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Traverse travails

Mar
2012
31

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            I’m lounging in the Molly Gibson Lodge in Aspen, watching my son Chris, 24, stretched out on the carpet with his legs leaned up the wall. He and his Grand Traverse (backcountry ski race) partner Alex Pogue just inadvertently earned a place in the Traverse’s cache of great stories. They ended the race with Alex, one very tough young woman, running down the entire length of the steep Little Nell ski run on Aspen Mountain (and much of the 43-mile backcountry course) – on foot.

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            Today was the kind of brilliant spring day during which, as a friend emailed me, if you go outside, you can only force yourself back in the door when your bladder demands it. It was also the kind of day that reminds me how different my life and home are from that of my city-dwelling sisters and friends.

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            Those of you who have followed Luke Mehall’s writings in the Crested Butte Magazine know he’s not your typical office-cubicle kind of guy. He’s written about his graffiti-painted car “The Freedom Mobile”; the art of couch surfing; the Butte Bouldering Bonanza, which he helps mastermind; the Zen of dishwashing; his digital Climbing Zine; the Peaceful Warriors; and other climbing and community-oriented topics.

Luke’s an earnest, honest, smart and funny guy – and a heck of a climber. Now you can help him attain another dream objective – being an underwear model for Patagonia. Really. Maybe.

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            Not a one of my fellow Christmas Eve diners this year was Italian, but a few of us would now like to be. Those Italians have the right idea on a number of things, including our new Christmas Eve tradition – the seven-fishes dinner.           

            Long-time friend MJ Vosburg suggested that our two families should borrow that Italian custom, so I took a quick look online to find out more. It seems that religious constraints initially called for fasting on Christmas Eve. The Italians conveniently interpreted this as not eating meat, which gave permission – perhaps even a mandate – to have a culinary heyday with seafood. What a cultural accomplishment – fasting turns to feasting, guilt free.

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Running aground

Nov
2011
25

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            I hear the winter Crested Butte Magazine has hit the stands, the chairlifts are running, and people are cross-country skiing at Lily Lake. That all seems slightly surreal to me. I’m sitting in shorts and sandals on a 28-foot sailboat, which bobs at the end of ten feet of docking line near its slip at Marina San Carlos, Mexico. My husband Michael and I are hanging out here waiting for the tide to rise. I don’t use that phrase as a maritime metaphor for relaxation. I mean it literally.

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            Today I woke to the quacking of ducks flying southward past my window. This afternoon I’ll proof pages before we send the next Crested Butte Magazine to press. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here craving bacon and eggs while sipping my purifying lemonade. We must be headed into winter.

            If you’ve ever done the Master Cleanse (during which your daily menu consists of fresh lemonade with maple syrup and cayenne), then we share the bond of those who have triumphed over a common, worthy ordeal.

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Molly Murfee is in my writers’ group, and this month she submitted her winter Crested Butte Magazine essay for the group’s critique. Her essay discusses the extremes of abundance and scarcity that make up our lives in Crested Butte. In reading a paragraph where Molly waxes poetic about July’s lush carpets of wildflowers, almost hallucinogenic in their colors, fellow writer Peter suggested that she tone down her hyperbole. The other folks at the meeting looked at each other, and someone asked, “So, were you out of town this summer, Peter?” 

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