Archive for November, 2011

Guide to Yellowstone and Tetons – A Book Review

// November 30th, 2011 // No Comments » // books, Getting biblical

The latest edition in the True North series: Your Guide toYellowstone and Teton National Parks was a read that left me wanting more.  In fact it made me want to go back and visit these parks again with a fresh perspective.  Having stood on top of the Grand Teton and bicycle toured through Yellowstone park, I have seen a lot of the natural features and beauty in these parks while my mind considered their formation.
  This book doesn’t just merely offer up answers, it will challenge you to engage your brain and think – even better, it will encourage you to seek truth in the process.  As Psalm 104:8 says “the mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place which you established for them” so is the perspective from which this book is written.  There is no kick in the teeth to those who hold an evolutionist point of view, rather common sense explanations of a young earth backed by the scientific method put into language that all can understand from a Biblical foundation.  In other words this book is not picking a fight, it is intelligently supporting the idea that there is a God who is a creator, and he is the one who put the forces in motion to forge such beauty.  This book accomplishes it’s three fold purpose of 1. being a guide to the overlooks; 2. offering arguments for creation vs evolution; and 3. showing how the parks themselves are supported by the idea of a great flood and intelligent design all while offering pages of wonderful photography that all serve to encourage the reader on towards good stewardship of our natural world.  I can now just imagine how valuable this guide would be in my hands as I toured the parks today in person again with my kids.  It would help me to discover the greater treasure and deeper value of our parks.  Guess I know what I am doing next summer – road trip!  (to Yellowstone and the Tetons of course.)

Sneak Peak at Vail Mountain before Opening 2011

// November 17th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

I hiked up Vail Mountain today for some exercise, to get a few turns, and to see what the mountain looked like before it truly comes to life for the season.  It looks like it is really ready to go and with a bit more snow more terrain is sure to open up.  For now there is definitely enough to get those early season legs in shape.  Go out and enjoy – happy 2011/2012 season!

Shot with Go-Pro Hd Hero

Music by my buddy Eric Peters


10 Easy Ways to Get Tough Today!

// November 16th, 2011 // No Comments » // Advice

Ever feel that you are becoming soft?  Spending too much time in the recliner eating Twinkies by the fire?

Well, if that is you, I’d like to challenge you to get creative and think of small ways to challenge yourself each day to get tougher.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone, still keeping safety in mind, and see if these things don’t add up to make life’s daily little trials a little easier to manage and your feathers a little harder to ruffle.

1.  Shovel the snow out of your driveway wearing only flip flops on your feet.
2.  Go to an Occupy rally (your city of choice here) wearing a Newt Gingrich T-shirt and a corporate logo on you ball cap.
3.  Start your day with an icy cold shower and an ice cold beverage.
4.  Run as fast as you possibly can until you lose one of your lungs.  (This can be done after number 2)
5.  Choose not to use the AC in your car on the hottest day of the year.
6.  Choose not to use the heat in your car on the coldest day of the year.
7.  Skip a meal, two meals, or a whole day of eating.
8.  Give away something you hold dear.
9.  See what pepper spray feels like – also done in conjunction with number 2

10.  Ski to the top of a peak in midwinter when the winds are blowing 30 mph or more.  If you want to make it tougher do this with an Oakland Raider fan and tell them all the merits of Tim Tebow.

11.  As a bonus if you are still not challenged – substitute pine cones in place of your TP.


Veterans Day

// November 11th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Other, Reflections

I’d like to say “Happy Veterans Day” to all of our country’s finest, but somehow it doesn’t quite seem fitting to these men and women who have given their lives and their limbs for this land and the people who inhabit it.

So instead, to those who have served and are serving, who have given everything and are still giving.  I would like you to know you are in my prayers.  I would like you to know me and my family are thankful.  We are grateful.  You are not forgotten – not today, not any day that we remain free.

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

God bless you!

The Depths Reflect the Heights

// November 8th, 2011 // No Comments » // Hiking, Reflections

Maroon Bells reflected in Maroon Lake, CO

One of the things I love most about the outdoors is the chance it gives me to spend time with people that I care about.  To me a day out is as much about relationships as it is about wilderness and activity.
While participating in activities like rock, ice, and mountain climbing as well as road an mountain biking I find that there are plenty of times I need to depend on another person or that they need to depend on me.
The older the friendship, the greater the number of outings, the greater our ability to handle adversity together.

Recently while out climbing a peak I was given the chance to deepen a friendship – this is another way of saying we had a rough and trying day.  The peak threw everything it had at us and we had to dig deep into our physical and mental reserves to finish the day.
In this state of being it is easy to get rattled, to get short and impatient with each other and lose focus as well as a grip on the reigns of our thoughts, words and actions.

The beauty of a deep friendship built on a solid foundation is that it can better withstand such a storm and see the true person still buried deep within that cloud.  The cloud will likely pass and the friendship resume as normal with nothing more than a good story to remember.  However if it is a first time out in a new relationship – it well could spell the end.

This thought gave me the following words:

Friendships, like mountains, are born for adversity.
They stand firm spiting the weather and storms that threaten their stature.
Friendships deepen like the reflecting waters below
when they are tested on the heights that are scaled above.

The deeper the waters run, the greater the heights to be climbed.




A Recent Interview in Okalahoma City

// November 5th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Can you tell I was tired?  After a long night and a few early presentations I was a bit tired to deliver a good interview for the Oklahoman Newspaper.  I was happy to oblige and it was fun.  You can see it here:

Fully Clothed

// November 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Getting biblical, Leadership

Last week here in Vail we received about a foot of snow with temperatures dropping down into the low teens.  On a recent trip to the Icebox of the Nation – the Fraser valley – we experienced our first dose of real cold this season with a morning of 2 degrees (F).  My friend even said at his house it had been minus 7, and it is still October!  Now it is the first of November another weather system is fast approaching and I am scrambling to make sure the cars are ready, my girls are ready, and that I too am ready for the deep freeze of winter.  Our world gets chilly and we need to make sure we have lots of layers and a solid outer coat to protect us and keep us warm.

As I get everything and everyone prepared I think of climbing in the arctic circle, climbing in the death zone on Everest and even skiing in Colorado on the worst days.  It starts with the socks and underwear as the base layer, moves out to a good breathable but insulating mid-layer sometimes followed by a technical soft-shell or gore-tex and lastly depending on the day the big “puffy” or parka.

As my wife and I were getting our girls layered up to go out and play in the cold she started talking about how we should do the same every day with our attitudes and virtues.  It caught me a bit off balance and unprepared.  I plan to the finest degree covering every detail about what goes on the outside to protect me from the cold world, but don’t often plan to the same extent to clothe the inside.  I don’t give much thought to the daily internal layers of character and virtue to protect me from the cold world or even better to share the warmth given me with it.

Colossians 3:12 says “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”  I think in this way if I can plan a little ahead and make sure I am putting these layers on first, the harsh cold world might become a little warmer.  It’s the goggles that help me to see compassionately, the gloves that give me a touch of kindness, my holy underwear that keeps me humble, the soft middle layer that allows for gentleness, and lastly the “puffy” that allows me to bear with others through storm and be patient or even to give away when they are in greater need of being warmed.

As this next storm bears down on us I am making sure I have all my layers ready to go inside and out.  Are you ready for the next season in the icebox?