Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gilmore On Going In A Privy

Reprint of a funny post by a funny guy…

Perhaps one day I will tell you about my own experiences.  David Gilmore does a great job and he deserves to have his time in the bathroom alone…so here goes!


Life 2010 Forward

the subgenius musings of David Gilmore

Posted by: facetothewind | November 28, 2010

On the banks of the San Pedro River – my thanksgiving in Cascabel, Arizona

Somewhere over of the Rincon Mountains southesat of Tucson, on the thorny banks of the San Pedro River, there exists a precious and small community called Cascabel. I’ve only visited twice and have come to know it through the eyes of my Radical Faerie friends who live there. In spite of what appears on the surface to be harsh living, they live with a sense of purpose and joy and respect for the earth. They make incredible meals from the garden with food they trade with neighbors. It might be called simple living but it is anything but simple. Living in the desert requires a lot of craftiness and commitment to provide themselves with the services we press buttons and pull levers for. Erik who has lived here for a decade is a master builder, gardener, plumber, electrician and does it all with an extraordinary sense of grace.

I spent my thanksgiving there with the boys, mostly in the hammock reading and babysitting the chicks. The stone cottage Erik built by hand is set into the east-facing canyon wall and is kissed daily by the sun. Solar panels attached to two car batteries provide lights, music and refrigeration. The crisp, starry nights dip below freezing but the days are almost always pleasant.  They cook with a solar oven and a propane stove. It’s a beautiful if isolated place about 20 miles from the nearest small town. Coyotes, javelinas and rattlesnakes crisscross the saguaro flanked dirt road access. Here you have a real sense of the wild west and you learn what it is to be a pioneer when you’re out in the middle of the night fixing water lines from the well to the house.

Here are landowners Erik and Shreevie (left and middle) and guest Orchid (right) on the land by Shreevie’s trailer.

Erik harvesting greens for thanksgiving dinner…

while Shreevie catches grasshoppers to feed to the chicks for their thanksgiving feast. I tried my hand at it but was only able to catch the giant ones by throwing my handkerchief over them. Erik then cut them into pieces for the chicks. I was slightly horrified by the whole process as frankenhoppers kicked around without their heads. Compassion for the little ambulatory mandibles fades when you consider the damage they do to the crops. Not to mention how much the chicks go CRAZY for them.

Shreevie with the chicks on the sofa and Orchid (who is a chef in San Francisco) manning the oven. Someone really should invent chicken diapers b/c the chicks are fun to play with but they’re all too happy to leave wet surprises on your lap. And speaking of poop, here’s the big story of the weekend…


M Y   T H A N K S G I V I N G   P O O by David Gilmore

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I’m one of those people who likes to have a perfectly controlled and serene environment for my morning constitution. I’m what you might call a high maintenance pooper.

So on my first visit to Cascabel, my precious poo-ness crashed head-on with the hilltop toilet — what I call “Poo with a View.” Yes, from this toilet you can see about 30 miles in any direction. And if the neighbors were in possession of a telescope, they could see you perched there on the little white toilet seat placed over a composting pit. This, I might add is the only toilet seat you will find on the land. And so those of us with sensitive sphincters need to brace ourselves at least once a day for one of those shitty showdowns — the need to get the deed done versus the need to do it in privacy and with dignity.

My post-thanksgiving visit to the throne was anything but dignified. Let me explain.

A little back-story about the Radical Faeries is necessary. On the Faerie sanctuaries, there are what they call the “shitters” — an inelegant term for the latrine.  The Faeries pride themselves on being fabulous in all things except in my estimation, when it comes to the toilet. It usually consists of a few toilet seats on a bench deploying a design aesthetic seen only in German concentration camps and military bivouacs. There are no feather boas twinkly lights or delicate privacy screens at the shitter…not even an elegant name for the facility.

The other notable principle of Radical Faerie-ness is that on the sanctuaries there is only one rule and they will yell it at you loud and clear: NO PISSING IN THE SHITTERS! OK, OK, I get it. Put away your magic wand and tie dye, I promise I won’t piss in the shitter. The reason of course being that the urine mixed in with the soon-to-be humanure ruins the process by adding too much moisture and urea. I don’t understand the whole process on a scientific level. I simply know that you don’t dare violate that basic tenet when visiting the toilet. Pee on a tree somewhere else before you do number two is all you need to know when stay with the Faes.


