#shedlife Patio

When I realized that last summer was not going to turn out to be one of crazy adventure but instead going to be one that presented me with the opportunity to make a house in Ridgway a reality for me, I also decided to take on a bit of a project.

While I was mowing a neighbor’s lawn around her raised garden beds (very similar to mine) I realized that it was a giant pain. I had to maneuver the mower around a million corners and it still needed to be edged with a weed eater. I needed to think of a different plan for my beds. Then I started to think about summer monsoons and tracking mud into the shed…

A vision for my shed patio was born. (Hurray for another #damselNOTindistress project!) I went to Home Depot and started browsing their options for patio pavers. I started out envisioning this as a relatively inexpensive project but as DIY things often do, the scope expanded and I decided to do a more “complete” job and I wound up spending about $1000 on pavers, sand, gravel plus delivery, and the rental of a paver cutter. Initially I thought, I probably should have put this project off for a few years but when we had multiple thaws over the winter it was totally worth it. (Not to mention it just felt like further staking a claim to the property!)

The project started out with digging out a level paver surface. Let me tell you, this turned into a way bigger thing that I thought! I wish I would have laid the pavers and installed the garden beds at the same time to eliminate the need for cutting pavers but hindsight is always helpful.

Taking a break in the shade
Taking a break in the shade

Since I don’t have a pickup truck, I splurged on delivery of gravel ($125) for the paver area rather than asking a friend to take multiple trips to Montrose. Spreading the gravel went extra fast thanks to help from a neighbor and from little Miss LC. The help was especially awesome since I was trying to do this amid 60 hour work weeks!


Fortunately, a friend volunteered to bring me some paver sand from Montrose which saved me another hefty delivery fee and signaled real progress on my project! Laying the pavers went fairly quickly and they’re pretty darn level. Once I had all of the whole pavers laid, I rented a cement/paver cutter from Home Depot and trimmed out all of the partial rows. I’m glad I didn’t stray from my pattern to force the pavers to “mostly” fit into the spaces. Everything looks so great this way.

Paver cutter

Early in the fall, my friend moved to California and gave me her patio table and then my boss found me an old umbrella he wasn’t using so the whole thing feels really quite nice. I was really conservative about over planting this year since I didn’t have water on the property until just last week but they still look good!

Sunday Sermon

“For far too long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves. For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes. . . .

“When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us.”





–Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds

Telluride Historical Museum

I have a weird relationship with museums. Sometimes there are things there that are cool enough to justify going but usually I just find them expensive and wish I’d applied my entry ticket to buying a book that would have given me deeper information than I got on the informational posters in the museum. That being said, since 2017 is going to be busy with non-travel stuff, I’ve decided that I should at least visit the Telluride Historical Museum, the Ouray County Museum, the Ute Indian Museum, and probably the Ouray County Ranch History Museum.

Luckily, for the cheapskate in me, the Telluride museum is free to locals on Thursdays! It was really important to me to make it there this winter because they had a special exhibit called “Treasure Maps: Cartography of the American Southwest.” Since I love maps and history it seemed like a match made in heaven.

Not to bury the lede: I loved it. The maps were arranged in chronological order and I poured over them seeing the deepening understanding of the Southwest’s geography. Some of the maps were particularly amazing, the Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco map of the Dominguez-Escalante expedition was probably my favorite. I’m not sure how old each of the map prints were at the exhibition but I loved the whole thing.

The other exciting piece of the museum was seeing the Telluride Blanket, an intact Anasazi blanket dating from 1041-1272. The only known intact Anasazi blanket in the world, the blanket was in gorgeous condition. (For lots more information on the blanket, check out this PDF from the museum.)

I really enjoyed the Telluride Historical Museum. I saw some awesome historic local photos that I hadn’t seen before. The museum was easy to navigate, it was fresh and modern. The museum is only $5 (and for locals, it’s free on Thursdays!). It’s definitely worth a visit.

R2R 2014

When I found out that we were going to Oregon one of my first emails went out to Jolleen (my two time R2R teammate and Moab Autumn Run partner) to tell her that I wanted in on this years Rainier to Ruston if there was a spot. She’d put together a 4-person team for 2014 instead of our usual 6-person relay squad. A spot had opened up on the team due to injury and I happily accepted the spot to join Jo, Mel, and Sarah.

We met up on Friday in Vancouver and headed up to Orting where we spent the evening at my aunt and uncle’s house eating pizza, watching the deer in the yard, and enjoying the evening. Our muscles even got a pre-race hot tub session.

Carbon River

In the morning, we headed up to the race start. This year the start seemed a little warmer than it had been in the past and I had a great first leg. I felt great the whole way and was really surprised how fast the turn off for the handoff point came up. Similarly, my second leg went really well; this leg was really fun because my legs still felt fresh and it was a new leg to me and it was mostly in the shade.

