currants,
chokecherries, mint, lavender, hawthorn, wild plums, apples, and crabapples.

Family friend Phyllis on the left with my momma on the right.

Somma mah origamis, as I say goodbye to a large portion of my earthly belongings.
Apparently, I am not as attached to that chattel as I had previously thought.
Not seeing them for a year while I was in China sure helped.
But I figure it's better to get the things into use and not packed away in boxes.
Anyway, I can always fold another Buddha on a camel, right?

Ali Crockett is an angel of creative forces.