Wednesday, September 28, 2005


My shoes on the beach. © Shawn Kielty, 2005.  All rights reserved.

It is hard to summarize a trip like this, twelve days on a raft, the Colorado River, infinite detail. I have returned. Re-entry is a bit confusing and the various parts of my body hurt. It was good. I saw a condor. Everything is dirty and there is sand in every place possible. There are some 700 images and laundry to do ... There will be more later.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Trip Day

© Shawn Kielty, 2005, all rights reserved.

Remember, "Super GlueTM is good for cracked skin."

Enter the wilderness. Some things, you gotta do alone. Be healthy, keep your wits, be smart, carry a flashlight and use your sense of smell. Protect yourself at all costs. Pay attention, because the pre-game show is over. As I pack the final items, I worry because this is the first guided tour I have ever taken of the wilderness, I might bring the wrong drinks, or the wrong kind of soap. It's a mediated experience of the wilderness, not my first. But my first like this. I usually go into the wilderness alone or with a disciple. It's easier that way. If I screw up, I suffer the consequences (my poor disciple). I hope I'll know what to look at, when to take a picture. I have the perfect luggage and a purple shirt -- so I think I'll be ok.
As my father always said in every case when things were uncomfortable, "It's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick." Hopefully, the river gods will be benevolent. Maybe, later I'll have a good story to tell.

I'll see you on the other side.

Monday, September 5, 2005

My Favorite Mile

Photo Chris Raye, © 2005, all rights reserved.

Oh man -- yesterday I made my first ascent of Camelback, via Echo Canyon, 1200 ft verticle over 1.2 miles. A young woman passed me on the way up. She smelled sweet like sweat while I was dying behind her, feeling old. Yep, I hiked that mile. I only had to break a few times. She reminded me of what I once lived for. What I once was.

My favorite mile now isn't that one. It's less seductive. Camelback is filled with gorgeous people. Beautiful people. It has fences and handrails, and GucciTM sunglasses, and expansive views -- and is a very serious mile. There is glamour in it. I hear it is the toughest of the seven Phoenix peaks.

The first mile and back of the hike to the wind cave on pass mountain has no glamour; this is my mile or two. What I want is this - a moderate to strenous hike -- on a good trail . I want to go there everyday, before breakfast. Later in my life I can run it.

This hike gets tougher as you go -- 1.6 miles to the wind cave on pass mountain. It is about 10 minutes from my house, and about an hour round trip.