Dream Act

Help young immigrant youth go to school!  Please call your senator and ask him to support the Dream Act!



nd so keeping that in mind, I set forth after my morning tea to Poo with a View to relieve myself. But somewhere on the way to the toilet in my urgency to take care of business, I forgot the only rule. It was probably the fact that it was about 35 degrees and windy.

I perched atop the toilet seat and then quickly jumped up realizing the seat was not in fact one of those Japanese heated toilet seats. No, the seat was probably just above the freezing mark.

I decided instead that I would squat on the seat to avoid the shock of an icy seat on my thighs. But rather than squat indelicately on a toilet seat with my shoes on, potentially soiling the only smooth white surface in the desert, I thought I should at least kick off my shoes. And so stepping aboard in my socks, I aligned myself over the hole with my shoes placed neatly on the ground below the throne.

And then I began to focus on the relaxation process. I focused on the neighbor’s house. Wrong. I closed my eyes and felt a frosty wind tickling hairs that usually don’t blow in the wind. I clenched. I squatted there with my hands huddling around my legs for warmth, hoping for the inspiration needed to trigger the series of events necessary for me to accomplish my manurey mission. I imagined being at home in my warm bathroom with my silk rug at my feet. And then it happened.

I did it — the Business part of my business happened. And then as always happens the waterworks were about to begin when I remembered that wicked Faerie rule: NO PISSING IN THE SHITTER! Crap. I needed to stop it before it started and we all know that once #2 has launched, there ain’t no stopping #1.  It’s an autonomic response to just let it all go. All systems were indeed Go and I was gonna be in big trouble for ruining the next batch of humanure. Someone would no doubt be emptying the pit months from now and would get whiff of my urine and they would trace it back to me and I would receive some sort of Radical Faerie pipe bomb in the mail for my toilet transgressions.

The nice thing about being a man is that you do have one fail safe method to avert the stream. It’s called pinching the hose, much as you would cut the flow watering the rosebushes with a garden house. You simply grab hold and squeeze. And so I thought, no problem, I’ll just reach around my right leg and pinch hard to stem the tide. And I did.

Trouble is I still hadn’t done the toilet paper part. Of course now I was going to have to do a left-handed wipe, which is a bit out of my natural dexterous inclinations but I could probably pull it off. Just then a nice canyon wind whipped over the hill and blew the toilet paper off the throne. So I would have to get up and run after it and all the while trying not to smear the pudding in the process…if you know what I mean.

But there was one problem: I couldn’t stand up. I had my right arm wrapped around my right leg, deployed in pinching the hose. Imagine trying to get up from a squat position with your right arm wrapped around your leg while holding your junk tightly in one hand. It’s the sort of thing that only a player in a game of Twister could imagine. Only I’m trying to stem the flow, and chase down a toilet paper roll and preserve my dignity on a hilltop with the neighbors watching. I began to imagine that neighbor hooking up their webacam to the Poo with a View and recording it for a show on the world’s stupidest humans. “Honey come here, you won’t believe this.”

It was at this point that I realized the only way to retrieve the toilet paper was to let go of the hose and try to aim the now high pressure stream off the throne and THEN waddle over to get the TP. So I let go and managed to relieve myself of my full bladder and the last remnants of my dignity all over my shoes neatly placed at the base of the throne. Lovely. Now I have pee-soaked shoes and pudding crack and have no doubt gone viral on the Internet toilet cam.

But hey, I was now free to waddle with my pants around my sock feet into the thorny desert to chase down a much-needed roll of baby soft double ply toilet paper. I was just hoping that no dingleberries would drip off into my pocket and into my iPod.

I finally managed to retrieve the roll, waddle back to the throne dry my shoes, pat the pudding and pick thorns out of my socks. I returned to the house frost bitten and humiliated but triumphant that I didn’t PISS IN THE SHITTER! I pissed all over it and my shoes, but not IN it.  The fact that I managed to do anything at all was a big congratulatory moment for me.

So when I saw Erik I told him the story of what went down on the hilltop. He chuckled and said, “You know, in Arizona, because it’s so dry here, you can actually piss in the shitter.”

Well, you learn something everyday, don’t you? I learned that homesteading ain’t for sissies.

I am checking now for the webcam broadcast.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bluffs Hunting Club at Valhalla Bijou is a Wing shooters Paradise!

