Friday, October 21, 2005

I can smell the snow in the air...

Me on the Rio Grande! Photo: Dana Kopf

Phil and I just got home from the newest release ski video from Matchstick Productions (MSP). I'm so stoked to go skiing! We've already had snow on the ground for several days in town here. Not at our house, but within two miles, only 50-100ft. higher than we are. It's sticking and staying for multiple days.

I hit the climbing gym pretty hard yesterday and am getting excited
to get in some good shape again! Doing all this chainsawing makes me feel like a fat lumberjack, with no cardio health at all, even working over 7000 ft. everywhere we are. The next time I have to camp out it's going to be over 10,000 ft. in mid November. Yeah! On Monday we start a project with an organization right here in Durango called the Friends of the Animas River (FOAR). We'll be working to tame russian olive, which you can read about if you just click on the name. In a nutshell, it's an invasive species that thrives near water, but it's not as bad as tamarisk, which is a total pain in the butt, but it's getting there.

Wild mushroom season has come to an end because it's so cold now, but I had fun running around the woods this fall trying to learn about the nasty things while they were out. Here are some photos from some days up in the mountains and when Sophia, Phil's sister was in town.

Me with some nasty smelling stuff. Photo: PK

Something pretty! Photo: Sophia Kast

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Where Have I Been? Greetings from Durango, Colorado!

Hi Everybody! Long time, no talk for some of you. I'm just getting new in to this whole "blogging" thing, but apparently it's the new rage in mass communication, that can easily be used on a personal level. Having internet at home makes it a lot easier to keep in touch, but having so many of you to keep in touch with makes it very hard. For those of you who haven't updated, my most current and often checked e.mail is The school account I have still works, but I don't check it as often.

Blue House! This is where we live.

Photo: PK

Me Struggling on an easy climb at East Animas.

Photo: PK

Since Phil and I have moved to Durango, we haven't climbed much. Rafting took up most of our time in the spring and summer. We did experience a record high water season thought, with the little river here in town peaking at 8,500cfs. Now it's high again and looking at \ somewhere between 600 and 800 with all this rain. We already have a lot of snow in the foothills and people are already bragging about having gone skiing... I can't wait!!

Phil is on his way back from the west coast where he has been working a lot, and playing on the side. He spent a couple days with Keith and Mel before they took of for Korea, which was only a couple days ago. You can read about their adventures on Keith's blog at:

My roomate, Evan and I brewed a nice dark porter tonite, which should be prime for drinking near Christmas, just like last year. In a couple more days I'll be whipping up a batch of brown ale. Not quite up there with the quality of brewskies Josh is coming up with, but I've got some catching up to do.

Work is hard, as I have moved up to a heavier chainsaw (22lbs of power I have to
lug around!) and a lot of innergroup social drama. Those sort of things happen no matter what the work environment, so I consider myself lucky to be gaining so much educationally from these four months, not to mention that I get to work outside every day! For those of you who don't know, I'm working for Southwest Youth Corps and I'm on saw crew that deals with Wildfire Mitigation. Basically prevention via thinning. We've been camping since early September, but for three weeks I'll be working out of Durango, which will be very nice to come home in the evening and eat real food!

This is what was our garden in May, before we made it beautiful!

SYC's website:
Durango's Webcam (5 blocks from my house!):