Ranier To Ruston

My last leg was a little more of a struggle. It was nice and flat but my legs were definitely tired towards the end as I ran my 12th and 13th miles of the day. I had a nice treat at the end though—my mom brought my nephew Drew down to cheer me on!

End of Leg 9

Sarah anchored the last leg with a great final leg along the waterfront. As is our tradition, we met her about a mile from the end to make the final push as a team (this pushed all of our mileages for the day over the half-marathon point). As we crossed the finish line we were all in high spirits with Mt. Rainier behind us over Commencement Bay.

Instead of hopping in the car for the drive south, we’d reserved an awesome apartment near Wrights Park via Airbnb. It was nice to have a place to relax as a team. We briefly headed out for dinner at The Hub where we devoured our meal. Thanks again ladies for a great race in awesome company!

On Beth UR Sportswear Just Rock Shorts / Stonewear Designs Velocity Top

On The Page: The Man Who Quit Money

Part of why we live on the road is to experience a freedom that working a job, having a mortgage, and living in a house or an apartment just don’t allow. We live in quite a comfortable set up and there are few things that I really miss (besides being close to family and friends). I’m always impressed by those that are more able to sacrifice even more creature comforts to simplify their life.

The Man Who Quit Money

Among the most extreme examples of simplifying life is to quit using currency all together. The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen is about a man named Daniel Suelo (née Shellabarger) who since 2000 has lived a currency-less existence. Born to a fundamentalist Christian family, Suelo (Spanish for “soil”), began to develop his own ideas of religion and spirituality. During his stint in the the Peace Corps, Suelo came out as a gay man leading to tensions with his family, the religion he loved, and ultimately sending the young man into a deeply depressed state.

After returning to the States, Suelo moved to Moab where he worked several jobs, had his first romantic relationships, and began his migration away from money. During his evolution toward his moneyless state Suelo’s goal was to test two hypotheses: “Thoreau’s premise that living in nature made you stronger, and St. Francis’ belief that following chance brought you closer to God.”

I read this book in one sitting, absolutely riveted by Suelo’s spiritual journey and his ability to live entirely without money. (Suelo also avoids bartering.) Suelo is able to make piece with his faith while keeping his distance from religion he explained, “Yes, I decided I’d rather be in hell with Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Mother Teresa, Budda, Kabir, Rumi, Peace Pilgrim, and, yes, with Jesus Himself, than to be in heaven with the tortuous fundamentalist mentality that thinks itself right and everybody else wrong. I decided I’d rather be in hell for love than to be in heaven for bigotry.” Although I am not a religious person, I deeply respected Suelo’s candidness about his faith.

The actual logistics of living without cash—dumpster-diving, foraging, asking for rides, and more—were also really interesting although Sundeen chose to focus more on other parts of Suelo’s journey. This was probably a good choice for the book. Mark Boyle is an Irish activist who published his first book The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living in 2010 (which I plan to read next) which promises to talk more about the how of living without money.

Skipping out on currency isn’t anything I plan to do, however I do hope to live with only what I need:

“I don’t expect everybody to live in a cave and dumpster-dive,” he says. “I do implore everybody to take only what they know in their own hearts that they need, and give up excess to those who have less than they need. If this happened, I certainly wouldn’t have to dumpster-dive.”

I highly recommend The Man Who Quit Money as a fascinating and thought provoking read. I found myself very inspired by Suelo’s story and have added his blog Moneyless World — Free World — Priceless World to my blog reader. If you read The Man Who Quit Money, come back and tell me what you think of it!

Mud Pots

Last year when we were at the Slabs we spent most of our time exploring the Slabs themselves rather than checking out the surrounding area. I’ve heard a couple of times about mud pots located out near the Salton Sea. This year, we headed out to see what there was to see.

It was totally fascinating! We both kept calling it Yellowstone without fences. Most of the features appeared to be “cold” and just emitting sulfur gas although we did find one that was warm.

Sprocket and F at Mud pots

Mud pot

Mud pot

Mud pot

Mud pot

Mud pot

Mud pot

Mud pot

Mud pot

If you’re visiting the Slabs, it’s definitely worth the drive to check it out!

2013 In Review: By Numbers

2013 certainly was full of adventures and I look forward to 2014 being even more exciting but first I thought I’d do a little different look at 2013: I’m a huge fan of stats. I like to know how far, how fast, how long, how tall and keep tabs on all the numbers. Perhaps it’s just the scientist, data-keeper in me. Thanks to Peakbagger.com and MapMyRun, I was able to find a bunch of fitness related numbers to play with for 2013.

Looking back on what you’ve accomplished in a year has two purposes. The first, of course, is to be reminded of all the good things that have happened. 2013 was certainly a banner year for me in some respects and I’m really proud of that. The second purpose is to figure out how you can improve upon your results for the future. There’s room in all my numbers for 2014 improvement. It should be fun to come back and check on these numbers next year!