Article first published as  First Class Wingshooting At The Bluffs, first published on technorati  N3UW7XC87265

When I was a kid I wanted to own a big ranch so I could go hunting and fishing. The only problem was, I didn't have the 2 million bucks it took and I didn't have any rich uncles in my corner. Thirty years later, I can say, some things never change.


If you can get to Denver, Colorado, you don't have to own a large cattle ranch in order to enjoy a premiere hunting opportunity. There are a few private ranches and hunting clubs that provide access to Colorado's best hunting habitat. The Bluffs Ranch, near Byers, Colorado, is first rate.
 bluffs header iism
The MacLennon family started ranching along Kiowa Creek in Eastern Colorado over 50 years ago. They named their ranch the Valhalla, “the home of champions”, and soon had a top-notch herd running. later, the MacLennon's acquired a second grazing property at the confluence of the East and West Bijou Creeks near Byers, Colorado, which they call the Bluffs.
 if the lord is in your heartsm

The Bluffs name comes from Large land forms which tower above the eroded creek-bed to create the "bluffs".  The ranch house is located on this feature and gives guests a chance to drink in golden sunsets of the front range, including Pike’s Peak to the south and Long’s Peak to the North, while tasting fresh Colorado air. This is prime pheasant and Bob-White quail habitat which are native to Northern Colorado.  The cover is grassland, dry creek bottoms, and mature cottonwoods, which is also a place where deer like to roam.  All of these species are subject to harvesting from carefully managed hunts.


If you are new to hunting and don't recognize the critter when it flies up in front of you, don't be surprised. The ranch also nurtures populations of chukar and Hungarian Partridge to give the hunter a little variety.  You may need to study up on your species to know just what it is you are shooting!


Since the ranch augments the bird population, bag limits are higher than they are for a normal hunt. Essentially, the hunter is harvesting a bird that would not have been on the property but for the efforts of the Bluffs.   State law excuses hunting licenses for properly augmented species.  That comes in handy for non-resident hunters who don’t have time to buy licenses as they pass through Denver International Airport only 40 miles away from the property.  A busy executive can be in the fields hunting within an hour after landing at the airport!

The facilities at the Bluffs are nothing short of first class.  There is a 6,200 square foot modern lodge that approximates a country mansion.  There are six bedrooms and four baths that can accommodate twelve people in modern  comfort.  In addition, there is a large “club house” perfect for meetings and family fun a few steps from the lodge.  The facility is perfect for a corporate meeting with teamwork and leadership in mind. 

Sue MacLennan and close friend
Pheasant hunts benefit through team work as the birds are famous for running through the cover of the fields.  Four hunters working together can flush the birds.   Two of the hunters might stand at the top of a hill while the other two flush the birds to higher ground.  When the birds reach the end of the cover they fly.  Working the field from the top down rarely works as the birds will often fly before the end of the cover and may fly well out of range.  A single hunter might work a field alone and miss many opportunities because he can’t flush a savvy pheasant moving into deeper cover.

club house sm ii
The MacLennon’s encourage you to bring your bird dog along.  There is access to the Valhalla Kennels.  This is great horse-back riding country, as well.  With up to 3,000 acres available, there is plenty for non-hunting guests to do while the hunter hones his skills.
The cost of a charter membership is listed at $35,000 with annual dues of $1,500.  A lesser costly option may be available under the annual membership program which is listed at $2,500 per year with no large buy-in fee.  Instead of monthly dues, members pay $100 per gun per hunt and a fee for every bird.  If you get skunked you only pay the minimum hunt fee.  Considering hunters frequently encounter 100 birds per hunt, you would have to be a really bad shot to go home without fresh game in your bag.

club house

 The Bluffs is located at 76201 East 96th Avenue, Byers, CO., 80103.   Don’t let the address fool you, the ranch is hard to find without directions and a wrong turn can lead you onto impassable country roads.  The Lodge telephone number is 303 822 8479 E-mail:   Russ MacLennon will help you out if you have questions.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Spence Hot Springs Getting Spanked

Article first published as Spence Hot Springs Near Jemez Getting Spanked on Technorati.

pool techno

Spence Hot Springs near Jemez Pueblo in the Santa Fe National Forest remains spectacular in it’s beauty, yet marred by misuse of this gift of nature.  A few who come to the famous hot springs are ruining the area for everyone.


wasted paper techno

The springs, which maintain a constant temperature of about 100 degrees, are collected in various pools on the side of the mountain in the Santa Fe National Forest near Los Alamos, New Mexico.  



