A little time with great friends, and starting to build a home

     The last few weeks were spent joyously with friends. What more in life can be asked for? I am starting new here at the property, and was very happy to be emotionally recharged with the strong friendships that I do have. Being a vagabond takes it’s toll. Always a new setting. Always surrounded by different people.

     My buddy Tyler, his wife Missy, and their four year old Winston were great to hang touch base with in Los Alamos. He works at the particle accelerator there, doing theoretical work (turning epiphanies into computer simulations) in order to see if they can’t get the old girl working a little more efficiently. Winston loved to play hockey in the street. Tyler and Missy are great parents, and I look forward to seeing their kin grow up to change the world. One more in the oven now! Congrats!

     I was summoned to a climbing family reunion in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Ralph, Jordan, and Kyle were great to be around again. Also, some friends that I haven’t seen for three or so years, since Ralph and I visited Joshua Tree National Park happened to be in town (Ralph’s doing). Discussion’s ranged from Shrodinger’s cat experiment to internet privacy; sex therapy falling somewhere in between. They are a fun intellectual group to be around.

     Jeremy, one of the best photographers I know, is also fast becoming a videographer. He is still pushing his own limits and growth, and it is amazing to see him traveling the world with such great photo documentation. He will be going to Peru in a few weeks to climb water ice five at elevations near twenty thousand feet. I got a chance to ski with him, my only ski this year, in the backcountry of Marble, CO. I am certainly not in shape after spending so much time on the beach in southern Texas, but was happy to push my body to the limit ascending some more vertical terrain, which the Texas coast lacked.

     I also got to hike a few days around Steamboat with my long time friend Erynn, who has ventured out into the unknown with me since the later years of high school: braving my navigation skills while I find backcountry huts, or testing out the theories of snow caves published in “Freedom of the Hills.” She is making her way up the healthcare ladder quickly, pursing her passion for helping people.

     This was meant to be a synopsis on my few weeks with good friends, but reminds me of how important community is. I am certainly lucky to have such great people in my life, though they are scattered to the winds. Most of my really close friends now live within a six hour drive of where I am now in Colorado. There are still the remnants of my time in the Navy, leaving traces of myself in Connecticut, and California. I’ll continue to be inspired by all of these great souls, and look forward to all of the moments that we become reacquainted after lulls in sharing the present moment.

     Tomorrow I will be going out with the rafting company that I will likely be guiding for. We are headed down the Royal Gorge, a kind of pre-employment check out run. I went down the Arkansas, on a much easier section, with another group of guides already, and I am excited about getting on the river consistently. As far as making money goes, it is not bad to be continuously paddling downriver: just going with the flow. The pay leaves a little bit to be desired, but you do get to chat it up with a lot of folks. As an introvert that just “turns it on” every once in a while, I hope I can influence a lot of people in a positive way.

     I am also in the planning and preparation stage of building my own little shanty. As of now the plan is for a twenty-five foot diameter cordwood structure, with a loft. Still pondering octagonal or round. Where I may lack money, I have the ability to move heavy things around. I live on a hill scattered with iron rich magnetite. I have accumulated a pile which will eventually be shaped into a mortared platform for a cast iron stove, or perhaps a chimney. This is my first time stacking rocks with mortar, and should be a fun learning experience.

     Here is to another new horizon. 

     I would have photos but I think my camera chord is in Salida. Oh well.

Author: Ronjohn

When I take a deep look at my ego, I see that it defines itself as a recreation bum. I ski, hike, rock climb, kayak, raft, sail, stand up paddle, mountain bike, rock climb again. I grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado. I am a vagabond extraordinaire.

4 thoughts on “A little time with great friends, and starting to build a home”

  1. Good to hear your back home safe. Check out rocket stoves on youtube for an ultra efficient heating/cooking source.

    1. So I know you must have heard of Rocket Mass Heaters. Their are tons of online resources for building one DIY and it sounds like you have the materials on hand.
      1/3 of the fuel used than a regular wood stove and you can utilize smaller wood sources (instead of regular chopped cordwood).

  2. Learned a lot from you, and still learning through indirect contact. That massive snow cave was bomber that one night. It would be a gift to cross paths once more.

    1. Thanks man. We get a whole lifetime to never stop learning. I’m not sure when I’ll be back in Gunnison, but I if your ever around Cotopaxi or Salida, look me up.

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