Friday, October 9, 2015


The local weather forecast called for heavy rain and wind, with no end in sight.  It wasn't really what I was hoping for. The weather forecast for the Mojave Desert and Colorado Plateau of southern Utah called for 104 degrees F.  That was more like what I had in mind. So off I went, to find the motorbike.

The Black Rock Desert.  Seems like I was just here a couple weeks ago.
Las Vegas
Southwest Colorado
Southwest Colorado
Anyone who can guess whose house this is gets ten points. (Andrew Kastning and his family excluded from this contest)
John Denver Country.
Maroon Country.

The real reason for my trip was to get myself to Gunnison Colorado to attend the Western State University of Colorado's athletics hall of fame induction ceremony for Jim Burkholder, who was the head coach of the UAA Ski Team and running team from 1972-1976. If you've done any skiing in Anchorage, then you've definitely skied sections of trail named after Burky.  There's Burky's Turn, Burky's Climb, etc. Along with others like Jim Mahaffey and Dick Mize, we skiers in Anchorage have a lot to thank these pioneers of our trail systems and ski programs for.
As it turns out, I was just over the ridge from Andrew Kastning, who was also in the Colorado Rockies for the weekend. He was attending a continuing education ski coaching class in Aspen - the first 200-level coaching class offered in the US. He has already shared a bunch of new and exciting information with the rest of us on the team, but of course I can't divulge any of it here because it's all confidential team stuff. I hiked to the top of West Maroon Pass and gave a good yodel down into the Aspen valley try to roust Andrew out, but got no response from Coach Kastning.  He must have been deep into it down there in his ski coaching class. (Thank you Bill, Carol and Tom for letting me crash at your place in CB!)

Muddy water and flash floods in Capital Reef
You don't get to see rain in the desert very often. It's a rare treat!

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