There are two basic pools, one perched atop the other.  Water gently cascades from the higher pool to the lower, leaving the lower pool slightly cooler.  The views of the valley beyond are as soothing as is the water.  What a great opportunity to enjoy H2o from Mother Earth in nature’s spectacular back yard. 


bridge grafit techn

Spence Hot Springs has likely always endured heavy use, even by the early indigenous inhabitants of the region.  Perhaps, they too, struggled with the best ways to keep it pristine and a jewel for the generations who follow.


ana techno Over the years, efforts have been made to construct other pools to alleviate congestion and to provide privacy of which there is little.  However, most of these additional pools seem to go dry.



A sincere effort has been made to control erosion on the access trail, to construct a foot bridge over the river and to keep the foot paths in usable shape.  These efforts aside, there have been few changes to Spence Hot Springs since my first visit in 1983.  Some things should always stay the same.


distant parking lot through boulders of pools

Despite being an easy 15 minute hike from the highway right-of-way, Spence was the place where swimming suits were few and far between.  Literature about the area warns intolerant bathers to beware.  However, during the most recent 6 years, a no-nudity policy has been in place.  Some rangers reportedly insist on adherence. 


forest sign techno

In an odd way, requiring visitors to wear more may be contributing to the damage to the spring.  Naturists, as those who prefer to bathe in the suits they were born in are called, have a certain code of conduct. 


crossing arroyossm

As Allen Campbell who owns the Wilderness Hot Springs near the Gila Cliff Dwellings points out about his own spring, “Nudists keep the riff-raff out”.   They frown on inappropriate sexual activities in public and are sensitive about the concerns of parents with minors. 


abel and martha i love you sm

In addition, most naturists take great care of the springs they use, since there are not many places that cater to the lifestyle.  One must wonder about the wisdom of giving the informal care-takers of this great resource the boot.



The USDA web page warns “Nudity is a violation of state law and you can be cited”.   How much do you want to bet the mother of one of those rangers spent some time skinny dipping in Jemez Springs?


ft bridge in paradise

The Forest Service has also tried to limit use of the spring to day-time only, another failed plan.  It only takes one graffiti artist painting his signature late at night when others are prohibited from being at the springs to destroy the experience for others.  Constant use means constant guardians. 


going home sm

It is not how many people use the spring that affects the success or failure of the nature experience.  It is how the spring is treated by those who use it that counts.  The current care-takers, especially those who use it, have a lot to learn.


two pools

The spring is located about 7 miles North of the pueblo of Jemez Springs on State Highway 4 between mile marker 24 and 25.  There are other springs in the area including private springs like the Jemez Bath House which is owned by the city of Jemez Springs. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta = Fun!

While I am waiting for La Vida Nueva, my sailboat, to come back into my life, I have been busy doing things I would have done with La Vida Nueva.  The Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival was always high on the list!



I am a licensed pilot but a Balloon endorsement I do not have…nor do I plan to get.  Still, to see the 600 participants lifting off en-mass reminded me of my own flying days, mostly by the seat of my pants! 


filling up iiism

Ballooning is a lot like that.  Sure, there are plenty of rules.  But at the end of the day, it is you and your wits and a very real chance that you are not coming home for supper that night that makes the sport “edgy”.


we have lift off vsm


Today, we mourn the fallen from this festival, Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis, who likely were killed when their balloon catastrophically failed and plunged into the sea at over 50 miles per hour.  


casino 66sm

Abruzzo, 47, of Albuquerque, and Davis, 65, of Denver, were participating in the 54th Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race when contact was lost Wednesday morning in rough weather over the Adriatic Sea.  During prior yeas, the two veteran adventurists were at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival.

dont worry be happy


They will be missed by those who knew them personally, and their spirits will be missed by all pilots who understand each venture aloft bears the risk of one ugly yet possible outcome, that one time when everything fails or just one thing fails, and we are forced to meet our maker doing what we love the most. 



Flying, in whatever form, is full of adventure, and for me mostly full of freedom which can only be matched by the freedom one has when we shed the bonds of our lives and our bodies and move to the next life.



