Seven of us hiked up the Greyrock trail on Wednesday, May 26, 2010. We spent the night under the stars/clouds. The weather held after a rainy morning. It was a beautiful start to a long weekend of celebration leading up to Erik and Brianne's wedding. Above: Chris, Erik and Ryan during a water break on the way up.
The man of the hour/day/week, Erik Haagenson with beard, before he would, quote, "GQ it up a bit" before the wedding.
After we arrived at the campsite, we needed to find firewood. We set off to gather some up by any means possible. Hands, feet, medium-sized boulders, leverage and Kyle's hatchet. This hatchet probably wasn't the hatchet Gary Paulsen had in mind, nor were we the handlers of the hatchet that Paulsen likely imagined. We are large, fit, barrel-chested men, not scrawny, stranded boys. This hatchet could only last so long. Fittingly, Erik was the man using the hatchet when it broke, but it could have been any of us. Above: Matt uses the pathetic head of the hatchet to unsuccessfully split some firewood. Stem of broken hatchet seen in foreground. Broken. Useless. And, I think, plastic. That could have been the problem.
I probably got the best shot of all the group of Fort Collins, pictured above, just beyond the lowly, sunlit foothill. I did have the most powerful camera and the biggest lens. The guys were impressed when I turned my camera off and the lens automatically retracted into the body of the camera. It was a very powerful moment.
I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but I do. Above: Chris and Erik stare contemplatively at the horizon, making for a damn fine picture. When I look at this, I see their adventurous spirit, I feel our bond and I think of their history of climbing, camping and mountaineering together and the reverence they have for God's majestic creation. There isn't much else to capture.
Our campsite, just at the top of this pond, was picture perfect, flat, with pre-formed fire pit and accessible water. Chris can be seen climbing down from the rock outcropping in the lower-right corner of the shot.
Nearing sunset, taken from the eastern summit. This is my desktop background right now and it is destined to be blown up and on a wall soon.
Collecting firewood. Chris and Erik with a prized catch, a piece of wood which probably burnt up in five minutes later that evening.
The aforementioned hatchet buried in wood after throwing many a small to medium-sized boulder at it. No one will free this hatchet.
Ryan, still taking in the view, and Erik, with a reversal of mood, deciding to now go through with it and seeing the beauty in it all.
Chris proudly exhibiting his fascination with man, especially hairy-chested, New Belgium Ranger IPA-drinking man.
The morning after. I was first to wake. I felt very old and thus sat by the burned out campfire thinking about the other times I have felt much older than this group of friends while they slept on.
Our last stop before heading down to Fort Collins was our traditional cliff-jumping spot. Only three people jumped. Above: Erik jumps and begins his rotation for the gainer that he successfully and safely completed before plunging into the snowmelt.