I didn’t run much in 2013. Running was always something I should have been doing more of and just didn’t make the time for it.

Running mileage for 2013: 164mi (plus the run I’m squeezing in this afternoon).


At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to hike 100 miles. I’d never really kept track of my hiking mileage over a year and didn’t have a very good idea of what was realistic so I picked a nice round 100.

And looking back at my records, there were months that I did a horrible job of getting out to hike. They were some of the best months for hiking…they also happened to be the months I worked this year: May, June, and July. (September was pretty pathetic too.) Despite that I managed about 250 miles.

Hiking mileage for 2013: 247.7mi


I also embraced the fact that I like hiking for a goal. Specifically, I like climbing to the tallest point around (aka peakbagging or highpointing). 2013 blew previous years out of the water in this respect. Using stats from Peakbagger.com, I generated this lovely little chart (because I’m a giant nerd). This chart only includes data from summit bound hikes:

Peakbagging Summary 2013


Look out 2014. It’s on.

2013 In Review

I can’t believe 2013 is almost over! It’s been quite a year in the life of Team 3Up:

January and February:

Most of January & February were spent hanging out in Ajo exploring the desert. Highlights were driving the Camino Del Diablo and hiking in Arch Canyon.

My faithful hiking buddy

Forrest climbing in Arch Canyon


We sold our Sprinter van and bought an adorable 1977 Scamp. We also watched live bombing practice on the Barry Goldwater Range and went Jeeping in Mexico. As the weather started to warm up, we headed north to Moab.

Welcome toast to the Scamp


After doing some snow wheeling, we decided the Scamp wasn’t quite what we needed and switched to a Chevy van. We hung out in Indian Creek, visited the San Rafael Swell, and explored the Book Cliffs.

Van in canyon

Along the way, the mountains called to us and we visited the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and the San Juan mountains.


The mountains had called to us alright…we bought property outside of Ridgway, Colorado!

Log Hill Mesa views

June andJuly:

June and July were all about exploring the high country of the San Juans, plus we visited Mesa Verde. I also was named a Stonewear Ambassador for 2013-2014.

Beth and Forrest

Mesa Verde National Park


14ers month! We climbed Mt. Sneffels and did battle with Mother Nature on El Diente before successfully summiting both it and Mt. Wilson the following week! We also attended the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City and had a blast.

Hand gash on El Diente's slopes

Beth and Forrest, summit of Pinnacle Peak


Exploring our new home continued along with doing some work up on the property.

San Juan Mountains


We adventured our way to Moab and then on to Oregon to pick up our new motorcycle. We bought our toyhauler and began making winter plans. I also became part of Columbia Sportswear’s #omniten!



We hit the road again! November stops included Goosenecks of the San Juan; Comb Wash; Cottonwood, Arizona; and backpacking in Sycamore Canyon.

Beers on the "porch"


The last month of the year was pretty much taken up getting organized in our truck and camper. We tossed in some adventures around Arizona plus I headed to Chicago for a fantastic girls weekend.

Lance 815 on a flatbed


Happy New Years from 3Up Adventures!

We cannot wait for another wonderful year of adventures in 2014!

Cunningham Mountain

Last week, Sprocket and I set out to climb Cunningham Mountain. Cunningham Mountain (3,316′) is the high point of the Dome Rock Mountains which trend north-south between Ehrenburg and Quartzsite. Towering above our camp, the summit just seemed to call to me.

Cunningham Peak from quad trail

We cheated a bit and used the quad to get to Tule Springs canyon. I wasn’t sure how far the old jeep road on some of the maps extended (or if it was even still there at all) but I figured it would be a good place to start. Sprocket was just happy to be out on his quad.

Sprocket with quad

Sprocket on the trail

The road ended about a third of the way up the canyon and turned into a trail. Someone had fairly recently flagged the trail with pink tape which made for nice walking. Sprocket always likes having a trail to follow so he can be the “leader.”

Cunningham Peak

Sprocket and Beth

The trail lead right to this big block of petroglyphs. I kept my eyes open for petroglyphs on other rocks around the area but I never saw any. By the time we arrived here, it was starting to get nice and warm…just in time to start climbing up to the summit!



Tule Springs Canyon

We climbed up to the low saddle to the southeast of the summit and met up with the jeep road from the Quartzsite side. That road doesn’t mess around! I couldn’t believe how steep it was! I should have taken more pictures while climbing the road because that’s where the best views of Quartzsite were but I was more focused on making the last steep quarter mile! Our views from the top weren’t too shabby thought!

Looking west towards Blythe:

Looking west (Blythe)

Looking east, just south of Quartzsite:

Looking east

Signal Peak:

Signal Peak