Fortunately, none of the balloons or dare devils who operated them, were involved in any accidents or incidents.  They are simply a window into the sport for me, a moment recorded for history, a memory of my own, maybe apart from the balloon, but in my own way like these leaders, when I put it on the line and launched for heaven again!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Abby Sunderland – Dismasted, trips epirb, 16 year old is “o.k.” waiting for Rescue, yacht afloat


An entire generation of dreamers and future adventurers have been watching little Abby Sunderland in her quest to be the youngest girl to sail around the world.  It does not look like Abbey is going to make it. 


Abbey trips two EPIRB’s, not reachable.  A parent’s nightmare!


Abby reported high winds and rough weather shortly before.


One of the EPIRBS was from the one associated with her life raft. 


Concerns are, Abby may have had to ditch her Open 40 sailboat Wild Eyes


Abby Sunderland


Reports are coming in that 16 year old Abby Sunderland has tripped two EPIRB's.


2015hrs GMT June 10, 2010-“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has told Yacht Pals that the Wild Eyes EPIRB and Abby's personal locater beacon were tripped approximately 2,000 nautical miles WSW of Perth, and that the ‘weather is very poor’”


2027hrs GMT June 10 - Abby Sunderland's parents Laurence and Marianne Sunderland said they spoke with their daughter.  She had been knocked down several times with 60 knot winds and seas of 20 to 25 feet…that is 25 feet up and 25 feet down…


“Abby has all of the equipment on board to survive a crisis situation…She has a dry suit, survival suit, life raft, and ditch bag with emergency supplies. If she can keep warm and hang on, help will be there as soon as possible.”


2153hrs GMT June 10 - Qantas Airlines tells Yacht Pals it will send an Airbus A330 to the location of the EPIRB, in an effort to attain visual confirmation of Abby Sunderland's location and/or establish radio contact. 


0640hrs GMT June 11 - Abby Sunderland is alive!  Her boat is upright!


0654hrs GMT June 11 - Abby Sunderland's parents say, "Wild Eyes is upright but her rigging is down. The weather conditions are abating. Radio communication was made and Abby reports that she is fine!”

Abby Sunderland boat dismasted

Photo Above: Abby Sunderland's boat Wild Eyes dismasted in the Southern Indian Ocean.


1850hrs GMT June 11 - Abby Sunderland's team:


'Abby Sunderland was in great spirits after being spotted' say rescue members. Search and rescue crew members have described how stricken 16-year-old yachtswoman Abby Sunderland remained “in good spirits” after being spotted from the air yesterday.”


June 12 - "In preparation for the arrival on scene of the fishing vessel Ile De La Reunion anticipated for late this afternoon, RCC Australia has tasked a Global Express aircraft to the scene. This aircraft is planned to arrive at the known position of Wild Eyes at approximately 4.30pm AEST.

The aircraft will attempt to regain radio contact with Wild Eyes ahead of the planned rescue. The position of Wild Eyes continues to be monitored via distress beacon transmission. Weather in the area has improved slightly with 30-35 knot winds and a 4-5 metre swell."


June 12 -  Marianne and Laurence Sunderland:

"Abby was safely transferred to the French fishing vessel Ile de la Reunion in the early hours of our morning.

Fortunately, the weather had calmed down enough that a dinghy was able to be dispatched for Abby to climb into and to bring her close to the 100' steel vessel.

We were able to speak to Abby very briefly once the transfer was complete. She sounded tired but good. She had a good sense of humor but was clearly in the early stages of coming to grips with everything.


June 12 - Statement from Abby Sunderland: "Sorry I haven't written in so long as you probably already know I had a pretty rough couple of days. I can't write much now as I am typing on a French key pad as well as trying to stay seated in a bouncy fishing boat.


The long and the short of it is, well, one long wave, and one short mast (short meaning two inch stub.)


Crazy is the word that really describes everything that has happened best.


Within a few minutes of being on board the fishing boat, I was already getting calls from the press. I don't know how they got the number but it seems everybody is eager to pounce on my story now that something bad has happened.


There are plenty of things people can think of to blame for my situation; my age, the time of year and many more. The truth is, I was in a storm and you don't sail through the Indian Ocean without getting in at least one storm. It wasn't the time of year it was just a Southern Ocean storm. Storms are part of the deal when you set out to sail around the world.


As for age, since when does age create gigantic waves and storms?


I keep hitting the wrong keys and am still trying to get over the fact that I will never see my Wild Eyes again. So Ill write more later.



Wild Eyes II will be even better, Abby!  Stick with it, kid.  A lot of young dreams are riding on you, and you have brought them true for many!


The information for this article was taken from the Yacht pals site.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Free Arizona travel map and tourist guide! Sail up the Colorado River!


Some guys buy my yarn about sailing my boat from Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico via the Colorado River.  Every sailor has a yarn!


If your travels are going to take you to the state of Arizona you might as well get your free map!  Here is the site for the map.  The Arizona Tourist Board sends it out no charge!  Get it now while the supplies last!


Arizona Visitors Guide!  Free, hit this link!


Sad to say, if you are of minority status, meaning you are not “white” Arizona HB 1070 makes travel in Arizona risky.  Be sure you carry full identification and you will be fine!  Should you encounter problems we would love to know about them, please send us an email so we can report your story!

15 Year old pirate could do life – He terrorized ship’s captain, hijacked ship, sailboat skippers breath sigh of relief!

A Somali pirate finds himself in hot water after taking over a ship, bragging about pirating others

Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse, right, cries as the judge asks his lawyer, Phillip Weinstein, about Muse's age in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday. The judge ruled he could be tried as an adult.

As I try to get back to my beloved Tayana 36 in Port Isabel, Texas, I can’t help but think about the trip ahead of me. 

While a long ways in the future, if ever, I can see my self sailing off of the African coast.  I can also see me sailing off of the Mexican coast on my way to Belize or Guatemala's Rio Dulce. 

Mexico is ripe with drug dealers, kidnappers and ner-do-wells.  I think many sailors sigh in relief to know some of the pirates who have been attacking civilian craft are being brought to justice! 

It is sad to see one of the pirates, Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse, likely being under-age.  It is tragic to think a youth could spend the rest of his years in the cross bar motel for piracy. 

On the other hand, these rogues have been terrorizing private craft for years with impunity.  The fact they are under-age does not change the fear and intimidation they bring to sailboat and ship captains and crew.  In some cases, the crew are harmed or killed.  What are we going to to about that? 

Muse is an extreme example of the swash buckling pirate.  He brags about his conquests and did not hesitate to use force when he climbed aboard the Maersk Alabama to take control. 

Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse was one of the first to board the Maersk Alabama on April 8.   As he took over the ship he fired at Capt. Richard Phillips.  He broke into the ship’s safe and stole $30,000, according to a criminal complaint filed in Manhattan.

Muse and his cohorts placed what they said was a bomb next to one of the ships crew and told the crew they would shred him into pieces if the crew did not do as they were told.  ‘

A Manhattan judge decided Muse could be tried as an adult, meaning he could spend a lot of time bending over for tough guys as he serves his live sentence.  He will eventually learn how to avoid the gang rapes he is bound to suffer in the first year of serious jail time. 

Police and FBI agents escort the Somali pirate suspect U.S. officials identified as Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse into FBI headquarters in New York on Monday.

Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse changed his bright smile with the media attention he has won to tears as he contemplated the sentence that could be handed down.  


The 15 year old made the sailors on the Maersk sailors to lower a ladder so more pirates could board.  He was  not using his head because the sailors tricked him into putting his weapon down in the process.  That is when the sailors tackled him and made short work of it in subduing him. 

Muse tried to negotiate on behalf of other pirates making an escape in one of the ships long boats.  The U.S. Navy shot and killed them.  Muse is not very good at negotiating.

Muse’s lawyer said he was really a victim.  He was a fisherman who was likely captured by real pirates during Somalia's civil war and forced to participate in the hijacking.


That might be a mitigating factor during sentencing.  However, Muse clearly terrorized the captain and crew of a passing ship and most think he should pay a price.  Perhaps other pirates will think twice before attacking innocent sailors and ship’s captains!

More information can be found here:  Pirate or child?  What price should a buccaneer pay?





Saturday, April 17, 2010

A little of Colorado Un poco de Colorado

Uncle Tim goes to the mountains

Getting ready to get ready

I had a hunch when I left my beloved La Vida Nueva in Port Isabel, Texas, it was going to be a long time before I could get back.  I was right.  The recession and some foolish mistakes have cost me dearly.  I am in Denver trying to fix things but the fixing isn't going fast!  Bummer!

Friend, Melquiades Ortiz, on top of treacherous Loveland Pass!

As I mentioned in prior blogs, one thing I miss in most sailing blogs are the roots.  Where did my fellow sailors come from and how is it they ended up in the sea?  You will get a good idea of where I came from if you subscribe to this blog!

This entry  is about a trip I made to Breckenridge, Colorado.  I have also been involved with the immigrants rights movement and that is taking some time, and helping me keep my thoughts off of my rotten fortune.  

The Argo Mine in Idaho Springs, Colorado.  Considering mining is
unprofitable in the U.S., the owners turned to mining tourists instead of gold these days!

Most of you know my story by now.  I started my sailing trip on Lake Dillon high in the Colorado Rockies.  I brought the boat down the snake River, thereby joining the Colorado river.  I sailed down the Colorado, along the same route as John Wesley Powell.  Better said, I mostly bounced my 37 foot Tayana through the deeps and shallows. 

Melquiades keeps the Statute of
Military hero Dan Conners company

Eventually, I was able to sail onto Lake Powell.  What a spectacular place to sail!  But the lake is way down and you have to watch the depth sounder with great care!  I left Lake Powell at Page, Arizona, and soon after passing Laughlin, Nevada, was able to find a canal deep enough to head East.  It was a hell of a trip spanning many weeks.  I daresay, it compares with the more popular great loop, but because of the Continental Divide it is one way in and one way out!  Actually, I am not sure you could get in.  Getting out is all down hill!

Mason 'd Ski.  Good folks, at least when
I was getting my snow legs 35 years ago!  It is Still around today!

Skiing became one of our big tourist attractions
after soldiers who trained at camp Hale in Colorado
 came back from the war and decided to try it just for fun!

When people spot my home port of "Breckenridge, Colorado", painted on the stern of La Vida Nueva, they smile.  Most don't believe anyone could get a blue water sailor with a six foot draft down the route I describe and they probably have good reason to doubt my claims.  It makes for a great yarn and maybe it happened that way!

My friend, Melquiades Ortiz, joined me for a drive from Denver to Breckenridge, Colorado.  Let me tell you a little known truth about the "Big D" as we call it.  Considering the harsh weather, I don't see why anyone would live there during the God forsaken winter unless they were getting high on weed and skiing every day, or they were simply trapped!  

Monument to mining 

Driving Up Loveland Pass

Melquieades pushes his Dodge Durango up the hill

Summer is very different.  Still, if it were not for the Mountains, you would have to be plain nuts to stake your claim in Denver.  Clearly, when you hear a cool mountain stream flowing by your feet, inhale gulps of crisp mountain air, and watch a cutthroat rise to a fly, the insanity of living in the "Big D" starts to make sense!  In the winter, falling into the marshmallow powder of a deep snow while skiing leaves one with the same conclusion.  The beauty and peace which nature brings to life makes the "Big D" all worth it.  The only thing close to it is El Mar.  That is Spanish for the sea!

Loveland Pass summit

Once you reach the summit of Loveland Pass there is a stairway into the sky.  After making it to the top of the stairs you feel like you are in heaven.  Needless to say, I have had a few spiritual experiences after huffing my way to the top!

Melquiades and I decided to take the old route to Brecky. That took us over Loveland Pass, long feared by truckers and flat landers during snow storms, as one of the most treacherous roads in the country. If you make it up the Colorado River one day be sure to call me and I will come meet you and give you a hearty pat on the back and a quick tour of the mountains!

Stairs into the sky!

We are going up there?  He asked with wide eyes!
Melquiades makes the summit!

I made the summit, too!  (Of course!)

After we froze our nuts off in the wind as it ripped through our clothes, we trekked down to the road, hopped back into the Durango, and started the descent from the mountain peak.  The scenery is breath taking, the cold mountain air stops you in your tracks, and the trip was a total blast!

Once we made it down the steep grades of Loveland Pass we came to spectacular Lake Dillon.  As beautiful as the Lake is, a boat the size of mine is a lot happier splashing in the waves of the Gulf of Mexico!

Lake Dillion Cut Disappears into the snow!  The ice will clear in a few weeks!

Today, the last day of ski season, Lake Dillon disappears into the mountain fog and snow.  The Lake takes a sharp turn and runs down the valley towards Dillion.

If you get your boat up the Colorado river to Lake Dillion, be sure to look me up!  It is well worth a side trip up this way!